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There is more of a connection between Big Brother and Richard Strauss than you think; and it's not just than one of the housemates is called Richard. This year's group have basically divided themselves into the fascists and the bohemians (not bourgeois). Sezer (A wannabe Napolionic figure recalling Nietzsche's 'Ubermensch') and his cohorts see themselves as a master race who wish to "bully" the 'bungled and the botched'(Nietzsche again). The bohemians are unconventional; a tourettes sufferer, a homosexual, a porn-queen, a mancunian, a welsh, all of whom would no doubt have been straight on the train in 1940's Germany. Grace, Mickey and the other one would clearly go to any means to secure the survival and dominance of their ubergroup, which I believe we will begin to witness with frightening regularity. Sezer has already been called to the diary room in order to prevent a punch up with Richard ( a modern day Thomas Gray) which I personally think would certainly have ended in death.


Since I have neither a television nor deep knowledge of "art music" I'm somewhat wedged between the two poles of this interesting juxtaposition - I haven't the feintest idea what either of you are talking about!

However, I do know that track 2 on the new Pet Shop Boys album is vintage brilliance, track 3 is as good a ballad as you'll ever here, and track 9 is just beauty. It's a shame it sounds a little too West End, but my journey up and down part of the A41 (which runs from Birkenhead to Marble Arch*) has certainly perked up.

*or does it??


Richard a modern day Thomas Gray? or Thomas Paine? I was just thinking about Gray’s poem ‘Sonnet on the Death of Richard West’ (another Richard): ‘My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine; / And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.’ It’s very like the Big Brother experience, the passing of figures out of life; is not Gray considering the very same thing as the Big Brother evictions? But more of those ‘imperfect joys’, the point of the programme is by its nature crass, gaudy; but in the same way the French Revolution was gaudy. Note the booing on eviction night, yes these are imperfect joys, but the brute element, the fiery baying for blood and Aunt-Sally figures of celebrity ready to be beheaded in Heat; isn’t that tapping into the very same thing? Are we perhaps witnessing our own revolution as the series progress? ‘My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine’, poor Gray alone in his grief over his dead friend. But consider too the average viewer, seated at home, alone, anguished; but the common interest of the public execution draws them together with a common interest. As communities increasingly fracture (owing no doubt to their ‘increasingly violent’ nature) is not Big Brother filling the need for common gossip. Let’s not underestimate the need for gossip, the unifying act of delighting in the misfortune of other people. Big Brother surely gives us the present day witches to burn at the stake. Strauss' Metamorophosen indicates those seismic shifts that the world might undertake, but so surely does Big Brother; the obsession with the individual which has so obsessed the twentieth century, now starting to crumble. The programme taking the unknown, elevating them to the aristocracy now only to destroy them in a matter of days. The impulse is shown in the desire to be damned from the start.



Sorry, I did mean Thomas Paine, though I nearly wrote Thomas Middleton. There are just too many Thomas' to chose from.

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