The other day my copy of 300 finally arrived from Netflix. The movie was a modern interpretation of the story of how three hundred men from Sparta valiantly defended their country against a far superior army from Persia. The men did not survive their stand against the army of superior numbers. But their resistance became the stuff of legend. I was too excited. The reviews for this movie have been off the chain. Often I heard that the techniques used to produce the film were a breakthrough in cinematography and computer graphics.
Because of my new working class schedule I didn’t have the time to see the movie until the weekend. It was on a dreary Sunday afternoon with cold rain falling outside before the family could gather around the television as a unit. We stuffed the DVD into the player and counted the seconds it took for the movie to start.
From the first scene this movie was disturbing. There was a newborn. He was a baby boy. And the narrator was saying that Spartans would throw sickly babies or babies too small they would be put out of their misery at birth. We’re supposed to believe that Spartan society was only for the big and strong. Babies too small could never grow up to be an asset. Chances are they’d just be a drain on everyone else and lord knows Sparta wasn’t about to start a program that would actually protect the weak in their clan. The weak and the small don’t even deserve the right to live.
Next thing you know there was this huge big ass man kicking some little boy’s ass trying to toughen him up. The man backhanded the boy down to the ground like he was yesterday’s trash. According to this interpretation the Spartans believed heavy handedly in the school of hard knocks. The next scene had two little boys fighting each other as if they were two championship contestants on some caged chain fighting smack down show. One boy was on top of the other dropping hammer blows to the other boy’s face and blood was gushing up from his mouth as if he was punching a giant bag of ketchup that just burst. These little boys looked like they were about eight years old give or take an ass kicking or two.
The next scene showed a boy as a teenager in the wilderness trying to survive on his own. He had been thrown out of the Spartan community and would not be allowed to return until he proved his worth as a man by surviving. The boy was being stalked by a super sized wolf that looked like it was starving. But after all the trials the boy had been through he wasn’t about to let a desperate super wolf take him out. The boy turns his back on the wolf and calmly walks into a crevice of rocks, leading the wolf down a gauntlet that eventually narrows to a point where they boy could get through but the wolf was trapped. The boy put the beast out of its misery with his spear jammed into the wolf’s mouth and protruding from the back of its head.
Now Xerxes, the king of Persia, played by Rodrigo Santoro, has set his sights on known world domination and sends his emissary to Sparta to politely ask for their surrender. The Spartans are offended at the arrogance of the Persian king and the emissary. The man is killed with his entourage. The king of the Spartans, Leonidas, played by Gerard Butler, consults with the tribal council in order to formulate a plan to meet the threat from Persia. The council consists of a dozen or so physically disfigured elders. The elders consulted with the oracle, the most beautiful young girl of Sparta who is sentenced to spend her life in a drunken stupor as the sexual concubine of the elders. It is believed that the drunken nightmare of this oracle’s life gives her the power to deliver messages from the gods. The elders interpret the messages. The gods say that the army is not to leave the community. The king leaves in disgust. A Persian steps from behind a column and drops a sack of gold pieces at the feet of the elders.
King Leonidas is undaunted. Instead of taking the army he complies with the direction from the elders from the oracle from the gods and he takes only three hundred volunteers to the Hot Gates, a strategic point where they will have the best chance of meeting the threat from Persia. The Persian army is huge. They stretch off into the horizon and stand all the way back to the very curvature of the Earth. They have superior weaponry. They have archers, soldiers who specialize in the martial arts, soldiers who specialize in sword play, soldiers her specialize in catapults, alchemist who are able to fashion early versions of grenades, animal trainers that handle the great rhinos and massive elephants that accompany the troops, and they even have a group of men whose job appears to be nothing more than to handle some huge giant, muscle bound mutation of a man in chains that wants to do nothing but be free of his bonds so that he could roar and kill without discretion.
The Spartans face all of these onslaughts with the best of dispositions and minimal losses. For every Spartan killed they managed to kill at least a thousand Persians. The Persians seem to have learned their fighting skills from the ancient ancestors of the Keystone Kops or the Washington Generals, the hapless basketball team that perpetually looses to the Harlem Globetrotters. The Three Stooges could have confused the Persian army. With all these superior numbers the Persian military strategist would only send fifty or so men to combat the Spartans at any given time. The Spartans hardly broke a sweat. If I was of Persian ancestry I would have been embarrassed. But then again I just might be.
The Spartans were obviously Caucasians from Greece with dark curly hair. But the Spartans also had a little Nordic blood as well if some of the straight haired blond headed fighters were an accurate depiction. And the Persians were various shades of people from the black community. One Persian was so black that only the whites of his eyes were prominently visible as the darkness of his heart manifested itself in the scene. The emissary was black. His entourage was black.
And the king of Persia was a tall specimen of a man, deeply tanned, who acted as if he was the epitome of sissy-ness. This brother would make the famous, or infamous depending on one’s point of view, Liberace look masculine. He wore more bling than Cartier could sell in a year’s time. Chains adorned his neck, arms, legs, torso, shoulders, nose, ears, feet, and hands. He wore rings on his fingers and bells on his toes. He wore no hair on his head. It took an entire army just to carry the throne this man sat in as he traveled. It must’ve been three stories tall and fashioned of gold. When he spoke his voice boomed and made Darth Vader look like a prepubescent teen on the verge of the change. He was all this and he was a big sissy that looked like he was going to cry and throw a tantrum when the masculine white leader of the Spartans rejected his offer to join his kingdom.
