Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jack Bauer, Now More Than Ever

At least we can watch conservative values resurging in one place in America.

The Counter-Terrorism Unit’s most-fired employee, Jack Bauer, is returning this Sunday for a two-hour episode of 24. (“Jack's back: '24' returns with a two-hour, action-packed movie”).

As described by Detroit News reviewer, Mekeisha Madden Toby, Jack can’t be left in peace for all the well-intentioned idiots who keep dragging him back into a life of nonstop violence and use of his trademark counterterrorism skills.

His first battle is with bureaucrat Frank Trammell (Gil Bellows, "Ally McBeal"), who travels to the fictional African country of Sengala to tell Jack that he must return to the United States to answer for the inhumane torture techniques he used on terrorism suspects.

Disinterested in playing by rules he doesn't believe in, Jack has been running from people like Tramell for a year, we learn, but discovers he can't run forever. Despite such a revelation, Jack wastes no time physically and verbally attacking Tramell. In another scene, Jack does much of the same to a weak United Nations representative.

Ms. Toby’s snapshot is meant to capture the essential, violent Jack Bauer we all know and love. But it’s not just how Bauer pounds people that makes us love him, it’s who he pounds and why: A bureaucrat sent to hassle him because he tortured terrorists? (Pound him). One of Ally McBeal’s boytoy love interests? (Pound all of them ). A UN representative? (Pound, baby, pound!).

As show creator Joel Turnow said about Bauer’s appeal (and even prominent liberals admit loving this show),
in a world where there's so much noise about what we've done wrong, why we're such bad people, there's so little support for just the real common sense idea,which is: they're bad, we're good, we're going to get them. Jack Bauer represents that.

And he represents it, I might add, without ever having uttered a patriotic speech, nor asked one of his doomed girlfriends any rhetorical questions starting with, “You know what I love about this country. . . ?”

We know Jack loves his country, because he fights for it, and kills the guys who want to hurt his family and countrymen, even if those guys come dressed as bureaucrats or UN representatives.

Even liberals get that. And they know they need someone like that, even if they won't allow themselves to believe they can have it in the real world.

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