On Building Dramatic Tension

On Poynter.org, Roy Peter Clark (if you lived in Hee-Haw country, you’d use your middle name, too) writes about the war networks’ using “one of the oldest and most powerful narrative devices ever conceived,” the countdown clock.

High Noon poster, image : filmsite.org
Have cable news graphics always looked
like movie posters? image:filmsite.org

Clark points out that movies are frequently structured around the ticking clock: “from the Wicked Witch’s inverted hourglass to the 007 nuclear bomb timer at the end of Goldfinger (um, and every other Bond film?)… the Fox drama 24 Hours,” and his childhood favorite, High Noon.
Jon Stewart also had a hi-larious piece about these clocks last night on TDS.
Update: On that note, here’s how classics professor/kingmaker Donald Kagan–who headed the Project for the New American Century, the roadmap to Pax Americana we’ve been set upon, whether we know it or not–envisions the US in the 21st century: “You saw the movie High Noon? he asks. “We’re Gary Cooper.”
Hmm. If this Bush Doctrine (as it’s now called) isn’t repudiated, it’ll be more like High Noon meets Groundhog Day.