SURVIVOR VANUATU….Newer readers may not know this, but Survivor blogging is a longtime tradition here. It’s clearly the best show on TV, and just as Cosby was the signature show of the Reagan era, Survivor is the signature show of the Bush era: a travesty of real life in which being deceitful, underhanded, nasty, devious, and needlessly aggressive is actually encouraged.

It’s also the perfect show to complement a presidential campaign because it puts all the standard electoral divisions front and center. You’ve got red vs. blue, young vs. old, hardworking vs. lazy, boys vs. girls, urban vs. rural, and, once again, not a single damn person with enough actual horse sense to learn how to make fire before the game starts ? even though they all know perfectly well they need to know this. (In fairness, one guy did at least make an effort to learn how to create fire before he arrived, but he did a half-assed job and couldn’t start a fire anyway.)

As you’ve guessed by now, tonight was the season premier of Survivor Vanuatu. The producers seem to be going for an even younger, more laddish group than usual (at least on the XY chromosome side of things), and they’ve also made it harder than usual for me to pick a favorite to root for. At first I thought I might adopt Brook, since he was described as a document manager and I spent the last decade in the document management business. But he got voted off immediately, and the Survivor website describes him as a project manager anyway. So scratch Brook.

Another possible choice was Brady, the lantern-jawed FBI agent who shinnied up a pig-fat covered pole at the beginning of the show. I wonder if the Bureau taught him that? Brady hails from Huntington Beach, a neighboring city of Garden Grove, where I grew up, so we’re practically neighbors.

There are also a couple of contestants from Los Angeles: John the mechanical bull rider and John the sales manager. But I think my final choice has to be Twila, the highway repair person from Marshall, Missouri. I’ve learned via my genealogy hobby that Marshall is the ancestral home of the maternal half of my mother’s family, and ever since visiting Marshall a couple of years ago I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for it. So Twila is now my official Survivor mascot. We’ll see how long she lasts.

Only 16 tribal councils to go!

NOTE TO SOME OF MY MORE ENTHUSIASTIC READERS: Yes, I know that this year’s election is the most important event in the history of the free world. Despite that, I occasionally write posts unrelated to politics. The commenting rules for Survivor blogging are similar to the old rules for catblogging: no vitriol, no yelling, and no insults unless they’re really funny.

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