War-mongering conservatives are clamoring to see "300"; for PC-laden liberals, did it go too Farsi?
Like Kevin McCullough, I had no interest in "300", until I started reading a couple of Dean Barnett's posts, regarding some buzz around the movie. It seemed liberal reviewers were not too keen on the "pro-military/pro-warrior-ethos" of the film, let alone its non-PC depiction of the Persians (and the Iranians have also taken offense to it, for that matter, calling it American war propaganda!). As McCullough writes,
For me this changed this morning after AllahPundit pointed me to a review that reveals how liberals are responding to 300.
"...a textbook example of how race-baiting fantasy and nationalist myth can serve as an incitement to total war."
"Leonidas likes to rally the troops with bellowed speeches about 'freedom, honor, and glory,' promising that they will be remembered for having created 'a world free from mysticism and tyranny.'"
So if liberal bloggers are outraged - especially THIS outraged - it seems to me I need to see what the fuss is.
Not only did Victor Davis Hanson purportedly enjoy it, but movie-reviewer Michael Medved also endorsed it. I found that surprising, given that he doesn't strike me as the kind of movie-goer who appreciates graphic violence and sex (you'd think that the same liberals who loved movies with way more over-the-top violence and sex, as seen in "Kill Bill" or "Reservoir Dogs", would like this film). But the pro-warrior-ethos that embraces such concepts as honor, love of country, duty, and the fight for freedom is deeply appealing to us "pro-victory" conservatives.
So, yesterday I caught a matinee, and finally saw "300". Most movies bore me these days. But I really liked this one. On a purely visceral, gut level, that I can't totally explain. The movie was simply unapologetically pro-war, in the sense that it celebrates military virtues and military culture. Not the kind of war for empire; but one of fighting for honor, freedom, and service to country and one's brothers-in-arm.
I didn't think I'd like the "Sin City" look of the filming; but, I soon found myself captivated by the look, and not distracted by "graphic novel" feel and look. I liked the action, and only today found out that the stunt coordinator is a friend of mine (and who is a staunch pro-war on terror Bush supporter, btw). He and the assistant coordinator are extremely talented martial artists. Especially in the more exotic, non-traditional combative arts.
I do believe that the Frank Miller novel that this movie is based upon, was written long before the current struggle we are in. So I think some of the criticism (actually, most of it) about it being anti-Muslim/anti-Iranian need to just chill. Although, according to this NYTimes review,
some changes to Mr. Miller’s original story may have inadvertently amplified its political resonance.Then of course, there are some lefties, as the same NYTimes article notes, who will see the Bush Administration as being in the role of Xerxes' Persians; and themselves as the Spartans. Hell, even Al Gore, testifying today before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, envisions himself as a Leonidas, fighting the "good fight":
In a key twist Mr. Snyder and his collaborators expanded the presence of Gorgo, the Spartan queen and Leonidas’s wife, including, among other things, a sequence in which she inspires a wavering populace and weak-willed council to resist the Eastern armies even at the cost of battle deaths. “Her story is that she is trying to rally the troops,” said Ms. Snyder, who dismissed as irrelevant a question about her and her husband’s personal political philosophies.
I'm watching the hearings on Global Warming on C-SPAN and The Goracle is testifying. He just compared what people leading the global warming crusade to what the Spartans did in the movie "300" to save democracy !It's a stylized movie, based upon a graphic novel, which is in turn a fictionalized account of the actual historical events. The good guys are the Greeks; the Persians happen to be the bad guys. So what? It's escapist entertainment. Do I relate any of it back to the real world? For sure. But not in the redneck, bigoted, racist, ignorant manner in which the multiculturalist PC-laden Left and CAIRhadists fear I will see the movie.
What resonated for me, was the unapologetic celebration of the virtues of a pro-military culture. And if some people want to draw parallels between the movie's fantasizing and today's reality.....well, good.
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