I love 24, the television series with Keifer Sutherland. In fact, I love Jack Bauer, Sutherland’s character. For those who think we are anti-American just because we hate that son-of-a-Bush, because he is so much enamoured with freedom, democracy, human rights and mass murder, we can point and say here is one American we definitely like!
Come and save us Jack, from our very own President Charles Logan. Just to confirm that the capitalist beast will wet its snout from any available gutter, the present series of 24 is being shown on a channel owned by the owner of the rabidly rightwing Fox News. This is not to say that 24 is…anyway, you get my drift.
The present storyline has the Bush-like president staging a terrorist incident so he can quash it and consequently appear as the Saviour of the Land of the Free. Jack, our intrepid hero, stumbles upon proof of this - including the fact that Logan was involved in the assassination of his predecessor (America’s first black president). Meanwhile, the president’s not-so-loyal wife, Martha, is under threat of being sent to a loony bin because she has cottoned on to her husband’s grand deception.
She, like us, believes that Bush’s - sorry - Logan’s actions have nothing to do with the preservation of democracy, but with the maintenance of political power. Her words to this effect are very prescient: “This is not love for the country. This is about your greed for power. It would destroy the credibility of the American government - the world…I hate you.”
The plot of the story comes close to what we see in daily life in imperial America - and this certainly includes Britain - but one can understand why the writers and producers had to stick to the letter, if not the spirit, of that usual Hollywood standby of “any resemblance to actual life is entirely coincidental”. For instance, would the imperial consort ever say to that son-of-a-Bush, “I hate you”? And Logan’s Defence Secretary, James Heller, is not on side.
After being alerted to his boss’s crime, he has the gall to ask the commander-in-chief to resign. Needless to say, nothing of the sort happens, but he does get to say something that would not be out of place in Rummy’s mouth: “I did what was best for this country.”
One can guess at the reasons why this flick is not as close to reality as one would have liked, but at the very least they could have included a complicit media establishment and a servile British prime minister taking orders from the White House dunce. It would have been a lark to see members of the Fourth Estate colluding on screen with these so-called freedom- and democracy-loving mass-murders to hoodwink an all-too-obliging public. And a British prime minister oh-shucksing all the way to the killing field!
24 is arguably the best thing currently on TV. Its storyline is contemporary, satirical and racy and its performers are eminently believable. One thing that springs to mind as you watch it is the question: “Is there a Jack out there that can deliver us from these honest, freedom-loving and clean-living Masters of the Universe?"