Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Big Sisters Big Blog

Today I am wondering why children are so cruel. I was doing a writing exercise and I remembered that at Redcastle Furze Primary School there were two girls in my year who were treated like untouchables. There were rules like you didn't stand on certain squares of the dining room floor or you loved them. True they were both slightly challenged in the cleanliness department and one of them had crossed eyes and always smelled of lice shampoo but that wasn't their fault. I didn't instigate the chastising of either of those girls and I used to occasionally play out with one of them, but I didn't stop it and I often didn't say anything because I didn't want the negative attention to focus on me. I often wondered what happened to those girls.

What is it about social groups that they have the need to ostracize someone? Is it that it makes the others feel better about themselves or superior in some way? Is it to bring the rest of the group closer together? In large groups there always seems to be at least one under dog or someone that everyone else bitches about. Maybe it gives us a sense of belonging.

This behaviour has been most noticable on Big Brother over the years, however, this year they have taken it to the extreme. They are all so bitcht about one another that I suspect that none of them feels part of the group. They lack the cohesion as a group, which has been evident in past years. I'm not sure why this is. Maybe they chose such selfish, self absorbed characters that none of them can get along with anyone (except maybe Anthony). I'm not sure if the Tv company did this deliberately or if it was just pure bad (or good?) luck.

Personally I think that it is a great shame. Part of what has made Big Brother so watchable in previous years is watching them come together as a group, watching relationships and friendships grow and flourish and consequently our liking for particular characters growing too. This hasn't happened this year. The group is just as devisive and argumentative as they were in the beginning. And weren't they incredibly argumentative from the start? It's as if some of them went in there with the goal of having as many arguments as possible. They decided that they weren't going to like one another early on and have stuck to their guns. Even the ones who supposedly do like one another argue and bitch behind each others backs.

I feel that B.B. is a sad reflection of UK society. In the Uk at the moment aggressive behaviour, road rage incidents, neighbour disputes and drunken brawls are all at an all time high. And what is the reason for it? Everyone is out for his or herself (well not everyone but it feels like that sometimes!).

We are all under increasing amounts of pressure and in huge amounts of debt. We are pressured to perform well as workers and parents, we work the longest hours in Europe, our senses are regularly assaulted with advertisements, media articles, tv programmes and salespeople all trying to sell us something that often we can't afford.

Our brains are being frazzled by radiation from mobile phones and radio masts, plus tv and computer screens. We are suffocating in air pollution and rape seed pollen. Our food is loaded with additives - insecticides, preservatives, flavour enhancers, colouring etc. We live in fear of war, terrorism and natural disasters.

We are constantly bombarded with images of increasingly skinny, manufactured and unobtainable body images. Cosmetic surgery and eating disorders are flourishing whilst conversely portion sizes are increasing. Food manufacturers, cafes and fast food chains are getiing fatter bank balance whilst fattening the nations butts. Our youth is binge drinking and drugging it's way to oblivion.

We feed our kids a cocktail of chemicals, by products of the meat industry, sugar and fat and then copmplain when they misbehave and underacheive. We are afraid to let them out on the streets for fear of child abusers and cars.

It would be an interesting experiment to put the whole nation on a natural healthy diet, with restricted alcohol. I bet there would be a marked decrease in aggressive and anti social behaviour (it works in schools and prisons!). While we are at it maybe we could ban mobile phones and computer games too....big sister is watching you!


Joolz said...


have spent time reading the blogs today - this one and the dog one.
I agree about BB. The housemates are the worst ever this year - but this is apparently so across all the counries that have BB. Sadly (Or not) this is not just a UK phenomenon tough , all the housemates have gotr worse. So we need not feel it is just us.

I also like your post on sandwiches. have you seen this?
A great set of photos on Flickr!!

pupski said...

hi Joolz, sorry didn't reply sooner but was on hols! feel sad that it is not just Uk phenomena, would like to think that our European relatives were less crass than some brits can be. Maybe the game show culture encourages a certain type of personality to apply! I am still watching it anyway, how sad is that?