I’m sitting this evening, watching this wonderfully entertaining — and wonderfully stupid — show that puts together one naked male and one naked female and dumps them into some exotic jungle and says see ya in 21 days.
There are plenty of reality shows on the telly to entertain the simplest mind. I suppose this is what American TV has come down to these days. But back to this reality show. There is always a ton of ego involved in this survival.
There’s also a lot of bone-headed ideas.
Some of the couples start off on the right foot together, and others don’t like each other from the get go. Being stuck with another naked person for three weeks can test anyone’s patience. She may be a tattooed beauty, he may be a muscled god, but when it comes down to it, their pre-conceived notions of each other never really disappear. They merely…adapt.
She wants to be an individual, he wants to be the alpha. He’s usually aggressive in one way or another, she gets pissed of and keeps to herself. She wants to catch crab, he wants to eat the dangerous sea snake. She wants to fix the shelter so it doesn’t leak, he wants to cut down trees in the hope there’s coconuts with milk in them. They go in with no food, (what? I thought there were McDonalds everywhere!) no fire, no weapons, and have to fend for themselves. They eat termites and crabs and snakes and put up with storms, flooding, insects, sunburn, infection, diarrhea, alligators, sweat, dehydration, starvation, thorns, all kinds of things. They are tapping out after Day 5, Day 11, crying, praying, crabbing, mumbling, overwhelmed by the sheer primativeness of it all.
And I wonder — why?
I know there is a whole psyche nation that has to prove to themselves that they have “what it takes.” Whether its climbing Mt. Everest or kayaking down the Amazon or entering a triathlon, there is some height we all want to reach. Some person we want to become. Some goal want to achieve. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But I watch these two people knocking around, tired of everything the other person says or does, starving, sweating, swearing, doing their best to survive 21 days without killing each other.
Is this proving your worth?
I suppose I am on the wrong side of town to really appreciate the sacrifices people make to prove something to themselves. I have never been overly ambitious, overly demanding, overly aggressive. I have also always been overly honest. I know what I can do and what I can’t. What I can do if I’d just work harder, what I’ll never be able to do.
I suppose that also means I’ll never know the complete satisfaction of overcoming incredible odds to do something few others have. And I don’t mean overcoming cancer or things like that. I mean going, doing something exciting and different and life-changing. Part of me feels bad about that, because, like all human beings, I want to be special. I want to be remembered. I want to be unique.
Somehow I just don’t think eating termites is the way to do it.