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Shock without value

February 24, 2008

RE "How to Slice and Dice a Serial Killer" [Feb. 17]: How many people who produce and watch the sadistic series "Dexter" are the same people protesting torture at Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib? It is not OK to torture. If Showtime's Robert Greenblatt and the censors of America really believe the most offensive parts of "Dexter" are the occasional use of the "F" word, or that the exposure of genitals via wrapping the victim in cellophane is all that is distressing, then they have lost their grip on reality.

It's the torture, stupid. Whether or not we see the actual torture -- "the chops all happen off screen" -- we can visualize and imagine in excruciating detail what's going to happen.

Until the media takes at least some responsibility for the increasing violence in this country, we are lost as a nation. "Dexter" is truly the most sadistic, troubling series I've ever seen, judging by the one and only one I will ever view. It is not brilliant, it is not cutting edge (well, maybe just cutting). Instead, it is designed to shock our senses and to shock upward Showtime's and now CBS' ratings.

Tanya Rutter

Manhattan Beach

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