Tag: survivor 30

Survivor 30 Being Annoyed and Abuse

Hey guys I thought I would share something I’ve been thinking about with the latest season of Survivor dubbed Survivor Worlds Apart.  In most ways this has been my least favorite season I’ve ever watched.  It’s just been so unpleasant with people behaving more like bitter real housewives or jilted love interests on The Bachelor than people playing a game. The one plus is it has gotten me thinking about human nature and the age old question- are we innately good or bad?

shirinMost of the drama has centered around a woman named Shirin Oskool who I met in NYC (or her cousin…) and was a delight. She is a an executive over at Yahoo and was put on the white collar tribe (castmates were divided based on their jobs this season).

Well, evidently Shirin is a little bit annoying.  It was never explained what exactly she did that was so annoying except she is a huge fangirl of the show and was always talking about it and she got naked at the beginning of the season so that her clothes could get cleaned.

4196658_flippers-never-winthey-just-get-even_eb2f12f5_m

I’m sure the cast would list off a bunch of things she did which are annoying.  But I don’t think that actually matters.  Being annoying is a human trait and is the fault of the person being annoyed.  Yes we can reign it in but it’s not like lying or stealing.  It’s being annoying.  It’s not a human weakness or sin.

what about bob

Think about the movie What About Bob.  The whole point of that movie is that Bob is so annoying to the Richard Dryfus character but he is completely oblivious.  He has no idea he is being annoying.  Dryfus’ reaction is human but it is his problem not Bob’s that he is allowing another human being to get under his skin to such a degree.

Unfortunately human nature does not always exhibit self control.  It is perhaps when we are around someone who we find annoying that the worst of human nature comes out just like it did with the Dr and Bob.  I love how it is described by good old Joe Fox in one of my favorite movies You’ve Got Mail.

you've got mail

If you can’t read it here’s what he says ‘Have you ever become the worst version of yourself?  That a Pandora’s box of all the secret, hateful parts- your arrogance, your spite, your condescension – has sprung open?  Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on you zing them. ‘ Hello, it’s Mr Nasty’…”

But the problem with this season’s Joe Fox characters is they used the fact they were annoyed to go beyond a zinger to a systematic belittlement of another human being.  The Pandora’s Box was opened and it apparently was never closed as their apologies have been weak at best.  They have and will claim villain edit but the scenes have been long and repeated so many times it is tough for me to feel they were overly manipulated.  The show no matter the edit cannot actually put words in your mouth.  They don’t change you saying another person has no soul or all women just want to be nodded too and some should be slapped.

survivor dan

Here’s some of the things that happened in the last few weeks.  Shirin was told by Dan that she deserved to be slapped.  That she was an idiot.  Another time he was completely demeaning to another female on the tribe Sierra saying “there are 2 ways to listen in the world.  You can listen like a guy or like a girl.  When you listen like a girl you empathize. You just nod your head and agree..”

Yes because all women want to be treated like dogs who are nodded at without any thought or consideration.

But if only it ended there.

Dan continued to be an extremely judgmental and insufferable character. Like I said he said Shirin should be slapped hard, which in my book is never ok ever even if you are joking. Dont make that joke especially on national tv.

S30_Will_503112_640x360But then we get to Will and boy did the Pandora’s Box spring open for him.  Evidently he had been concerned that Shirin is not religious and would frequently tell her she has ‘no soul’.  This is said by enough of the exit interviews to make me believe it.

On the show we hadn’t heard that much from Will and then there was a moment where at the auction he did not get his letter from home but he did get a supply of food only he would know about.  He stupidly decides to share the food with the camp.  3 of the tribe wonder if that’s all the food there was and Will starts out rightfully upset at people questioning his gift (even though it was a stupid move to make in the game).

But despite it being 3 people who questioned his gift he begins to rail on Shirin.  He says she has no soul and that nobody will ever love her and that she’s a terrible human being.

Now there have been blowups on Survivor.  Pandora’s Box has been opened many times you might say.  After all the most iconic moment of the first season was a woman comparing another woman to a rat and saying she would not help her if she was dying on the side of the road.

