So, a long time ago, when the television show Survivor first came out, I watched it and was utterly fascinated. The main thing I loved about it was watching Richard Hatch play a game no one else yet understood was the actual game of the show and (spoiler alert) be rewarded with a million dollars.
If you don’t know the game, the gist is they strand people on an island in two groups and early on, the way you get power is by winning challenges, many of which are physical, which can be a real problem due to (as the show goes on) less and less food being available to you unless you’re good at finding it on your own. There are mental challenges, too, but these get hard given the lack of food as well. The trick is to figure out how to stay healthy physically so you can compete physically and mentally. When there are too few people to have two separate groups, they merge them together and the challenges become individual. If you get “immunity,” the others can’t get rid of you by voting you out, but almost all of the people who are there after the merge then become a jury who decide who wins the million at the end, so if you’re too devious in your scheming, it will cost you. Maybe.
Anyway, when the game first started, the original group had literally no idea what the game was, so it was relatively easy for Hatch to create a core alliance and use it to have an effective voting bloc to ensure that what he thought, strategically, would be the best thing to do, he was able to actually carry out.
Fast-forward to the season I just finished, season 6 (I only really watched the first, some of the celebrity edition, and the all-star season, so I’m watching old ones). I was incensed this season, more than before, and it made me think about the “pretty people” vs. the rest of us and what all this means for society.