Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Torture Never Stops

These are via my lovely wife, who should probably have her own blog (but who the fuck has the time?).

First, a Vaseline commercial, banned in the US. Banned, of course, because it dares to show that ugly, sinful, oh-so-dirty crime-against-nature otherwise known as the human body. True, it's all blurry and quick, and it skips over the genuinely naughty bits, but so what? Think of the children!

(Honestly, there are times when I just don't get this country.)

Second, a little item that is circulating about 24, a show I alternately love and hate. According to Entertainment Weekly (a rag I never, ever read, ever), "several military and FBI interrogators, together with HRF [Human Rights First] officials and the dean of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point [Patrick Finnegan]" met with the team behind the show to discuss the effects of 24's apparent obsession with torture scenes. One military guy claimed that "field soldiers often ignore the Geneva Conventions by routinely employing torture techniques learned from TV [...]" Jane Mayer in the New Yorker (in an article that is disturbing for many reasons) reports that, according to Finnegan, "it had become increasingly hard to convince some cadets that America had to respect the rule of law and human rights, even when terrorists did not. One reason for the growing resistance, he suggested, was misperceptions spread by 24, which was exceptionally popular with his students. As he told me, 'The kids see it, and say, "If torture is wrong, what about 24?"'" EW again: Howard Gordon (the show's executive producer) "recently shot an educational video for HRF to remind cadets that 24 should be viewed as entertainment -- not as a field guide."

Huuuhhhh? Again, Daphne must be credited for raising the key question (and I paraphrase): if these cadets cannot tell the difference between television and reality, then what the fuck are they doing at West Point?

(Honestly, there are times... oh, wait, I'm repeating myself.)

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