Takin’ Care of Business

by Kieran Healy on February 10, 2007

Here’s a bit from a “New Yorker piece”:http://www.newyorker.com/printables/fact/070219fa_fact_mayer on Joel Surnow, creator of the TV series _24_.

bq. Surnow’s rightward turn was encouraged by one of his best friends, Cyrus Nowrasteh, a hard-core conservative who, in 2006, wrote and produced “The Path to 9/11,” a controversial ABC miniseries that presented President Clinton as having largely ignored the threat posed by Al Qaeda. … Nowrasteh, the son of a deposed adviser to the Shah of Iran, grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where, like Surnow, he was alienated by the radicalism around him. … Nowrasteh said that he and Surnow regard “24” as a kind of wish fulfillment for America. “Every American wishes we had someone out there quietly taking care of business,” he said. “It’s a deep, dark ugly world out there. Maybe this is what Ollie North was trying to do. It would be nice to have a secret government that can get the answers and take care of business—even kill people. Jack Bauer fulfills that fantasy.

It would be nice to have a secret government to take care of things. That’s certainly what the Shah of Iran thought. I remember reading a report of an interview from the late 1970s with the Shah. He was asked what he thought of the methods SAVAK used to obtain confessions. “They are getting better every day,” he replied.

Quick Study

by Scott McLemee on February 10, 2007

I’ll mimic Chris’s announcement by mentioning that my old, erratic, permalink-less eyesore of a “blog” (if that was even the word for it) is dead, now that Arts Journal has offered to host something a bit more normally bloggy. It’s called Quick Study, and even has RSS feeds. It feels like I’m finally on the cutting edge of several years ago.