Monday, June 14, 2004

Big Brother - Merlin

Gosh, I love Big Brother

Until now, this year's Big Brother (number 4) has been relatively uninteresting.
The contestants seem nice people, but are mostly a bit dull.
I've complained to Cade about it being like going to a very boring suburban babeque. The boys hang around together drinking beer and kicking a ball around, leaving the girls to talk about girl stuff. Depressing.

But this week things got rockin'.

The sensation was meant to be Miriam.
Straight from her show 'There's Something About Miriam', the sexy mexican went into the house for a few days, to teach them how to salsa.
What the housemates weren't told was that she was born a man, and in fact still has a penis!
That went well. One housemate suspected the truth, and it was the talk of the house for a day before someone came out and asked Miriam about it. When she came out about it, the housemates seemed to really warm to her. I think most of them will be a bit sad when she goes.

But Miriam ended up being outstaged by Merlin, the housemate from Newtown.
He didn't fit in with the other people in the house, as he was too alternative for them, but he got along okay.
At one stage he told everyone how he came to Australia as a kid and lived here illegally for 7 years, before getting permission to stay.
Then, on eviction night he shocks everyone. When he gets to the stage he puts black tape over his mouth and holds up a little sign he made protesting about the government's treatment of refugees, and the way refugees have been stopped from taking their stories to the media or the public.
I felt sorry for Gretel, because the audience wanted Merlin to speak but he refused, so she had a bit of a difficult time for the first minute or so. But she's tough and told the audience off a bit.
Apart from feeling sorry for Gretel, I'm very pleased with Merlin.
He was extremely brave to do what he did (you could see him shaking), and the subject was personally important to him. It was quite a shocking image seeing this guy who has been cheerfully bumming around on tv for the last 5 weeks suddenly sitting there with tape over his mouth.
I think most people watching the show would find it all a bit confronting.
Big Brother is meant to be mindless entertainment after all.
But I think the cool thing about Big Brother is the mix of people that go in there, and it's great for a politically motivated young person to be included (though I admit I wouldn't be so happy if the person was a right-wing asshole).
And if it gets a few more people talking about the treatment of refugees by the government, then I think Merlin should be very proud of himself.


Anonymous said...

woo hoo !
Matthew's got comments - go you good thing !

Anonymous said...

What Melivin did was fantastic and it even made the news here in the UK - but was then overshadowed by events in the UK BB house. We've had a near riot, two people thrown out, one claiming to be a former crack-dealer, a couple of excellent food-fights, planned protests at the next eviction, the police called in, and claims that one HM sexually abused someone seven years ago. If you're bored with the Oz version, log on to the Brit one.