CBS: Survivor: Africa
finish first. I said it on November
21, 2001 and I'm saying it again.
"When I first
arrived here, I set some goals for myself. Obviously, I
wanted to last as long as I could. But more importantly, I
wanted to go home with my integrity and prove that good, honest
people can get far in the game." ~ Survivor: Africa
Not only did he get far
in the game, Ethan won. Ethan, that good, honest person.
Ethan, that introverted soccer player with Hungarian
puli-style dreadlocks. With a shy, appealing mystique. If you
will remember, quiet, introverted George
Harrison was/is my favorite Beatle; there's a pattern here.
If you haven't watched
the CBS reality-based TV show, Survivor: Africa,
I realize this means nothing to you. It almost meant nothing
to me. I missed all of the original Survivor series, but was
taken in completely by Survivor:
The Australian Outback. Survivor: Africa failed to capture me. I
saw the occasional episode, and the blood-drinking competition effectively turned
me off. Last night, channel-surfing, I came upon it and watched the two-hour riveting
finale. I caught up
with the "game" and its players and was pleasantly satisfied with the viewing and
Mind you, I was also
rooting for the 56 year old woman, Kim Johnson, just as I did for Tina
Wesson in Survivor: The Australian Outback. Believe me, I am an
excellent vicarious Survivor experiencer, and if I were in better
shape, maybe I'd be out there myself, just for the adventure. Yet, if
those women lost to their closest competition, Ethan and Colby Donaldson, I was
okay with that, too, as both young men were both worthy, fine players.
I have a soft spot for
big-hearted do-gooders, and I was happy to hear that Ethan's hacky-sacking
with the African kids helped to influence him into directing some of his winnings toward inner city youth
The biggest positive
effect was the heightening of AIDS awareness. The producer, Mark
Burnett, joined with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation to
highlight the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic and the show provided AIDS assistance
and test kits to the African people; and player Linda
Spencer, instead of opting for all-expenses-paid luxury safari,
went on a tour with a mobile health clinic dedicated
to spreading AIDS awareness.
Their acts of compassion
follow the example set by past winner, Tina Wesson, who has
used some of her winnings to help those who are real-life, everyday
survivors. These acts balance out the other human
qualities revealed in this show: sharkiness, bitchiness, sexism,
bitterness and vindictiveness.
The player that I loved
to watch was Brandon
Quinton from rural Oklahoma, that swishy, bitchy drama queen --
who would be complimented by every one of those descriptors.
He was refreshingly soooo himself. His "splash of
sass" was endearing. By far, he was the most interesting
of them all... and he too is making a positive difference in the
world. At the end of this
month, he is flying some of the Survivor players to a Dallas AIDS
benefit. He's already
raised $20,000 in pledges.
I was also delighted to
hear the announcement that Survivor 4 will be sited in the Marquesas
in the South Pacific. I went to boarding school with a pair of
Palauan twins, who awed me with their pure Polynesian beauty and
grace. These many years later, I'll have a chance to visit,
via Survivor:Marquesas, their homeland. They often and fondly
spoke of its natural, untouched beauty, and thanks to reality-TV,
we'll get to catch glimpses of it.
Water rings on your wooden table?
Put mayonnaise on it and let it sit overnight.
Candle wax on your tablecloth? Put some paper down and iron it. It comes right up.
I learned these household pointers from Courtney Cox.
Blood stain on your
clothing? Put your spit on it. It disappears. I learned that
from Kelly Ripa. Regis' blood stain from a razor cut disappeared right off his
shirt cuff! Really.
You never know who your
teachers are until you learn something from them.
"Life is a Gift."
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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