As the Big Brother house empties, the sublebrities that peopled it clamour for the attention that no doubt led them to first enter what Marina Hyde has dubbed “the Bungalow of the Damned”. One of the latest evictees, the youngest of the Baldwin gang and reality-TV regular, has been on the interview circuit. Talking to Miranda Sawyer of the Observer, this born-again Christian and general dipstick came out against homosexuality. He is all for ex-gays, but opposed to civil partnerships and gay marriage.
“I believe that the family unit has fundamentally been the most positive thing for society and I don’t believe that any minority has the right to create changes that impact on the majority. That’s really the only issue for me.”
His pronouncements make him sound like a modern day, although less-capable, Elmer Gantry … if Gantry were into extreme sports.
As for Big Brother, I am reminded of an observation Gore Vidal made whilst writing about the televised Republican Convention in 1968.
By adding the third character to tragedy, Sophocles changed the nature of drama. By exalting the chorus and diminishing the actors, television has changed entirely the nature of our continuing history. Watching things as they happen, the viewer is part of events in a way new to man. And never is he is much part of the whole as when things do not happen, for, as Andy Warhol so wisely observed, people will always prefer to look at something rather than nothing; between plain wall and flickering commercial, the eyes will have the second. As hearth and fire were once center to the home or lair so now the television set is center of modern man’s being, all points of the room converge on its presence and the eye watches even as the mind dozes, much as our ancestors narcotized themselves with fire.