Saturday, January 28, 2006

Jack's Ethics at In These Times

In These Times has an interesting cover story this week about the ethics of 24. I thought I'd comment on this paragraph:

It is here that we encounter the series' fundamental ideological lie: In spite of this thoroughly ruthless attitude of self-instrumentalization, the CTU agents, especially Jack, remain "warm human beings," caught in the usual emotional dilemmas of "normal" people. They love their wives and children, they suffer jealousy--but at a moment's notice they are ready to sacrifice their loved ones for their mission. They are something like the psychological equivalent of decaffeinated coffee, doing all the horrible things the situation necessitates, yet without paying the subjective price for it.


Jack has never been willing to sacrifice his loved ones at a moment's notice for the mission. In fact, much of the series has been Jack trying to figure out how to protect his loved ones will still carrying out the mission.

Too bad the writer doesn't actually watch the show. He makes some interesting points, but they are not based on a familiarity with the program, it seems.

3 Comments:

Blogger Wilke said...

Yea, so he might not know the show, but he makes a damn good point. In the end, I don't give a rat's butt about the point, because I am addicted to the show as though it was crack, but I can't help but agree with the clueless lad.

Sure, its all in the interests of national security everytime Jack kills a presidential assassin when actually, having the dude in trial sure would have helped a bunch - he seemed more than willing to talk. But, that's just not "the Lost Boys" style.

The show is beautiful apologetics for US foreign policy at the time, and though I doubt the Bush Administration is secretly funneling funds to FOX to finance its production, it does a beautiful job of hitting every magnificent stereotype that any red-blooded redneck would be more than inclined to agree with:

-the drug trafficing Mexican family
-the sophisticated Belgian underworld henchman
-the terrorist Muslim family living in our midst
-the bureaucratic and obstructionist Chinese
embassy officials
-the white US government operative (Jack)
-the token black, kick ass series strong man (Curtis)
-the blond being the sensitive good girl (Audrey)
-the black haired vixen being the inside turn-coat
(Nina)
-the thuggish Irish presidential bodyguard

Hey, its all good fun, and the show more than redeems itself with one of the greatest stereotype busting TV characters of all time...the great one...
President Palmer!!!!

11:54 AM  
Blogger The Dean of Cincinnati said...

Oh, Wilke -- it's like you are forgetting things. Remember just last season, when it was Muslim store owners that helped defend Jack and Audrey's husband in the gun shop? They are ALWAYS breaking stereotypes.

Unlike the Bush administration, Jack's decisions are always good. If I were gay, I would want to make sweet love to Jack.

I just hate that his name is Jack, for reasons I'm sure you understand but I will not publish. K?

1:21 PM  
Blogger Wilke said...

Once again, Dean, you have opened my eyes to the short-sightedness of my ways. I realize now that the promotion of stereotypes put forth by this greatest show on God's green earth is constantly being offset by the eradication of those very same stereotypes by this very same show. Once again, I am indebted. Thank you for reminding me!

4:01 AM  

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