Monday, January 15, 2007

24 must stop

Gah. I'm watching this show, and it's really driving me mad. In the first 4 hours of the season, they've managed to use both of the most counter-productive clichés of the Bush era:
  • The "decapitation" myth: See, all we have to do is find the big boss, kill him, and then all terrorists will lay down their arms. It's like Mario Bros. Except Osama Bin Laden is Bowser. And instead of fire flowers, we use JDAMs.

  • The "terrorists club" myth: All terrorists are in league with each other, and share the same goals. So if one main leader changes his policy (or is killed, see #1) then we'll have "peace". I swear to God, one of the characters actually said "this could finally bring peace" because one dude was willing to give up his car-bombing ways.
Consider what we know about terrorism. If Bin Laden announced tomorrow that he was converting to Buddhism and that all Muslims should donate to B'nai B'rith, what exactly do you think the effect on global terrorism would be that day? Exactly zero. The next day, there would be one less terrorist because Bin Laden's own people would have killed him. The End.

I'm not a big believer in the idea that TV must strictly adhere to reality, but for the love of all that's holy we've been at this for years now. Can we eventually have a mature treatment of these issues? Cuz y'know, it's not like terrorism is relevant to modern culture in any way shape of form.

Instead, we get Rupert Murdoch airing snuff porn. Gah.

3 comments:

Closet Liberal said...

It's the treatment of terrorists that bother you? Not the super-human Jack Bauer that recovers instantly from injuries? The miraculous use of technology in ways never conceived? The ability to get across LA in 30 minutes or less? Every year the terrorists are coordinating their attacks in LA?

The whole show is unreal. There isn't a single thing about it that's realistic. And I still love it too, and I'm gonna keep watching it.

john said...

"There isn't a single thing about it that's realistic. And I still love it too, and I'm gonna keep watching it."

True, and I loved the first 2 seasons. Since then, meh.

The problem is that 24 is obviously seeping in to the American consciousness. Jack Bauer's popularity was cited by some as evidence that Americans are cool with torture, so hippies should just STFU.

Closet Liberal said...

The problem is that 24 is obviously seeping in to the American consciousness.

Really? Or is it highlighting something that was already there? This argument is how much influence pop culture has on the mainstream consciousness. The jury is still out on that one (I believe). I lend credence to the thought that people gravitate to the media that appeals to them based on their own assumptions/personality. IE, Media doesn't create personality, it responds to it. Similar to media organizations bias is aimed at the expected readership. (Conservatives read conservative rags, but the rags don't create conservatives).

24 lost its credibility as a vehicle for exploring cultural ideals during its first season. Then I quickly realized it was crack on TV.

Now, it doesn't change the net effect of the statement "Jack Bauer's popularity was cited by some as evidence that Americans are cool with torture, so hippies should just STFU." Whether 24 created the support for torture, or whether it was already there and the popularity of 24 reflects that, the effect is still the same, people are hip to torture. How (or if) we deal with that though, does depend on the chicken or the egg.