So here’s a comment I just left


…at a reblogging of that Colin Smith torture piece, in response to what seemed like mocking indifference from one of the Big Cheeses:

Torture looks ‘tough’ to a certain portion of the public who’ve watched a lot of Jack Bauer and read a lot of Batman – hey, remember when Batman used to detect stuff instead of dangling a guy off a building? – but, experienced interrogators tell us, it does not work as a reliable method of gaining intelligence. Which makes it practically useless as well as morally indefensible. There’s been a false narrative provided to us by decades of entertainment media in which torture works and can be justified, but in the real world, that’s just not the case.

Those of us in the business of creating entertainment have a responsibility when it comes to the spread of narratives within our culture, and I don’t think standing up and saying ‘I’m not going to craft a narrative in which torture works and is justifiable’ is too much to ask of us. In fact, in times like these – where torture as a practice is gaining a frightening amount of legitimacy – the responsibility of the creator to keep an eye on the message they’re sending is even greater.

Even when you’re torturing a guy made of sand, or when the hero watching it happen was thiiiiiiiiiis close to saying something.

(Not that I’m advocating any kind of censorship, or advocating bringing the Comics Code back, or suggesting that the people who bought this comic and the people who made it aren’t good people. I’m just saying that that page made me feel kind of ooky and here’s why, and With Great Power Comes All That Jazz.)

That’s probably as coherent as I’ll ever get about the whole torture thing. I kind of wish I could say it was my last word on the subject, but it probably won’t be because next week Rocket Raccoon’s going to stick a blowtorch up Sinestro’s bum to make him divulge the location of the Super Moby Dick Of Space or something.

UPDATE! The internet sighed at me and rolled its eyes. FILM AT ELEVEN.