Good grief. It's only my second Big Brother posting, and already I have had to break my vow to base this column only on what was broadcast on CBS. Why? Because CBS decided, for reasons not known to me, to withhold the real story of what is going on in the Big Brother House, particularly about the racism, the inept racism I must add, of surfer dude Braden, who was evicted on Thursday's live show.
(Incidentally, if, like me, you found Braden soothing to the eyes, and would like to see all of him, go to YouTube and look at a video titled "Dante's Cove 205 pt 3." It turns out that in addition to surfing, he acts, and he has a full-frontal nude scene in that video. This boy doesn't need a board to surf. He is "Hanging 10" all the time. Very impressive, Braden. And while I'm admiring the houseguests' genitalia, -- I confess, it's my hobby -- I saw a screen cap of Russell emerging from the BB House shower that shows that a lot of his body weight is dangling from his crotch as well. Ladies and gentlemen, start your search engines!)
Watching only the broadcast shows, I had thought that Braden, a cute but none-too-bright chunk of eye candy, was just sort of a big lovable doofus. At one point, he hurled this most-hilarious angry snap at Lydia for throwing him under a bus to save herself (which is what she did): "Hey, go back to Burbank!" They're in Studio City, all of a mile and a half from Burbank. It's like angrily hollering "Cross the street! I mean it! Cross the street!"
I got the impression, thanks to CBS, that Chima was a foul-mouthed, high-maintenance diva I would rather be shot than spend time with. (Okay, she is.) I thought Jordan to be a sweet, very-much none-too-bright southern belle, and that Kevin was an attitude-dripping, hostile jerk (actually, I still think that), and that Evil had triumphed when Braden was evicted.
But there was the annoying blank. Julie Chen asked Chima, as the nominees for eviction always are, to say a few words to "plead her case," which is almost always a boring waste of time speech of meaningless make-nice: "You're all the greatest people on earth. I will love all of you until I die. I'd rather give my children to slavers than ever be parted from any of you, my closest friends on earth, whom I have known now for about a week and a half." This was pretty much exactly what Braden's speech was. "You guys are all awesome."
But Chima's speech was certainly something else. The puzzle was, what was it? Because the meat of it was just silence to us at home. Julie Chen can not be asked to ad lib, let alone handle a contestant who has apparently just said something so foul that CBS wouldn't broadcast it. Julie came up with: "Well Chima, I think that's the most memorable last plea speech we've ever heard," which for Julie, is the equivalent of ad-libbing Hamlet's soliloquy. But since we didn't hear 90% of it, how can it be memorable? I can't remember what I haven't heard.
Then we saw the live vote, which was a tie, due to the treachery of Ronnie The Weasel, henceforth to be forever known as Voldedork. Breaking the tie, Jesse, to no one's surprise, voted for Braden, and he was out the door. The nasty, evil bullies in the Athletes Clique (just as real life athlete cliques in real high school are always bullies) had triumphed.
That was how it seemed on the air. Off the air however, is another matter altogether.
It turns out, I learned netsurfing, that Chima was reminding everyone that, as witnessed on the live feeds by millions, well hundreds, well dozens, well "Jim," Braden had called Kevin a "beaner." We did get to hear him call Lydia a "bitch" and a "skank" on CBS, but given that she'd sold him out, and was, right at that moment, lying to his face about it, I'm inclined to be more lenient about those. If I had a drink for every time I've been called a bitch and/or a skank, I'd be too drunk to type this, which is why my amanuensis, Little Dougie, is doing the typing. But there is no excuse for "beaner." None.
This, of course, changes the view of last night's events by 180 degrees. Annoying as I find Chima, and she's very annoying, if I'd heard Braden call Kevin a beaner, I'd have voted to evict him as well. Good riddance. Hey Braden, surf's up. Hit the road. Back to Burbank!
And then there's the ineptness of it. "Beaner" is a nasty term for Hispanics. My horrifically-bigoted Uncle Fred (now long dead, and not missed) used to use it all the time. Christmas Eve at his home every year was always a time to hear from Fred about Peace on Earth, Goodwill Towards Men, and "Those Damn Beaners." Is it any wonder I'm not a Christian?
