My Co-Worker is on Big Brother
Ann Johnson / Cal State University, Long Beach

Ragan Fox

House guest Ragan Fox told his housemates he is a graduate student, when in fact he is a professor.

This July I learned that a colleague of mine, Ragan Fox, was going to be on season 12 of Big Brother. My interest in seeing someone I know on television soon had me hooked on the CBS series and, to my surprise, the Showtime series Big Brother After Dark. I have an appreciation of reality television not widely shared in academia. Many of my colleagues can’t stomach seeing a co-worker put his daily life on television. Too much information. Further, some worry if he will be able to maintain credibility in the classroom after America has seen him swear, cry, walk a balance beam in a robot costume, and deliver a few angry tirades against an unpopular cast member. By the end of July, two questions emerged from talk around the water cooler: Why would anyone want to watch this show? And will Ragan be able to survive this ordeal with his dignity intact?

Watching Paint Dry

Many people I discuss the program with initially say they find it boring. They then go on to discuss the details of the program at length. A week later they are hooked. And there is a lot to watch. First, CBS airs episodes three nights a week that feature competitions, evictions, and storylines constructed from the live footage, such as romantic relations or fighting between house guests. Second, viewers can tune into Showtime each night for three hours of live feed from the Big Brother house. Third, the most dedicated viewers can pay for online access to the 24/7 live feed from the Big Brother house. Viewers can chose how involved they wish to be, with most viewers sticking with the CBS episodes and online spoilers gleaned from the live feeds by more dedicated fans. The final massive text for 2010 will include 30 one-hour episodes on CBS, 225 hours on Showtime, and 75 mostly complete days online.

The Big Brother After Dark program serves some of the functions of U.S. style soap operas, the kind that are rapidly becoming extinct.1 These soap operas were designed for consistent but distracted viewing; a housewife returning to the living room from changing the laundry could easily slip back into the program because the plot moves slowly and any significant plot action is regularly repeated as the characters talk to each other.

New technology allows Big Brother to fill this niche. Viewers with access to the internet and a DVR can conveniently participate in the complete Big Brother experience when they have the time. Big Brother After Dark is ideal for distracted viewing because what little action occurs is endlessly re-hashed by the bored house guests. It’s good background noise that occasionally provides brief moments of excitement—a house guest breaks a pool cue, the shower backs up and must be plunged, or the much sought-after “nip slip.” But, who would want to watch the 24/7 live feed online? There are likely those tempted by the pornographic advertisements for the service. I declined to pay the $14.99 per month for access, but I suspect that there are more reliable and efficient ways to access pornographic images.

Big BrotherBig Brother

Images used to advertise the $14.99 per month live feeds.

The other viewers of the live feed are those hard core fans who write summaries for websites like Big Brother Network and MortysTV.com. Their dedication to the program serves as a check on the ability of the producers to intervene in the game. To me, this is what makes the program distinct from shows like The Real World or Survivor. As a viewer, I can access a lot of raw material and use it to verify the narratives presented by the producers or to create my own narratives. Verifying the producers’ versions of reality is the viewing pleasure that I have personally enjoyed the most.

Why Did You Do It, Ragan?

My viewing experience is unique (I know a House Guest), but I can only watch the program like any other audience member and hope that Ragan can manage the contradictory and complex roles he will play on the program. Ragan was cast as “the gay guy,” a title he has used of himself while living in the Big Brother house. This casting practice gives him more responsibility for representation than, say, each the five heterosexual women on the program. Ragan is carrying the burden of representation for other groups as well: professors (did he really need to wear the bow-tie?), the discipline of communication (please don’t contribute to the stereotype that our discipline is worthless), and his campus (what will parents and donors think?).

Such burdens would be challenging for a scripted character, and crushing for a real person in the structured environment of the Big Brother house. For example, at three different times so far, Ragan has spent a seven days as a “have not”—a House Guest on severe dietary restrictions. These people grow irritable from eating “slop” while those around them enjoy regular food, wine, and beer. House Guests then label this irritability as crazy, cranky, or bitchy. You can guess which one was used for Ragan.

