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Friday, May 20, 2005

Commander Cookoo Bananas

In last Sunday's Simpsons episode, Marge and Homer are chewing out Bart for getting expelled from school:
Marge: Oh, now we'll have to find a new school for you.

Homer: Yeah, and if you get kicked out of that one, you're going straight in the army, where you'll get sent to America's latest military quagmire. Where will it be? North Korea? Iran? Anything's possible with Commander Cookoo Bananas in charge.
Fox pushes the envelope in so many directions at once it's hard to track. The Simpsons and Arrested Development take wonderful shots at the misadministration and the right-wing noise machine (Arrested Development had one hilarious episode ridiculing the search for WMD's in Iraq and Fox News' coverage of it). Meanwhile Fox News has its team of windbags telling wingnuts how to think.

And then there's 24, which I've watched religiously since it first came on. The show is a non-stop thrill ride with some great characters, and until this season it seemed not to have been too over-the-top jingo-ey with all the anti-terrorism going on.

On the other hand, this season much more than previous ones seems to have been explicitly written to support the Bush agenda. Let's see what we've learned from 24 so far this season:
a.. Middle-eastern terrorist types are everywhere.
b.. Riding on trains is dangerous, while SUV's are wicked cool.
c.. Long-hair types can't be trusted, even if they're sons of defense secretaries.
d.. Torture works.
e.. Middle-eastern terrorist types are everywhere.
f.. Any law, local, state, national, or international, can and should be broken if needed to combat terrorism. Knock over a gas station? No problem. Steal cars? No problem. Break? Enter? Shoot? Kill? Lie? Lie to the president? Invade consulates? The War Against Terrorism (TWAT) justifies all.
g.. Torture works.
h.. The law is a hindrance to law enforcement.
i.. Sleep, food and potty breaks are completely unnecessary (okay, we learned that in previous seasons).
j.. The government can look or listen in on you at any time.
k.. Middle-eastern terrorist types are everywhere.
l.. The CTU clinic can handle major trauma surgery, but can't deal with two patients at once. (Okay, I'm not sure how that relates to the Bush agenda.)
m.. Only kick-butt presidents will do in a time of crisis.
n.. Torture works.
o.. International NGO's like "Amnesty Global" serve at the beck and call of terrorists, ready any time of the day or night to interfere with counterterror operations with their extensive teams of well-paid bulldog lawyers.
p.. We'll never, ever have enough surveillance cameras.
q.. There's no need for mass transit in LA, because anyone except for helicopter-equipped cops can get from anyplace to anyplace else in 15 minutes or less.
r.. Dismantling nuclear weapons is obviously a bad idea, because that requires moving them around the country in the dead of night, making them vulnerable to theft, because we all know that
s.. Middle-eastern terrorist types are everywhere.
t.. Not only are middle-eastern terrorist types everywhere, but they'll kill their own wives and children to get what they want.
u.. You can only pull so much wool over the eyes of the Chinese before they start making underwear out of it and selling it at Wal-Mart.
v.. Oh, and, by the way, torture works.

So who knows what Rupert Murdoch is up to? Hip liberal comedies sell. Right-wing blather "news" sells. And ultra-violence sells. I guess he's just making money. And I'm just about ready to forgive him for that list of 24 lessons AND Sean Hannity AND Bill O'Reilly, all because of "Commander Cookoo Bananas."