Survivor is What's Wrong With America

It's news, I suppose, that another Utahn made it big in Hollywood. But the way he did it is not news to be proud of. The recent winner of Survivor 2007 earned a million dollars at a high price.

They used to talk about the lifeboat scenario in school classrooms--the one where you have enough room for 9 people on the lifeboat, but you have 10 people, so who are you going to kick off the boat? They don't have to teach it in school anymore (although they probably still do) because kids can learn it first-hand by watching one of the most popular television programs. In this scenario they kick people off the island. And the fans heap praise on those who are the most ruthless.

We had an antithetical Family Home Evening tonight as I read the following quote from the Deseret News and explained to my kids that this is exactly how NOT to act in life. (Survivor teaches us so many wonderful lessons, doesn't it?)
"I backstabbed and lied to a lot of them, but I was playing a game," said Herzog, adding, "I feel like I've accomplished so much, and I'm so proud."
Proud? That's not even funny. A game? A deadly game, for sure. This is what this year's "winner" said about his "achievement".

Why is it newsworthy? Because the guy made a million bucks? Hopefully not. Hopefully, rather, it's because it is a symbol of how morally imbecilic America has become. Bob Lonsberry is supposedly interviewing him in the morning on his radio program. Why? So he can get some pointers on how better to screw your neighbor?

Interestingly, those who voted for the Utahn voted for him because he was the most devious. Strategic? Yes. Moral? Nope. But what do we care?

What's next when Survivor becomes passe'? A game show where we pick the best criminal and reward him with letting him out of jail?


  1. I've never seen Survivor, and I don't think I'm going to start now.

    On that next generation game show you suggested, perhaps they could name it in honor of Barabbas.

  2. You're right, but sadly it is only one of many symptoms of what is wrong in our American culture.

  3. Scott,

    I've seen parts of about 3 episodes, and that's enough for me.


    I agree. I contemplated a title of "Survivor: A Small Part of What's Wrong with America".

  4. I was in an Organizational Behavior class at BYU, filled with LDS people- and we played a game similar to survivor in the class.

    During this game many people lied, and cheated- but they felt justified because that was part of the game.

    I then got on my soap box and told the entire class that you don't throw your morals out the window for a game. Some one retorted, "You're never going to make it in the business world with that kind of attitude. You have to play to win"

    I guess he was right when it comes to games- but as Enron has proven, he was oh so wrong when it comes to business.

  5. Thanks for the anecdote. I'm extremely disappointed that BYU students would say that. This is definitely not according to the teachings of Jesus. In reality, those who DON'T make it in the business world are those who play the dog-eat-dog game. I'm reading "Leadership and Self-Deception" by The Arbinger Institute right now, and the book makes it clear that this is the case.

    I had a slightly similar experience in an OB class here at BYU several years ago, and (after almost getting caught up in the debate) I decided not to play along with the clearly unethical game either.

  6. I'm disappointed that you would hold BYU students to a higher standard. My experience is that they are just the same as every other student, except their sense of entitlement and eliteist mentality toward "other" students in the valley.


Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting. If you have a Google/Blogger account, to be apprised of ongoing comment activity on this article, please click the "Subscribe" link below.

Popular posts from this blog