Saturday, March 10, 2007

The 300 Million

So my wife and I took in Frank's Miller "The 300," today. Good flick.

After we left the theatre, I decided to drive over to our local book emporium, and see if I could buy Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300." I did, and read the novel. Pretty much what you saw, or will see, on the screen is what you'll find in the book. Well thought out scenes, and tight dialogue, sprinkled with laconic wit. I also went and downloaded a couple of the snappier tracks on iTunes. This modern life. But back to the movie.

Written in 1999.

Criticized in 2007. Dean Barnett links to Slate critic Dana Stevens, who takes the french root of embarrass (to show ones ass) to heart:

A Movie Only a Spartan Could Love
The battle epic 300.
By Dana Stevens

Read the whole thing, as THEY say, then come back. Below, you'll find nothing more than my half baked ToE.

I will say this. It is my thinking that many will take offense at "300," for many of the same reasons folks found "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy distasteful. It takes black and white themes, and demonstrates them in technicolor. It praises honesty, integrity and commitment while damning cowardice, avarice and betrayal.

On the whole black and white (colors of the rainbow) thing, well, I read somewhere that modern racism is a relatively recent (read within the last five hundred years) innovation. Tribalism, sure, nationalism, o.k., city-statism, yup. But good old fashioned race hating is pretty new to the scene. The Greeks, the Romans, even the Arabs, cheerfully enslaved their own races and others. They also provided ways out. Greek slaves could become metic citizens, and eventually parents of free citizens. Roman slaves could buy their way out, or be given freedom. Arab slaves could find a way out by conversion to Islam. Of course, there were levels of equal, some being more equal than others, but you get the point. The whole idea of a Master Race, seems to me, something the tribes of Europe came up with as a way of binding themselves together, against the rest of the world, as they ascended through the Renaissance to Industrialism and finally Colonialism. Then autocide. Racism is a weak glue.

Like anti-american/zionist/capitalism is today. But that's another post.

M. Stevens takes a couple of swipes at "chiseled white doods." Now, I'm making the assumption that M. Stevens is white. Why? Because if not, then the article would be be by lined by a Mbuki Ndege or Yuan Lee, or Abdullah Jihad, or Sven know, something appropriately ethnic. Pegs in a hole. M. Stevens seems to have an issue with white doods who work out. But then, so do I. They're always hogging the Smith Machine when I need to do a Bi/Tri workout.

I'm constantly amazed by the level of self loathing I find among my white brothers and sisters. If you buy into the whole sins of the father, collective responsibilities, and communitarian crap, then I guess it makes sense.

But to me? As an individual? This is madness!!

Me, I take people as they come, as individuals. Trying to place stereotypes (up to and including the soft racism of low expectations) is a loser idea. People are either good, because they are, or they're dicks, because they are.

But onwards and upwards.

I find it odd that M. Stevens talks of a "at least some nod in the direction of antiwar sentiment" as if this were some sort off bad thing. I love the way "anti-war" is seen today as a positive trait. Our language has been slimmed down to present "anti-war" on one side, and "warmonger" on the other.

I would argue that what masquerades as "anti-war" today, wouldn't know a quaker if one came up and pissed in his oats.

But that's just me.

Then M. Stevens writes about being at war with Persia, which is what Iran used to be called, before it's former Sha fell in love with Nazi ideology and switched the name to Iran (Aryan...some people just can't spell werds).

Well, today, the thousand nations of the Persian empire are descending upon us.

Well, in a sense, they are. Not if you get all wrapped up in Ru Paul stripping off the drag and playing Xerxes leading a million man march army to the hot gate (Oh behaaave!!). But in the sense that majority view in the world tends towards strong, centralized, authoritarian entities.

Some numbers.

The population of America is a bit over 300 million. That's about five percent of the worlds population.

She produces ten trillion dollars in value, each year. That's roughly half the worlds production.

She has about a one million three hundred thousand citizens actively under arms. Of that, I'd say about one hundred and fifty thousand are bonified, spear carrying warriors, able to gain and hold terrain.

You dig under the hoopla, and you get a very small number of people resisting a very large global trend.

Again, a global trend that favours, to be blunt, God-Kings in cod pieces over individual freedoms and liberties.

Just the way it is. And instead of a constant assault by Immortals, Medeans and steroid chugging Elephants, you have a consistent, persistent, assault on the ideas that underpin America's (and possible the worlds) success.

Persian Empire? Got it.

Gorebal Warbbling? Un hunh.

Agreed Frameworks? Sure, why not.

All that jazz are just surface appearances.

The ultimate aim is to find away around the 300 million, gain the high ground, compel surrender or induce slaughter.

Games theory.

I mean, that's just the way I see it. But I'm probably wrong.

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