But this was one of the longest tirades we’ve had since Brandon Hantz flipped out at Phillip but even Brandon was upset about things in the game not accusing Phillip of being a terrible human being outside the game.

He really crossed a line for me when he said that Shirin brought the abuse of her past on herself and that she played the victim.  How do you play the victim when you are an actual victim? Her father is or was in jail for the domestic abuse.  It was that bad. A victim of domestic abuse is usually manipulated into believing they are responsible for how they are being treated. That’s why they often stay with the abuser.

And what was the excuse behind this kind of belittlement?  Well, the only thing I’ve heard is that she was annoying.  Again, being annoying is not a character failing.  If that was the case than we would all be terrible people.  Every one of us is annoying to another person.

Just the other day I was with a new group of people and this woman rubbed me the wrong way.  She wasn’t doing anything wrong but was just loud and fairly dominating in her opinions. The more I listened to her the more annoyed I got till I wanted to zing her but I didn’t. The thing is…

I WAS THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM. 

She was just talking the ways she talks and I found it annoying.

The especially disturbing part of Will’s behavior is evidently he justified his behavior because Shirin is agnostic and ‘has no soul’.  That flies in the face of everything I know about Christianity.  Jesus after all spent time with gentiles, sinners and tax collectors.  People were shocked because ‘the whole have no need of a physician’.

The whole thing has been kind of upsetting but it has also caused me to think about my own life and when do I rationalize the poor treatment of others because I find them annoying.  I know it happens more than I would like to admit.  We all do it but hopefully we don’t lose control the way Will did.

I realize they are under extreme conditions on the show.  I can only relate it to my mission where I was surrounded by strangers and couldn’t contact home except for weekly letters.  I had one time where I was with a companion who I did not get along with.  Instead of getting angry like Will or patronizing like Dan I cried a lot and was so emotionally wrung out by the end of transfers one of the sisters pulled me aside and said ‘you look like you need a hug’.  I’m pretty sure I would be that way on Survivor.  I would be a lot like Dawn Mehan in Survivor Caramoan who cried a lot but played the best game she could.

survivor mike

The good thing in all of this is there was one person who stepped in and came to her defense.  Who didn’t let her being ‘annoying’ stand in the way of stopping bullying and attacks- Survivor Mike Holloway.

Shirin said “Shoutout to Jenn, Sierra, Hali — and Michael Anthony Loving Holloway, who showed me that real men and real human beings step in and help each other out when someone’s being attacked. Real people are loving and say, “Forget this game for a million dollars. I’m a human being. These people are human beings. We need to do the human thing in this situation.”

If you think back to What About Bob everyone else is completely charmed by Bob and I suppose that’s an important thing to remember.  For every Pandora’s Box that is opened with all the “hate spite and greed’ that is unleashed there are those like Mike who will do the right thing even to a person they find annoying.

It’s really made me think about how I use the ‘she’s annoying’ excuse in my own life and how I can do a better job at focusing on my spirit instead of how iritiating another person may or may not be. I don’t know if that makes sense but it is just something I’ve been thinking about.

In the end

IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY AND ABUSE ANNOYING WOMEN (or men or children or anybody else).

So this is why I love Survivor because even in a season that I hate with 2 terrible people and some who did nothing there is still something about human nature and behavior I can take from it and we’ll see who comes out on top.  It won’t be Shirin but crossing fingers for Mike.

Wouldn’t that be a happy ending.

Here’s Shirin’s thoughts on the game

And here she is talking about the blow up.

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What Collar Am I? Survivor 30

Survivor-Season-30-logo-500x310So you guys know I am a big Survivor nut.  It’s such an entertaining show and a fascinating look at human nature and the way we interact with one another.  What alienates people from one another, gives power, forms bonds, and why they make certain choices never gets old and they are now on season 30!  I have seen most of the early seasons and later seasons and playing catch up on the middle (still got Fiji, Palau, Guatemala, Cook Islands and Pearl Islands and a few others to watch).

What’s amazing is given the similar rules of the game each winner has been different and used a different strategy. It makes it a fascinating show to watch. You just don’t know who is going to win.

My favorite season recently was season 28 Survivor Cagayan because of the fantastic casting and one of the most engaging winners the show has ever had- Tony Vlachos.  He was building spy shacks, voting off his friends, running around the island and all the while remaining incredibly likable.  It was so great to watch.

