24 - Reprehension
Some of the Bush regime's chickens may be coming home to roost, but Hollywood could well be providing the fox that guards the hen house of public opinion. Of course, I'm referring to the new season of Torture is Us: "24 - Redemption", the television series that made torture acceptable to so many minds in the U.S. I'm not sure how many times it needs to be said in order for the obvious to sink in, but the ancient and despicable practice of waterboarding really IS torture (as opposed to "enhanced interrogation") and it really IS illegal. Ramming prisoner's heads into walls and a long list of similar atrocities are classified as torture as well. These are things "24"'s Jack Bauer has been "entertaining" audiences with for years now. What's wrong in this picture? Need you ask??
Now, in its' eternal wisdom, Hollywood is once again trying to cash-in on the next new thing; in this case collective guilt and shame for allowing this nation to slip quite a few notches below what's believed to be civilization. Truth be known, the lesser elements in the USA have always tortured. Cops, prison guards, criminals, abusive parents. But in terms of the military and federal law enforcement, the nation has always prided itself on a sort of righteous image of being above such vile practices.....until the likes of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush took the reins of power. With the onset of the post-9/11 security hysteria that swept the nation, Hollywood gave us "24" nearly 24/7 (recall that most mainstream TV news organizations are now arms of the entertainment industry). The corporate news media has been dancing around the terminology of torture for years now, perhaps hoping the whole thing would go away. This is merely justification or obfuscation dressed-up as news reporting. "24 - Redemption" apparently is more of the same.
It seems Jack Bauer will remain the true grit all-American hero trying to do the "right thing" with all his right stuff. In the series Bauer will be called before congress to explain his illegal tactics (that, in truth, are also immoral and that do not work in the real world) and it appears he will be given the Ollie North mantle of the beleaguered warrior going over the line to "defend America" against (your villain here). Least we forget: Ollie North was not only a far-right ideologue posing as righteous patriot, but also a crook. Television viewers watched Jack Bauer torture bad guys for years. Probably the vast majority of them thought that was OK. It wasn't. Jack Bauer represents a truly bad precedent: illegal, immoral and ineffective action dressed-up as patriotism. Bauer is so Bush era. It's time for change.