"Big Brother" mutiny brewing!

By Martha Soukup

By Salon Staff
Published August 25, 2000 7:22PM (EDT)

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Kudos for a great story by Martha Soukup covering the way the thought police (aka "Big Brother's" editors) are trying to control perceptions of the houseguests.

Following the live feeds 24/7 can be an arduous, if not impossible task. Fortunately, the Web provides a simple, community solution. The Big Brother Fan Club site has a discussion board with a section for posting what is happening on the live feeds. The community of posters is large and their typing skills are considerable. You can find summarized transcripts of almost every event that has occurred on the show since its beginning.

It's a great way to keep up-to-date on the true reality of the "Big Brother" household and compare that to the thought-police version shown six nights a week (barring football games and political conventions) on CBS.

Thanks again for the great story. Keep them coming!

-- Cindy Abernethy

The "Big Brother" show itself is forced and has an overall creepy feel to it. I have preferred reading Salon's often hilarious updates as opposed to actually tuning in to the borefest itself. However, as someone who has lived through a reality television show experience, I can confirm that everything being shown on CBS is prompted by the producers. I knew that laughing along with the daily updates was probably a bad idea but after reading "Mutiny Brewing" I can't help but feel guilty.

Take it from someone who knows: These people are not coming up with these conversation topics on their own. "Big Brother" is prompting their talks and also supplying them with alcohol (a reality TV show trick) in an effort to get them to either make an ass of themselves or to spill the beans or both. Nobody forced these people to do this show, but they are forcing them to compromise their true selves.

-- P. Sweeney

Great article. Nothing CBS does in the name of ratings would surprise me. After reading Martha Soukup's exposi, I'm suddenly fascinated by the story behind the show.

I have to say that after reading this article I found myself having a much higher level of respect for the folks on the show and the way they're dealing with their predicament. True, they put themselves in the situation, but it's clear they're being debased and exploited to a much greater degree than most of us might have imagined

-- Steve Kaplan

Critics love to hate "Big Brother" and the dim-witted "American Public" that votes interesting people off the show. But this human laboratory is fascinating for what it reveals about America -- truths that we on the enlightened, cynical coasts don't want to know: Despite the efforts of the liberal media, Americans dislike confrontational, challenging personalities, are much more wholesome than "the media" assumes, and are unabashedly corny and simple-minded. Alarmingly but unsurprisingly, "Big Brother" also reveals that homophobia and racism are still considered tolerable outlooks on life by many in this country. Gore and Bush should be noting who gets voted off "Big Brother" and why instead of doing those unreliable polls to take the national pulse.

-- Maud Dillingham

Salon Staff

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