The recently announced cancellation of uber terror show, 24 — after eight, long, years — indicates the positive, rising, tide we are feeling once again in the USA.  The Boogeyman is dead, the faux superhero is no longer necessary, and bad drama has finally been put to rest.

24 was always about cartoon variations on good and evil intended for the simpleminded among us who needed a paint-by-number approach to world diplomacy after the shock and awe of the World Trade Center demolition. 

Our “it will never happen to use” mindset was crushed on 9/11 and it took eight years of Jack Bauer comic book therapy to remind use we are not special and that the USA
will always be a target for evildoers, and we’d better get used to the
notion if we ever hope to lose our virgin, moral, superiority. 

Jack Bauer, rogue American, had to save us from the terrorists… always in the nick of time.  The unkillable — but wholly “torturable” Jack Bauer — always rose from his grave to kill for us again. And again.

We wrote in the past how the Fox Network loves to bash Muslims on their “news” shows and in their evening dramas, and the demise of 24 is pure, non-rhetorical proof, of just how much the USA has grown up to finally get ready to live again in the light of day.

We no longer need paternalistic Jack Bauers going renegade in the world shooting people and torturing them for information in order to protect us from the bad guys.

We, as a country, now understand terrorism is a part of our everyday lives.  We have come to accept the idea of international terrorism being used against good folk to earn a political end. 

We know, as a people, the “terrorist” label is fleeting and facile and it depends on which agenda you follow in the piercing of the label against a foreign skin or in a domestic eye.  Your terrorist is someone else’s best friend.  If we must punish to fight back, then we must covet people and not chase ideals.

We, as a nation of critical minds, have graduated from childhood ghost stories to walk brightly into the prime of our history.  The change in our government leadership is a core reason why we have more confidence now — while still being appropriately wary and cogently cautious — and we no longer need to color outsiders as Boogeymen in need of indiscriminate shooting and wholesale torturing because we now accept that, no matter how much good we do in the world, there will always be evil among us, and you don’t fight evil with torture or unconditional retaliation. 

You fight evil with goodness.  You burn away their ashes with bright light and a resolve to never stoop to their level — even when provoked to be as bad as they hope us to be mirrored in their craven eye.


  1. Also, at a certain point the show becomes a little ludicrous — how much can one human being endure? I love the idea of 24 being driven by 8 years of dubya — makes sense in retrospect.

  2. That’s absolutely right, Gordon. It became a joke to see how many killings Jack could survive in one day. 24 was, indeed, a propaganda horn for the Bush administration pretending to be family entertainment. The show condoned torture as a necessary part of fighting terrorism. Fox emotionally invested us in “saving America” by “any means necessary” — even if it means the death of innocent people — and now, in the light of Obama, 24 quickly looks incredibly manipulative and silly and we feel a bit used by the political ruse.

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