Thursday, February 12th, 2009 :: 11:26 AM

"What amazes me about these ads is that they appealed to and 'worked' on an audience many people perceived as cynical about this sort of manipulation." (>>)

Friday, February 6th, 2009 :: 8:26 PM

"And that's when things get messy. When people begin moving beyond charity and towards justice and solidarity with the poor and oppressed, as Jesus did, they get in trouble. Once we are actually friends with folks in struggle, we start to ask why people are poor, which is never as popular as giving to charity. One of my friends has a shirt marked with the words of late Catholic bishop Dom Helder Camara: 'When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist.' Charity wins awards and applause, but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get cruicfied for charity. People get crucified for living out a love that disrupts the social order, that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping the poor. People are crucified for joining them." (>>)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 :: 12:25 PM
The American Myth of Redemptive Violence

"Whereas before, torture was the 'tool of the enemy,' now torture is the tool of Jack Bauer. Its use is a heroic act of defiance, often of petty bureaucratic limitations, or of conceited liberals whose personal conscience means more to them than the safety of their fellow citizens. While Bauer is presented as an ultimate heroic figure (and also a figure with some heroic flaws), those who challenge use of the rough stuff are naïve, and their presence and involvement in the national security process is threatening.

"The myth of the ticking bomb is the core of the program. Torture always works. Torture always saves the day. Torture is the ultimate act of heroism, of defiance of pointy-headed liberal morality in favor of service to the greater good, to society.

"[Camus said,] 'We must fight for the truth and we must take care not to kill it with the very weapons we use in its defense…' This is the fundamental dilemma that '24' dodges. What are the values for which Jack Bauer is fighting? Is he not abdicating them by his conduct?" (>>)

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 :: 5:26 PM

"…like an affectionate horror movie that lets you know that you really shouldn't go into those woods alone…" (>>)

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 :: 3:55 PM

"What emerged was more of a story of greed, land grabs, racism, power, and machismo than heroic last stand. […] While there are historical figures that I would encourage my daughter to emulate and respect, I’d rather her not be encouraged to admire men who steal and kill for their own vainglory (no matter how history has re-interpreted their acts)." (>>)

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