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Friday, February 28, 2014

Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty - Which One Am I?

Can you believe that February ends today?  Yes, I'm well aware of the fact that February has been and always will be the shortest month of the entire year (unless you do an April Fools Day Joke where April is only one day, and May is extended into a sixty day month), but to me it just seems to have flown by at an excruciatingly fast speed.

Or, maybe it's because I'm just getting older, and time only seems to be passing up by really quickly.  Who can say, really?

At any rate, welcome to February 28.  And, for today's blog topic, we're going to do things a little bit differently.  Although Fridays in general are normally about everything that has to do with television, this week is going to focus less on television and more on commentary.

I suppose the best way to describe this blog entry is a merging of a Thursday Diary blog and a Friday Night In TV Guide blog.

And to begin today's entry off, a confession.  And, this is a confession that is probably going to make some of you roll your eyes in disgust, stick your tongue out and blow me a raspberry, or simply click off the blog in disgust so that you can slave away for hours trying to master Level 107 in "Candy Crush Saga".

I am a fan of the reality television series "Survivor", and have watched every episode of every season since its debut on May 31, 2000.

Now, granted, I realize that the idea of reality television is quite contrived, because never does television really ever capture a true sense of what reality is.  Certainly, there are many instances in the game of "Survivor" that are extremely contrived.  Chances are that if you're truly stranded on a deserted island with nothing but the clothes on your back, you're not going to win the chance to eat gourmet dinners or other rewards just because you can solve a puzzle and throw gigantic coconuts in a makeshift basketball hoop.  And, let's face immunity idol won't prevent you from starving to death in the middle of a jungle where thousands of species of beast, insect, and reptile plot to make you their next delicious meal.

However, I don't watch "Survivor" for the whole survival aspect.  The first couple of seasons were fine for that, but as the show evolved through the years into what is now the show's twenty-eighth season, seeing the various human interactions became more interesting to me.  It was interesting to see just how some people grew stronger when placed in a setting that was completely unlike anything they were used to...and how others completely fell apart.  How some people tried to stay true to their morals, ethics, and values, while others would stab you in the back while simultaneously shaking your hand in a sweetheart deal.

I've also come to the conclusion that after watching the show for all this time that I would not make a very good contestant on the show.  Not because I couldn't handle being outside in inclement, unpredictable weather with hardly any food to eat for thirty-nine days (though I admit that I would have a hard time adapting), but because I couldn't deal with the social game.  If I weren't the first one voted off, I would probably be second or third.

But, that said, I'm only saying this because I've never been in a situation like the one faced by the contestants who play the game.  I imagine that my frame of mind might end up being completely different from how I am on a day-to-day basis.  We never really know how we'll act when placed in a situation that is outside of our comfort zone until it actually happens.

Why, we might go into the game identifying ourselves as one kind of person, only to find ourselves becoming someone else in hopes of getting through the game.

For instance, take the current season which just debuted on CBS two days ago.  "Survivor: Cagayan" takes eighteen Americans and divides them up into three distinct tribes based on the definition that they best feel describes them - from a societal viewpoint, of course.  Actually, with that description, it kind of makes for a wicked sociological experiment.

The three tribes are Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty.  Mind you, all of the tribes will likely be split up and divided and merged again during the run of the season, but in the early stages of the game, the season attempts to answer one question.  In a game of survival, which quality means the most?  Brawn, brains, or beauty?

And, it got me thinking...if I were cast in this year's edition of the game, which quality would I best identify myself with?  Some might suggest that they are one hundred per cent brawn, while others see themselves as a more well-rounded person with an equal thirty-three and a third percent of each quality.

Well, I'm going to do a little bit of speculation, based on what I think would likely happen had I been cast in this season.  Which tribe would I likely be put on...which tribe I should be put on...and hypothetically gauging what shot I have at winning based on which tribe I ended up on (keeping in mind that I would likely NEVER win the game).

First, let's talk about the beautiful people.  The beauty tribe (pic above) consists of the team of Brice, Jeremiah, LJ, Alexis, Jefra, and Morgan is made up of former models, cheerleaders, beauty contestants, and other occupations that only the truly beautiful need apply.

That's outer beauty.  Not inner beauty.  At this point in time, it's hard to say whether any of our castaways this time around have any sort of inner beauty at all, but we shall soon see.  But I'm sure that for some of the castaways who happen to be on the beautiful tribe, they think that they can use that beauty to charm the pants off of someone else and get them to do whatever they want.  They're like those Lamia enemies in "Final Fantasy IV", where they surround your allies with hearts and make them turn against you by poking you with arrows, axes, and swords.

Whatever the case, do I see myself joining the beautiful people on the beauty tribe?  Hell no!

