Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

"24"'s Jack Bauer -- agent extraordinaire -- post 9/11 American hero

By Aussiegirl

OK -- I'm hooked -- along with everybody else in America I'm hopelessly addicted to watching the exploits of Jack Bauer as he slashes protocol, legal niceties and political considerations along with a few terrorist throats in his weekly quest to save Western Civilization as we know it from yet another terrorist plot.

I have been hearing about the show but always managed to miss the season openers and despaired of ever getting in on the show at a point that it would be comprehensible. Luckily the A & E network recently ran a bunch of reruns of the earlier seasons and I was completely impressed with the skilled story-telling, good acting, tight plotting and unbelievable air of suspense and excitement that the series generates.

Rick Moran has a great piece in the American Thinker today about Jack Bauer as the quintessential American hero in a post-9/11 age. No angst, no cultural relativity, Jack knows that he wears the white hat and that the bad guys wear the black hats, and he knows that the guys in black hats are in need of killing, and he's more than willing to oblige.

As such it's a satisfying and entertaining show. I don't know about you -- but I can't wait to see tonight's season opener, which has been described by reviewers who have seen the advance copies as simply thrilling.

We'll be sure to follow Rick Moran's blog where he will keep a running total of the number of bodies that Jack trails in his wake. Should be stacking up pretty good based on previous seasons.

The American

It would be an exercise in sophistry to try and make too
much of Jack Bauer and his impact on American culture. He is, after all just a
character in a TV show. But at the same time, it would be a mistake to
underestimate the powerful hold that Jack has on our emotions as we follow his
adventures week to week.

We watch spellbound as he relentlessly pursues
the enemies of the United States with a frightening determination and dedication
that brooks no opposition from friend or foe. His disputes with the national
security bureaucracy are fought with the same tenacity and brutal
win-at-all-costs mindset with which he battles the terrorists seeking to destroy
us. In this respect, Bauer is a man outside the law rather than someone of the

Sound familiar? It should. Hollywood long has prospered making
heroes of such men - although not quite in the same context. Jack can best be
compared to the small town sheriff who finds himself up against the ruthless
outlaw gang as Gary Cooper played in the classic western High Noon. Cooper’s
portrayal of Marshall Will Kane, who must vanquish a gang of criminals bent on
revenge on the day of his wedding, had many of the same points and counterpoints
found in the character of Jack Bauer. Cooper is driven to confront the outlaws
rather than run away due to an overriding sense of duty. He is willing to risk
his marriage, his happiness, and his life because he realizes that it is he
alone who can stop the thugs from taking control of the town and terrorizing the


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Hardly "everybody else in America."
Some of us don't watch television programs at all ... well, other than "The Simpsons" or C-SPAN ... or The Weather Channel.
I admit I DID watch the old movie channel, even though it was owned by the loathesome Ted Turner, TCM, until the apartment bulding's owners got rid of it in favor of two (count 'em -- two) Spanish language channels.
But TV watching has been shown to lower the IQ, measurably.
It might explain why, for example, people in such allegedly educated states as Massachusetts continue to vote for the despicable Edward "Ted" Kennedy.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Well, I obviously lost at least 10 IQ points tonight -- great episode -- and a great conservative show, exemplifying the best values -- manhood, courage, loyalty, love, etc. Humans have a need for drama, Michael -- that's why the Greeks invented drama -- and why you watch "The Simpsons" :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


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