The Case for Big Brother

Big Brother is, amongst many things, an opportunity to talk ethics on a national scale.

Like any drama, it affords us the opportunity to comment upon the actions of its protagonists, to discuss morals and negotiate personal politics; and like any cultural product, it affords us the opportunity to create meaning.

And yet, this opportunity - unique in its nature; its scale, its availability, its prominence - is refused by many. At a time - amongst the subjectivity and relativism of post-modernism, and the proliferating distractions of advanced capitalism - when the discussion of ethics may be a particularly pertinent one, should we not at least consider the positive opportunities that Big Brother affords us?

What happens when our so-called highbrow media would, without question, rather discuss the interior of a graphic designer's house than the implications of one human being refusing to engage with another? When the baton of talking everyday ethics is instead taken up by the so-called gutter press?

We could, perhaps, point to the 'insignificance' of Big Brother and its fame-hungry contestants, but then we would, perhaps, be missing the point. At its root, it is the interaction of individuals - it may lack the poetic prose and resonance of your average Shakespearian drama, but it remains a fiction about human beings. This much is inescapable.