Big Brother 6: Iraqi vs Fireman, A Big Chocolate Pee-Pee

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

Just have to mention a couple of things that occurred on Big Brother 6 in recent episodes, if only because it seems indicative of some larger meanings outside the BB House…

First, there was a Viewer’s Choice vote to allow one of three kicked-out houseguests to return to the game. The two leading contenders seemed to be Kaysar, the Iraqi American graphic designer, and Eric, a pushy fireman who happened to be white. Kaysar’s probably the coolest head I’ve seen play Big Brother since Will Kirby back in BB2, he takes very little of the game personally and always emphasizes strategy. Beyond being extra obnoxious in his quest for paternal / avuncular control of the house, Eric is your typical knucklehead Big Brother houseguest: treating every move against him as a personal offense and a moral lapse, yet constantly claiming his own moves are nothing personal and it’s just a game, letting emotions guide his strategy and believing he’s more likeable than his screen time would indicate.

Anyway, Julie Chen announced that there were five million votes and that Kaysar won by over eighty percent. Eighty of five million means four million votes – even setting aside the repeat votes from people like my wife, that probably makes him the most popular Iraqi in America, if not the entire world. An Iraqi beating a fireman at a contest in our post-9/11 world seems like good news to me, if only to show that cultural stereotypes can always be trumped by individual abilities and personalities.

So that’s the good thing.

In tonight’s episode, there was a sequence devoted to gay black personal shopper Beau’s penis. He’s in the shower and Howie takes a look in the stall and remarks on how large Beau’s penis is – he calls it a “large chocolate pee-pee”. No, I’m not making this up.

“Chocolate pee-pee.” This phrase was uttered – repeatedly – on national broadcast television.

Anyway, all the women in the Big Brother house proceed to take turns looking into the stall and screaming at the genitalia on display. The reasoning goes along the lines of, Beau’s gay so there’s nothing sexual about it if we take a look and satisfy our curiosity. April, a married woman, takes two looks, returning because apparently she needed to confirm the big chocolate pee-pee does indeed exist, like Virginia and Santa Claus.

Maybe I spent too many years in graduate school listening to politically correct crap, but there’s something odd about the way the black male body is objectified here in the most blatant manner – and yet, because Beau is gay, remains neutered from a sense of threatening sexuality to the women of the house (most of whom are white; the only non-white woman is Ivette, a lesbian who’s friends with Beau outside the house). This is treating the black male as an object of sexual curiosity while blunting the implications of what such curiosity could mean.

I’m not sure what to make of it. I don’t think it’s as disturbing as, say, Orange Range’s “Locolotion” video, but I could be wrong. Is it any different from going to a strip club and staring into the vagina of some girl asking for singles in her garter every minute or so? I could weigh arguments going either way, since Beau apparently did not object to the attention and even laughed at the reactions of everyone. But then, would the girls have taken a peek if Beau wasn’t gay, or would they have kept their distance? And what does that tell us, if anything?

The guy who started the pee-pee show, Howie, has seemed bi-curious from the start of the season. I like the big lunkhead a lot and believe he’s just very secure in his sexuality and doesn’t mind joking around and flirting with Beau if it’ll move him ahead in the game. Whether or not seeing Beau’s big chocolate pee-pee will make him switch teams completely, I have no idea. Though it’d be real cool if that happens.