Monday, May 24, 2010

Influential Characters

There is a apocalyptically silly political campaign ad that asks viewers, "who would Jack Bauer vote for?"  In case he isn't part of pop culture in your neck of the woods, Jack Bauer is a fictional character who fights terrorists in the television drama "24".

This isn't the first time that Jack Bauer has been invoked in public debate.  His fictional success is frequently cited as proof that torturing terrorist suspects in real life is a good idea.  You have to hand it to the writers of this show; they have created an influential character.

After my eyes stopped rolling, I realized I personally would be more interested in Atticus Finch's opinion.  Now I find myself trying and failing to think of fictional characters who are so clearly drawn that I actually would be influenced by their hypothetical opinions.  Who might sway you?  How would you create such a character?


  1. Jean-Luc Picard. He's so gentlemanly (and hot).

  2. Kate -

    Sorry if this makes your head explode, but what types of torture worked for Jack Bauer was even the topic of a conversation at the Pentagon while they were trying to decide what torture to use. The minutes of a lengthy stretch of the discussion were part of one of the legal reports on the issue.


  3. This needs to be given some thought. Which tells me there is no-one who comes to mind. Isnt that sad!

  4. I've had trouble too, Ann, but I don't think it's sad. I think it's probably healthy. I also think it's good that we can love characters without agreeing with them.

  5. I'm with Fairy Hedgehog - J-LP = Raaaarrrr.