RANGER AGAINST WAR: Criminal Minds <

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Criminal Minds

Everyone body sitting down, stand up!
And kill the right people

Lend a hand, Lend a killing hand

And kill the right people

--Kill the Right People
, Flaming Fire
____________

It's t.v time again!

This time it is the program Criminal Minds (4/23/08), which is a riff on the Dexter theme of homicidal maniac made-good. Everybody has a role to play in the newly fascist U.S.A.

Two girls are kidnapped, with one being killed and the other held hostage. Hands are lopped off and all the other gory things which have become workaday components of television today, nicely blurring the line between reality and reality t.v., or at least, the ubiquitousness of such depicted desecrations would lead one to imagine this sort of thing going on all the time.

All this right before bedtime, no less, insuring that you better ask for that bottle of Lunesta they are advertising on the break. (The face of "branded advertising" 2.0 ?)

As an aside, the father of the hostage is a Witness Protection Program (WPP) member. You don't get to be in the WPP unless you've had a brush with some nasty behavior, and this man is your run-of-the-mill contract killer.

As you might have guessed, he goes freelance and hunts down the hostage-taker. He kneecaps one bad guy with a shotgun and obtains the hostage location. As always, it is location, location, location.

This killer then coldly executes the hostage-taking killer. Tit for tat, fade to black. Next scene: Father and ex-hostage daughter are happily settling into a new home in Atlanta, back in the WPP.

The take home? Paid professional killers are necessary to set things aright. Things will go horribly awry because there are bad men out there, but thank goodness there are equally bad men who will do the right thing and neutralize them, vendetta-style. You would not know from this program that our system had evolved from the Magna Carta.

Also, there is a subtext of collective zombiefication. We, as a nation, are not swift, smart or clear enough to be able to deal judiciously with bad guys. Instead, they must be dispensed with a form of frontier justice, lest they rustle up some horses and abscond under cover of night before their hanging. It is a posture of sheer, terrified impotence.


But this is all to the good, as it helps lighten the court docket, relieves prison overcrowding and basically gives us a chance to cheer for our bad men. They are mercenaries sanctioned and welcomed in the civilian world.

Why do all of these programs read from the same sheet of music?

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7 Comments:

Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

it's an old, old story. despite our reputation as merciless killers and vicious warriors one of the things that never made the westerns was that after a battle, returning home, all the apache that had killed human beings stayed back, away from the rest of the people. they would be met by medicine singers who would perform the three day ceremony "the enemy way." in this ceremony they would try to obtain forgiveness from the spirits of the people they had killed. after that they would perform either "the blessing way" or "the ghost tree" before returning to life among our people.

despite our reputation the taking of a life was never something we took lightly. it was not something that called for celebration, it was something that called for atonement and reflection.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 10:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Thanks for the insight MB. It'd be nice if our military and government would treat our returning soldiers like your nation treated theirs.

I wonder how much of this type of TV programing has leeched over from the video gaming world? I'm so fed up with TV programing today that news and sports is about all I watch. The reality programs are just a joke. To quote Kootenay, I'm waiting for Survivor Baghdad, the ultimate reality show for those who hate reality shows!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 10:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yes, thank you for this, MB.

tw: It is right to look for the origins, and surely video gaming has a lot of violence. But like the apologists for the vulgar rappers are so fond of saying, they are just reflecting society.

So what are all of these productions manifesting? What in our society is allowing/creating it?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 11:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB, TW,
The last episode of Dexter had him considering a preemptive killing. This kill violated his bad guy rule BUT he was screwing with Dexters squeeze.This is just not done.! In the end goodness prevvails and Dexter shoots the guy up with heroin thereby violating the meanies probation.
This is what has become a happy ending in America.
TW , i believe its called Carjacking , the popular game has just come out in it's 5th generation if i'm not mistaking. MB,thanks for inside info that is not readily aqvailable to the public.I believe Crazy Horse lived apart from the people due to many stories . One was his passion for a married woman and another tells it as warriors living apart. OH well , i guess it doesn't matter since that was long ago. jim

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 12:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB, ps i know CH was not Apache. jim

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 12:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

there is very little that is known with certainty about crazy horse. many of his legends are as dubious as those of daniel boone and crockett. the living apart thing does seem to ring true over many accounts. as to his reasons we will most likely never know. it is known, however, with relative certainty, that he was a mystic. he was engaged in one or another cycle of fasting and vision seeking throughout his life.

some folks even think that his death was a case of "suicide by soldier" when he realized what absolute and utter destruction his people had been singled out for because of his nearly successful confederation of the tribes and his stunning victories in the field.

like red cloud of the generation before him he realized that victory over the americans was often the most devastating circumstance to be in. red cloud's war produced a treaty that was notable for the absence of the americans fulfilling one single agenda item on their side of the ledger. crazy horse might have been happier had he "gone hollywood" like sitting bull, or sold photos for five bucks like geronimo.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

MB,

You touch upon part of the answer to my question, "So what are all of these [violent] productions manifesting? What in our society is allowing/creating it?"

The residuals to the unspeakable atrocities visited upon the indigenous peoples by the U.S. government is a lingering sorrow.

I have a very unscientific concept about the weight or burden of sorrow which emerges from such collective actions. No treaty or remuneration can remove it. Only the individual can make that choice, alone. I believe the world has a heavy sorrow burden today.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 1:37:00 PM GMT-5  

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