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Wanda's Words of Wisdom – Survivor: Guatemala, Episode 6


by Wanda Shirk

Oh, I grieve when Survivor proves the thesis of Lord of the Flies! But we watched it unfold this week — the brute, the uncivilized, triumphing over intelligence and goodness and all that is decent and right.

Judd’s long-time boast was on target: he can do whatever he damn pleases, and he doesn’t get voted off because his tribe wants his strength enough to tolerate his bombastic, rude, selfish, totally obnoxious behavior. Nakum should never have let him get away with that. Two people leaving in two tribal councils: it is almost time for the merge. The necessity for animal-strength for tribal competitions is nearly over, and if the brute-strength must be accompanied with brute-nature, then it’s not worth it at this stage of the game. Really, I use the term “brute nature” reluctantly, because most dogs I’ve known have been sentient creatures with far more love, loyalty, and respect for others than Judd has shown.

It has cost Margaret the game to call Judd on his horrible, anti-social, self-centered demeanor, but I applaud her for it. In Judd’s behavior we see Jack of Golding’s novel; I heard “Piggy’s” glasses being broken when Judd ranted and raved, and I saw the leadership of Ralph/Margaret lost as the majority unanimously condoned his tirades by supporting him at the polls. It felt like Hitler’s Germany, with good people, people that I truly like, supporting the enemy as he crushed the nurse who encouraged and strengthened the weak in episode one and spoke up alone in Tribal Council to denounce behavior that we would never, should never, tolerate in our homes or schools or communities!

Many of my friends are people of intelligence who look down on reality TV exactly because of episodes like this week’s tribe council. I have loved Survivor for the best in it — the challenges of enduring against the elements of nature and the hardships of deprivation; the opportunities to make friendships with people from diverse backgrounds, to work together with them in a “may the best man win” camaraderie. I heartily deplore the triumph of crudeness and incivility!

My friend Jolanda from Survivor Palau always calls me after the show (and sometimes during commercials) so that we can “watch it together” while we’re a thousand miles apart. Her comment last night: “Everything that’s wrong with society is rewarded on this show!” Sad, sad, sad that Nakum not only LET that happen, but MADE it happen.

I have admired Gary’s attitude, expressed a week or two ago, that there are certain qualities that cannot be allowed to survive, that must be evicted before they go to Final Four, or even to jury positions where they can cast votes on the worthiness of others.

Let’s stand up for decency and civilization! BOOOOOOOOOOO to Nakum for this week’s decision. (Hmmm… Is it ironic that I am driven to booing! How uncivilized of me! Okay, I’m sorry. But…I’m distressed!) Margaret — thank you for not tolerating a bully. That’s what we try to teach our kids in school, and even if only one person speaks out against what’s wrong, we applaud that person for doing what was right.

As for Yaxha — that was also a sad TC, though not as deeply disturbing as Nakum’s. Brian, like Ralph in Lord of the Flies, represented the greatest intelligence on his tribe. His tribemates paid tribute to him, calling him a gentleman, a “classy, classy guy,” and at the same time “a good old boy” who could get along with the southern farm boys on his tribe and a “kamikaze” in physical battle. He added a great deal to our viewing pleasure this season, and it was tragic to see him voted out. I wished Rafe had given him immunity; thought he might have, actually, because Rafe and Brian have a number of things in common (academic intelligence, for example, and physical competitiveness but without the dominance of a Judd or Brandon). I respect Rafe’s choice, though, because Gary has shown that character is very important to him in ultimate Survivor success (this despite Gary’s perceived need to lie about his distant football career. I understand Gary’s dilemma, and I am confident that he is a man of personal integrity in spite of the predicament that has led him to conceal his background as part of the game)

Brian and Margaret — we have loved and respected you both. Thanks for your contribution to S-11. I hope you had a great vacation when you left Mosquitoville. You deserve the best, and we will never forget you.

Visit Wanda on the World Wide Web at WackyWanda.com.


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