Is there anybody out there…?

To say that Endemol’s baby, “Big Brother” is a run away success would be an understatement. It is a phantasmagoria of horrors – psychological bullying; cloying desperate peer approval; titillation and possibly most of all – vicariousness. There but for the grace of God go I…

 And yet, of course, this is precisely its obsessiveness: no matter how high our IQ’s, we are gripped – at least for the highlights show. We twist around so that we can hear one housemate bitch and snipe about another. We find ourselves bizarrely concerned about how privacy can be maintained for bathroom functions (‘are they supposed to hide behind that screen?!’)

Of course, all this is a far cry away from George Orwell’s quasi apocalyptic vision, as expressed with slightly more eloquence in “1984”. The origin of the phrase foresaw the constant surveillance that has inveigled its way into our life – installed, we are to believe for our own good. Our own protection. Seriously oblivious to the fact that we have now subconsciously modified the way we present ourselves.

This is not a mistake – this is not an exaggeration: we can see the motorist scan the road ahead as he approaches the lights…what will happen if I run them? Is there a CCTV to capture me? The moral of the story here is not the avoidance of surveillance, but the ignorance of the fact that you’re likely to run into the other guy coming the opposite way, with precisely the same intent…

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