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September 15, 2000
[big brother] Desmond Morris on the Human Zoo that is Big Brother. ‘The housemates were nextdoor neighbours to millions of us, and gave us a great deal of innocent fun. If ever you find yourself in the midst of a remote tribe, living in primeval conditions and you investigate what they are chatting about around the fire, you can be certain that they will not be reminiscing about their tribal myths or ancestor figures, but gossiping incessantly about village trivia. Gossip is the oil that lubricates social conversation and that helps us to understand our tribal relationships and our shared feelings and attitudes. In an urban world, this village smalltalk finds it hard to survive. Many people hardly know their neighbours. Big Brother has given us, briefly, a small group of national neighbours and we have all enjoyed comparing notes about them the following day. That’s all it is, a bit of gossipy fun, and good luck to it.’
August 26, 2000
[adrian mole] Adrian Mole on Nick Bateman: ‘I have been brutally betrayed! I feel humiliated and sick! How could he have told such terrible lies to me over the past five weeks? I admired him so much. He was the type of man I would have liked to have been myself. He was a man who could cope with adversity (the death of his young wife in a car crash). A man who led other men (an officer in the Territorial Army). He was also a healer (like Jesus), and a reiki master to boot.’
August 22, 2000
[big brother] Charlotte Raven on the social debt we owe to Big Brother. ‘The annoying thing about all of this for those of us who stick with popular culture in the lean times as well as the good, is that dilettantish tendency to gather up all the glory without putting in the hours. If you haven’t sat through six months of crap EastEnders, I don’t see what gives you the right to come in for the Christmas episode and talk about Tiffany’s death as if you cared as much as we did.’
August 21, 2000
[big brother] Guardian Unlimited covers how Nasty Nick’s departure from Big Brother helped converge TV and the internet. ‘But if the convergence between the internet and TV isn’t to become a collision, these media need to work together. Being big on the internet doesn’t necessarily mean that TV viewing figures will decline. Viral marketing? Bollocks. Call it good old-fashioned word of mouth. Internet page impressions went through the roof and boosted, not hindered, the TV audience that night. If the content is compelling enough and production teams plan well, the internet and TV can feed each other. It is the viewer who wins.’
August 18, 2000
[big brother] Guardian Unlimited asks: Where were you when Nick was kicked out of Big Brother? ‘The playwright Dennis Potter once explained that he had decided to write for TV rather than the theatre because only television offered the possibility of a “common culture”: one in which people of all classes and generations experienced the same event simultaneously and talked about it the next morning.’ [Related Links: Nick Bateman Appreciation Society]
August 17, 2000
[big brother] Update: Nick has been disqualified from Big Brother. Earlier: BBC News reports: Big Brother’s ‘Nasty Nick’ rumbled. ‘A Big Brother spokesman said: “The online producer panicked and hit a panic button which brought the [live video and sound internet] feed down between 0400 and 0600. “It was a mistake, it shouldn’t have happened and it won’t happen again.” However, he denied widespread rumours that the situation had turned into a fist-fight.’ [Related Link: Big Brother UK]
August 15, 2000
[big brother] GuardianUnlimited asks: Is Big Brother just like working in an office? “‘Dishonest gossip, lack of co-operation, unkind looks and sneers, the intolerance of dissent – all are now regarded by many American workplace psychologists as classic symptoms of ‘mobbing’. And they are also, of course, all leitmotivs of the Big Brother household. ‘Big Brother appears to be a microcosm of work, just as work is a microcosm of society,’ said Ishmael.”
August 14, 2000
[big brother] The Observer finds somebody to praise Nasty Nick‘Even his name bears testament to his mission. Nicholas is clearly a reference to Niccolo Machiavelli, the founding philosopher of group intrigue. And Bateman is of course a nod to Patrick Bateman, the homicidal stockbroker who ruthlessly eliminates his rivals in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.’
August 13, 2000
[big brother] Hours of fun with DIY Big Brother. ‘Big Brother is worried that things are getting dull, so he summons the housemates to have a mass debate about sex. After far too many cans of cider, Sarah admits that she likes to be spanked on the arse with a Bowl. Chris says he never wears condoms because they make his willy sore and Neil agrees. Joanne goes into a rant about how none of the other housemates have ever enjoyed a true orgasm because they’re all boring heterosexual bastards. Nicky sits in the corner, quietly eyeing up Neil.’
August 12, 2000
[big brother] This is London pits UK Big Brother vs. US Big Brother. ‘So far there has only been one US drama when Karen, the oldest woman in the group, publicly dumped her husband in front of the TV cameras as she entered her temporary home. But there is little of the nastiness and sexual tension which makes watching the British gang so compelling.’
August 11, 2000
[big brother] GuardianUnlimited profiles ‘Nasty’ Nick Bateman. ‘On Wednesday night’s show, the voiceover wrapped up incredulously, “Nick is now the most popular man in the house,” and Caroline and Nichola, those two “brainless rooks”, were captured on the Big Brother sofa, sharing a tender word about him. “Poor Nick,” said Caroline. “He’s so delicate.” Shakespeare himself could not have wrought a better intrigue. Recall Edmund’s defiant cry: “I grow; I prosper: now, gods, stand up for bastards!”‘
August 7, 2000
[big brother] Nick has a heart-2-heart with Big Brother. ‘”Everyone has a certain amount of selfishness,” he replied. “Everyone has a slight devious streak in them. In this environment it can just bring those to the surface because we’re all here to enjoy ourselves primarily. But secondly we’re all here to take part in a game show that has an ultimate prize at the end of it.”‘
August 5, 2000
[big brother] This has got to be a blow to a man’s self-esteem: ‘When the news finally arrived Andy’s face said it all – he couldn’t accept the awful truth that the public wanted him out. But 68% of more than a million voters wanted him go. And as his confidence crumbled at the sound of his own name Andy’s face was complete shock. All he could say was: “Fuck.”‘ And Thomas does not really help: ‘”Look on the bright side,” he told him, “at least you can go home and have a good wank.”‘ [Other Links: BBC News report, notsosoft, Barbelith.]
August 3, 2000
[big brother] A couple of reports — According to BBC News Sada wants to be a TV Presenter and newsUnlimited covers the whole Big Brother phenomenon‘Conflict is inherent in Big Brother because it is a competition. Treachery is essential, as Nick, the stockbroker, has realised. Maligned by the media he may be – the Sun’s Dominic Mohan has started a Kick Out Nick campaign – but Nick is liked by his housemates. In this week’s vote on eviction, no one has voted to have him ousted. He plays the game too well, as proved by his exploits last week, when he encouraged everyone to vote for Sada and Caroline’s expulsion then provided them with a shoulder on which to cry.’
July 25, 2000
[big brother] BBC News Big Brother update‘For her part, Sada described Andrew as “the worst type of man”, while softly-spoken Thomas revealed he may have a nine-year-old love child – if two fortune-tellers are to be believed.’