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[P]
What I hate about my favorite television show

By Rasman in Culture
Tue May 23, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Season five of one of my favorite television shows, 24, has just come to a close. I heard there are plans to make at least four more seasons. I have mixed feelings about this.


24 is a high-paced action thriller about a federal counter-terrorist agent, Jack Bauer, who fights against the evil terrorists who wish to bring harm to the US citizens and government. Jack's motives are pure and he consistently does what is right for the country and its citizens, regardless of those pesky constitutional rights. Notice any contradiction there? On 24, there is always a bomb that is about to go off, and going through proper legal procedures to question suspects would result in millions of civilian deaths. Jack realizes this and tortures the dark-skinned muslim until he gives up the deactivation code for the bomb. Every episode is super-intense edge-of-your-seat action. It's some of the most exciting television I've ever seen. Frankly, I love it!

I love it because I know that it's fiction.

The myth of the super-intelligent terrorist with 18 back-up plans and an army of already-in-the-country normal-citizen-looking followers with encrypted satellite phones and nuclear bomb/chemical weapon know-how is exactly what the current US government wants the public to believe. On the show, the counter-terrorist agents regularly tap phone lines, hack into email servers, pull up bank account records, and access personal medical data. And every time they are rewarded by thwarting the terrorists and directly saving lives.

One time, a suspect brought in a lawyer from Amnesty International to protect his rights. This was clearly very distressful for Agent Bauer (since so many innocent American lives were at stake), so they decided to release the suspect without further questioning. When the suspect got into his car, Bauer was waiting in the back seat to systematically break each of the suspect's fingers until he gave up the location of his bad-guy boss. Lives were saved.

Sometime last year, I was telling my girlfriend how deeply concerned I was about the Patriot Act, and how it gave the government permission to do things, like search your home without your knowledge, that it shouldn't be allowed to do. Her response, half-jokingly, was, "But we need to let Jack Bauer into the terrorists' homes so that he can stop them from hurting people!" We hadn't been talking about 24 at all. She was the one that made the connection between "Patriot Act" and "Jack Bauer". That's when the true political danger of my favorite television program really hit me.

After recently watching a three-part BBC documentary called The Power of Nightmares (you can download and watch it yourself for free) and doing some subsequent investigating, I'm convinced that Al Qaeda does not exist. This blurring between reality and fiction is what really scares me. The fact is that the US administration already has everyone believing such outrageous stories that the step from believing that there are thousands of highly trained muslim killing machines hiding in Afghani caves following their leader with the discipline of soldiers to thinking that people like Jack Bauer's enemies really do exist is a very small one indeed.

My second favorite television program at the moment, that is very close to becoming my favorite, is House. I won't go into what the show is about, but wanted to mention it to highlight, for those who are familiar with both shows, the similarities between Dr. Gregory House and Agent Jack Bauer. Fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes, Jack Bauer, and Dr. House enjoy a luxury that no reality-based human can enjoy: they never make mistakes.

Laws that prevent governments from practicing torture during interrogation, imprisonment without trial, and capital punishment are necessary because governments are run by real people, and real people make mistakes.

Warning: I cannot guarantee that there will be no plot spoilers in the comments, so read them at your own risk.

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Related Links
o 24
o The Power of Nightmares
o Al Qaeda does not exist
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o Also by Rasman


Display: Sort:
What I hate about my favorite television show | 106 comments (89 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
The politics of 24... (2.60 / 10) (#2)
by Psycho Dave on Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:27:49 AM EST

I don't think that 24 is Rupert Murdoch's attempt to beguile the public into thinking we need to let the government torture people and tap into every computer to save us from the ter'usts. If anything, 24 is probably one of the most insidiously liberal shows on TV.

Take the overall plot of this season, where the President gives weapons to terrorists in order to give himself the political pretext to invade the middle east and secure their oil fields. Doesn't that sound like the more paranoid rantings of the left in regards to 9/11 giving the US the pretext to invade Iraq?

Ditto for season two, where the conspirators who detonate a nuclear bomb on US soil are doing it to start a war in the middle east to make their oil contracts in the Caspian Sea more valuable.

24 isn't as simple minded on torture as it seems on the surface. Yes, the bad guys seem to have an unrealistic tendency to give accurate information under torture instead of misleading them or telling Jack what he wants to hear. Still, many innocents get tortured, and Jack is as likely to make a shady immunity deal as he is to break someones fingers.

Last night's episode pretty cleverly addressed the issue. If Jack had tortured President Logan or had gotten him to confess under the threat of death, the confession would be meaningless. Using it as an excuse to bug the president and get him to confess to his wife was a more credible way of obtaining the evidence.

What I really wished I could see is Fox News the day after, with Sean Hannity supporting the President for his "far-sighted vision" and accusing anyone who disagreed as a "hate spewing Democrat."

