Just a place for random rantings and ravings.....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Survivor: Segregation City

Over the next few weeks, a series of guest bloggers will be appearing on The Path just to add some variety and spice to my (and your) bloglife. These post are uncut, unedited and hopefully unconventional, so if there is anyone who would like to speak their mind through this forum, please let me know. First up, the beautiful Michelle Rice, better known as Aunt Micki.

Since I can’t use my blog here, I thought I’d email you on this subject, and maybe you could move it on for me. Thanks.

I just read Survivor is intending to divide their “Tribes” by ethnicity. I think that’s one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in a long time. Don’t we have enough racial tension/dissension undiluted hatred without illuminating the situation with a FLOOD-LIGHT? I never watch this show for various reasons, but I can’t help feeling like this would be an error of magnanimous proportions. I’m just a little curious, for those who appreciate and regularly view this show, if done, would this be acceptable? Would repercussions take on an “UNATTRACTIVE, INDELIBLE PERSONA” never to be recovered from? Would appreciate your insight, as well as Nas, Counselor, Paz and anyone else who may have an opinion. Love you, mick.


Blogger paz y amor said...

Well, I don't think it's as big a deal as it may seem because it's a simple reflection of American society anyway. We're not a melting pot, it's more of a social salad bowl i.e. different races work and live NEXT to each other, not WITH each other. Think about it- with a few exceptions, we basically live in socially segregated communities anyway. Most public schools are populated by a homogeneous group of students, most neighborhoods are Black, White, Asian or Hispanic, not a luscious mixture. Actually, the only places that races REALLY interact in a general sense is at work. Don't get me wrong, it's BETTER these days, but it's not as good as it could be.

Thu Aug 24, 02:41:00 PM

Blogger Kiyotoe said...

All i'm saying is that with all the so-called effort to "unite" us under one title, "humanity".....this is a stupid ass idea and will be counter productive. All it will take is for one white person to slip and say..."oh, you know how THEY are" and the NAACP is trying to shut down Survivor and CBS. I don't get why they would put themselves in that position. I repeat, MONEY isn't EVERYTHING.

Thu Aug 24, 07:16:00 PM

Anonymous igor said...

An ethnics or racial conflict...

How do we address them today?

We try to clamp down on the conflicts, try to shut them up, try to behave like there are no conflicts at all, try to suppress them.

But what is the nature, what is the foundation of a racial conflict?

This conflict is NOT based on anything material, anything that exists like a stone exist. It's not even conflict of interests - like the one between 2 countries over dwindling oil supplies.

The racial conflict is solely inside our heads, it's just our feelings, human feeling, nothing but feelings.

What usually happens to an owner of suppressed feelings?

Isn't it better, instead of suppressing, learn to live with those feeling, learn to manage them so they won't result in bodily or material hurt, and then let the time and evolution to take care about the issue...

For example, the Survivor show segregates participants by ethnicitty. Is it an issue? Only so far as it's being noticed, discussed, cursed, etc.

Once everyone ignores it (and I don't mean glaring silence) - then it would be a non-issue automatically.

... just kicking thoughts around...

Thu Aug 24, 07:40:00 PM

Anonymous igor said...


"bodily or material hurt"

should be read as

"bodily, material, or emotional hurt"

Thu Aug 24, 07:49:00 PM

Anonymous Lynn S. said...

Hi ya Paz....thought I'd venture over to your blog to see what you are up to. And besides, Rock censored my last comment at his place, so, his loss....LOL

I've not watched the Survivor show because, like the blogger noted, it just never interested me and seemed to be melodramatic about unrealistic situations. If the producers of Survivor have chosen to segregate people into race/ethnic groups, I would venture to say that it's probably to add additional drama and controversy to the show. Shows sell numbers and the highest numbers win the prize. My bet is that this segregated scenario is going to add more controversy and will get the Survivor 'topic' into even more conversations (and blogs!).

