Friday, February 09, 2007

I just read this article from The New Yorker about the politics of Joel Surnow, co-creator and executive producer of the hit TV series 24.

The article does say something about the man's politics, but it spends most of its energy criticizing the portrayal of torture in the show, which is always shown to be necessary and effective. And Jack Bauer uses real torture, not waterboarding, hypothermia, and sleep deprivation. He actually puts some serious hurt on whomever he needs information from.

I'm not going to debate the merits of torture here; what interested me was the explicit assertion that the portrayal of torture on 24 is detrimental to America's image abroad, that it makes torture acceptable to the viewing public and even that soldiers who watch 24 go ahead and try those same techniques on detainees.

To the author of that article, Jane Mayer, I can only say: sucks when the shoe is on the other foot, don't it?

Because I remember the outcry in the early 70s when the sitcoms began showing frank portrayals of behavior that most of the country considered immoral, and they were all told to sit down and shut up because it was "only a show" and that it wouldn't affect people. Except that it did. Radically. TV sitcoms have done more to change the way Americans think about sexual behavior than any other thing, including the university.

So if the Left is upset that conservatives are spewing their vile filth over the TV waves, maybe they should remember who it was that opened the door to that kind of thing in the first place.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Rage of Amanda

Blogging has been light, as my regular reader (hi mom!) must have noticed. The reason why is related to the subject of this post: the rantings of Amanda Marcotte.

I've had depression all my life. Just recently I stepped down off of Effexor (a notoriously difficult drug to stop because of the prolonged withdrawal symptoms), taking my last dose just before Christmas. This is the first time in maybe 12 years that I haven't been taking an SSRI- or SNRI-type drug. And now I'm remembering why I started them in the first place.

My head is full of expletives. Since stopping the drug, most of my inner dialog has consisted of me tearing into someone verbally, foul language and all. Either that or I'm arguing with an insufferable interlocutor who Just Doesn't Get It, and I'm forced to resort to Extreme Sarcasm and other not-so-subtle means of planting a rhetorical axe into the idiot's forehead. I get so agitated by these imaginary discussions that I sometimes start slamming doors and cussing out loud. The noise in there has made it hard for me to want to think hard enough to do any good blogging. (I've also had lots of stuff to do at work, which saps my blogging energy.)

It's all over the 'sphere that one of Pandagon's contributors, Amanda Marcotte, was selected by John Edwards to, uh, man his campaign blog.

Conservatives have been pointing out that Pandagon is filled to overflowing with Amanda's expletive-laden, rage-filled prose and that Edwards should have been wiser in his choice of "blogatrix."

That's a matter for others to discuss. What I've noticed is how perfectly the tone of her posts fits in with the rage that's inside my unmedicated head. Food for thought.