The Rambler :: blog

Monday, January 17, 2005

Go girl. 

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Amidst all the muck being thrown at Germaine Greer now that she's out of the B1g Br0ther house (which, if her article in the Sunday Times is to be believed, is nothing compared to the all too real muck of the BB house itself), no one seems to have picked up on what, surely, must be her real reason for going in in the first place. For better or worse, BB, and the reality/cruelty TV genre it has spawned is the cultural phenomenon of the times. Cunningly, Greer - as a leading cultural commentator - has successfully ring-fenced the whole territory for herself, and is now the undisputed expert; she is after all the only thinking person of any calibre to have firsthand experience. Now, the BB house may not be anything like as interesting as the tribes of the Amazon rainforest, but Greer has become, in a much smaller sense, a pioneering anthropologist into uncharted territory - something that is increasingly difficult to find. There's almost certainly a book, many articles, and a couple of lectures to come out of this - the stuff that she actually does for a living, in fact. Far from professional death, as many are declaring, I think this was a pretty canny career move. In fact, irony of ironies, Greer prove to be the only celebrity whose career has benefitted from a spell in the house.

In other BB news, Helen Radice gives a unique perspective on Endemol's shabby stinginess, which chimes with Greer's own experiences - toilet doors without bolts, a kitchen that hadn't (and couldn't) be cleaned, and sloppiest of all not informing her in whose name her hotel room for the eve of the show had been booked, meaning she had to foot her own bill. I'm saddened, but not surprised to learn that Endemol/BB's guiding philosophy - that personal promotion is everything and you'll be grateful for it, you little people - extends beyond the house and into their professional engagements.

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