Saturday, January 8

GG on CBB? It's the Money, Stupid

Let's face it: you'd have to have been having your coconut repasts on a drifting raft somewhere off the coast of Banda Aceh for several years now to have no idea about Big Brother (and all it's little sisters), of which we Brits have another Celebrity* version.

No, I'm not watching. I never do watch this stuff, properly, darlings: the part of me that recoils in dismay at the "Look at me! I'm on TV! Yes, I do exist!" culture of our times overrides - just - the part that finds people fascinating. (Hey, I'm a writer: what else am I going to write about for the rest of my life? Clouds?)

In particular, it's the
unreality of these shows that appeals to me. They are, in effect, TV as written by JG Ballard (it wouldn't surprise me to hear that he's a fan of Reality TV) ie take a commonplace idea, and then bend it every which way you can, à la a Ralph Steadman caricature.

The point I would insist on is that JG Ballard works his schtick with a lot more style than these shows.

In fact, rather than the forced activity of various challenges etc that pollutes these shows, I'd get more kicks out of them and pay more attention if, on arrival, there was nothing. Nothing. Nothing to do. Yes: pure Samuel Beckett. Just waiting . . .

But while I cock a snook, I'm aware that I myself am guilty of the desire for attention that feeds Reality TV. After all, who isn't guilty of it - to some degree. Admit it, bloggers! That's what we're all about.

But I shall continue to cock a snook at BB et al, as there are degrees in every sort of behaviour.

For instance: some people slow down at the sight of car crashes; others speed up. I'm one of the latter. You can't help but see it anyway, but I don't need to linger. And that's how I feel about Reality shows, Soaps etc. No need to linger, because I know what's there.

Sitting in my high chair, I proclaim no forced stunt - such as someone being forced to eat rabbit shit - is going to dazzle my mind like a page of Nabokov.

To the merde at hand: the linked article ask why Germaine Greer - renowned feminist/scrubber (delete at will: the choice is yours. Me? I have a hunch she's still both) has parked her rump down in the household this time round.

There's a simple answer: about 75 grand for her pouch - that's 75K GBP, by the way, not striney dolly mixtures.

Some time ago she confided on Newsnight Review that she was a possible 'contestant', depending on whether Nancy Dell-Erickson (sic) took part; the hitch being that the Italian was holding out for 100K (clearly she shares Sven's love of zeroes): we can conclude that the producers have decided in their infinite wisdom that Nancy's not worth it.

Judging by the rest of the rabble huddled inside, Greer must have pocketed the top fee, and by some margin. Dear old Bez would go in for a bagful of sweets - yeah, they'd have to be those kind of sweets . . .

PS: Germaine Greer? Would you? I dunno. As I've quipped before, Joan Bakewell - yes (no harm in going where the Red Baron's been**), but GG? A ballbreaker, and no mistake. Still, I can't imagine anything she wouldn't know how to do . . .

* I tend to apportion the poisened chalice that is the term celebrity to those who couldn't walk down, say, Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon without being recognised. As such, most of this latest rabble are NOT celebrities, are they?

** The Red Baron? That'll be your Harold "fucking Americans" Pinter. Should have got him involved in CBB! (Well, it looks like he's got fuck all else better to do with his rapidly diminishing time in our midst.

ADDENDUM: there's a CBB-induced profile of Germaine Greer right here. By the way, doesn't everybody sleep in the nude?


posted by DD @ 14:48 


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