Monday, January 15, 2007

They Don't Know Jack.

The conservatives I know have long loved "24". It's the perfect escapist world for those who need delusionary right wing beliefs reinforced. In the world of Jack Bauer, a tortured detainee never makes up a fake story just to stop his interrogators from beating him. And guns make the world a better place because bullets always hit their intended target or lodge harmlessly into a wall rather than hitting innocent bystanders. But most importantly, it reinforced the paranoia of those who believed "All them Ay-rabs must be against us. Better kill them before they kill us" by reducing virtually all Muslims to a stereotype.

Only once before last night has a "good Muslim" shown up to help Jack Bauer. His fate was rather ironic--- The show that stereotypes them as all being "bad" had him get murdered by a bigot that thought all Muslims were bad. I've always wondered if the conservatives that love Jack Bauer AND the word "Islamofascist" understood the irony.

But last night's episode has upset conservatives.

"Well, the MPAC/CAIR crowd really got to "24" producers because it looks like American Muslims (and even "former" terrorists) will be portrayed as terror-fighting superheroes, beginning tonight." writes Coultergeist wannabe Debbie Schlussel, who manages to put the "nut" in "wingnut". Introduce a couple of Middle Eastern characters who can actually speak without chanting "Death to America!" and she goes apoplectic with rage.

Among her complaints: Arab language translators lie when they're transcribing conversations (Something she claims is well documented, yet never feels the need to back up), an actor playing an American Muslim leader looks too much like Keith Ellison, the recently elected Muslim congressman (I'm sure 24 producers had that in mind a year ago when they were casting the part, right?), and that the villainous secretary of defense that wants to put all Muslims in relocation centers is only "following the law".

I'm only surprised they didn't complain more about Jack Bauer going soft on torture.

At the end of last season, the Chinese government "rendered" Jack Bauer and took him into custody. Twenty months later, his back is an intricate latticework of thick scar tissue. The first chance he had to torture someone afterward, Jack stabbed him. Then it looked like he had some kind of epiphany, perhaps an "I've become what I hate" moment.

Perhaps even funnier is Cranky's post on Six Meat Buffet. He agrees with Schlussel and adds this to it:
"When the good-guy former terrorist is tailing the bad guy terrorist on foot, the bad guy gets into a car and - get this - the good-guy former terrorist’s car is parked right there! On the street no less! In Los Angeles!!
Talk about stretching credibility. I don’t think I’ll be able to follow the rest of the season with any credibility. I’m serious about this.

In the same episode, Jack Bauer breaks into what looks to be about a 1985 Oldsmobile that someone left a cell phone in. He punches coordinates into the cell phone of someone with a two-decade-old car and manages to find a proper street address and a GPS map. He then hotwires the two-decade- old Oldsmobile and manages to get to the address faster than two military strike helicopters.

But the parking situation is the part of the episode that was really unbelievable, right? Remember... He said he was serious.

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