I mean, I realize that beauty is subjective, and that every single person in the world has their own idea of what beauty is...but if we're solely talking about outer beauty, I would be a complete failure, and in all honesty would not last past the first round.  I might have a lot of inner beauty, but I lack the six-pack abs, perfect teeth, and perfectly coifed hair to meet society's definition of beauty.  Personally, I think that's a real shame, but again, this is society here...and well, in this case, I'm sort of happy to be anti-social. 

Ahem...moving on to the brainy people.

The brains of the Survivor operation (pic above) consist of J'Tia, Kass, Tasha, David, Garrett, and Spencer, and well, if you watched the premiere of the season on February 26, you know that these guys are not meshing well at all.  They might have an average IQ of 130, but they have a CSQ (my own personal abbreviation for Common Sense Quotient) of negative sixty-five!  Two of the tribe members were voted off (one who still held onto a hidden immunity idol), and to add insult to injury, they were voted off over the woman who destroyed most of the tribe's food supply!  Certainly not a great start to the game, eh, brainiacs?

I mean, perhaps the tribe might still have some fire left in them.  Perhaps if they can decide to let go of their past animosities and use those brains that they have been gifted with to actually win a challenge, they might be able to stay in the game.  But, I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

Though, it does pose an interesting question.  Would I fit in with the slowly deteriorating Brains tribe?


I never did reveal this before on here because I always saw the measurement of IQ to be absolutely ridiculous, but just for the heck of it, I did take an IQ test a few years ago, and I can tell you that it is over 110, but less than 140.  So, by all accounts, this would make me fit well with the other members of the tribe.  And, I suppose if you look at it, I do remember lots of kids coming up to me and asking me if I could help them spell words (i.e., I would tell them how to spell it, and they would literally copy off of my paper).  Made them look smart, but made me kind of feel foolish in the process.  Thankfully, I've grown a little smarter and wiser over the years, and I think that I might have a shot with the brainy tribe.

Well, provided that I come up with enough common sense for the whole bunch.  Seriously, these guys have a LOT to prove.

But, if I had to choose a tribe that I think that I could fit in with flawlessly< I think that it would have to be the tribe pictured below.

The Brawn Tribe.  Consisting of Cliff, Tony, Woo, Lindsey, Sarah, and Trish.  I think that if I were to have the best shot of making it a long way in the game (at least to the jury stage because as I said before, I have no shot of winning this game), I would have to be on this tribe. 

Believe me, I never thought that I would have belonged on this tribe a few years ago.  I honestly would have assumed that I would have been on the brain tribe for sure.  But over the years, I've become a lot stronger person - both emotionally and physically.  Lifting heavy things in the garden centre and on store standards off and on for the past nine years will do that to you.  I think I have enough physical strength to handle some of the physical challenges (some, not all).  And, more importantly, I think I have the mental strength to keep fighting and going on.

You see, a lot of people don't seem to realize that brawn is not limited to physical strength.  To me, I feel that mental strength can also be brawny in a way.  If you have any sort of feeling that you are going to have an emotional breakdown, that could impact not just your game, but your whole life as well. 

Take it from someone who has had more than his fair share of emotional breakdowns over the years.

But just looking at all of the tribes that are featured this year on "Survivor", I honestly think that the best fit for me would be the "brawn" tribe anyway.  The beauty tribe I find to be very self-conscious, and it appears to me that they might seem a little more high-maintenance than I can really handle.  Believe me when I tell you that I am low-maintenance at best.

And, while I do consider myself to be on the intelligent side, I am one who doesn't really brag about it.  I certainly wouldn't make the claim that I can build a shelter because I am the smartest one because truth be told, I can't even disassemble a display model of a piece of furniture in the store I work at.  To me, the brains tribe seems too cocky - especially since they have been consistently losing each challenge.

But the brawn tribe...there's not really any of that.  I mean, sure, at some point, all teams are going to backstab each other, but at this point - with one notable exception - the team seems to be meshing very well, making decisions that will help make the tribe stronger to get through the first few challenges.  And, really, if you're going to get through the game's early stages, you're going to need a strong team.

I also think that I could be friends with nearly every single person on the Brawn tribe because they know what hard work really is.  They know the importance of using their strengths to their advantage.  And, honestly, they seem like really cool people who aren't obsessed over looks, or try to one up each other.  It's a formula that for now seems to be working for them, and I'm kind of hoping that they can make it to the end.

(Especially Cliff...since, you know, I have him in a pool that I've entered.)

So, what do I see myself as?  Brawn, Brains, or Beauty?  Well, I think I'm a combo of brawn and brains.  Beauty is debatable.

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