Criminal citation

August 21, 2010

We now have another Foucault spotting in the wilds of American television. Adding to the infamous book in the final episode of The West Wing is a recent episode of the ever-topical Law and Order: Criminal Intent. And just like “Society Must Be Defended” being packed away at the close of everyone’s favourite liberal fantasy, this was another case of the cooption of critique. In an attempt to heighten the brow of their bourgeois scandal mongering, the policing of a vampiric cult in the melodramatically entitled “Lost Children of the Blood” makes judicious comment on the youth of today with a smattering of references to Jung and Freud. Of course such psy-theorists have long been partnered to law and order; apparently now Officer Michel is on the case too. Like something straight out of Miller’s biography, the delightfully thoughtful Detective Zachary Nichols explains to his partner the dark appeal of blood-drinking with reference to what  “Foucault called … ‘limit experiences’, going beyond where you feel safe.” And then, of course, the estranged policeman son of a psychiatrist proceeds to round up the abnormal individuals and return the city to safety.


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