But Kevin is "Blasian," half-black, half-Japanese. There are a couple N-words Braden could have used more accurately if just as disgustingly; one of them is "nip," and of course, there are all the more-popular gay slurs Braden could have slung, like "fag," which it turns out (on the live feeds) is constantly popping out of Jordan's mouth, but not "beaner." (Jordan does not appear to dislike homosexuals. She's been palling around with Kevin some, as well as Dr. Michelle, who claims on the live feeds to be "bisexual." She's just too dumb to understand that the word is offensive. I suspect she has to read the instructions on a box of toothpicks. More on her stupidity and ignorance below.)
CBS didn't just not-broadcast the sound on Chima's speech, but also omitted from broadcast Braden's racist remarks themselves, even in the remarkable, lengthy montage of the emotional fireworks that were, truth be told, deliberately unleashed by Russell, who intentionally goaded Braden into confronting folks and having a tantrum, which, like a row of dominoes, set off emotional meltdowns in Lydia, Kevin, Jordan, and Jeff. Good TV!
Yet learning that Braden has called Kevin a beaner, and that Jordan routinely uses "fag" utterly changes my perceptions of all of the folks who voted to evict the ever-annoying Chima. How could Jordan, Casey, Laura, Dr. Michelle, and Jeff have voted to keep that bigot in the house? I had been starting to like Jordan, Casey, and Jeff. Russell, incredibly sexy as he is, and despite clearly being a strong BB strategist, is also a bully and a bore. Lovely Jesse is obnoxious and self-involved to a degree that makes Tyra Banks look like Mother Theresa. Voldedork is evil. Lydia is a liar and a drama queen, and Chima is insufferable, but next to bigoted asses like Jordan and Braden, they're all contenders for sainthood.
CBS needs to let the TV viewers see just how appalling these people are.
And what does it say about the America that these young people come from? Since when are words and attitudes like these acceptable anywhere? I live about two miles from the Big Brother House. I went past the studio where the BB House is on my way elsewhere all of 4 days ago, yet these people and I seem to occupy different universes.
To quickly skim over a few highlights from the week's broadcasts: The Haves and Have-Nots competition to avoid being sent to the hell room, and to get decent food, involved assembling tubes to allow liquid to flow through some Rube Goldberg devices. Egomaniacal Voldedork (Well, he's evil, and he himself wears a shirt that says "Dork" right on it.), even as his shirtless appearance was making me nauseous (Voldedork, wear a shirt at all times!), nonetheless delighted me in this competition. This "man" with no life never tires of telling us how he's the smartest person in the house, blissfully unaware of Dr. Michelle's PhD, and the fact that Russell is three times the strategist he is. So when he utterly botched the competition, getting smoked by even the dumbest folks in the house (Jordan, the breasts named Laura, and Jeff who never reads) in a competition that depended solely on intellectual puzzle-solving skills, I roared with laughter.
Oh, and Voldedork said that Braden was from "Planet Klaatu," when any true sci-fi computer geek would know that Klaatu was an alien, not a planet. It's Mork from Ork, not Ork from Mork, you dork.
This loss was followed by Chima's spoiled-diva meltdown about having to sleep on flat pads and eat slop, and her near-quitting the show over it. Grow up, lady. (The live feeds also reveal Chima to have a vocabulary that would scald the ears of sailors.)
Voldedork also showed during the week that he has a future as a reporter, because saying something to him in confidence is the surest way to make sure that everyone in the house knows it within seconds! He compulsively betrays every secret told to him, and has no problem lying to people's faces about it. Russell, who though a bully and an egotist, is nobody's fool, has already cottoned to this fact, but so far some of the others are still believing the little weasel's bull. He's playing all sides against the middle.