I see homogeneous groupings in America, too. It's not just about race, our tendencies are to associate with 'like' people and it goes beyond race/ethic background. We tend to stick with people of the same intellect, same interests, and oftentimes same religion and values.

I hope the Survivor show doesn't stir the pot with racially charged situations. Like Igor said, if you give this no value and pay no attention to it, there is no importance there. For example, about 10 years ago, the KKK was planning to march in a nearby town where I live. It was unthought of here in this part of Virginia, but the KKK organization wanted to come here to stir the pot. The town Council voted to not permit the gathering. I reminded my friends, "What if they marched and NO ONE CAME?" If they have no significance, no importance, they have nothing.....

Fri Aug 25, 04:03:00 AM

Blogger paz y amor said...

Thank you two for stopping by! (although Igor's been here before.) Feel free to browse around. Now to the subject at hand. I think it's safe to say that it's an attempt by CBS to stir up the pot and boost ratings. Hell the show's been on a while, meaning that interest is probably lagging these days (They can't compete with FLAVA FLAV!!!!) The only time I've watched the show was the final episode of the first season. After that.....ho hum. My concern is that public perception about any certain ethnic group will be based on the editing room decisions rather than the reality of the actual situation- something the public doesn't think about. Anyone notice that there's ALWAYS a stereotypical "angry Black man", "dumb blonde" or "party-hard ignorant frat boy"? I think we all know that an episode can be rigged to reflect something that didn't happen (anyone remember the "blowjob" on Joe Millionaire?) but I'd like to think we're a bit more intelligent than your average American...

Fri Aug 25, 05:53:00 PM

Blogger Kiyotoe said...

I'd like to think that the Average American is a bit more intelligent than t.v. execs and "Hollywood" give us credit for.

And I hope that's what you meant instead of that rather arrogant statement....."but I'd like to think we're a bit more intelligent than your average American..."

and to think, you've been trying to reign in MY ego all these years?

Sat Aug 26, 06:49:00 AM

Blogger paz y amor said...

Is it arrogance to think that WE (yes you too brohem...) are more intelligent than the average person? The mere fact that we're investing time to share our various ideas on each others blogs DAILY and learn from each other intellectually, rather than watching t.v. and eating twinkies is testament to the fact that we're NOT the "average American". The entire television/movie industry is designed with the "average American" in mind. It's about keeping people at home in front of the dummy box- not at the park or barbershop or SCHOOL for that matter. I'd like to think that the average American is smarter than is credited too, BUT (as Alan Marcha would say) "No one ever went broke banking on the stupidity of Americans". Hmmmm.

Sat Aug 26, 12:00:00 PM

Blogger Woozie said...

I don't even watch Reality TV, I'm guessing it's an attempt to get ratings.

Sat Aug 26, 01:55:00 PM

Anonymous igor said...

re: average american intelligence.

I moved from Russia to North America. Increased average IQ on both continents.

Sat Aug 26, 04:31:00 PM

Blogger paz y amor said...

Gotta love that damn Igor! Why do you feel that an "average American's" intelligence levels aren't on par with a Russian's?

Sat Aug 26, 06:22:00 PM

Anonymous igor said...

It is a joke.

But, as they say in Russia, each joke partially consists of a joke.

Ask foreign expats that live and work there for a second opinion.

Actually, it's not even my joke. It's a paraphrase of the slogan on my former boss's t-shirt (South African who lived and worked in Moscow for some years), which he proudly flaunted in Australia, to where he did emigrated finally.

as for why...

maybe because life there is real tough. Here, in Toronto, I see a LOT of people, who just wouldn't SURVIVE in Moscow. In the basic meaning of the word "survival".

or maybe it's because that in former USSR higher education was 90% hard sciences, and those MBAs, liberal arts, and other blah-blah-blah-philosophies were not considered an education (with the exception of pedagogics).

or maybe I say so, because, whenever my friends here bring their kids to the respective grades of local public schools, first they are flattered that their child is considered a "genius", and then they start looking for a good private school, because they worry that the run-of-the-mill canadian public school would dumb the kid down...

or, maybe, it's just a joke.

or, better yet, paz, go to Georgia Tech (for those who doesn't know - it's one of the best tech schools - right after Caltech, MIT, Berkly and Stanford) and report to us how many americans are among hard science students.

