Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Survival of the races

Perhaps it is because I have been a Survivor aficionado for the last few years, but I am entirely untroubled by the recent news that the tribes on the show will be divided by race/ethnicity. In fact, I was always far more troubled by the dearth of minorities usually in the game. I can understand if people are concerned that the show will magnify stereotypes and simply reinforce the nation's racial strife; unfortunately, "reality television" has too frequently banked on such divisiveness in order to make "good television."

However, the outrage seems misplaced to me, for it seems to deny that such divisions are not cultural realities in our country. To be sure, it would be swell to have one happy tribe in which all related to one another as humans and not as ethnic cardboard cutouts; it would be magnificent for backstabbing to be a color-blind endeavor. It would be nice, but it would only be a further instance of "reality" TV's plastic resemblance to real life.