As I continue to use this column to expound and lament on the death of the promise of the intellectual Utopia that I believed America could have been, I feel it necessary to make a confession.
I am a fraud.
I have not lied to any of you. I really am, proudly, an intellectual snob. I consider sophistication, refinement and the pursuit of literate things to be the greatest of attributes any human being can strive to exude. This is not what makes my haughty demeanor a fallacy.
Here is what makes me less than the cerebral behemoth I try to present to the world:
I love the reality television show “Big Brother”.
Man, that was a 5,000 lbs. weight lifted off of my back. Confession is good for the soul. And now I can finally live my life with the freedom of knowing that I have exposed myself for loving a TV show that espouses every vice that I criticize as inherently wrong in American society.
I am the enemy.
For those who are unaware, “Big Brother”, often abbreviated BB by fans, is a competitive reality television program that has been on CBS since 2000. It puts a group of people in a house with cameras and microphones everywhere. Fans of the show can watch everything that goes on, day or night, by logging on to their computer and watching what is referred to as the “live feeds”.
The houseguests, the term used for the contestants, have no contact with the outside world. Outside of a chess board and a pool table, they have nothing to entertain themselves. They have nothing to read except the Bible—and after so many consecutive days of being denied entertaining stimuli, I would imagine that reading the Book of Chronicles would be enthralling.
All the houseguests do is nominate each other for eviction and then spend all week being paranoid about who is trying to throw them out of the house. Distrust is rampant. It is riveting to watch.
At least that is what I tell myself. That is my justification. It really isn’t trashy, exploitative brain candy. Nope. It is a sociological experiment on human behavior; a psychological endeavor that allows us to see into our psyche by peering at the foibles of others.
You’re not buying this, are you?
OK! BB is really nothing more than shallow people trying to win a few dollars and jump start their modeling careers. Most of the houseguests are people we would regret being stuck in an elevator for 5 minutes with…no less locked in a house with for 3 months. There is no redeeming quality in the show whatsoever. I can not live in denial anymore!
I like crappy television. Sue me.
I was not like this when I was younger. I never owned a Milli Vanilli CD. I never had a mullet. I refused on moral principle to buy anything with Tommy Hilfiger’s name on it. And I scathingly rebuked anyone who watched Arsenio Hall and mimicked his trademark fist pump. I always had a strong sense of cognizance.
I tip-toed thru the minefield of guilty pleasures that pop culture lobs at us daily, knowing that in later years it would be a scarlet letter tattooed on my chest, preventing me from being in a room with people who lift their pinky finger instinctually when drinking a cup of tea.
And then, one day, I stared into the culturally bereft abyss that is Big Brother. And what stared back at me was a cat lady, calling me towards the darkness. I can quit anytime I want! I just don’t want to right now.
This is my confession. Meaningless, trite and insignificant as it may be, it is done with. You may now openly snicker when in future columns I quote Shakespeare or Kant. When I use historical figures and events analogously to modern times, you can press your ear to the screen and hear the tin echo of hollow insincerity.
But when you do mock me for my guilty pleasure, remember this: at least one of you has danced around your house in nothing but your underwear to Right Said Fred’s, “I’m Too Sexy”.
One, if not two of you have lost sleep knowing there are photographs of you in bright orange MC Hammer pants out there in the world, waiting to pop up just as you announce your candidacy for dog catcher.
And more than a handful of you have helped al-Qaeda destroy our way of life by voluntarily paying money to watch an Adam Sandler film.
I love Big Brother. That is a proud, defiant boast. Perhaps Big Brother is nothing more than an embarrassing indulgence in the realm of pop culture. But, so long as the “Twilight” books can amass enough money to feed every starving child in Africa and India, BB can never be worse than second place.
We are all the enemy.