Really, paz, I do wonder. Here, for example, in Toronto there are practically no canadians among hard sciences students... canadians, they go for MBA and the likes...

Or, maybe because there is a large neighbouring city to Toronto - called Mississauga (it's like mmmm Marietta to Atlanta). It's central mall - called Square One - is huge. HUGE. The biggest I saw in greater toronto area. Real HUGE. And it has only one bookstore. Bookstore size - I bothered to measure - approx. 20 of my steps by 50. or less.

Go figure...

ah, it's just a joke!

Sat Aug 26, 09:03:00 PM

Blogger paz y amor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sun Aug 27, 05:55:00 AM

Blogger paz y amor said...

It's no joke and that's why I asked. Education here in the states isn't respected as it is in other parts of the world. Every year, in every city, in every school district there are debates about WHY kids are failing and WHAT we need to do to get them on track. MORE MONEY, MORE SUPPLIES, MORE TEACHER PAY, READING, WRITING blah blah blah. The answer, in my eyes is simple: It's the American culture. Our heroes are singers, athletes, and actors paying them ungodly amounts of money to entertain- not occupations that seem (from the outside) to require "booksmarts" as my Grandpa would say. We can name tons of Hollywood types off the tops of our heads, but how many intellectuals can we name? We villify the smart geeks and worship the dumb blonde- how backward is that?

Sun Aug 27, 05:58:00 AM

Anonymous igor said...

More teacher pay looks like a real good idea to me, no?

Scientist, Engineer, Doctor, Teacher are the ones who brought our civilization up to the level it is now. Shouldn't the pay structure reflect that?

The Teacher is outrageously underpaid in every country. It's a shame.

Sun Aug 27, 08:54:00 AM

Anonymous Lynn S. said...

The American public school system is broken and no amount of money will fix it until America chooses to change their value system. Our school system has become overly managed and supervised into a system that utilizes an inverted-pyramid management. And what has been gained by doing this? Aside from even more teacher-training, more classroom 'aides', trailer- classrooms cropping up everywhere, millions of expenditures for "specialty" use (kilns for elementary art classes, greenhouses for junior high....), and National SOLs to hopefully quantify classroom learning, our public school system is STILL unable to provide an excellent education for American students. As a Nation, we get 'passing' marks on the average, but our Nationis far from excellence.

I would like to see our Nation privatize the public school system. I believe that the school system that has been run by government has become a taxpayer-burden for too many years. The government system has failed America. The local public school systems are all run in conjunction with the approval/supervision of a local Board of public citizens, most of whom do NOT have the credentials or intelligence to be representing their taxpaying constituents. The true costs of their blunders that they impose to the public school system (and to taxpayers) for their ignorance penalizes taxpayers and the children attending schools. Yet these people are never challenged or held fiscally accountable.

Statistics show that more and more Americans are sending their children to private schools or they are homeschooling. There are so many children enrolled in 'homeschool' environments in the State of Virginia, that the State has decided to no longer track many of these children simply because the numbers are growing too fast. I, for one, have removed my children from public school and homeschooled because each of my 3 sons were identified as Gifted & Talented in elementary school. No real advanced coursework or fast-paced education was provided for these very bright kids in the public school system. When challenging the status-quo by requesting special courses for such bright children instead of giving them "the average education" in a classroom of 30-35 kids. a parent is told this: "We do not have the funding to provide an education at such a fast pace for these identified children." (Why test the kids if they'll do nothing with the results? Doesn't exceptionally-bright mean about the same as a handicap? They ARE exceptional but it's ver different when a child is very bright as opposed to very "dumb". Dumb gets an education at their-level. Brilliant gets that same education, at a level far beneath their intellect.)