Even if Ragan could serve as a positive depiction of all the groups he represents, he would still not please everyone. He would face the dilemmas of what Edward Schiappa calls representational correctness, a trend within media criticism that “advances norms of representational accuracy, purity, and innocence”.2 Overcoming problematic representations, such as stereotypes, is difficult because “If one portrays someone in a manner consistent with the dominant stereotype, even in a positive way, then one risks reinforcing essentialism and polarization…But if one undercuts the dominant stereotypes by portraying the member of a social group as inconsistent with stereotypical expectations, then one risks reinforcing normative beliefs such as androcentrism, Whiteness, or heteronormativity”.3

Using the logic of representational correctness, if Ragan cries a lot on the show (which he does), that reinforces the stereotype of gay men as overly emotional. But if Ragan never cried and took pride in his emotional control, that performance could be interpreted as Ragan embracing the norms of hegemonic masculinity, denying the value of emotional experiences, and endorsing assimilation as a means to social acceptance.

Ragan seems aware of some of his audiences and their expectations, but has little control over how the producers will use the material he gives them. During a Big Brother After Dark episode, while crying in the company of two other House Guests, Ragan says “I’ve turned into everything I didn’t want to be. I did not want to be the guy who was crying the whole season. . . Every gay guy, I’m sure, who watches this show hates me. Because they [are] saying . . . exactly what I would be saying, ‘Why does this gay guy have to come up and perpetuate every stereotype of gay guys?’” House Guest Kathy comforts Ragan: “It just shows you’re human, that’s all. You’re just human.” Thus far, this moment has not made it into one of the CBS episodes, though other crying moments have, such as the “Heartfelt Moment” scene included in the August 18 CBS broadcast. The music, close up shots, and dialog all resemble something out of General Hospital.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUMckMQgr_8[/youtube]

Ragan consented to all of this surveillance and the judgments he will face. I have no inside information about why Ragan auditioned for the program. I suspect that one motivation might be the platform the program provides for someone to talk to America, or at least the 7.5 million Americans, mostly age 18 to 49, that watch the program. I must admit that I am a bit jealous of the opportunity he has to lay his trip on everyone. Despite the lack of control he has in the process, some of who he is and what he believes comes through. So, good luck, Ragan.

Image Credits:
1. Official cast picture
2. Advertisements for the live feed appearing on the Big Brother Network

Please feel free to comment.

image_print
  1. Steinberg, B. (Aug 9, 2010). Daytime TV’s new entries push soaps down the drain. Advertising Age. Retrieved from http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=145291.
    []
  2. Schiappa, E. (2008). Beyond representational correctness: Rethinking criticism of popular media. New York: SUNY Press.
    []
  3. Ibid. []

29 comments

  • Great blog! LOVE Ragan ( and Brit and Matt). Ragan will survive BB fine. He was very real.

  • Ragan and Britney provided us with lots of laughs! Thanks.

  • Ragan – loved you and Britney on BB12. You and Brit wowed us.

    Just a note, her house did not burn down to the ground. It is severely damaged, but fixable for a lot of money.
    There are pictures of it on the internet.

  • Is there a reason why you don’t mention Ragan’s incessant bad talking tactics? Where does that fit into your academic evaluation? What purpose did it serve his “game” or even to talk so negatively about the other houseguests. I’m sure that there is some sort of communication theory that can discuss as to the reasons why Ragan and Britney were “two peas in a pod”– only becuase they were both mean and negative people. Where does that fit in?
    I understand you are his co-worker, but it certainly would have been a beter deconstruction of him.

  • Love Ragan, he was my favorite houseguest! People who are criticizing ragan and brittany for talking smack fail to admit or realize is that that is what Big Brother is about and that is why people love the show so much. In real life (especially at work), we all talk smack about others behind their backs, even if its just a little here and there, we all do it and people love to listen. THAT is what gets people hooked on Big Brother, the drama, the confrontation, etc. Anyone who says otherwise & that they watch the show for the “competitions” is lying. So get over your bitterness towards Ragan, he was the highlight of the whole season!

  • Granted you are his co-worker but please do not think our community is happy he put on a show we can agree with. He demeaned women, he cussed with a ‘c’, who does that? In fact why would you say anything about stereotype. WE as gay men and lesbians fight to not be sterotyped, yes even west hollywood gay folks. I thought Brittney was the funniest and you dare to put them in the same catagory. The woman has class and Ragan only had blinders on and screamed at ppl the things that HE feels about himself. I’m sure you understand that being his colleague. If it was me in charge, he wouldnt have a job left…. just saying.. Thanx – Peace – Have a good day.

