Hero Wins Survivor

Survivor is the only show we watch on free-to-air TV these days. It’s a show that the beautiful Mrs Ezard and I both enjoy watching, dissecting and discussing. We’re now approaching our 11th wedding anniversary, and I can remember when debriefing about Survivor helped give us talking points on our phone conversations while dating. (And as the winner of her hand, I am the ultimate survivor. But I digress…)

(As much as I watch it, I’m no superfan so the following post is my opinion, not a record of fact. Don’t eviscerate me if I am forgetting things). 🙂

However, sadly, I must admit to losing some ‘love’ of Survivor in recent years. I was growing increasingly annoyed that a strong player (or, very rarely an alliance of equals) would get to the end, and bring along a so-called ‘goat’ for the ride. It became a situation which felt as though the good players were being eradicated by a pact of the weaker players (especially including Australian Survivor). This is, of course, perfectly sensible gameplay, but it also made for a disappointing ending: there wasn’t many deserving sitting at tribal at the end.

ben.jpgThe most recent season Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers changed that. From the very start Ben Driebergen was my favourite who I wanted to win. And it started with a coconut bursting in the fire, and Ben bolting for the solitude of the water.

Ben is an marine veteran, who came back from war with PTSD. The sudden exploding sound was a trigger and Ben had to get alone to calm himself. It reminded me of Bear Grylls’ The Tribe TV show which I’d describe as Survivor-real, without the politics. On one season there was a gutsy female war vet who was also an amputee. She was knocked out of the challenge, through no cowardice or fault of her own, but by PTSD wreaking havoc during a giant thunderstorm.

We ask an incredible amount of our armed service men and women, and they deserve all the support (and funding) they need to be able to rebuild their lives post-combat. Words are thrown around far too-lightly these days. ‘Hero’ is applied (falsely) to sporting players or celebrities whose 30-second sound bite wins them accolades.

A hero is someone who is willing to risk their lives, or significant injury, for the benefit of others.

And the vast majority of veterans, fit that bill. Whether you agree with the reason why they were sent or not, the fact is that most went along wanting to serve their country and save others.

Ben may have won my loyalty with his courage, but he also gained incredible notoriety through his ability to outwit (or you could call it ‘out-act’), his tenacious idol hunting and his wisdom in keeping a secret.

So in summary: Ben, and all those like him, thank you for your service (even if I’m an Australian). The freedoms that we enjoy are often founded in the past and present shedding of blood. We ask too much of you, and we thank you for being willing to pay it. May you find a growing peace, hope and life in the future.

And to Jeff and CBS, thanks for bringing real-life heroes to our screens.

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Watching, Reading and Listening

Watching

In our household we enjoy watching Survivor twice a year when it rolls around; mandatory viewing and one of the few shows on free-to-air that we watch. So you can imagine how excited we were when Channel 10 announced an Australian Survivor.

Sometimes when we try to copy the US (with a lower budget) the results are a bit cringe-worthy; I was a bit worried…

It has not disappointed; in fact, I think it is better than the US version. The challenges have been harder (in my couch-position) than the US version. I am thrilled how after so many seasons (of US) the Australian version has still been able to come up with new and innovative challenges.

I suspect the food and conditions are softer but I can forgive that (so far). My favourites so far are the embattled-but-gutsy Kylie and the ultimate challenge beast Sam.

One can only hope channel 10 is killing in the ratings, and there will be many more seasons to come.

Reading

At the moment I’m almost finished reading unBlessed by Crystin Goodwin, after seeing it spruiked by storymedic*. It is a YA-novel that mixes the idea of elemental-powers (water, air, fire, nature…) and shape-shifting into animals.

What I particularly want to draw attention to is how the novel takes a fantasy setting but also ties in real world knowledge, the powers being derived from genetics. While it’s not a new idea it adds flavour to the story and let’s the reader say “I understand that.”

(Incidentally, storymedic has an 80%-off editing services for indies at the moment. I can’t personally vouch for him yet, but am considering it).

Listening

(Christian) Also I’ve been listening to Lauren Daigle on loop for the last two weeks. Her soulful cries are heart wrenching music. Totally recommended.

What have you been enjoying with your eyes or ears?