Friday, April 20, 2007

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Thursday night is one of the few nights that I watch regular (non-cable) network television. I began doing this when my son was living with me. He liked the Thursday night CBS lineup, especially the Survivor series and CSI. He told me that I should get out of my rut of “watching the same old reruns” over and over again. He would say “How many times have you seen this episode or that episode”. He was right; I needed to expand my sphere of television viewing.

The first thing that I noticed while watching, what I call, regular television is that there is a greater variety of commercials. The cable channels tend to show the same old commercials over and over again. After Prime Time you might see the same Ad 6 times during an one hour program. I like good commercials and don’t mind watching them, but there are very few good commercials on Cable television.

I had rarely watched CSI, although the reruns are available on several of the Cable Channels that I view on a regular basis. It takes place in Las Vegas and I have a have an aversion to anything that has to do with Las Vegas. Putting my sentiments aside I now watch CSI. It is fairly well written; the plots are good although they are unrealistic. But you can say this of most police and crime programming on television.

I had watched the first season of Survivor, missing only one episode. When it got down to the final 4, I recall that one of the women went on a tirade saying that two of the other finalists were a Snake and a Rat. At this point, I realized that this program was all about the fine art of back stabbing. I stopped watching after the first season.

This reminded me of the time that I had spent in Asmara, Eritrea, Ethiopia (Eritrea won it’s independence from Ethiopia in 1993). A friend that I called Fat Mike (although he preferred to be called Gross Mike) and I, plus other friends, would play a board game called Risk. The object of this game was World Domination. An interesting concept for a bunch of Viet Nam era GI's.

As in the Survivor series, it was essential to make an alliance with one or more of the other 5 players in the game. Forming an alliance with Fat Mike was usually beneficial in the early rounds of the game, as he was a very aggressive player. He would negotiate two to four alliances at the beginning of the first round to eliminate the weaker players first. One of the players would usually be out of the game before the fourth round. The next player would go down in the next round, leaving only 4 players in the game.

Fat Mike was the best Back Stabber in the game of Risk and therefore he usually won the game. Although we all knew this, we would still make an alliance with him, knowing that he would eventually turn on us, his ally; that was the nature of the game. We all thought that we could build enough armies to fend off his back stabbing tactics. Fat Mike was the Snake. Others of us took turns at being the Rat. The Snake usually ate the Rat.

Every Survivor episode that I watch reminds me of Fat Mike. Good memories from many years ago. And that is why I continue to watch this asinine program.

The Beach Bum

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Blogger Emre Kizilkaya said...

Risk rules! A few years ago I've been playing a lot. Actually there should be some online versions of it, maybe i can search for it now...

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