I thought I was done watching Survivor two seasons ago (I skipped One World, which apparently was a mistake), but then I'd heard that Hot Brenda (aka The Hot One) was back as a Favorite in the second iteration of Fans vs. Favorites, so with a million holes in my weekly schedule, I figured, why not. Well, oops, she's spoken probably 10 words on camera so far, plus the contestants are reinforcing my desire for the extinction of the human race. And I don't mean only the contestants, but most people who watch the show as well.
To wit: Shamar, tempestuous, abrasive Iraq War veteran, recovering alcoholic, and camp layabout. He was such a drain on his team (constantly picking fights) and daily blowups so constant that they considered throwing a challenge just to rid themselves of him. Which is fine, but Eddie's separating his military service from Shamar's gameplay sums up some broader issues with regards to returning vets. Namely, nobody (in the game or watching it) seems to care about the damage done to Shamar's psyche during his tours, and unsurprisingly (yet disappointingly) pile on him. This is our country: send soldiers into a pointless war, then look at them askance when they come back damaged like it's their fault. Well done, USA.
Second: Brandon Hantz. Mark Burnett et al were morally if not criminally negligent when they first cast such an obviously mixed up kid in the Coach vs. Ozzy season, and to cast him a second time exhibits cynicism and human disregard of the highest order. Burnett and Jeff Probst both say that Brandon passed his pre-casting psych evaluations, but I firmly believe that Burnett and Probst had such a raging hard-on for another Hantz to make the show that they fixed it so that he would pass despite looking bipolar (again, I'm not a psychiatrist).
Corollary to second: in the aftermath of Brandon's crack-up (wherein he dumped out his tribe's rice and beans), Corinne (well-established human garbage) (her and a whole bunch of online commenters) blame Brandon for not just spilling the tribe's food but also parts of their tribal gameplay -- this is the height of myopia, narcissism, and apathy. The kid needs psychiatric help that go beyond the scope of the show, and these people ("people") can't step back for half a second to see the pain that I'm positive is a regular part of his waking life.
Couple non-tv things I've written. First, a review of Autechre's Exai here. Second, I went to the ballet! Thoughts here. Summary: OMG SO AWESOME.