Season 30 is coming up and this time they are dividing the contestants into 3 tribes of 6 just like in Cagayan (I believe this is the 4th 3 tribe seasons).  Cagayan was also a 3 tribes and it was separated into Beauty, Braun and Brains, which at first I had an issue with because I felt they were objectifying everyone, putting a label on.  However, it ended up being kind of a wash because there were people on all the tribes who fit all the descriptions so it didn’t end up meaning much.

What’s got me thinking is season 30 has taken a similar approach of labeling the 3 tribes but instead of appearance they are going with careers- white collar, blue collar, and no collar.

Kind of an interesting concept for the show don’t you think?  What tribe would you be put on?  Their definition of collars according to Jeff Probst is a little wonky with white collar “making the rules”, blue collar “following the rules”, and no collar “breaking the rules”.  I don’t know anyone else who would describe it that way but it’s Jeff Probst and he can do whatever he wants when it comes to Survivor (especially after season 29 which was a royal snoozefest…).

So given that further definition what tribe would you be on?  I would definitely be on white collar because I have a computer job and I am part of a religion with a lot of rules (although I don’t really make them?).  That said, I also have little pieces of no collar in me.  I work from home, don’t have a boss and the idea of working in a cubicle ever again makes me want to jump off a cliff.

all collars
Survivor 30 cast

I feel like most people these days are a mixture of all the collars.  What do you think?  Now with computers, social media and the internet doesn’t everyone have to be pretty savvy?  The days of a large blue collar class of unskilled factory workers and farmers just doesn’t exist much anymore.  Even if you are in the service sectors like working as a hairdresser you need a website and facebook page to promote your business or you will get slaughtered.  Farmers have to be able to use complicated machinery, same with what factory workers are left in America.  It is by no means simple, mindless work of yesteryear.

Do you think this has any effect on our culture as a whole the fact we are collarless?  I could see some ways it is a good thing and other ways it might force people into a type of work that is outside their nature.  In previous societies there may have been more choices for such people?   Does that lead to a whole bunch of depressed blue collar and no collar types who are wedged into white collar?  I know the worst time of my life was when I was stuck in cubicle hell every day, never seeing the outside, entering data all day- and I was probably considered one of the lucky one’s with a decent job.

On the other hand perhaps with careers becoming similar there is less class division amongst the 99%.  After all, is it really a big deal these days to marry someone who has a different career path than you like it might have been the past? (At this point anyone would be glad for me to just get married!)..   I don’t think so as long as you can support a family and have similar values.  Perhaps we are becoming a little less judgmental based on jobs because they aren’t that different (or at least have more in common than they used too?).

I don’t know.  I certainly don’t feel any smarter or better than those with technical skills because I have an MBA.  It’s just a different set of skills but still using a lot of the same stuff I use everyday. In fact, they are probably better than me at more things than I am better than them (if that makes sense…).

Or perhaps the whole idea of self-identifying with your career isn’t as important as it used to be?  Maybe our jobs are more of a fluid thing and we will all have periods wearing many collars?  I have been hard core white collar in several jobs including as a missionary.  Now I’m white with a little dusting of no collar.  If I get married and stay home with my kids I guess that is blue collar?  I don’t know what collar are stay at home Moms? I’ve worked in food service so that was my blue collar and I was a teaching assistant in college and I’m not sure what collar teachers are?

Now that I have a job I love I do self-identify with it more than my old job but for about a decade people would ask me to introduce myself and my career was one of the last things I would mention.  Honestly I think I would say survivor fan before accounting clerk.  It just wasn’t how I saw myself.  I might have mentioned work from home.  I still would be inclined to say ‘I’m collar I would rather be swimming”

Are you that way?  Is your job a means to an end or something that is a big part of who you are?  Would you see yourself as part of a larger working group, wearing a collar if you will?

Anyway, what do you think?  Do you ever watch Survivor and do you think this sounds like a good twist?  Would love to hear your thoughts.

As the new season is starting check out Rob Has a Podcast for great post show debate and commentary by former Survivor Rob Cesternino.  I love it!