Of course, it might be a stretch to think that the people who use "but...but Jack Bauer does it!" as an excuse to roll back our privacy and our freedoms would understand that. Still, I don't think the show is as horribly irresponsible as some people believe.

but, who does it? (none / 1) (#13)
by t1ber on Tue May 23, 2006 at 09:26:43 AM EST

s/Jack Bauer/Cindy Sheehan/

or...
s/Jack Bauer/$LIBERAL_CELEBRITY_FLAVOR_OF_THE_MOMENT/

My buddy's wife turns to me and says, "Wow, on Lost, XYZ happened, did the US government really do that during the cold-war?"

I can't wait for cable to get off it's fat ass and sell me a plan where I can pick my channels.  I'm getting rid of anything involving fiction, anything involving languages I don't speak, anything involving religion, and putting on History, Military, CNN and very few others.

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

lol (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by partialpeople on Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:01:13 PM EST

You probably don't want the History channel around if you're trying to get rid of fictional programming in your life.

[ Parent ]
Nor CNN (none / 1) (#37)
by glor on Tue May 23, 2006 at 09:33:03 PM EST


--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

There is such a plan! (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by rusty on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:54:13 AM EST

They already offer a plan to get rid of all fictional channels, and the best part is, it's free. Just call up your cable company and tell them you want to cancel it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Smash (none / 1) (#86)
by student on Thu May 25, 2006 at 01:01:15 PM EST

Or better yet, smash your TV so you do not have to worry about fictional DVDs and VHSs either.


Simon's Rock College of Bard, a college for younger scholars.
[ Parent ]
The pretext for the invasion was fabricated though (2.50 / 2) (#96)
by Unski on Fri May 26, 2006 at 06:20:52 AM EST

Doesn't that sound like the more paranoid rantings of the left in regards to 9/11 giving the US the pretext to invade Iraq?
There were never any 'WMD' in Iraq. Hussein himself was an ally of the USA in the 1980's. He only became inconvenient in 1991 when he invaded Kuwait, threatening all of that lovely thick black gold to which the economy of the USA is addicted. Of course he was slapped down, but Bush Jr's reasons for invading Iraq this time round are pure fabrication. It was about oil and nothing else. An interesting aspect to the first offensive in 1991 is that Bush Sr. did not go as far as the NeoCon hawks in his administration wanted him to (all the way to Baghdad). Once Kuwait was restored, that was enough to him. Which infuriated Wolfowitz and the rest of his sickly cabal.

This cabal is the same one which manufactured the Russian threat, throwing American tax dollars at the 'freedom fighters' in Afghanistan (late 70's, most of the 80's) in a bid to overthrow the occupying Russion army there. The same cabal (including Cheney & Rumsfeld & again, Wolfowitz) also exaggerated the threat of the Soviet Union to the Reagan administration. They wanted to destroy the Soviet Union in a proactive manner, Reagan merely wanted to 'win' the cold war and broker peace.

This cabal now has the sock puppet they want in government, and the whole point is that the USA has a rich and diverse history of manufacturing consent for imperialist aggressions. Not really a fantasy of the Liberals, indeed it has been the forces of NeoConservatism which have both fantasised and manufactured fantasy over the last thirty years. The thing is, they believe their own propaganda. When analysing the Soviet threat, America's own CIA was adamant that there was no threat from the Soviets, it was the hawks in the Reagan administration who effectively told the CIA to make something up.

In a meeting between the CIA, Reagan and Wolfowitz, Wolfowitz pointed to a previous dossier on the Soviets, which claimed they had many military powers. The CIA knew better, however, as they themselves had previously manufactured that same dossier for the NeoCons in the Ford administration, and they insisted as much to Reagan. These hawks were frustrated by the more pragmatic Dr. Henry Kissenger's refusal to exaggerate the Russian threat and his will to negotiate with the Russians. These same hawks setup 'Team B' to find threats where the CIA consistently found none.

9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq, 24 - whilst IMO a placebo to make curtailment of civil liberties more palatable - is not that far off-track, and depending upon what you read, the explanations for who perpetrated 9/11 range from 'Al-Qaeda' to 'The Current Administration'. I believe one of those had the organisation, resources and manpower to orchestrate this..

[ Parent ]
Saddam didn't (none / 1) (#103)
by vivelame on Sat May 27, 2006 at 08:37:40 PM EST

threaten the flow of oil, he was still a friend of the US in 1991, ready to sell kuwaiti oil to his allies.


--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
True, sort of (none / 0) (#104)
by Unski on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:21:28 AM EST

It's true that Saddam was prepared to sell the oil, however he was still seen as a threat by those in the Bush Sr administration. Not hard to see how they could have been unnerved by his invasion of Kuwait. So it didn't really matter in the end, they still responded with force. Do like your sig btw, have to agree with that..

[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda does not exist? (2.33 / 3) (#3)
by wiredog on Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:27:00 AM EST

How so? Bin Laden, and others, have publicly claimed to be part of Al Qaeda. Are they claiming membership in a non-existent organization? Or are they really part of some other organization, for which Al Qaeda is just the cover?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

So? (2.75 / 4) (#5)
by Rasman on Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:44:22 AM EST

Bin Laden didn't claim to be part of AQ until he heard the western media talk about it, and it was a myth that helps his cause to promote.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]
By this reasoning (none / 1) (#32)
by SocratesGhost on Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:26:02 PM EST

the mob never existed either. The FBI called them La Cosa Nostra (Italian for "Our Thing") because that's the only way the mobsters referred to their organization in conversation.

