Friday, September 20, 2002

As many of you know, I am a freak for reality TV. Survivor is still the greatest sociological experiment on television. I don't really care what people say about it or why they watch it or why they hate it -- it is still an amazing representation of developing cultures and socities.

Sixteen people leave a play with its rules, structure, class, and order to go to a place where all of that is wiped away. Now in their new world, they have to decide what is important to them food vs. shelter. Get water now or wait until later. It's all determining what their current needs are at the time versus their wants. It's also about dividing up the labor so that multiple tasks are not only being accomplished but being done in an efficient manner so that the large projects are not denied the attention they deserve.

I think the Sook Jai tribe (that's the purple team for those that watched but don't remember who was what) didn't exactly know how to proceed when they arrived. They did the right thing and made an impromptu shelter to protect them for the night and then to build a stronger, sturdier structure that would help protect them during monsoon season the following day.

However, this is where things went awry for them. There are people who recognized only one need (shelter) and failed to recognize any other needs (food, water). They got upset when other people were off seeking to help satisfy the additional concerns of the group instead of focusing on their goal -- shelter. They would hold out their hands as proof of their efforts and wanted other people to do the same to show they that were not working as hard as they were (at least in their opinion). Well, that's not an accurate measure of a person's work. It can take just as much work to comb the surrounding area for food as it would for them to build their shelter. The area is rocky, craggy, and food for this tribe might not be as easy to find as it was for the other.

Both food and shelter are priorities. They both need to be addressed. Splitting up your forces to accomplish both major tasks helps to save time and effort. Once the food team is done, then they can join their team working on the house. I'm all about multitasking and getting as much done as possible with the resources provided. These kids are not...

As for choosing the teams, I think Jan made the shrewder decisions than Jake. Jake went for physicality. Jan, I would like to think, went for temperment. While Jan's tribe all seemed to get along well and bond, Jake's team seemed to care that they had more physically stronger and attractive members. In fact, it's Jake's team that has more turmoil as the younger set is venturing off into their own pursuits and arguing with each other. Jan's team is more mellow. I have to agree with her...take the man with the music. Music always a good calming and relaxing thing.

Now, as for evictions, John's departure was surprising only in the aspect that so little was shown of him to actually support his ousting. We got a little of John breaking away from the group to go on his own path and a little more of his small joke which no one really seemed to get or appreciate and that was it. So, while I am sure there are things that support having him voted out, it would have been nice to see them.

Some people thought that Ghandia should have left because of her mishap in blowing the challenge. This has led to a great discussion and debate within the Survivor fan ranks. Should your vote in the tribal round be to get rid of someone that causes tension within the team (or as Ted called it last night, "family") ranks or get rid of the weakest link. So far it's been a 60/40 split with three people leaving for social reasons (Debb of Survivor 2, Peter of Survivor 4, and now John of Survivor 5) and two people leaving for physical reasons (Sonja of Survivor 1 and Diane of Survivor 3). I think having a strong social environment is better than a strong physical envronment. When your morale is low because someone is down the emotions of the group with a negative or combative attitude (or they are just really off and you can't deal with it), then you are best to get rid of that person. Those emotions will spill over into competition and have a negative effect on their performance. Emotions have a larger effect than most people realize.

So John is gone and if you believe the editing then Robb is on his way out as well. I think Jan's tribe is stronger than anyone gave her credit. Jake went for the outside attributes and Jan looked inward. Something tells me it will make a difference in the end.

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