Calling Jack Baur

-the truth may hurt, but Jack Baur hurts more

The Economist ran a piece recently on how people are taking Jack Baur seriously. I mean seriously, this is Jack Baur we’re talking about. An excerpt;

During a televised debate in 2007, Tom Tancredo, a Republican presidential candidate, was asked what methods he would authorise to extract information from a terrorist suspect in a “ticking bomb” scenario. “I’m looking for Jack Bauer at that time, let me tell you,” he said. Bauer routinely tortures terrorists in disgusting ways to save innocent lives. Being a fictional character, he never tortures the wrong guy or extracts false information. Real life is not like that. Yet a Pew poll last year found that half of Americans think that torturing terrorist suspects can “sometimes” or “often” be justified. Only a quarter said “never”.

The amount of ‘terrorists’ tortured by the Bush administration was no small number. Maybe Jack Baur helped constrain public opinion to the level of what it was. Maybe he convinced Obama not to prosecute Bush. Whatever.

The movie industry trying to belittle atrocities created by wars their home country’s are engaged in are nothing new. I don’t know if this is done on purpose. If i was in more conspiratorial mood, i would tell you it was all the fault of the Jewish Lobby. But it comes down to a question of what impresses people about the movies they see. Its how the people see it that matters and not for what purpose the movies are made.

Batman, in last year’s The Dark Night, went completely batshit on international regulations and the rule of law. The message was clear; you fight fire with fire, and when fighting the lawless, you can’t let little things like laws get in your way.

Mot people, on the surface would probably like to think that movies don’t really influence the way they think. But most people really don’t know what influences the way they think. We think through ideas, through mental constructs we have built up that help us see the world in a particular light. And i assume that the foundations of these constructions are located in the subconscious. They build up beased on externalities that influence them. This is probably where Jack Baur comes in; he creeps into our subconscious and fucks with it.
  1. Me-shak said:

    This is so true. I hadn’t realized until you mentioned it. Like Russel Peters says, “It’s the media that fucks with our heads”. Excellent stuff.


  2. Sometimes we don’t even realize how ‘conditioned’ we become by TV,movies,books etc. I remember a hilarious incident at school when a particular friend thought that a rocket – after a trip to space (moon/mars/etc) – would land back on earth just the way it left – as in with the top pointy side up and the jets at bottom. When we all laughed at her, she said indigently – ” but thats how they did it in TinTin”

  3. Chavie said:

    It’s like your post about Godzilla (ok, it had nothing to do with Godzilla really) and how this terror escalates, yeah? When people do bad things, you think about stopping them at any cost, and you’re willing to go against everything that you stand for to get there. America, which is supposedly founded on these principles, will completely go against said principles in order to protect the very same principles. Meh, I’ve seen bigger hypocrites! 😉 😀

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