Al Qaeda (The Base) was simply a name assigned to an organization. The name may have been manufactured but the organization was not.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
True. (2.66 / 3) (#43)
by Rasman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 06:00:47 AM EST

I was responding to the parent's suggestion that it must exist because Bin Laden says that it exists.

The problem is that there's so little evidence of a large, organized terrorist group by any name. The US can't seem to find any training camps or headquarters anywhere they look. The US wants AQ to look like the mafia, both because they have some clue about how to combat such an organization and because it's a lot scarier to the American citizens to have an organized, powerful, disciplined enemy.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]

It's not organized /any more/ (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by wiredog on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:30:32 AM EST

The B-52s in Afghanistan saw to that. There were quite a few training camps there before the war started. Numerous videos were released by Al Qaeda and the Taliban showing those camps. No one claimed they didn't exist when President Clinton sent cruise missiles after them in the late 90's.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
So we've won the War on Terror! Yay! [nt] (none / 1) (#57)
by Rasman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:51:00 AM EST



---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]
Almost did (2.80 / 5) (#59)
by wiredog on Wed May 24, 2006 at 10:22:31 AM EST

Until Monkey Boy decided that it would be a Good Idea to invade Iraq and Impose FreeDomacracy On The Oppressed.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Al-qaeda is a free brand (2.66 / 3) (#69)
by svampa on Wed May 24, 2006 at 06:01:21 PM EST

I don't think none has ever heard the name Al-Qaeda until 9-11.

As far as I know, Al-qaeda begun as an organization to recruit fighters against soviets in Afganisthan managed by Bin-Laden. Moreover, As far as I can remember the terrorist attacks against USA embassy, and first try against WTC were told to had been committed by islamic terrorists whose leader was Bin-Landen. It's only after 9-11 when Al-Qaeda become a widespreaded word.

I don't think Al-qaeda is big organization, just a small group (if it still exists at all). But every islamic terrorist group claims to be a member Al-qaeda, and every islamic terrorist group is labeled as Al-qaeda member by USA government. In his messages, Bin-Laden hardly ever mentions Al-Qaeda. It looks more like a religous leader that encourages any muslim to commit terrorist attacks than the leader of Al-Qaeda giving instructions.

Every terrorist group is a member of Al-Qaeda, no matter how isolated it is, no matter they can't name any member of Al-Qaeda besides Bin-Laden, no matter what its goals are, where it is, what its ideology is, as long as it is islamic. It is encouraged to sign "Al-qaeda" by Bin-Laden, by every islamic terrorist, and by USA government.

I'm sure that independent islamic terrorists groups are more motivated now that they feel part of a "big wave". Every charismatic guy ,with good knowledges of Koran, is able to start an "Al-Qaeda cell" just going nearby a Mezquita in a poor area or in the jail, without knowing anything about Al-Qaeda besides what mass-media tell. In addition, I'm sure that USA government loves the idea of a "strong and great enemy". Nevertheless, it doesn't mean there is such thing like Al-Qaeda behind any terrorist attack.

For example, the terrorist attacks in Madrid were commited by a group of north-african muslims, and they probably were strongly motivated by being part of a "bigger plan". However, they acted by their own, there is not slightest sign they acted coordinated with any other group. Despite that, everybody talks about Al-Qaeda attacks in Madrid.



[ Parent ]
It was mentioned years before 2001 (none / 1) (#79)
by wiredog on Thu May 25, 2006 at 07:39:36 AM EST

Brief history of Al Qaeda.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
When was that article writen? (none / 1) (#82)
by svampa on Thu May 25, 2006 at 11:10:07 AM EST

In the foot of the page is writen 01-02-2006 14:19:40 Zulu. When was created?

Anyhow, I haven't said it didn't exist, I've only said that

It's only after 9-11 when Al-Qaeda become a widespreaded word
The fact that military inteligence knew about it means very little. It was just another terrorist group, and not worst. Perhaps Al-Qaeda was the most active against USA interests, but, for instance, Argelian and Egipcian groups were much more brutal and active.
I don't think Al-qaeda is big organization, just a small group (if it still exists at all)
if you look in your linked page the section "Location/Area of Operation", after Afganistan the rest is vapor. It is not opposite to my point that everybody in every country may create a group call it "Al-qaeda cell", Bin-Landen won't raise any objection, so USA won't, so any other terrosrist group won't. In fact, I mean that's what most times happens with Al-Qaeda cells.

Al-Qaeda is not a terrorist group, As your link says

Some terror experts theorize that Al-Qaeda, after the loss of it Afghanistan base, may be increasingly reliant on sympathetic affiliates to carry out it agenda.

In other words, There is no Al-Qaeda, just its ideology. it's a free brand any islamic terrorist can use.

The rest ... Training camps in Iraq? why are they related to Al-Qaeda?



[ Parent ]
The press was asking if it was Al Qaeda (none / 1) (#85)
by wiredog on Thu May 25, 2006 at 12:11:32 PM EST

on the morning of 9/11. So they certainly knew who it was.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Bum bom bom Bum bom bom (1.07 / 14) (#4)
by roadscholar on Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:33:10 AM EST

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

---------cut------------

REMIX!

