Tribal character study

If you missed my Survivor: Nicaragua introduction last week, you can get up to speed by clicking HERE

Second week in and I’ve not seen this much dysfunction since I used to watch All My Children.

The juxtaposition of Baby Boomers vs Generation Y is a psychiatrist’s sociologists dream. In looking at the psychographics of each tribe, granted there are exceptions, but for the most part I think these descriptions are fairly accurate for most of the tribe members. The tribal dynamics are poles apart.

Predominately made up of  Baby Boomers, this demographic is pegged as confident, independent and self-reliant.

This is the workaholic generation; achievement-oriented and career-focused. Those born in this era held  very different social views and values from previous generations. Coming off the heels of World War II, this is the generation that grew up in an era of radical change on just about every front. Established authority systems were questioned with constant challenge of  the status quo.

This is the generation that brought you the Vietnam War, POW bracelets and anti-war protests, recreational drug experimentation and sexual freedom (think hippy, dippy, trippy). Abortion rights surfaced with Roe v Wade, and the civil rights movement pushed forward at full tilt. Betty Friedan and the feminist movement resulted in protests and riots. This is the generation that embraced Woodstock and other music festivals; rock and roll from the British invasion of the Beatles to Elvis to The Rolling Stones to Motown. American Bandstand and Soul Train were staples in almost every living room with a television.

This is not a generation to be dismissed without a fight.

Meanwhile, back at camp: Aside from a crazy Holly who steals Dan’s $1,600 pair of shoes in retribution for calling her crazy (can you say self-fulfilling prophesy?), all is relatively well. Holly fesses up to the tribe, and oddly enough there’s no backlash from Dan. Coach JJ talks Holly down from the ledge and gives her a pep talk befitting a halftime NFL locker room and she vows to try and pull herself together. The Boomers rally, play their Medallion of Power during the Immunity Challenge and are victorious over La Flor.

Two things struck me this week. One: Who would be stupid enough to bring a pair of SIXTEEN HUNDRED DOLLAR SHOES to a place where your lodging doesn’t include an all-inclusive resort? Two: The entire tribe is included when deciphering the Immunity Idol clue. While everyone is looking, Jill and Marty solve the puzzle and Jill strategically lets an ecstatic Marty “find” it, thus forging an alliance he’s sure not to soon forget at upcoming tribal councils. Contrast this to La Flor’s Alina and Kelly B. and their decision to hide the Immunity Idol map they’ve found. They can’t figure out the clues but don’t want to ask anyone else for help. Thus forms an uneasy, but necessary alliance between the two.

La Flor
aka: Generation Y, Millennials or Echo Boomers. Most of them fall within this age demographic with a few Gen Xers thrown in. Theirs is a peer-oriented generation because of the ease of communication through a variety of technologies.

Although economic times are hard now, this generation didn’t grow up knowing a serious recession (The early 1970s recession tops the list as the in history), or a war that cost our country tens of thousands of lives. Although Afghanistan will outlast Vietnam, the U.S. lost 58,209 lives in Vietnam while Afghanistan fatalities number a little more than 1,000 so far. I’m not dismissing the importance of Afghanistan because in the long run, it will prove to be a more important war; it’s just that Gen Yers have never dealt with the mass war casualties of previous generations.

In their formative years, Millennials were shuttled around to activities by their Baby Boomer parents and made to feel like they were the center of universe. Because of that, many have trouble adjusting to situations that don’t revolve around their needs. This leads to high expectations in workplace and desire to fit their jobs to their lifestyle rather than adapt their lifestyle to their job.

But Millennials more civic-minded than previous generations, and they reject the counterculture protests of the Baby Boomers of the 60s and 70s. As a whole, they are upbeat, optimistic and confidence about the future. Theirs is the first generation to positively interact with different cultures. They are used to making and spending money. This is the image conscious generation with their status designer labels.

Meanwhile, back at camp:  Snarky and full of attitude, NaOnka is missing her socks, steals Jud/Fabio’s and generally throws a tantrum and makes a scene when confronted. Despite being a “peer-oriented” generation, everyone seems a bit restless around each other. Cut to the Immunity Challenge where they lose and must make an appearance at tribal council. Alliances are unraveling as Chase is torn between his chemistry with Brenda and his alliance with Shannon, who wants Brenda out. It’s looking like Brenda is a goner…..until Shannon begins to run his mouth at the council fire. He succeeds in displaying his asinine, arrogant, self-absorbed, blame-game mentality. Even worse than NaOnka. The entire tribe plunges into the gutter with name-calling and accusations. It was like watching a cat fight. In the end, it was Shannon who extinguished his fire and went home. What began as a 5-5 split to oust Brenda or Shannon ended up a 7-3 vote against Shannon, giving credence to the saying, better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

My observations. One: There is little unity here. It’s like they don’t have a clue how to really interact with each other on a personal level. There’s a lot of “me myself and I” going on. Even during Shannon’s exit interview, his arrogance and self-absorption is evident.  Two: the tribe looked utterly shocked when they lost the challenge…as if they honestly thought they’d win every challenge against the Boomer group. Three: Jud is now listed in the credits as Fabio.

Prediction: NaOnka’s days are numbered. As are Holly’s.


2 thoughts on “Tribal character study

  1. Pingback: Coach JJ is sent to the locker room « peripheral perceptions

  2. Despite the fact that I haven’t seen Survivor – I could read about generational differences for daaaays, especially historical events that define a culture- like Vietnam. Great post. And good illustration of the current Gen Y vs. Boomer spitting contest!


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