'Survivor' Goes To The Races

Survivor: Cook Islands, Group image
With millions of sites floating through the blogosphere, who really has time to peek at even a fraction of them? Blogophile reads them for you and presents a weekly roundup of the buzz on must-read blogs. Blogophile appears new each Wednesday, and is written by CBSNews.com's Melissa P. McNamara.

The CBS reality show "Survivor" has raised online eyebrows. And, a Forbes.com article that warns against marrying career women is still making waves in cyberspace. Plus, bloggers mark the anniversary of Katrina. Read what some Gulf Coast residents have to say.

Surviving Controversy

In just a couple of weeks, the new season of "Survivor" takes 20 castaways to the Cook Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But the controversy begins once they are divided into tribes ... by race. There will be a white team, a black team, an Asian team and a Hispanic team.

Host Jeff Probst told CBS News' The Early Show that it's a novel idea.

"I know, from where I sit, I found it to be one of the freshest ideas we've had going back to the beginning of this show in season one," he said.

But "fresh" isn't the word many bloggers use. As expected, the new take on the teams has generated lots of blogosphere banter. "Survivor" was a top search term among bloggers even days after the announcement was made, and the CBSNews.com story about the contest continues to generate numerous comments.

Many bloggers didn't initially believe the announcement was true. And those who did were not pleased by what they say is a publicity stunt.

"What is this going to teach kids? To stick with your own race, segregation, it's unbelievable," Curt writes at Curt's World. "Furthermore, people who watch, I'm sure will be cheering for their own race to win."

Is it merely a ratings ploy, some bloggers asked. "There is absolutely no point to this move in terms of the actual playing of the stupid game," Buzz Me blogs. "If this is how far you've got to go to make people care about Season 173, or whatever you're on, it's really time to hang up the bush hat and cargo shorts. For real."

Michael Sendrow agrees. "Can a show like the popular CBS series 'Survivor' jump the shark, when it is conceivable that shark jumping could be an actual challenge?"

But some bloggers are more undecided. "I question this decision ... but then again, perhaps it just makes for good TV. As a future educator, I am learning to celebrate the differences in cultures — does dividing races up in a competition celebrate them or just try to prove which one is better?" Piper writes at Glass of Whine.

And where does Survivor go from here? "... If the season's a success, what tasteless tactic will they resort to next time? Cops vs. convicts? Catholics vs. Protestants? Bald men vs. Wookies? Hey, whatever it takes to top 'Idol,' " a blogger at Arcade Games Blog writes.

And About Those Career Men?

Forbes.com has surely realized that it can attract more readers with attention-grabbing headlines and content than with typical business reporting. An article by its executive news editor, "Don't Marry Career Women," was all the talk of the blogosphere last week.

The article provoked such a heated response from bloggers that Forbes.com pulled it down and reposted the story with a "rebuttal" from a female reporter in its Silicon Valley bureau. The point-counterpoint has had bloggers buzzing for weeks.

The article by Michael Noer contains reasons for men not to marry "career women." He says they may cheat on you, divorce you and leave you with an unclean home. Noer relies primarily on dry sociological studies — not controversial in themselves and unlikely to spark online furor — but Noer's take on it is undoubtedly provocative. For example, his article begins:

"Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career.

"A recent study in Social Forces, a research journal, found that women — even those with a 'feminist' outlook — are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner. Not a happy conclusion, especially given that many men, particularly successful men, are attracted to women with similar goals and aspirations. And why not? After all, your typical career girl is well-educated, ambitious, informed and engaged. All seemingly good things, right? Sure ... at least until you get married. Then, to put it bluntly, the more successful she is the more likely she is to grow dissatisfied with you. Sound familiar?"