Uh Uh Igh Uh Uh Igh

TV and politics I do not like
I'd rather stick my dick in a two-pence dyke...

We were just outside of Barstow (2.50 / 2) (#25)
by IceTitan on Tue May 23, 2006 at 03:59:46 PM EST

on the edge of the desert
when the drugs began to take hold
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda does exist... (2.44 / 9) (#7)
by boxed on Tue May 23, 2006 at 08:21:15 AM EST

...Why? Because it's an open label any terrorist can claim to be a part of and it's highly publicized. In short Al Qaeda is largely the creation of western powers, primarily the US. It's a self fulfilling prophecy.

which is more plausable? (1.33 / 3) (#12)
by t1ber on Tue May 23, 2006 at 09:21:15 AM EST

There is a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to create a terrorist organization or...

Every gun toting flag waving wannabe terrorist wants to fly Al Qaeda colors because they're one of the few groups to give the Great Satan a black eye?

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

What doesn't exist is the organization (2.75 / 8) (#22)
by Rasman on Tue May 23, 2006 at 11:57:53 AM EST

What does exist is a rich guy, Bin Ladin, that's pissed off at The West for whatever reason and is willing to give grant money to anyone with a half-baked suicidal plan to hurt The West.

There's no group to which you can be a member. There are no training camps. No bosses. No discipline. No "network". No "cells".

But the negation of the previous paragraph is much more scary, and so that's how AQ is presented to the American public in an effort by the government to gain more power to protect us from something that doesn't exist.

And not only that, it's in Bin Laden's interests to promote the idea of an huge growing international network as well. Inducing paranoia is a great psychological tactic.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]

Both are equally likely /nt (2.33 / 3) (#23)
by BottleRocket on Tue May 23, 2006 at 02:57:48 PM EST


$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $
. . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . * . . . . . *
. ₩ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

Those are not mutually exclusive. [nt] (2.66 / 3) (#44)
by BJH on Wed May 24, 2006 at 06:29:09 AM EST


--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
if you replace "conspiracy" with... (2.50 / 2) (#94)
by boxed on Fri May 26, 2006 at 04:50:33 AM EST

...incompetence then those two things combined pretty much explain the entire thing. Politicians haven't created Al Qaeda through some evil conspiracy, they have created it due to the most basic of human forces: utter incompetence and short sighted behavior. "Never attribute to malice what can be sufficiently explained by stupidity."

Supporting and training rebels in afghanistan is how it started and now those same rebels and that education backfires, as it is bound to do. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, karma, violence begets violence, whatever you wanna call it.

[ Parent ]

And once again, K5 was at the forefront (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by rusty on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:01:05 AM EST

We were claiming that there was no K5 Cabal long before anyone claimed that there was an Al Qaeda. It's time to face it: anyone who can bear to will see the future of mass self-delusion right here.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
The real enemy on that show, as far as I (2.40 / 5) (#9)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Tue May 23, 2006 at 08:55:14 AM EST

could tell the one time I watched it, is the modern concept of a 24-hour clock. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be much else to it.

----------------

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

This comment posted 16:03 CET (2.33 / 3) (#17)
by tetsuwan on Tue May 23, 2006 at 09:58:34 AM EST

Eat that. Am/pm sucks, better remembered only as a convenience store franchise.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

+3 TO TEH MAXX!!1 (1.33 / 3) (#80)
by alby on Thu May 25, 2006 at 10:30:40 AM EST


--
Alby
[ Parent ]

Solution: Metric Time -n/t (1.00 / 2) (#83)
by skwang on Thu May 25, 2006 at 11:27:01 AM EST



[ Parent ]
TV Pandering To Cultural Paranoia? (2.85 / 7) (#18)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue May 23, 2006 at 10:27:34 AM EST

That's never happened before.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
I think the proper statement should run as follows (2.33 / 3) (#21)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Tue May 23, 2006 at 11:55:00 AM EST

TV creates and then panders to popular paranoia. This is how we gets long-running shows.

----------------

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.
[ Parent ]

What I hate about MY favorite television show (2.50 / 4) (#24)
by Kasreyn on Tue May 23, 2006 at 03:12:42 PM EST

is that it was cancelled in 1968.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
The Monkees? (none / 1) (#105)
by ghjm on Sun May 28, 2006 at 01:33:35 PM EST

[tsia]

[ Parent ]
We're too busy singin' (none / 0) (#106)
by Kasreyn on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 09:38:16 PM EST

to put anybody down. :P

Actually, I meant Star Trek.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
What I hate about my favorite TV show (2.91 / 12) (#28)
by Sgt York on Tue May 23, 2006 at 04:32:11 PM EST

It gives kids the wrong impression of physics.

A coyote does not have enough inertia to hang in the air for a significant amount of time before he begins to fall. And there is now way he could survive that fall.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

Oh, but he could. (2.83 / 6) (#77)
by grendelkhan on Wed May 24, 2006 at 11:30:49 PM EST

And there is now way he could survive that fall.