  • I agree Ragan and Britney were two peas in a pod. Two rotten peas. They both spewed the most hateful and negative comments in the history of big brother. That is not part of the game play. Everyone enjoys a little backstabbing in Big Brother. But they both crossed a line with the comments made demeaning woman and the gay community in general. Neither one of them have anything to be proud of, quite the opposite, they should be ashamed.

  • I wondered who would Brit and Ragan find to talk about once brendon and Racheal was out of the house and little did I know we would have to keep listening to them down Brenchal..I agree Rachael wouldnt be a person I could get along with either but Brendon seemed like a very nice fellow and Rachael WAS NOT the only person in the house causing drama ..Britney was much worse in my books ..All she done all summer long was down someone and make fun of them allllllll summer long .I must admit tho I got a bunch of good laffs from her and I loved watching Ragan act like his microphone was a telephone..hilarious…I do like u Ragan and was rooting for u big time when u was the underdog..had u offered ur 20 grand or half of it to someone they probably would have kept u in..enzo may have..i think he would have b4 lane..

  • Wow what a bunch of college spew…… Did you even watch the show??? Did you hear what this dear fellow had to say???
    How about that he would perform an “abortion” on a houseguest because he didn’t like her?
    How about that he would “stick african babies with aids needles” if they didn’t play the song he wanted?

    If this is the type of people you employ at your college then i will be sure to spread the word throughout Canada and the United States what kind of people we have teaching our children (old or young).

    No matter what conditions we are put in or how hard things may be those two things he said above are NOT acceptable.

    and he said alot more … derogatory and just downright nasty things (maybe directed at rachel and at times brendon)
    but those things he said show his character. So what is he saying behind your back or the rest of his so called friends?

    He (and britney) are the worst of all reality tv that i have seen. Never before have i seen such downright vile, nasty people.

    So to come on here after the fact and say oh i just love this man–maybe you might want to rethink that.

  • albeit i agree wholeheartedly with the comments others have left regarding the behaviours of Brit & Ragan……..it would behoove us to remember that the author of this post….probably didnt have the live feeds to get to the real ugliness of the show this season. and BOY was it ugly!~

    ** sidenote….brits house was a RENTAL…..they didnt own it….they shouldve got renters insurance…& was badly burned in the back due to a BBQ fiasco…..from the news article: The blaze was started by a small grill in the backyard that ignited the grass, spreading to a trash can and then the house, investigators said. Laura Grisham said her son was grilling and that the fire started despite his dousing the coals in water.

    The house was fully involved when crews arrived about 1:30 a.m., said Little Rock Fire Department Capt. Randy Hickmon. It took about an hour-and-a-half to get the fire under control.

    The single-story, blue structure is still standing with a large burned area at its rear, where the windows are boarded up and a tarp covers part of the roof and an adjacent wall. Burn and heat marks are visible on other parts of the structure.

    before & after fotos: http://twitpic.com/2opsh4

  • added note: as for this bit in your posting? …

    There are likely those tempted by the pornographic advertisements for the service. I declined to pay the $14.99 per month for access, but I suspect that there are more reliable and efficient ways to access pornographic images.

    HA!~ i cannot believe you actually think that…..& if you do? wow….as funny as an occasional nip slip from bigred was….the main reason those of us who are “hardcore” watch …is to get the REAL reality….not the one that is produced. from a psychological standpoint? i find it fascinating to watch how the HG’s change through the season…….

    & not ALL PhD’s lack a certain human awareness regarding the motivation of the livefeeders…… some of US just enjoy watching the hamsters =)

  • Loved Ragan and Brit this season; I even voted for Ragan for the $25,000. Ultimately, to me, he was a contestant on a tv show, so it has no bearing on his profession, in my opinion. What I do at work and what I do in my personal life are two different things. I think Ragan (or anyone, for that matter) deserves the same. PS: thank you, Ragan, for using your outstanding communication skills to shut Rachel up. Don’t feel bad for what you said. She initiated each and every confrontation with you, and you told her the truth. The more reasoned you were with her, the quieter she became. THANK YOU! ;)

  • Ann, I understand that you were a colleague of Ragan so you tried to show him a nice light than normal but I have to say you weren’t objective in your take for his behavior in the house. It’s irony here because I ran across this post by reading Ragan’s blog and hoping that the man would admit to his appalling behavior (both as a supposed mature adult and as a member of the gay community).

