Implications of "24"

I have been excited about the return of "24" to the weekly TV line up. My family and I became addicted to this intense show about 3 years ago when someone purchased the first season on DVD.

I have been thinking about the character of Jack Bauer. He is an American Heroe. We watch him because he is a reflection of what we think we need. He, like all superheroes, are an extension of our sense of justice and manifestation of our ethos.

When Jack begins to kill, maim, and torture, we justify his actions in the name of defending the safety of America. I watch, like millions of others, as he does "whatever he has to" to get at the evil villains who are seeking to destroy America. We rarely hear their story. The villains never have the privilege of being humanized. Some may say that this is a simple extension of the dehumanization that occurs with violence, but I think it is because it is more comforting to kill those without families, jobs, roles, and convictions. Our hero simply is destroying that which will destroy us.

I guess I am more cynical than that. We need Jack Bauer to justify our desire for security above responsibility and protection above truthfulness. Have we bought into the propaganda that people want to attack America and American interests for no particular reason other than jealousy. Could it be that we are responsible for some of the anger that is directed at us. I am not a politician nor am I an historian. However, in "24", we soak in our national innocence. Even when our hero is betrayed by our government, his ultimate allegiance is protecting the people. This is a reflection of our acknowledgement of governmental corruption, but we still validate the actions of our government, without responsibility on "24".

Take time to think about our heroes and why we enjoy them. Although "24" is exciting and well written, it causes me pause to think of its implications and how they reflect our priorities.

God bless,

Pastor M Traylor
Dr. M TraylorComment