Oh, but what if he had been created by a cruel and uncaring god, one which had gifted him with an infinite capacity for suffering, cursed him with a body that would repair itself following any insult, only to feel more pain from the next injury.

Did you ever read "The Coyote Gospel"? It's all in there.
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

WTF? (none / 1) (#90)
by Sgt York on Thu May 25, 2006 at 02:51:23 PM EST

Looney Toons fanfic?

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

No, Grant Morrison's "Animal Man". (none / 1) (#91)
by grendelkhan on Thu May 25, 2006 at 03:58:39 PM EST

British writer Grant Morrison, as was the fashion in the 1980s, picked up an old, mostly-forgotten DC character and wrote some damn fine comics about him. In this case, it was Animal Man. It was original scheduled to be a four-issue series, but it did so well, it was extended to twenty-six issues, and continued from there with other writers. The fifth issue, first of the continuing series, contained a story called "The Coyote Gospel", frequently considered one of the best single-issue comics stories ever published.

"No one in those days could remember a time when the world was free from strife. A time when beast was not set against beast in an endless round of violence and cruelty..."

There's a good summary over here. It's been collected in a trade paperback; the title is just "Animal Man". (The rest of Grant Morrison's run is in "Origin of the Species" and "Deus Ex Machina", where he expands greatly on the theme of the creator's casual cruelty towards the creation.)
-- Laws do not persuade just because they threaten --Seneca
[ Parent ]

Jack Bauer will kick you in the teeth $ (2.20 / 5) (#29)
by akostic on Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:48:01 PM EST


--
"After an indeterminate amount of time trading insane laughter with the retards, I grew curious and tapped on the window." - osm
24 and misconceptions (2.87 / 8) (#30)
by Coryoth on Tue May 23, 2006 at 05:55:04 PM EST

For me the most amusing thing about 24 is, presuming you for some reasn swallow any or all of it, the three easiest organisations to infiltrate in the US are:

(1) The Whitehouse
(2) The Counter Terrorist Unit
(3) The Department of Defense

I mean really.

don't forget (none / 0) (#100)
by speek on Fri May 26, 2006 at 02:06:33 PM EST

Any company that employs former CTU agents.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

USA PATRIOT (2.50 / 2) (#31)
by stupidpuppy on Tue May 23, 2006 at 06:49:59 PM EST

Sometime last year, I was telling my girlfriend how deeply concerned I was about the Patriot Act, and how it gave the government permission to do things, like search your home without your knowledge, that it shouldn't be allowed to do.

The government had this ability prior to USA PATRIOT. It's discussed in some detail here.

Like all paranoid criticisms of the USA PATRIOT act, there is a kernel of truth. There was a bit of ambiguity about sneak-and-peek searches that was removed by the law. But they were performed with court approval long before anyone ever thought of USA PATRIOT.

Court Approval (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by Rasman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 03:21:53 AM EST

Obviously, the part that upsets the PA critics is the fact that they can do the sneak-and-peak searches now without a search warrant. I think it's accepted that S&P searches have value when targetting the right people. And I have no problem with FBI agents snooping around my home if they have made a proper case for doing so to an impartial judge. Search warrants are exactly the kind of law that I was referring to in the last paragraph.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]
I don't believe that's true either (none / 1) (#45)
by stupidpuppy on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:33:39 AM EST

Law Enforcement can, without court approval, draft a National Security Letter, and use that to obtain records from a third party and delay notifying the target.

However, if I understand correctly, an NSL is equivalent to a subpoena, not a warrant. Since "sneak and peaks" are something you do with a warrant, they wouldn't be covered by an NSL.

In other words, they can request your records (if they are held by a third party) without alerting you or getting court approval -- but I'm not sure that's much of a deviation from pre-patriot.

But, as far as I know, they can't "sneak and peek" without a warrant.

[ Parent ]

Also (none / 1) (#46)
by stupidpuppy on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:49:05 AM EST

I haven't seen much of 24, but it's possible they are just playing up the "we don't need no stinking warrants" angle.

There have always been "exigent" circumstances that allow warrantless searches. "Lots of people will imminently die otherwise", ala most of the time on 24, would probably constitute such a situation.

[ Parent ]

I don't know... (2.50 / 4) (#33)
by SocratesGhost on Tue May 23, 2006 at 07:45:53 PM EST

it seems to me that the problem is you. You trust Jack to act justly even if not legally. You don't have the same level of trust with the United States government/military. That's a fair position.

Your mistake, though, is in making an equivalence between the two.

-Soc
I drank what?


Huh? (2.80 / 5) (#41)
by Rasman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 03:28:33 AM EST

An equivalence between Jack and the real government, or an equivalence between acting justly and acting legally? I'll assume you meant the former, since the latter is absurd.

I don't consider Jack and the government to be equivalent. I thought that was clear by my "I know it is fiction" line. My concern is that other people will equate the two, conciously or not. I've obviously thought this through, but most of my fellow primetime viewing voters will not.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]

How elitist (2.00 / 2) (#63)
by SocratesGhost on Wed May 24, 2006 at 01:36:37 PM EST

I'm smart enough to know the difference between fiction and reality but, you know, those others won't.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Call it what you want (none / 1) (#64)
by Rasman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 01:50:16 PM EST

I'd like to think that people like t1ber's buddy's wife are a small minority.