    But then I read Ragan’s blog and in it, he addresses his “haters” by making up the whole polarized people debate that’s in every Big Brother house.

    I understand that argument as I’ve even brought up the whole idea of polarizing personalities conflicting and how producers of BB eat that up for ratings. But Ragan’s behavior man…I have plenty of friends of the same-sex persuasion and even they were appalled at some of the things you said about Rachel, Brendon and other players long after they were evicted from the house. Please know that I was a fan of Ragan going into the season and the first few weeks. And I hated Brendon and Rachel’s attrocious social gameplay skills (though I did admire their 9-life survival skills).

    Then they were evicted. Problem solved, right? Ragan could go back to being himself and perhaps talk about academics, his life, etc. But no, that didn’t happen. He went on being catty to the degree of utter viciousness. He went so far that he became a bully while saying they were the bullies. All Brendon really did was be an emotional tard about his “showmance” partner after Ragan made her cry from the hammock debate. Academics and most humans would put this under emotionally-charged chivalry. Instead, the “professor” felt it was a bad thing and even more reason to insult the guy. Rachel was an idiotic emotional player as even Ragan said once they met in the Jury by admitting they were the most emotional players in the house. And yet he still partook in so much bullying their direction when they were already evicted that it made a lot of us sick.

    A lot of us who were former fans of Ragan. A lot of us who were pulling for him and thought it might be nice for him to be Saboteur.

    Now, in his post BB-blog he’s making up excuses about “polarized” personalities for his bullying and attrocious immature behavior. Something under the definition of irony when he admitted his own bullying issues in his past past. He should have just admitted he’s someone who couldn’t talk about his own life experiences, school, etc and instead resorted to “Hey, let’s insult former HGs every five minutes!”

    All issues are something one would expect a professional college professor to admit after the fact. And for his co-worker to admit in her blog here, Ann.. I can’t fathom how any university would condone a professor to joke about “sticking aids” needles into African babies, make jokes about aborting babies, admit to illegal substance abuse, excessive profanity and more. Not when so many PhD’s have to sign morality clauses/NDA’s before they begin teaching classes.

  • both u and ragan need a reality check!!

  • I loved your blog and I loved Ragan. And I’ve seen every season of Big Brother.
    I’m sorry some of these comments are so off-topic. The writers of such messages are progenitors of hate and they decry Ragan and Britney defending themselves by manufacturing quotes. Plus they show their ignorance by their grammar and syntax. My grandmother, who had little formal education, once told my brother that he only needed to be smarter than a watermelon in order to eat it. Paraphrasing that advice, perhaps those who don’t understand a comment, shouldn’t criticize it.
    I don’t know Ragan personally and don’t feel I have a tremendous insight from watching him on Big Brother, so I won’t make a value judgment about the type of man he is. If I were to walk up on the cast, however, Ragan would be one of the few I’d introduce myself to. He seemed loyal to a fault to his friendship with Matt and I believe the sentiment was true in the clip you posted.
    Thank you for taking the time to post this. It was a welcome read. I’m not a huge reality TV junkie, I’m very selective about what I watch, but the first season of Big Brother was a very different game than it is now. The more ravenous fans of the show now don’t care for the first season. A few loyalists and I hang out hoping they bring back aspects of the original game which was more about the socialization of a disparate group somewhat forced together, who had to learn to co-exist or perish.

  • The only thing Regan represented well was the process of how a bullied child will become the bully.

    He showed disturbed personality characteristics that when added to his admitted love of drinking until he
    passes out, self-acknowledged poor judgment and willingness to create a divisiveness should be of concern to
    the college administrators.

    I would seriously recommend benching Regan until a complete psychological assessment can be done.

  • Regan, I love you so much. You were so real.. And I was one of those people who watched live feeds (The people all the house guest would talk about), showtime and read jokers blogs. I was so addicted. You and Brittany are my favorites this year and I also liked Lane a lot too. You provided much entertainment for my summer and I thank you for that. You wear your feelings on your sleeve and I appreciate that more then you know… Regan you’re real. My favorite scene of the summer was your fight with Racheal everything you said was honest and I wish I could be so quick with my communication with people. I was so proud of you because you stood up for yourself and you owned the moment. Good Luck with Everything I Miss you guys sooo much already. You had become part of my family even though you didn’t know me. I know your DAD is so proud of you!!!