Bottom line -- our American value system. As Paz says, our American culture is more appreciative of sports heros and musicians -- and, face it, America is completely GAGA over Hollywood. We are a Nation that is very manipulated by television networking and radio shows. Anyone who knows journalism knows that sensationalism sells. And money is what the goal is all about. Everything put before our senses is about hype, sex, money....smarts and genius just don't have the allure to the average American.

If you remove that American-dummy mindset and a child is put into the environment where learning is exciting and has a purpose, a child will WANT to learn. This does not change when a child grows into being a teenager. But the teenager needs to be challenged in a different manner than a child. An the teenager and young adult will always pay attention to that which interests him/her. If the pace is correct and the subject interests the student, learning will take place. Mainstreaming is not a solution for the public school system.

Sun Aug 27, 10:23:00 AM

Anonymous igor said...

To me american/canadien gaga over Holliwood is just amusing. I am myself not immune to the charms of Marilyn Monroe's star image...

What does scare a shit out of me is the gaga over american idol and other very lowbrow stuff.

Sun Aug 27, 11:25:00 AM

Blogger paz y amor said...

I couldn't agree with you more Igor! What amazes me more than the American Idol phenomenon is the fact that there are TONS of singers and bands who have been out on the road, bustin their asses, refining their skills and have much more talent than these folks on tv, YET they'll end up being hasbeens before they can hit the big time. Anyone with a bit of talent can stand in line and be picked because they have "the look" but not everyone can say that they paid their dues...

Lynn, I'm not sure if you know this already but I'm a teacher in Atlanta and as much as I hate to say it, taking your kids out of the public school system was probably a VERY good decision. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and love my kids, but I always tell the parents who ask- "put them in private school if you can"...

Sun Aug 27, 12:29:00 PM

Anonymous igor said...

paz, here is a first hand account to support what you have said:


Sun Aug 27, 01:39:00 PM

Blogger paz y amor said...

You went WAY back for that one Igor. It's a damn shame....So for the next forty years, we can look forward to a bunch of beatiful talentless teenagers on the radio.....

Sun Aug 27, 03:28:00 PM

Anonymous Lynn S. said...

Ha! Paz, I didn't know you were a teacher. Actually, I have taught, too, but have only taught in a limited and more restricted environment. I have taught public school teachers during in-service days, taught high school students who were in GT programs (pulled out for special courses), and then adults at a local college. All of my teaching was in the art field because I followed my avocation into a vocation while my boys were young and I was staying home. I was a quilt artist for about 12 years and built up a business so that I could work from home when the boys were young. My background is actually Computer Science.

All women on both sides of my family for 3 generations were teachers. My mother went from teaching into Counseling. When I decided to pull my oldest boy out of school in Grade 5, I was questioned, but supported by all family. I did this legally in our County and presented the curriculum and book list to our Superintendent. I did not provide creditials for myself or my husband intentionally. We were wanting to document whether the "right to homeschool" by any parent would actually be followed in Virginia. We were never asked about our backgrounds, but our curriculum was reviewed.

My boys are now 27, 21, and 19. They all graduated high school and entered into the GT program when it was made available here in our County. The problem with the GT program, though, is that it was also paced slower than the boys could actually learn. But they were grouped within themselves for the GT courses and it did enable them all to tune into a group of very bright kids.

My eldest has completed his BS in Comp Sci at James Madison Univ and he graduated early and with honors. He was recruited before he completed his degree and still works at the corporation where he began his career (with Verisign, the internet corporation). The youngest son is doing the same curriculum as the eldest and was actually on a dual-enrollment program with our local college. By the time he turned 18, he had already earned a Computer Network Engineering certification. He is now enrolled full-time and his concentration is also Computer Science (yes we are a family of geeks!). He has been offered an internship by his brother but he declined (damn kid!!) because he wants a mindless job while he's in college.... so he is delivering pizzas when not in class. LOL The 21 year old son opted to not go to college at this time. His interest is in art, but he feels that the competition is so difficult that he would probably never become successful. He opted to work. He is already a Manager with a large corporation and they have just approached him to become a District Manager.

