Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day 10.214 Jack n Joe

How we sort.

What have we found effective or illusive in the hunt for truth? Can there be any happy colorful medium between the binary black and white?

Is common sense something that we can only discuss in the past tense?

I know the complexities of life in this modern world and on good days even appreciate the paradox.

On the not-so-good days (like yesterday) it can overload, squelch, confuse and cripple.

This conundrum is one of the many reasons why I am  fan of Jack Bauer. The same reasons why I am a fan of Joe Kennedy. You all know Jack, but may not know Joe as well. Today Joe is in a classic double-blind, impossible, catch-22. He must make a decision with which Jack might agree. Do what you are told, or do what you know is right.

In the final episode of Season seven, Jack is talking with Agent Walker about the complexities of their work. Jack and Renee have just saved the United States from a nuclear attack, sparing millions of Americans from pain, suffering and eventual death. But Jack had to use a few 'unconventional' interrogation methods to obtain actionable intel in order to catch the bad guys (several of which turned out to be us). Agent Walker, in a rare and tender moment, asks Jack if he feels any remorse over his actions. He says sure but the facts remain that he did what he felt must be done in order to serve and protect the innocents of our country. NO MATTER WHAT. Agent Walker is (slowly) buying it. She is softening and agrees, although she has spent years as a hard-nosed by-the-book FBI agent and is only now understanding the hypocrisy and complexity of the paradox. Jack goes on…. ending his soliloquy with this…I guess, he says…wincing in pain from the radiation exposure suffered during the fire-fight heroics…that you should make decisions you can live with.


Joe Kennedy is a high school football coach. He is also apparently a devout Christian. He started a 'tradition' a few years back where players gather after their games to take a kneel and 'pray', giving thanks for a safe contest. This outlandish behavior is strictly prohibited by the school district, state regulations and federal mandates. Seriously, I am not making this up.

Many people will agree and blindly obey every letter of every law. This is simple separation of church and state issue, case closed.

I ain't buying it. Way too Cartesian for my liking.

In the same way that paradox (and a touch of irony) blankets the ways that justify Jack Bauer's interrogation means, coupled with his unwavering courage and devotion to duty NO MATTER WHAT, appears to me to be the same as Joe doing what his faith dictates is right. Not easy. But right.

You simply cannot separate the two by making it a matter of law. It is one issue. Today we face options, challenges and impossible situations like these more than ever before. The bad guys are everywhere planting explosives and kidnapping our daughters. They extort and they terrorize.

We need guys like Jack and Joe. They are heroes not criminals. If I had a son I would without hesitation recommend them as role models.

I will put up a dollar to your doughnut that today, right now, Joe is contentedly living with his decision. He may get fired. And that is never easy.

But he is right.

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