Just in case I haven’t been clear enough let me state for the record that I hated this movie. Its combination of both subtle and blatant messages of white superiority just irked me to no end. This was no masterpiece of cinematography. This was a masterpiece of propaganda wrapped in computer generated graphics. White people were everything noble and strong while black people, and the non-black people who affiliated themselves with black people, were everything scheming and underhanded. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was just one redeeming quality about the black people in this film. But like the propaganda that says that the modern black community is everything despicable we should expect nothing less about our history and our diaspora when it is told from white people’s perspective.
Friday, February 29, 2008
George Bush Didn’t Get The Memo
George Bush feigns surprise when questioned about four dollars a gallon gasoline. According to Mr. Bush, nobody told him. Just like nobody told him that al Queda was not in Iraq, the possibility of passenger planes being used as weapons of destruction, Scooter Libby was outing secret agents, Darfur was a problem, hurricane Katrina had its sites on New Orleans, the mortgage meltdown, Exxon/Mobile’s forty billion dollars net profit, Halliburton’s no bid contracts, and the perpetual condition of the cost of living going up. The question should be what does he know? I’m sure that would be a much shorter list.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Whoopi’s Oscar Snub
As far as I understand the Oscars featured a montage of highlights from eighty years of Oscar history but overlooks the first African American to host the Oscars, the first woman to host the Oscars, the first African American woman to host the Oscars, the first Oscar winner to host the Oscars, and the black woman who hosted the Oscars four times! I bet nobody would have overlooked her if she was Jessica Alba or Angelina Jolie.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Florida suffers a massive blackout yesterday. But officials say this isn’t anything to worry about. The system worked exactly as planned.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Supreme Court Rules Again!
The Supreme Court rules in an eight to one vote that people cannot sue drug companies if the FDA approves the drugs. Now the drug companies don’t have to worry about any retribution from marketing drugs that injure people. All they have to say is, “the FDA said we could.”
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Ralph Nader Runs Again!
Third time is definitely not the charm!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Black Union Goes Barack-less!
State of the Black Union? Barack Obama ain’t got time for that! Besides, the black vote is in the bag baby!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Cindy McCain Is Proud!
Of course you’ve always been proud to be an American! America never stuck its foot up your ancestor’s collective ass. Your ancestry doesn’t have a history of people subjugating you for the color of your skin. Hell, you’re more likely the one subjecting others. The Furor himself would be proud of your Eva Von Aryan self!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Another Rape In Okinawa!
Another accusation of an American soldier raping a young girl in Okinawa, Japan. Good thing our soldiers are there working hard to protect their freedom!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Fidel Castro is resigning as Cuba’s President! You know what that means! The end of the American embargo is sure to follow close behind! American companies will be lining up like vulture to take advantage! May god spare Cuba from America’s hyper capitalism.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Not Mad Cow!
There is a recall of seventy two thousand tons of beef because the animals were treated so cruelly, not because the meat is tainted. Yeah! Right! And we shoot satellites down because somebody might be dumb enough to inhale toxic rocket fuel! It’s not mad cow disease. It’s just safe for human consumption challenged!
Friday, February 15, 2008
The US will shoot down a malfunctioning satellite in order to spare people from the hazard of rocket fuel! How much rocket fuel does a satellite have? You’d think they’d come up with a more believable excuse to justify protecting their secrets! It’s probably got some radioactive propulsion drive that would make a Cloverleaf if it hit the ocean!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Happy Valentine’s Day!
He wishes he knew how to quit you! Especially with your approval ratings in the pits. This Brokeback Republican moment is brought to you courtesy of Valentine’s Day!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The Largest Lost Ever Reported!
Thirty eight billion dollars and then some?!! I lost investments before. But damn! After the first bill you’d think they’d do something different!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Amy Winehouse Wins Big!
Amy Winehouse wins big! This should put to rest all that nonsense that people who do drugs won’t amount to anything! Who says doing drugs doesn’t pay?
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Mitt Romney Drops Out!
Mitt Romney drops out! I don’t know what’s wrong with America these days. Has our economy gotten so bad that a hundred million dollars can’t even buy a presidency any more?
Friday, February 8, 2008
Mafia Crime Bust!
Jackie The Nose along with sixty one other people from the Gambino, Genovese and Bonanno crime families face eighty charges, ranging from money laundering to illegal gambling and murder. In the immortal words of Don Zaluchi, “They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls.”
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Chinese New Year!
Happy New Year! May this year of the rat be the best for you and yours!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Deadly Tornadoes In Tennessee!
This is a picture of a dormitory hit by a tornado last night in Tennessee. Several states were hit by a string of seriously violent tornadoes. And we’re barely out of January. Year round tornadoes are right around the corner. And year round hurricanes won’t be too far behind.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Snow In Los Angeles!
Looks like that last snow fall in Los Angeles.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Blizzards in China!
A weeks long blizzard in China is costing the country seven point five billion dollars so far. They sure respond to the weather like a super power. And if the congestion doesn’t convince you maybe the fact that they will continue to blanket their country with smog generating coal power plants will.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Wesley Snipes Not Guilty!
OK Wesley! You can put your arms down for now. But just don’t get too comfortable. You’re still facing a couple of misdemeanor charges.
Friday, February 1, 2008
This Must Be Reverse Discrimination!
At least they were a lot more civil towards each other last night. Maybe a little too civil.