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Wanda's Words of Wisdom – Survivor: Guatemala, Episode 8


by Wanda Shirk

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.” — Edmund Burke

Did evil triumph this week or WHAT? Yeah, Rafe, you hit the nail on the head. (And you could have been the good man to do something about it!) There certainly seems to be an Axis of Evil in Guatemala, and we watched it triumph over the good and the noble: our dearly beloved Brandon who hasn’t done anybody any harm all season, and has in fact worked hard, performed well in challenges, and added some delightful commentary along the way! Meanwhile, Jamie is racing to outperform Judd in the competition to outdo Johnny Foulplay as the greatest villain in Survivor’s history. Can Jamie’s glowering dark looks, pervasive pessimsm, and brooding negativity surpass Judd’s abrasive arrogance, outspoken selfishness, and brazen rudeness? Tune in Thursday at 8 PM for Guatemala Ogres Hour!

Well, I’m always looking for the good stuff, and there were some little twinkly lights in the darkness this week. We left off last week with our hobbits from Yaxha moving into camp Mordor. They went right to work, carrying wood and making themselves generally useful until the gloom fogging the Mayan ruins could be borne no more, and the four-some of Brandon, Bobby Jon, Gary, and Danni took off for a little fishing-trip which brightened their spirits and ours measurably! Danni observed that the Nakumites “complain all the time,” but hearts lightened out on the lake, and for awhile there was peace and joy again. Life lesson number one: When possible, excuse yourself from the presence of negative people. Get away and enjoy!

The next twinkly light was Rafe at the “merge feast,” his eyes tearing up as he reflected on the unfairness of the N-6 arbitrarily eliminating the old Yaxhas when he saw better hearts and attitudes among the Y-4. His pondering, “Am I a member of the Axis of Evil? This is not a pretty way to play the game….” will stand forever as a classic line in Survivor history. Oh, that we would all have those moments of introspection and ask if we might be on the wrong side, if somehow the other guys might sometimes be in fact better than we ourselves are!

Cindy’s good heart rose to the occasion as well (twinkle-twinkle!), as she considered Brandon’s virtues as opposed to savage dispositions of Jamie or Judd. Cindy talked about morals and heart and getting to spend time with people. In Rafe and Cindy we saw glimmers of the goodness in them, a goodness that they surely repressed only with great difficulty.

Gary worked on Rafe, and Danni worked on Cindy, but in the end it was not enough. They deserve a lot of credit for their salesmanship and leadership. Gary made a great point in TC: “Let’s vote with our hearts, not our minds, because the mind can play tricks on us” especially in situations of deprivation such as the Survivor experience.

Bobby Jon had some good lines, talking about looking at people’s character and explaining his TC vote with the comment that “part of Southern pride is being a Southern gentleman.” Bobby Jon has a great mother, and she had to be proud of that kind of thinking!

The pressure was on, as we have seen before, for good people to make the decision to change alliances and do what was right. Brandon did not deserve to go, and certainly Jamie and Judd had earned their walking papers again and again! Could Brandon have done a little more to sell himself? Could the four hobbits (doesn’t Gary just look like a hobbit!?!) from Yaxha have convinced Rafe and Cindy to align with them, upset the balance of power, change everything around, create a new dominant team? The potential was there! As we have often seen in history, the power of ONE VOTE could have made a difference that would change the whole game, create a whole new program.

What stopped that from happening? Fear, and lack of vision. A powerfully presented vision of a new dominant group could have brought one good person to the other side, but it didn’t happen. People in the dominant group fear the big risk-taking step of alliance-switching. Might this have helped Rafe or Cindy go farther in the game? We have to wait and see.

So who are we rooting for to find that immunity idol? Danni, Gary, Bobby Jon, Rafe, and Cindy, in that order, are my preferences. And if Jamie or Judd finds it — some of us may have to be reminded not to kill the messenger, or we may shoot our TVs!

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