Not that I wish to go against my new plan of just publishing my own articles, but someone sent me a good write-up from last year by
Luiz Fernando Veríssimo (oops) an anonymous writer about Big Brother Brazil and I thought I’d translate it and make it an exception.
Forgive me avid viewers of Big Brother Brazil (BBB), produced and organized by our distinguished Rede Globo, but we managed to sink to the bottom … The eleventh (it keeps going!) edition of BBB is a summary of the worst in Brazilian television. It is rather difficult to find adequate words to describe the size of such an attack on our modest intelligence.
They say that Rome, one of the largest empires the world has known, saw its end marked by the depravity of the moral values of its people, especially the trivialization of sex. BBB 11 is the pure and ultimate trivialization of sex. Impossible to watch, to see this program alongside one’s children. Gays, lesbians, straight people … all in the same house, the house of “heroes” as they are called by Pedro Bial. I have nothing against gays, I think each one does for a living what they want, but I am against live depravity on TV, whether gay or heterosexual. BBB 11 is reality in search of IBOPE…
See how Pedro Bial treated the participants of the BBB 11. He promised a “human zoo of fun.” I do not know if it will be fun, but it seems quite varied in its mix of cliches and typical figures.
If I understand the presentations correctly, there are 15 “animals” in the “zoo”: the Jewish pervert, the effeminate gay, the sexy dentist, the swinging black guy, the shy nerd, the hottie with a big butt, the “I’m not a bitch but I’m not holy ” girl, the model Mr. Maringa, the confident lesbian, the intellectual DJ, the cocky carioca, the makeup artist drag-queen and the female MP who likes to get beat up.
I wonder, for example, as a journalist, documentary maker and writer, how Pedro Bial, to do him justice, covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, bows to be host of a program of that level. In an e-mail I received recently, Bial writes wonderfully well about the loss of comedian Bussunda referring to the pain of dying so young. I would like to ask him if he thinks his program is the death of culture, values and principles, morals, ethics and dignity.
The other day, during a break in Globo programming, another brainless BBB reporter said that, to win the prize of one and a half million dollars, a Big Brother member has an arduous road ahead, calling them heroes. Arduous? Heroes?
Are these examples of our heroes?
An arduous road to me is one that is traversed by millions of Brazilians, health professionals, public school teachers (indeed, all teachers), postmen, garbage collectors and many other tireless workers who, daily, spend hours exercising their duties with dedication, competence and love, almost always underpaid…
Heroes, are thousands of Brazilians who don’t even have a single meal a day and a decent bed to sleep on and can survive on that, every single day. Heroes are children and adults who struggle with very complicated diseases because they never had a chance to have a healthier and more dignified life.
Heroes are countless people, social organizations and charities, NGOs, volunteers, churches and hospitals that are dedicated to the care of the sick and needy (let’s remember our eternal heroine, Zilda Arns). Heroes are those who, despite earning a minimum wage, pay their bills, leaving only sixteen Reals for feeding themselves, as shown in another report submitted months ago by Globo itself.
Big Brother Brazil is not a cultural or educational program, neither does it spread information and knowledge to its viewers or participants, and there is no other incentive, for example, encouraging sports, music, or creativity, nor teaching concepts such as values, ethics, work and morals.
And then comes the vanguard psychologist and tells me that BBB helps us to “understand human behavior.” Oh, have pity! Look at what’s really behind BBB ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$): José Neuman from Radio Jovem Pan, calculated that if twenty-nine million people call each time someone is voted off, with the cost of thirty cents per vote, Globo and Telefonica make eight million, seven hundred thousand dollars. I’ll repeat: eight million, seven hundred thousand dollars each time someone gets kicked off the show.
Can you imagine how much could be done with that amount if it were dedicated to programs of social inclusion, housing, food, education and the health of many Brazilians? (More than 520 housing units could be created, or more than 5,000 computers could be bought!) These words are not for riot or protest, but with shame and indignation at seeing that such a freak show has millions of viewers.
Instead of watching BBB, how about reading a book, a poem by Mario Quintana or Neruda or anything else, go to the movies, study, listen to good music, plant flowers and work on a garden, call a friend, visit grandparents, go fishing, play with the kids, date or just sleep.
Watching BBB just helps Globo make lots of money and destroy what remains of the values on which our society was built.