Monday, January 12, 2009

Torture on TV

So, this is only about death in an indirect way, but this video and this argument are very compelling, and I want to share.

You've probably heard this argument in one form or another before, but the way torture is shown on television is not accurate. On television, torture always works, which isn't true to life. And one of the problems this causes is that actual military recruits, when they come to training, think they can use torture to coerce suspects—because they saw Jack Bauer from 24, or another television character, do it.

Here's a video from Human Rights First that lays out the case beautifully:

I don't watch 24, so it's pretty easy for me to condemn the show ... but I am a huge Lost fan, which is also mentioned in the video. And this video has got me to thinking, there is a lot of torture in that show, both with Sayid, who was an actual torturer in the Iraqi Republican Army, and with other characters. (Think Locke with Miles last season.) And I'm a little conflicted about how I feel about all of that. Actually, I'm not so much conflicted as I feel a little gross about it, and I'd like to pretend I don't. Especially since, if you watch this video, Lost producer Carlton Cuse, weasels out of any real responsibility for what they're showing on screen. He's basically saying, it's TV, it's not real life, it doesn't matter. That's a cop out, and I don't like it. Damn! My guiltless pleasure just became a guilty pleasure.

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