How pathetically stupid is Jordan? Well here's a direct quote from her in the Diary Room, telling us about her - ah - challenges in the tube-maze competition: "Only thing I was confused about, he [Braden] kept going like '90 degree angle, 180 degrees.' I had no clue what he was talking 'bout. I was like 'talk in English, my terms here, so I can understand'." Of course, not only is "90 degree angle, 180 degrees," perfectly clear English, but these are terms one generally becomes familiar with in the fourth grade. If Braden knows them, how obscure can they be? Maybe if he'd used words she does know, like "fag," she'd be able to follow him. My cat is smarter than Jordan. My shoes are smarter than Jordan.
The veto competition was even funnier. Basically they were playing a word game that involved making the longest word you could with giant Scrabble tiles they had to scoop out of giant, fake-pus-filled zits on a huge face in the yard. Whoever came up with this game has serious complexion issues.
Several of the players idiotically decided on what long word they wanted to spell before acquiring tiles, and then looking for the specific tiles they wanted, when the tiles all were randomly distributed under globs of revolting goo, instead of doing the intelligent thing, and collecting tiles first, and then seeing what word you could make from them.
But the players' real downfall was that, in this competition, spelling counted. Oh dear. Giant Scrabble tile racks don't have Spell Check.
Meathead Jesse, sure he was going to win, spelt out "continously." Unfortunately for Jesse, it's spelt: continuously. Once again, in trying to show how smart he is, he revealed how ignorant he is.
Natalie wasn't so ambitious. She spelt "last." She spelled it correctly, but the winner would be the longest correctly-spelt word. She had ten minutes, and "last" was the best she could do.
Chima, who was an eviction nominee and needed to take it seriously and win, revealed a rack that said: "Super ality." "I tried to spell superficiality, but I couldn't find the letters." I could see why that word would have sprung to her mind, but why not spell what you could with the letters you had? She could have just spelled "super," and been ahead of Natalie, and she could have spelt "reality" and tied the game with Russell. Instead, she got no points. Remember, she's in the Brains Clique. The Brains Clique isn't Mensa.
Jeff doesn't read books. In fact, I doubt he could read a stop sign. His word revealed was 'tectronics." That's not a word. "I couldn't find an 'H'," was his lame excuse. You see, he was trying to spell "technotronics," which is also not a word, so he misspelled a nonexistent word. He could have spelled "sonic" or "strict" neither of which would have won but are at least actual words. Russell summed it up well when he said, "Jeff is a moron." But Jeff looked great shirtless as he revealed his illiteracy. I'd play Strip Scrabble with him anytime, since I know I'd win.
Lydia, who was on the block and should have been playing to win, revealed "ci i liza tion." She was trying to spell "civilization," but why not spell a word you have the letters for? How about "action," Lydia? It wouldn't have won, but it's a complete word. And it's not like Liza Minnelli was likely to be watching anyway, unless she's planning to marry Kevin, which she might well be.
When Russell revealed his word as "shotgun," he got laughed at, but it won. 7 letters, spelling a real word, one he probably usually associates with the word "wedding." Yup, in a game about spelling, one of the athletes won. The plain fact is that this boorish-but-gorgeous bully boy is actually smarter than most of the Brains Clique. At this rate, he could win the whole series, not that I'd mind looking at his beautiful bronzed pecs all summer.
Russell is also a pot-stirrer. He deliberately goads the people he's targeting, which makes for good viewing, and also works strategically, as it got Jeff to alienate his own team members, and provoked Braden's outbursts that revealed his ugly racist side which got him ousted. Russell came to play, and he's doing it well.
Following the eviction, a dull Head of Household competition was held, with the players guessing what the public answered to questions like "Which clique does America think would skip school because they had a zit?" "Which clique does America think would most likely misspell 'athlete' in a spelling competition?" (With enormous irony, it was illiterate Jeff who got that one right: "The Athletes.") "Which clique does America think would most likely skip the prom?" etc. This list of softballs was finally won by Voldedork. The King of Evil has become Head of Household. It was a more horrifying resolution than the tragedy at the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Given that there has been more drama and emotional fireworks in the first week than in some whole seasons, this looks to be a fiery summer in Studio City. Check in again next week for more.
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