OPINION

Commentary

It’s hard to resist and not watch – out of curiosity and even for just a moment – a show about which one has long been overwhelmed with information. One has already been furnished with the details of the arrangement of the house which will host the human guinea pigs (a modern panopticon for voluntary prisoners lured by some gleams of fame and a few million drachmas). Morever, one knows that Big Brother will dominate all public and private debates for many days to come. It is not possible to remain on the margins of the world – that is, outside the television which one has ended up identifying the world with. This is the point: That society, entertainment, sports, education and politics have all been substituted by the glassy master, which is so confident of its power that it unhesitatingly advertises its new product with the slogan, Life has stolen the show. The self-imposed alienation of human beings, the voluntary imprisonment within the walls of pathetic showrooms, the enthusiastic surrender to the electronic informers who will display their most intimate moments, which not long ago they might have deemed as the most precious in their lives, manifestly inviolable. Those offering themselves to the insatiable Big Brother are probably conscious of the fact that they have consented to their own humiliation. What is it, then, that has got their consent? Are the participants spurred on by a latent desire for traumatic publicity? Or does their stance confirm that, in an image-dominated era which acts like a black hole that absorbs and eliminates ideas, egos and dignity, the most crucial problem is that we are not in charge of our own lives and individual freedom? Even if we refuse to so much as glance at it, even if we give it no more than 5 percent of the ratings, in the end it is Big Brother which will be the winner. Unless, before the end of the week, one of the participants realizes that this is no more than a game – and decides to get himself a real life.