Keyser Soze — aka “Maggie” — won $500,000 last night on the season finale of the CBS television reality show borefest Big Brother 6. I have watched all the Big Brother shows since the first season. I even paid to purchase the live internet feeds to watch the real show behind the “faked” broadcast shows that never demonstrate the true character of the players. The best year for Big Brother was the first.
The people were real. The challenges were fun. You could root for someone. The ratings were not high enough after Big Brother year one, so a new producer was brought in to “fix” a show that was never broken. Ever since Arnold Shapiro took over the production of Big Brother, the game has never been the same.
Snarkiness has been valued over friendship. Good game play has been forsaken in favor of viciousness and despise. Some might argue Shapiro is only reflecting the values of America. I counter that argument by claiming Arnold Shapiro has a greater duty to society than to merely reflect America. His responsibility as a media broker, who directly controls three Prime Time hours a week on the public airwaves, is to provide a reflexive experience for understanding each other and to help build arches between cultures instead of simply tearing apart people for entertainment.
As Hurricane Katrina swamped lives and killed people in New Orleans, Big Brother player Ivette drowned herself in tears of self-inflicted pity and selfish woe in CBS’ Studio City. Never before in the history of television was such a bright line drawn between what matters and what never did. We can only hope the salty tears of that recognition are falling on Arnold Shapiro’s bloody palms.
Maggie, the “nurse from Las Vegas,” who cares not for the living and who defecated in toilets and refused to flush as a strategy of revenge against those she did not welcome into her “Friendship” cult, caused a deep and unsettling retching within Big Brother 6 viewers. Maggie played the game by allowing others to do her bidding.
Maggie won the game by feasting on the personality disorders of those less fortunate than her and she not only knowingly and willingly gorged on the missing pieces of her “friends,” she craved to eat even deeper into the marrow of them to ensure their loyalty and to bite away any resistance she perceived, or believed, to be real. One would think a nurse would heal a Big Brother with fair game play, a positive spirit and a love for humanity. One is not only surprised, but disappointed, that the easier path of hatred and Race mongering played such a huge role in such a small win for Big Brother 6 this season.
The only tiny pleasure we can take from a Maggie win is the fact that, as days pass into weeks, the members of her cruel “Friendship” will slowly begin to flash back to moments in the house and realize how wholly played they were — Keyser Soze style — and the puzzle pieces of their experiences tumble hard into place to create the face of Maggie, their Beloved Friendship Leader, who betrayed each of them always in the bitter whole and the contemptible complete, and who will never know in her bones that sometimes to lose is to win.