I was Googling (note how ‘Google’ has become a verb) for noted Indian Historian Ramachandra Guha‘s article titled ‘Big Brother fascination’. Searching it on the web as the link on Guha’s Wikipedia biography is dead. That article has to do with the highly inflamatory issue “how the left all over the world –USSR in 80s and now China– manipulates our ’eminent’ journalists”. Several of my searches returned links to a TV show called ‘Big Brother’. I heard a lot of controversy the show created in 2007, but never bothered to know what the show was about or what the controversy was. So this time I decided to ask myself, “What the fuck is ‘Big Brother’?“
Big Brother is a reality television show. In each series, which lasts for around three months, a group of people live together full-time in a house, isolated from the outside world but under the continuous gaze of television cameras. The contestants try to win a cash prize by avoiding periodic, usually publicly-voted, evictions from the house. The idea for Big Brother came during a brainstorm session at the production house of John de Mol Produkties. [Source]
Brain storming? WTF! It was when I came to know about something called ‘Bigg Boss’ and realized that all Indian “infotainment” TV channels and websites are highlighting it in the name of ‘news’. My Google searches –which invariably happen to be very precise– returned a whopping 288,000 results (add this to that number). So, what the fuck is ‘Bigg Boss’? According to Wikipedia,
Bigg Boss is a reality TV programme broadcast in India. It is the Indian version of the Big Brother format, which was first developed by Endemol in the Netherlands.
Here is what this show and its derivatives really are: One house. Some contestants.. cameras. microphones. Yet again the public gorges its voyeuristic appetite as a group of less known and truly unremarkable people submit themselves to the brutal exposure of the televised real-life soap opera. Everybody knows the rules: total strangers are forced to live together while the rest of the world watches them do it. Who will crack first? Who will have sex with whom? Who will the public love and who will they hate? All the usual questions. The contestant who causes the fewest boredom-related deaths eventually wins, and gets some amount of money and infamy.
Wikipedia also told me that a certain Indian actress who faded into an undesired obscurity because she wasn’t a big deal in Indian cinema (never!) suddenly made millions of pounds by blaming some other loser of racial remarks. (Apparently, this was the controversy I heard about in 2007). Ironically, the actress appeared as the host of Indian version of Big Brother and “the racist” became a contestant of the same series. Brilliant…!
All that is fine with me as long as I don’t have to know about it. But I have serious objections when I see such crap in the name of news — the only TV programme or channels I watch. Why do humans have this habit of getting fun out of the misery of the private life of other humans? When we cannot find real lives to poke fun out of, we simulate it!
A couple more questions to end this post:
- Why the fuck is the show named Big Brother?
- Why the fuck is the other show named Bigg Boss, with 2(!) Gs?