Tag Archives: Survivor

Jesus wept: Sports, reality TV and those embarrassing public displays of piety

Some people think I hate Christians. My occasional comments on Tim Tebow probably have something to do with that perception, although you have to aggressively project a hater stereotype on me to make that work. Which a lot of Christians are happy to do, make no mistake.

I won’t lie, though. I’m very much not a Christian myself and I’ve read my Dawkins and my Harris. I’m a persistent fan of evidence, and I’m not idiot enough to think that we know all there is to know. In particular I’m intrigued by the study of energy and the question of whether perhaps it coheres once we die. But this is a question of science, not blind religion. I feel no particular need to believe in a “higher power” or in the existence of a spirit realm. I’m certainly spiritual, but since spiritualism as expressed by humanist awareness is more than I’ll ever unravel, I have no need for superstition. Read more

Survivor: who is the greatest player of all time?

Part two in a series.

Yesterday I explained why I think Survivor is the ultimate game. Today I want to talk about the players – and to solicit your opinion on the subject.

On the reunion show the other night the question was quickly raised: does this victory make Sandra Diaz-Twine the greatest player ever? Sandra says yes. Russell Hantz says that if Sandra can win the game twice then the game itself is flawed.

Maybe he’s right, or maybe she is, or maybe they’re both wrong. It’s certainly a good topic for sparking arguments. As I noted yesterday, the game beats anything we’ve ever seen for complexity. It’s part physical challenge, part endurance/attrition marathon, part strategic duel and part cocktail party. And being the best player in the game at all these dimensions doesn’t even assure victory. Read more

Survivor: the greatest game ever played

Part one of a series.

The 20th season of Survivor, Heroes vs. Villains (or, if you prefer, Revenge vs. Redemption) is now in the books, and Sandra Diaz-Twine is the game’s first two-time champion. Many fans regarded HvV as one of the best seasons ever, if not the very best.

I don’t believe I’ve ever written about Survivor before, but in the entire decade-long run I think I’ve missed a total of two episodes. Maybe that makes me a fan, but in truth I’m as much a student of the game as I am a fan of it. Read more