Ever heard of the CSI Effect?

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]

Ever heard of Uncle Tom's Cabin? (2.25 / 4) (#74)
by SocratesGhost on Wed May 24, 2006 at 09:29:28 PM EST

How about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? One sped up the abolition of slavery. The other one reduced the occurance of certain draconian therapeutic practices. Many scientists were midwived by Heinlein and Star Trek.

Fiction has that sort of impact on people. There are some who dream of faster-than-light travel against all scientific evidence because of what they've read in a book or seen in a movie.

Only an elitist would make an argument that, "Because not everyone will dream responsibly or be as analytic as I am, certain types of fiction are not worthwhile." Savonarola called, he wants his dogma back.

And only an elitist would complain about a person, rather than a person's single comment (a comment to which you were not even present).

Go back to boycotting 2LiveCrew, wouldya?

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
What I hate about your favorite show (1.90 / 10) (#36)
by godix on Tue May 23, 2006 at 09:32:28 PM EST

is the fact that for some stupid ass reason you feel the urge to tell me all about this piece of shit that I have successfully avoided seeing for years.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
I apologize (2.75 / 4) (#42)
by Rasman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 03:37:59 AM EST

The hypothesis that this "piece of shit" is transforming the way millions of voters in the most powerful country in the world think about how terrorism should be fought really doesn't effect you at all, since you've "successfully avoided seeing [it] for years". I do apologize.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]
Yeah yeah, your crap influences the world (2.00 / 3) (#66)
by godix on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:42:08 PM EST

and Hogan's Heroes probably changed how some people viewed WWII nazi camps. Big deal, some people are mindless mongloid morons who believe fictional TV shows. I've known that ever since I talked to someone who believes what's said on The 700 Club.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
rgr some of us already knew what it was -nt (none / 1) (#60)
by Kasreyn on Wed May 24, 2006 at 11:20:24 AM EST

nt
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
-1, old news repeated poorly. (2.33 / 3) (#38)
by vectro on Wed May 24, 2006 at 01:31:15 AM EST

These days it is pretty well-understood by those who care to look into the matter that the mainstream American media is a propaganda engine for large american organizations, with the American government at the top of the list. This extends to all forms of major media, including TV, radio, periodicals, and print publishing.

That this propaganda makes its way into televised fiction should be no surprise to anyone. This is not something new; to choose an example from the last president's administration, did you not notice how serbians suddenly appeared as the bad guys once we invaded Kosovo?

If any of this strikes you as novel or contraversial, I would suggest that you start by reading "Manfacturing Consent" (Herman & Chomsky), or at least its first few chapters.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger

You didn't invade Kosovo (2.50 / 2) (#58)
by gumbo on Wed May 24, 2006 at 10:01:03 AM EST

Clinton specifically didn't want to, so NATO bombed it instead and an international peace-keeping force was established under U.N. authority as part of the conditions of peace.

And the Serbs were the bad guys in the U.S. media long before the Kosovo war. Whether this reputation is deserved is left to the judgement of the reader.

[ Parent ]

Seriously? (1.60 / 5) (#47)
by mfeltman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:51:25 AM EST

A tiny article about an irrelevant television drama is up to +46 in the queue?

I guess the real goal of kuro5hin must really be to keep it all as ridiculous as possible, since clearly rusty is fine with the way things are.

Well, keep on then.


whisper.


not to mention (1.00 / 2) (#50)
by mfeltman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:57:07 AM EST

I think it's a bit disingenious to claim that you were shocked to discover that '24' was political propaganda when your 'girlfriend' brought it to your attention.

Is this some sort of 'I'm as surprised as you poor fools.' blend-in-with-the-common-man-even-though-I'm-the-only-genius bullshit, or what?


whisper.


[ Parent ]

Yeah me too... (none / 1) (#51)
by terryfunk on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:57:10 AM EST

am I totally clueless? I dont get this story at all either. Getting voted up like this must be some kind of in-your-face thing.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

[ Parent ]
Have you actually watched House? (2.50 / 2) (#49)
by skyknight on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:56:17 AM EST

I seem to recall the typical episode involving a series of incorrect diagnoses. Yes, he usually gets it right in the end, but not always in time to save the patient.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Yes, but... (2.50 / 2) (#56)
by Rasman on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:46:47 AM EST

If the problem was solved in the first 5 minutes of the episode, there wouldn't be much drama, would there? House, like Bauer, does what's correct at every step, based on the information he's got at the moment. The first guy Bauer interrogates never tells him who the top boss is, just like the first symptoms of House's patients are never obviously indicative of their true malady.

