Calling Diana Prince! And bring that Magic Lasso! | Street Jazz

Friday, February 29, 2008

Calling Diana Prince! And bring that Magic Lasso!

Posted By on Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 11:26 AM

I’ve been reading the Crayola-wielding social critics in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s letters pages again - all right, every day - and have been reading letters that are quite wonderful in their childlike belief that water boarding (torture) is the magic pill that will break those smirking terrorists who would hide behind Americans’ civil liberties not to talk.

But, like on “24,” the clock is ticking - what is a citizen activist/medieval torturer to do? Get out the old pails of water!

Because, after all, once someone begins to be tortured, golly, they’ll just fold like a cheap suit and tell all - and what’s more, it will all be the truth. Actionable intelligence, as they like to say on the nightly news.

There is a sort of belief that water boarding - or any sort of torture - is akin to using Wonder Woman’s Magic Lasso. You know, the one she would throw around you and you would be compelled to tell the truth?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lasso_of_Truth

Except that we don’t have a magic lasso, and human beings sort of tend to babble to get people to stop the pain. I know that I would. I’d be mixing in so much fact and fantasy it would take them weeks to figure out what was “actionable intelligence.”

Just thinking that I might be tortured  wants to make me confess to half the crimes the Hardy Boys solved.

Oh, wait - maybe, just maybe, they are confessing because we are Americans, and have God on our side? Or because we are Americans we can tell the difference between hard truth and panicked babbling?

Is puzzlement, as Yul Brynner sang.

******

Oops Department

Yes, it was the Fayetteville mayoral election of 1992 that I was writing about the other day, and not 1972.

1972 was when Goerge McGovern lost his race for president, and NBC canceled “Bonanza,” two traumatic events I have not yet fully recovered from.

*****

Quote of the Day

Don't we all know how relatively easy it has always been to lose at least the habit, if not the faculty, of thinking? Nothing more is needed than to live in constant distraction and never leave the company of others. - Hannah Arendt


rsdrake@nwark.com

 

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