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3.19.04 I'm Off the Island

I've never been a fan of "reality" shows though I have caught a couple episodes of Trump's "The Apprentice." It was fun to watch MBA idiots try to do project management and impress the Big Boss, who very ceremoniously fires one of them every week. The women won because they used sex and the men all looked incompetent. It still boils down to a dog-eat-dog world, doesn't it?

I can remember a time when "team learning" and "shared vision" were the ideals. But then I personally was "voted off the island" in an office power play that left my head spinning. You have to wonder how culture changes so quickly when everyone says culture is the hardest thing to change. I find it hard to believe that a presidential administration has so much impact on corporate back rooms. But maybe the fact that we (sort of) elected Bush and his retro cronies shows that the pendulum was already swinging.

Media is always a frightening reflection of our culture, though half the time I don't know what it means.** I guess if "Survivor" was such a hit, it means our culture was ready for it.

In the 3/04 Harper's Magazine, Francine Prose listed the guiding principles behind these programs.

  • Flinty individualism
  • Vision of a zero-sum society where no one can win unless someone else loses
  • Conviction that altruism and compassion are signs of folly and weakness
  • Exaltation of solitary striving above the illusory benefits of cooperative mutual aid
  • Belief that certain circumstances justify secrecy and deception
  • Invocation of a reviled common enemy to solidify group loyalty

It really does sound like the Bush administration. But, my greatest fear is this: that we get the government we deserve.

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**Yeah, what does it really mean that sports dominates so much of our airwaves. Why is it men are so into it? I just don't get it.

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Logic question from listening to CNN: Why would the capture of Osama's #2 guy justify the war in Iraq? I'm baffled.

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