January 03, 2010

The Jack Bauer Decade

John McQuaid: Revenge fantasies are durable, reliable entertainments because they allow us to experience actions that aren't allowed in real life, and that most of us wouldn't truly want to experience even if given the chance. That would be fine if we were just talking about pop culture. But during the 2000s, the revenge fantasy escaped the realm of fiction. It came to dominate our politics and -- for a while -- overturned centuries of established U.S. policy and tradition toward prisoners. Call it the Jack Bauer Decade: a strange, hopefully anomalous phase of American history, and one that America has yet to grapple with fully. Click here to read more.