I'm pretty sure that House always saves at least one patient. If there are two, one might die, but one is always cured. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

(funny that it took so long for someone to make a comment about House)

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]

A patient died of radiation sickness. $ (none / 1) (#73)
by skyknight on Wed May 24, 2006 at 08:19:09 PM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
And another one from rabies (2.66 / 3) (#75)
by cpt kangarooski on Wed May 24, 2006 at 09:52:31 PM EST

Of course, I like the show for 1) the novelty of hearing Hugh Laurie's American accent, and 2) seeing how insulting and cruel he can be while still being funny.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
Okay, you corrected me. (2.50 / 2) (#78)
by Rasman on Thu May 25, 2006 at 04:14:56 AM EST

Not being an MD myself, I can't be sure, but in each of those cases, the deaths, as presented by the show, weren't caused by mistakes on House's part. Bauer loses friends (and his wife) due to circumstances outside his control as well. I think my "they make no mistakes" hypothesis still holds.

I said nothing of luck. :-)

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]

24 == Answers, House == questions (2.75 / 4) (#81)
by RadiantMatrix on Thu May 25, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST

Granted, both 24's Jack Bauer and House are presented as some kind of super-human hero.  We find this entertaining, and have been doing it for a long time (Sherlock Holmes, anyone?). The difference between the two shows that makes me enjoy watching House and get irritated watching 24 seems to be between their general messages.  

In 24, Jack is portrayed a a super-hero of the Superman category: what he does is always presumed to be the "right thing", because the results are positive.  Jack is always sure that his methods are justified, and there is a noticable lack of personal moral/ethical struggle.

In House, Dr. House is portrayed as super-hero of the Batman category: he does what he believes is right (and is almost always rewarded by "curing" someone), but his actions have consequences.  Often, those around him question his ethics, and while he almost always has some cold justification for his decisions, the show regularly presents House's personal ethical struggles with his choices.  The show also allows House to fail, or to be forced to make Faustian bargains.

In other words, I see 24's hero as being "the guy who gives us the answers" -- we end the show knowing he's in the right.  On the other hand, I see House as being "the guy who makes us ask questions".  Granted, the writers don't always succeed, either...
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

Bingo (2.50 / 2) (#87)
by Rasman on Thu May 25, 2006 at 01:21:34 PM EST

What a superb comparison of the two shows! That is exactly why I'm starting to like House better than 24. House is much more intellectual, and the ethical struggles require some thought on the part of the viewer. 24 is a tense thriller that's a roller-coaster to watch, but the viewer is better off not thinking too much.

Thanks for that.

---
Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
[ Parent ]

If people are dumb enough (2.50 / 4) (#61)
by hatshepsut on Wed May 24, 2006 at 12:15:17 PM EST

to base their voting on what is clearly a fictional TV show, then they will get exactly the kind of government they deserve. Sigh. Unfortunately, the rest of the world is going to end up suffering right alongside the "only remaining superpower" until it implodes or gets a clue.

TV is not reality (movies are not reality, "The da Vinci Code" is not reality, etc.).

voting (2.75 / 4) (#65)
by headonfire on Wed May 24, 2006 at 03:59:34 PM EST

it's not that people are going to "base their voting  off a tv show" i don't think. "That law will make jack bauer real! let's vote for it, gang!" not so much.

it's more that the ideas behind the show are being allowed to seep into the collective consciousness, as it were.  the sort of actions that bauer takes on an episodic basis are going to be seen as OK, rather than "that's illegal and against everything our country was created for".  -that- is the dangerous idea.

that being said, jack bauer is frickin cool.  but like the author said - fictional.  it's cool to imagine, but i sure don't want to live there.

[ Parent ]

What I hate about my favorite TV show (1.75 / 4) (#62)
by psychologist on Wed May 24, 2006 at 01:02:40 PM EST

Is that the women show their ankles. Sluts.

you are (1.66 / 3) (#67)
by somaudlin2 on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:42:48 PM EST

a chauvinistic sexist pig. You remind me of my husband.

We're fighting again. he tried to have drunk sex with me but I wouldn't let him. someone save me from this hell.

[ Parent ]
are you cute? (1.33 / 3) (#84)
by IncubatedVitamin on Thu May 25, 2006 at 11:45:03 AM EST

if so, feel free to move in with me until you get yourself in order

[ Parent ]
Bawdy fishwifes (1.75 / 4) (#89)
by Unski on Thu May 25, 2006 at 02:32:22 PM EST

Sir,
I absolutely must put quill to paper in congratulating you upon your civilised declaration.

It is indeed lamentable, in 1906, that the egregarious strumpets demonstrate their godless audacity in tempting good men such and you and I into carnal predispositions with their flaunting of ankle-flesh in such a manner.

The merest morsal of a woman's ankle is enough to enliven my pego no end, to the point where I am often forced to seek the nearest available quim into which I might discharge myself. And what quim's I have known! Oh, from small, motted quims to enlargen, shaven quims. Why cannot these obstroperous maidens conduct themselves in a manner befitting of our times?

I bid you good tidings sir, and I venture that should you be without the comfort of a comely girl with a willing quim, I might be able to facilitate an encounter with one of many fine youngsters.