  • Mikentosh, there is absolutely nothing “off-topic” about us calling Ragan out here. Or calling Ann out for not being objective here. I was a HUGE Ragan fan going into the season and halfway through it….When I read his bio going in, it felt like Christmas. Big Brother was going to bring in a person in the gay community with a PhD in Communication? I was like wow….finally….this is going to be a well-spoken person who can represent. But weeks in, he went from hero to zero because he was so wrapped up in his hatred towards lonely idiots like Brendon and Rachel. Once they were evicted, Ragan could have chose his time to talk about his history, talk about academics, talk about his college (I’m sure Ann is even wondering why he didn’t do that one), talk about Prop 8, talk about anything worthwhile….But nooo….it was more of “Let’s talk trash about evicted players instead BS…” There is nothing “off-topic” about calling out a communication PhD for being a hypocritical immature donkey who obsesses about emotional donkeys (Brendon, Rachel) instead of talking about something more his age.

    I mean, I understand Brit steering the conversation towards trash talk every five minutes…She’s 22/23 during BB12. She’s self-entitled who expected boys to roll over/take her to the F2 once her obsession obstacles were cleared. But Ragan? He was a professor. He was someone a lot of us put hope into showing his “communication” skills in proving the stereotypes wrong. He was someone a lot of us would show mass viewers how it’s really done. For anything’s sake, he was someone who touted morality and his own intelligence while knocking down all others around him beyond a brat.

    And to have another “communication” graduate/professor/colleague defend his actions…We have a right to call Ann out here for such actions. She brings up the different fanbases…the hardcore fans….the 24/7 Feeders vs. the CBS viewers. She knows that the 24/7 Feeders will explain why Ragan became a troll halfway through the season and why they will both be called out.

    You feel free to call us “off-topic” complainers but like Ragan, some of us are hardcore fans of Big Brother. We know what the contestants were saying thanks to Jokerupdates, Live Feeds, SurvivorSucks.com, etc. And we have a right to call both Ragan and Ann out for being poor examples into the PhD communication fields…and for the college they represent through their blogs.

  • Ragan needs a Reality check! He spent a lot of his time trash talking and belittling others and his nasty mouth at time really offended fans! So for him to say the things he did about Rachel and Brendon is like the pot calling the kettle black!! So To Ragan I say go look at yourself in the mirror before spewing all of the hate that keeps coming out of your mouth! If you can forgive someone like Matt who did a lot worse that Rachel and Brendon ever did, then may God have mercy on you! Like you said It was just a game and who was worse. The lie that Matt told was far worse and some of the nasty things that we heard come out of your mouth on the live feed and the thrash talking that you & Brittany di was far worse than anything that Rachel or Brendon did!

  • I’m confused. Why is there an assumption that “Ragan represents the gay community?”

    Nobody ever says, “Kathy represents parental community”…or “Monet represents the black community”…or “Lane represents the football community” or even, “Matt represents the heterosexual community.”

    Each person was representing only his or herself. Disllike a person for who he or she is or how they seem to come across. But it is hardly fair to place the responsibility on one person to represent an entire community simply based on that person’s sexual orientation or any other trait.

    PS: Thank GOD nobody assumed Rachael was “representing the female community” because I’m female. And honey, that chick ain’t me ;)

  • Jarrod,
    I say you’re off-topic because this isn’t Ragan’s blog. And you’re making personal attacks on Ragan here. Go to his blog if you feel the need to perpetuate the lies.

    You see, you and others take things out of context and manufacture lies to suit your purpose. If I tell someone “one thing you’ll never hear me tell anyone is I hate you” and you go report I said “I hate you” – while it’s true I said those words, that wasn’t at all the intention of my statement.

    You also accuse Ragan of launching attacks. I’m sorry. Rachel came to the hammock to screw with Ragan and Britney. When that didn’t work she faux cried in front of Kathy, who told Brendon and the Neanderthal marched out there like a trained bear instead of asking Rachel what happened. And then he launched an attack on them. And somehow out of that you find Ragan and Britney at fault. It makes me question how well you understand things that happen or how well you watch.

    I suppose you fault Ragan for the ooey-gooey-cookies fight as well. Context. Rachel knew they were have nots and offered Britney cookies and was reminded they were Have Nots. She said she was going to bother Ragan and did and was surgically handed that continent she wears as an ass. She was left dumbfounded.