There are EXCELLENT teachers here in the US. Sadly, they are often held-back due to the constraints of the government system. In high school, all of my kids took Latin. Not only were they required to take a foreign language for 3-4 years, but they all loved the Latin teacher. He made learning a joy and combined with the mythology, it was very interesting to most of his students. I called this teacher to thank him for doing such a splendid job. He is still a teacher and with the experiences and knowledge my boys gained from his Latin classes, he is the Top #1 teacher in our household.

I don't watch any of the shows that your discussion is about. I have heard of "reality TV" and it took me a while to get someone to describe this concept. I don't know why people have latched onto this style of television, but like we've said the "average American" isn't terribly impressive.

My American Idol would surely not be found on television! LOL And my idol wouldn't have anything to do with physique.....I'm thinking Steven Hawking or Albert Einstein.

Mon Aug 28, 06:02:00 AM

Blogger Rock said...

paz y amour,

I see you beat me to the punch. Good for you! It seems to work quite well.

My comment for your guest blogger is: I am interested to see how this thing works out as a sociological/psychological experiment. I agree with paz in that we seem to be doing this anyway in our society, why not witness it in a competitive atmosphere. There is the danger that racism will rear its ugly head, but we'll see. Anyway, good post.

paz, if you're still interested in guest-blogging on my blog, then here's the deal. Choose anything you're passionate about, and write whatever you want on it, uncensored of course. It can be short, long, thought-provoking, simple, emotional, researched, not researched, I don't care. Just something important to you.

We will be commenting, of course, but you can handle that.

Let me know too, what you want for your blog from me.

Truth—The No Spin Politically Incorrect Zone

Mon Aug 28, 07:28:00 AM

Blogger Rock said...


By the way, I've read these comments, and see that Lynn didn't realize that I deleted her comments by mistake. I've apologized to her, have found the lost comments, and am reinstating them. It was an honest mistake. I just wanted everyone to know that I accept all comments, favorable or unfavorable to me or my views, unless they exceed the bounds of decency or are racist. Besides, like you, Lynn is a great commenter and I value her opinions.

I've only censored one commenter, and I see you have better luck with him than I did. Congratulations.

Truth—The No Spin Politically Incorrect Zone

Mon Aug 28, 07:34:00 AM

Anonymous igor said...


please explain to your dear friend rock, that if he's got something to tell me or about me, then he should cease censorship at his "truthful" blog instead of cowardly using other people's websites.

Mon Aug 28, 12:57:00 PM

Blogger Counselor said...

Hey Paz and Micki...

Although I'm not a "survivor" fan, I must admit that I've been a victim of reality t.v. on more than one occassion. While I think the idea to split the tribes by ethnicity will be lucrative, I wonder at whose expense.

To split people randomly is one thing--to split people by ethnic group...is completely different. Are they looking for certain groups to be smarter, faster, or slower? Are some groups expected to get along better or have different types of problems? My biggest concern is that it will be another forum to perpetuate stereotypes. Don't we have enough of that already?

Words to live by: If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem...

Thu Aug 31, 01:23:00 PM

Anonymous micki said...

Sorry,I'm just getting back to this. I enjoyed ALL the responses. Not to go way,way back-but there was an "experiment" a teacher did in her class of adolescents, the perception of "Brown-Eyed-People" vs. "Blue-Eyed-People", the result was interesting: we tend to assume whatever rhetoric is filtered into our psyches, justifiable or blatantly misinformed;based on fact or fiction;it's very relative, based on who knows what? I didn't see the new survivor, but I hear the 1st person kicked off was a Black Man; coincidence? inevitability? I must say that for the most part, I agree with the general concensus: it only takes on relevance, if we allow; but then again, WHO KNOWS?

Mon Sep 18, 08:19:00 AM


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