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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Us and them: the new reality television trend

    Sam Feldmancolumnist
    Sam Feldman

    On the news that this 13th season of “”Survivor”” will base the division of tribes on race, I rejoiced. Finally, a reality show was brave enough to address the question of which race can last longer on an exploitive reality show.ÿ

    Race is one of the many third-rails of American society, and few of us dare to address the ways in which race makes people inherently different. Great academics, like Hitler, tackled this tough issue, and now so are CBS and the producers of “”Survivor.””ÿ

    Some criticize “”Survivor: Cook Islands”” as exploiting sometimes-tense race relations for publicity and higher ratings. But these pioneering producers are seeking what we all want: more money. No, wait – I mean a greater understanding.ÿ

    “”These pioneering
    producers are seeking what we all seek: more money. No, wait – I mean a greater understanding.””

    So in the spirit of greater good, I propose other shows that could showcase the differences between “”us”” and “”them.”” True understanding, as these wise producers have realized, comes from segregation.ÿ

    “”Jeopardy””: I wholeheartedly believe we can reform this show to inform the American public about the differences in intelligence between sexual orientations. Have the gays, lesbians and straights compete against each other in challenging categories. Throw in some questions about Dina Shore and long-term relationships for my lesbian sisters. Add a category or two about Cher and designer shoes for the gays and maybe child-rearing for the breeders.ÿ

    To further bolster ratings, for every question the contestant gets wrong, make each do something stereotypical of their sexuality. Make the lesbian move in with a woman she meets in the audience, make the gay sleep with a man in the audience and make the straight bore everyone to near death. By forcing these stereotypes onto people, we can show the world how tolerant we are of those differences.ÿ

    “”Wheel of Fortune””: This popular game show needs reform, and I believe the best way to do that would be to make Vanna White a bigger part of the show. She would host the show, and all of the contestants will be women with various breast sizes.ÿ

    Bring A, C and DD-cupped women on the show and see who can spell and guess words better. The show would be sponsored by Victoria’s Secret, and the producers would make each contestant lean over the wheel when making their spin. The winner of the show would receive all of the normal prizes, but the losers would have to receive plastic surgery to match the size of breasts on the winner of the show.ÿ

    “”Project Runway””: A fashion show where contestants compete to design the best clothing would best be served by making it about the differences between college-aged men and women. Each gender-based team would be responsible for dressing models of the opposite gender, men designing for women and women for men.ÿ

    The sexually frustrated men would design overly revealing clothes for their big-breasted models. And the women would be encouraged to paint the clothes onto their models’ bodies without fabric. Instead of a runway walk, however, each model would be required to perform tasks stereotypical of their gender while wearing that week’s clothes.ÿ

    “”Trading Spaces””: For one of the most popular home redesign shows, the best thing we could do is make this show more about the people. My proposal is to make homeless people trade responsibility for remodeling a “”home”” with the very rich. Each team would only have the resources of the owner of the house/street corner. The very rich would have to dress up a cardboard box using things they find in the dumpster, and the homeless could use the rich person’s money to buy whatever they want.ÿ

    After three days, this show could be a rip-roaring success as the very rich call their lawyers to break the contract they signed to be on the show.ÿ

    Exploiting or highlighting our differences in society can lead to a greater understanding for us all. If we are a sum of our constituent parts, then maybe we should find out what those parts look like.ÿ

    On the other hand, if those show ideas struck you as offensive, they should have.

    We have problems in this country still, with race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and socioeconomic differences. These differences should be discussed, yes, but never exploited for ratings and profit.

    So, for the next season of “”Survivor,”” maybe we can pit people of taste and decency against the dramatically indecent producers of this season’s show. Now that would be great television.

    Sam Feldman is a political science junior. He can be reached at

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