Sincerely,
Amused, of 19th Century England

[ Parent ]
awesome (1.50 / 4) (#68)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 24, 2006 at 05:52:50 PM EST

k5 has become a sort of darwinian struggle of inane content

the more inane the content, the more +1 fp worthy it is!

a useless rambling about a bad lowest common denominator tv show complete with pedestrian commentary about the obvious?

but don't mind me, i'm just bitter that my inane content got voted down ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Not enough inaneness (2.60 / 5) (#76)
by seeS on Wed May 24, 2006 at 11:06:07 PM EST

Your problem is your inane content was not inane enough. Don't bring someone else down because they succeed in their chosen field (say inaneness) where you have failed. You just need to get better at it.
--
Where's a policeman when you need one to blame the World Wide Web?
[ Parent ]
Inane Schminane (1.33 / 3) (#88)
by Unski on Thu May 25, 2006 at 02:22:32 PM EST

I've been a /.'er for too long, as it seems to me k5 is a more humane site where topics and threads seem to be more organic (poncy word I know.) I'm all for inanity, this to me is fluffy, waffly paradise. No intellectual nazi's screaming 'MOD PARENT UP' or 'MOD PARENT OFFTOPIC' or tedious f***ing Linux zealots or karma whores or (I can't possibly know any of this for sure yet) groupthink or well-worn jokes etc etc etc. I must be new here..

[ Parent ]
you must be new here (1.66 / 3) (#92)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 25, 2006 at 06:46:23 PM EST

mod parent down off, karma whore


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Offtopic!! (2.25 / 4) (#93)
by Unski on Thu May 25, 2006 at 07:00:32 PM EST

wank wank wank wank wank Beowulf cluster wank wank wank In Soviet Russia wank wank wank wank wank wank

* Gregory Trenton, your milk & cookies are getting cold *

* Coming mom... *

[ Parent ]
i'm REALLY happy (none / 0) (#102)
by vivelame on Sat May 27, 2006 at 08:26:10 PM EST

about my modest contribution to your bitterness.

YOU MADE MY DAY!


--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]

Brilliant article. (3.00 / 4) (#70)
by supersocialist on Wed May 24, 2006 at 06:35:43 PM EST

My girlfriend and I always talk about the danger of 24 desensitizing people to constitutional breaches. And how Jack Bauer is a hero only because he isn't real; how if he'd be a monster if he were only capable of making mistakes.

Jack's an antihero. (none / 0) (#97)
by haflinger on Fri May 26, 2006 at 11:37:16 AM EST

Look, Jack does terrible things. The people around him are routinely horrified by the stuff he pulls, and they're no angels. But the thesis of 24, as far as I've been able to determine anyway, is that in a Bizarre, Totally Evil World, in order to combat The Dreaded Menace, you have to resort to incredibly extreme measures. Things like drugging your boss, faking your own death, etc. People who think the world of 24 is realistic ... well ... they're a lot worse off already than the people who think the world of CSI is realistic. (Although there are plenty of those. Guys, if every TV show in which the characters seemed to behave rationally and coherently was realistic, we'd have a real problem with thousands of vampire slayers roaming the streets now. :)

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
He isn't really, be honest with yourself (none / 0) (#99)
by Unski on Fri May 26, 2006 at 12:33:32 PM EST

Behind all of it is the conceit that he is just a decent guy bending whatever rule those fat-cats in Washington have thrown in his way, but a much more complicated hero, an anti-hero, to me would have flaws. Like being fucking selfish once in a while. Or lazy. Killing or letting someone die not in the name of national security, but out of sheer malice. Decapitating a poodle - maybe his long-lost daughter's poodle - have the long-lost daughter hated by him. And then have him do something good, just to confuse an audience which IMO seems to need every plot development highlighted in flurescent green marker pen. Bilge. Twaddle. Poppycock.

[ Parent ]
I worry about Battle Star Gallactica (3.00 / 7) (#72)
by minerboy on Wed May 24, 2006 at 07:08:34 PM EST

Promoting fear of technology, and I worry about Jerry Spinger promoting acceptance of transexual hookers



i like to pretend that most people.. (1.50 / 2) (#95)
by empty thought on Fri May 26, 2006 at 05:09:46 AM EST

aren't so stupid as to not be able to tell the difference between reality and fiction.

or at least i like to pretend that, it keeps me from going insane.

Bilge. Utter bilge. (3.00 / 2) (#98)
by Unski on Fri May 26, 2006 at 12:19:13 PM EST

24 glorifies the curtailment of civil liberties, and constantly screams 'you have too many rights' at the chair-moisteners which watch this drivel. I personally wish the terrorists had successfully used the nukes in 2nd series and just left it there. Just listening to Kiefer Sutherland for an hour makes my throat feel hoarse.

X-Files fueled 9/11 conspiracy nuts (none / 0) (#101)
by nlscb on Sat May 27, 2006 at 08:04:57 PM EST

I keep waiting to here how aliens caused WTC 7 to collapse and their technology was used to take out the Pentagon.

Mission Impossible (the 60's show, not the movies) was often accused of the same thing - providing an excuse for CIA covert ops. Admittedly, not generally on American soil.

Some people are just retarded, and will look for any excuse. I just try to enjoy what I'm watching.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

What I hate about my favorite television show | 106 comments (89 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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