    Perhaps if you took better care to understand the context and stop pulling quotes to rally around, you’d get along a lot better. And bring your complaints to the one who can do something about them. This poor woman didn’t ask for all your pent-up frustration. She wrote about her experience with her introduction to seeing Big Brother since she had a co-worker on the show. She didn’t claim to be his running buddy and partner in (your preceived) crime.

  • Mikentosh,
    There’s a huge difference between making observations about one’s behavior and personal attacks. You can guess which of the two I’ve brought up towards the person of topic here. And that is the topic of Ann’s blog above. Her observations of seeing a co-worker (in this case, Ragan) and what she thought about the experience. As such we all have a right to say how we observed it ourselves.

    Not sure where you get off telling us that we can’t comment here with our own observations of the same experience. If you’re worried about hurting Ann or Ragan’s feelings, you can rest assured that won’t be an issue. They both have stated their PhD’s in the communication field and have displayed that they’re not adverse to differing opinions about any given situation.

    Furthermore, I’m not sure why you’re bringing up Rachel’s behavior when I was also calling her out for being a emotional idiot in the BB house in my two above comments above. Understand (as stated above) that I was a fan of Ragan and his potential going into the house and I was appalled at Rachel and Brendon’s lack of social gameplay.

    Take a pill of the chill persuasion, Miken. The whole purpose of blogs, forums and various social networking venues is to offer differing opinions on any given situation.

  • Jarrod I like and agree most of what you said. Mikentosh is misguided and part of the meangirls crew. However you both commented on Rachels behavior. While she was definitely too emotional to succeed in BigBro the ONLY time she instigated anything was when she came back in the house (thanx bb) and egged onRagan with the ooey gooey cookie question. When she approached the hammock sitch she was trying to understand Why he was upset with her and why he was being sooo mean to her. Remember she was his best friend the first few weeks. He was the one who talked Rachel into the house meeting about Matt that turned the negative energy towards her. She saved him week after week until he saw his doing made her now a target and he cut the chord. Rachel is a sweet girl. She doesn’t get why ragan and Bratny could be so vile and mean. She didn’t respond to the cookie fight cause she hit him as hard as she could with her opener. She doesn’t have that vileness in her. Some people just are not mean. Imagine that ragan the bully.

  • You stated that Kathy telling Ragan he was human for crying never made it onto CBS, well let me tell you, the disgusting comments he made on the live feeds didn’t get on CBS or BBAD either. I loved Ragan at first, but ended up not caring much for him at all. He is very intelligent and when he is speaking intellectually, I enjoy listening to him. But when the vile, drunk Ragan came out with way too much details about the weird sex situations he’s been in or witnessed, it was too much and something he should lose his job for. That’s not editing, that is him and it was his choice to reveal these things. Likewise it was his choice to be so mean to others. I don’t care what the prompting was, he had no right to say the things he did to Rachel. Rachel was playing a part, which was a poor decision on her part. When I heard her speak on the feeds, she was a completely different person. Very intelligent and never used the word, “like”. Ragan knew that. All the things he vilified Brendon and Rachel for are present in his friend Matt. Matt was a huge liar, Matt complained about competitions geared for certain people..oh that’s right, so did Ragan. Ragan made fun of Rachel for having pimples. There was pimple popping going on that Ragan was a part of, and almost every cast member complained about getting pimples in the house. Ragan played to the camera just as much, if not more, than Rachel. Crying, whining, talking to himself constantly. HE was too much to take, and oh so fake. I felt sorry for him because he revealed that hurt little gay boy who has a huge chip on his shoulder for the way he’s been treated in life and ascribed every hidden motive to Rachel that was really all his own. I wanted to love Ragan, but in the end, not! I think he, Britney, Hayden, Monet, and Kathy owe Rachel a huge apology. She may not have been liked but she did not deserve to be called every rendition of whore with every conceivable sexually transmitted disease known to man on national tv. She said nothing of the kind about him. She did not use the stereotype of a gay man and accuse him of having HIV or AIDS or anything. She did not make like comments about the other women that were said about her. She had every opportunity to conduct herself behind their backs as they did to her, and yet she did not. Not on CBS, not on BBAD, and not on the live feeds. That just shows that no matter how intelligent and educated you are, you are still human and not above reprehensible behavior Ragan, and you should apologize. When you see it all, and I hope you get to do flashback on the live feeds to see how horrible your behavior was and just how very little Brendon and Rachel ever even discussed the lot of you that pretended to have so much class, but alas, were loathe to actually exhibit it you’ll be surprised. I hope you end up having a huge change of heart, make your public apologies, because your behavior was offensive, even more so because you’re just too damn smart not to know better. Do better. Concentrate on your positives and never believe that someone else has the power to make you be someone you’re not. That is a lame excuse. You are either that person or you are not and you revealed to God and everyone just who you are.

  • Hey Jul,
    Just wanted to say I meant no offense to fans of Rachel when I called her an emotional idiot in the house above. I was talking in context to her social gameplay in the BB house. Something even she admitted to the Jury in that final week with “I had no social gameplay”. In fact, it’s partially a lot of us eventually turned on Ragan’s maturity (or lack there of) that involves the Rachel angle. I mean, a lot of us understand the Rachel personality (or “character”). She’s playful, bubbly, up-front, etc. She picked a fight with Ragan and Ragan being a wordsmith outdueled her during that well-publicized moment at the hammock. Rather than letting it end there though…or when Rachel was evicted, he kept going on and on about Rachel when she wasn’t even in the house.

    Two weeks after she went to the Jury house, the guy just kept getting more and more personal her way. To the degree of joking about aborting their babies and talking about inflamed vaginas. At least when she picked a fight, she did it to one’s face. As opposed to having fun bullying behind one’s back. There’s deep psychological issues in that and it’s what eventually appalled me at Ragan’s behavior. Hell, it turned a lot of his fans against him. I wouldn’t have turned against him if he chose his time post eviction Rachel to more interesting topics…You know…his life…his knowledge in academics…his opinions for the rights of the gay community….But no, it was just more “Let’s Bash Rachel!” every five minutes. That’s what my observations are and I truly wish that it never happened. And I can’t condone any justification of it.

  • Moderator here …

    While I appreciate that the Big Brother fan community is often rabid in their devotion to the show and fans are often opinionated in their viewpoints, I would like to suggest that commenters refrain from personal attacks on the author, her colleague, her subject, or other commenters.

    The editors have decided to delete one post due to the poster not following the rules.

    Please be mindful of the following:

    – post with a valid email address and a desire to advance the conversation. Hate speech or unsubstantiated opinions will not be tolerated.
    – be substantive in your contributions, and remember that this is a journal of television and new media, not a publication dedicated to fan communities
    – be civil and kind to each other

    The editors of Flow thank you for your cooperation.

    – William

  • Thanks to everyone for the comments. A few points:

    On the issue of stereotypes and representation–I am trying to describe an unfortunate reality. Ragan shouldn’t have to be responsible for representing a group he belongs to, but in reality sometimes he does. This isn’t fair to the individual or the group. Research in media studies has found that when a person doesn’t have much contact with a group (i.e. residents of West Hollywood, college professors) that person is more influenced by media representation of that group when forming opinions about the group. The debate about what to do about this unfortunate reality is described in the book I mentioned in the column, Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media. Check it out: http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    On the issue of the objectivity of my evaluation of Ragan: I do not wish to evaluate, defend, or attack Ragan’s game, words, or choices. At the same time, I think those debates serve important functions. One of the subjects I teach is “argumentation and debate.” So, I love seeing any rigorous clash of ideas.

    I have learned a lot about the Big Brother fans and will do more to learn about the fan community if I continue to write on the subject.

    Thanks to William for moderating and to Flow and the Radio-TV-Film department at UT Austin for providing a useful forum.

  • I subscribed to the live feeds just so I could watch Ragan, Britney and Matt. I LOVED them! While some “feeders” hated Ragan and Britney for their “meanness”, I thought they were hilarious. They called it like they saw it and were only said what they felt. Too bad more people aren’t like them. Yeah, maybe Ragan cried a lot, but heck, I would cry too if I couldn’t eat, had to sleep on a lawn chair, AND had to live in a house with Brenchal!!! Come on people, get real and stop being so hypocritical!

    When you talk to Ragan…please tell him Esther from Ohio LOVES him and was cheering him on the entire season!!!!

  • Pingback: An Interview with Big Brother Guest Ragan FoxAnn Johnson / Cal State University, Long Beach | Flow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *