Bomb Throwing Pacifist

If you took that happy, smiling guy from the box of Quaker Oats, handed him a bottle of gin and a rifle, and pissed him off to a point where he decided he wasn't going to take it anymore, you'd get a little something like this.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ancient naked man-wrestling...

You know, sometimes I start a review never really knowing where it's going, but following it through to the bitter end. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) it gets really tedious, really fast). However, every once in a while, you find yourself pleasantly surprised. This is one such case. Sit back and enjoy, because Jack Cashill is about to tell us...

Why '300' so deeply troubles Hollywood

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Posted: March 15, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

In pondering the question of whether it was appropriate to present children with frightening images, C.S. Lewis answered:

"Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker."

He could have just as easily have said "Yes, and I also think that we should teach them about sex at an early age so that they might be prepared to make informed decisions when then time comes," but I can see why Jack might want to steer away from that particular bit of Screwtape wisdom.

Lewis understood something that the political left decidedly does not: young people, males especially, need worthy role models.

Role models like Jack Abrahmoff, Tom Delay, George Allen, Claude Allen, Duke Cunningham, Scooter Libby, and Bob Ney: oily, glistening turds who have two redeeming characteristics: their utter contempt for the legal system and their innovative free-market approach to political action.

The few masculine heroes the left serves up – Mumia, Che, Leonard Peltier – are murderous thugs masquerading as martyrs, incapable of being emulated by the comfortable minions who admire them.

I was particularly fond of Mao "freedom comes out of the barrel of a gun" Tse-Tung myself, but personally he was a bit too much of a Republican for me. I'm not a big fan of the NRA.

Especially since I suspect Jack's idea of a "masculine hero" is a cut, chisselled white guy who likes to engage in all kinds of manly-man activities with his comrades in the defense of western civilization from the great unwashed hordes when not beating his wife, chewing tobacco, worshiping God, or burning powder at the firing range. Just a guess.

For the rank and file, progressive opinion shapers glorify passivity, petulance, self-absorption and sexual ambiguity.

When they're not busy being faggoty gay homo fag-fags, that is.

The young guys on the left try to fashion themselves thusly, but their innate and undisciplined sense of aggression inevitably seeks an outlet.

Seriously, did he just use "thusly" in a sentence? Looks like the meanies on The Left(tm) aren't the only ones with sexual ambiguity issues.

From what I can see, that outlet takes the form of vile language – a recent survey showed "Daily Kos" to have 20 times more profanity to the page than "Free Republic" – and self mutilation through multiple piercings and tattoos.

Well, call me a petulant, petty leftist, but personally, I find the word "fuck" much less offensive or obscene than, oh I dunno, this:

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Now THAT is fucking obscene (whoops, did it again. What a pottymouth I am!).

The young males who recreate themselves in this image can't feel very good about themselves. Neither can their "partners" of whatever gender.

Oh I don't know about that. I've felt pretty damn good in a number of ways with a number of different people in my time, and I think it's safe to say the feeling's been pretty mutual. I don't have to look at the image above and try to justify it in my mind and rationalize it away so that I can sleep at night. But then again, I doubt people like you even have trouble consciences at all, much less guilty ones.

These opinion shapers can sustain the worth of this image only because they monopolize the visual media. And when that monopoly is threatened, there is hell to pay.

I'd be pissed as hell too if MTV suddenly decided that in order to conform to the desires of the FCC and Brent Bozell, they moved their Spring Break program to Northern Waziristan and replaced all the dancing bikini-clad coeds with toothless 36 year olds in Burkhas. Just sayin'.

This I discovered by happenstance.

Cue Abe Simpson quote...

"
We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell 'em stories that don’t go anywhere -- like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. 'Give me five bees for a quarter,' you’d say."

Unaware of the controversy to come, I used the excuse of an overcast sky to duck out of yard work and into my neighborhood cinema for a Saturday matinee of the movie "300."

It's nice to see that not everyone has to work on Saturday. At least not when you're on wingnut welfare.

Directed by Zack Snyder and based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, the movie tells the well-known story of Spartan King Leonidas and the battle at Thermopylae and does so in great visual style.

I went for no better reason than the previews intrigued me.

And for the totally arousing prospect of seeing totally not-gay, buff white guys slaughtering the dusky hordes in the name of the west. And maybe some boobies.

Given its R rating, I was hoping that I would not be the only one in the theater at 1:30 in the afternoon. I wasn't.

At this point I was kinda hoping for a Pee Wee Herman angle to develop, but alas, nothing came of it. If indeed Mr. Cashill's trousersnake came out of it's den during the climatcic confrontations and the gallons of middle eastern blood being spilled on screen, we will never hear the tale.

The theater was about 2/3 full. Something was going on here.

That something has the critical community in a snit. "It's not so much the body count or even the blood lust that's disturbing," opined CNN's Tom Charity two days before the opening. "It's that the film, with its macho militarism, seems out of step in a war-weary time."

Out of step were CNN's critic and his colleagues.

Ooooo, Charity. Someone just got pwned Hoplite-style!

The film grossed a stunning $71 million opening weekend, a figure twice as high as even optimistic projections, higher than the next nine films combined, a figure that defied the critics' best effort to cripple the movie at the starting gate.

And that $71 million is just the beginning.

Because we all know the proof of a movie's worth as a valuable artistic expression and addition to the artform is by the amount of money it makes (the Incredible Hulk anyone? *Shudder*).

Wrote one liberal blogger in summarizing the critical response, "I mean, even normally well-heeled mainstream film reviewers are really, really disgusted with the brazen orientalism, homophobia, sexism, racism and testosterone-heavy jingoism."

Had the audience known the film had so much added value – orientalism? – the opening weekend might have topped $100 million.

Now he's just throwing words out. C'mon Jack, you couldn't give me a working definition of Orientalism if I gave you a copy of Said and two weeks to read it in.

Still, the blogger's summary was not off the mark. A.O. Scott of the New York Times began his review thusly: "'300' is about as violent as 'Apocalypto' and twice as stupid."

It's not that Scott opposes violence. He found some of the images in Quentin Tarantino's "astonishingly violent" "Kill Bill" "rather thrilling." It is just that Scott opposes violence that serves a noble purpose like that in "300" or in any Mel Gibson movie.

A man who loves The Passion of the Christ but hates Kill Bill and South Park. Pot, meet kettle.

Also note that Cashill still hasn't told us what this "noble purpose" is. In the light of this revelation, I still stand by my chiseled white guy assertion.

At Newsday meanwhile, after debating whether the American military mission mirrored the Spartans' or Persians', the self-deluding Gene Seymour opined that it didn't matter because the movie is "too darned silly to withstand any ideological theorizing."

No, what upsets Seymour and Scott and their fellow cinematic travelers is that "300" is neither silly nor stupid.

If only the same could be said for this ever more tedious column. In other words, critics hate the movie because OMG they h8 teh soljers!!!11!!!!!11! Yawn.

These critics know the film will have a powerful effect on the audience. They know what that effect is, and they don't like it at all precisely because "300" is ideological to the core.

Likewise, critics also panned the deeply moving and powerful film The Hulk because they knew the audiences sympathized with Bruce Banner and were afraid that they might suddenly be overwhelmed by an army of giant green movie-goers if they gave the movie positive reviews. Genius!

In the film, rather than appease "the thousand nations of the Persian empire," Leonidas and 300 of his best special forces ops take pre-emptive action against this imminent third-world threat.

Did he just call the "thousand nations of the Persian empire" a third world threat? An empire hundreds of years old that stretched from Afghanistan to Cairo? The empire that had about as much trouble with the Hebrews and the Jewish god as they had picking their noses? When compared to a group of dirt-eating cavedwellers barely evolved enough to hold spears and shields? No, no my friend. Sparta is the "third world threat" as you so aptly put it.

But don't think too hard about that. Because if Sparta was the third world threat, then that would make them the modern equivalent of the Taliban. Following that train of logic, that would mean that the mighty world superpower that conquered most of the globe was the ancient equivalent of...erm...uh, let's just leave it at that.

While the 300 journey afar to confront the multicultural Persian hordes, the lovely and loyal Queen Gorgo tries to rouse a divided and even treacherous congress back home.

(Read: liberal backstabbers in bed with the enemy)

"We are at war, gentlemen," she reminds them. She then argues for a massive troop surge in the hope that the efforts of "a king and his men have not been wasted to the pages of history."

The parallels are uncanny. Though of course in order to be truly analogous, President Bush would have to be slinging a ruck and carrying an M-16 on patrol in Baghdad. Not like, you know, sitting at home and trying to figure out how best to ignore his father's plan to get him out of his mess without pissing anybody off.

As is obvious to the viewer, these congressmen are no more "war-weary" than the film critics at CNN. They have sacrificed nothing and suffered nothing.

Point taken, Jack. While we're on the subject of the media and pundits who have sacrificed nothing but cheer from the sidelines, when's your next tour?

The queen exhorts them nonetheless to send reinforcements "for the preservation of liberty ... for justice ... for law and order ... for reason." Only a progressive film critic could mistake her unambiguous and unapologetic pro-Western message.

Or somebody as utterly ignorant of ancient history as Jack Cashill is. Sparta was a viscious, aggresive, expansionist monarchy built on a solid foundation of slavery, and was universally reviled as the most oppressive, backwards, primitive city state in all Greece. Christ, it wasn't even a DEMOCRACY! The faggotty homo gay fag-fag Athenians, on the other hand...

To be sure, the film is a bit over the top. The well-ripped Spartans could pass for the Chippendales in designer battle gear[...]

BING!

Nor are the Spartans ideal role models for American troops. They have been bred to near perfection by a program of infanticide that even the critics find troubling – the Spartans had yet to invent the conscience salve of partial-birth abortion–and they take no prisoners, real or figurative.

Not to mention the fact that they're pagans and fight with spears. And have homosexual liaisons. And of course, seem to have a more advanced concept of genetics and evolution than the average American citizen.

That much said, the film presents an attractive image of disciplined male camaraderie that the left is incapable of even imagining.

The left will have a particularly hard time figuring out the naked man-on-man wrestling and will no doubt try to give it some kind of homoerotic connotation. But what's a little drunken groping between comrades?

Early on, in fact, Leonidas distinguishes the mission of his men from that of the "boy-lovers" of Athens (and did that line send the critics howling!).

A line taken straight from the comic book, and historically innacurate. In fact, you might even say that it was

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God, I missed that graphic.

"A new age has begun," the king tells his troops, "an age of freedom, and all will know that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it." Although the sets are virtual, the emotions are real and raw.

Unlike so many critically cherished Hollywood films, the violence in "300" is not purposeless. There is nothing camp or ironic about it.

Unlike the recent motion picture blockbuster, "The Passion of the Christ."

"If critics think that '300' reduces and simplifies the meaning of Thermopylae into freedom versus tyranny," writes classicist Victor Davis Hanson, "they should reread carefully ancient accounts and then blame Herodotus, Plutarch and Diodorus."

Entirely unbiased and fact-based historical sources, one and all. But considering how they had a tendency to label anyone was didn't speak their language and share their culture "barbarians," I think the issue will be lost on most people. But then again, this is the same Victor David Hanson who maintains that Iraq is a modern success story and continues to hilight the unique and unconquerable benefits of the western way of warfare, well...I think his record speaks for itself.

The U.S. Marines have never had a better recruiting film. The young males who dominate the audience will leave the theater not so much eager to behead a Persian as to examine their own, dare I say it, manliness.

Ok, now I'm sure Jack's trousersnake left it's den at some point during this movie.

The progressive media moguls, who have so dominated what these young men see and hear, can offer them no such visions "of brave knights and heroic courage."

They are losing constituents with every showing of "300," and they are howling mad about it.

Because nothing hurts Hollywood moguls more than a film grossing 70 million dollars in its opening weekend. That's all folks!


UPDATE: This is what Jack Cashill's bio says:
Jack Cashill is an Emmy Award-winning American author and journalist best known for his investigative reporting on American government and politics. Cashill is a weekly contributor to the online journal WorldNetDaily, and executive editor of Ingram's Magazine in Kansas City, Missouri. Jack has co-written with James Sanders the groundbreaking exposé First Strike: TWA Flight 800 and the Attack on America on the mysterious crash of TWA Flight 800 in July of 1996.

Interestingly enough, neither the Primetime nor the Daytime search engine available online have any listing of a Jack Cashill ever having won an Emmy, nor is the context of his Emmy actually ever given. Well, I mean maybe his mom was named Emmy and she gave him an award or something at some point, but one was or another, I smell a rat.
Marc with a C, 4:04 PM

1 Comments:

I totally get the thing about "fuck". I have a story that I know a little liberal like you would love:

In a school district by me, there was an open mic night. Three HS girls were doing a reading from The Vagina Monologues, and were suspended indefinitely for saying "vagina". People were okay with it, since the girls were asked not to say it before they went on and did it anyways, but then a bombshell broke through. Another student said fuck during a rap and was not even given any punishment. The case is now going to county court. It's just funny that people don't find a word like "fuck" offensive but find a word like "vagina" (which is not offensive in any way, shape, or form - c'mon, 50% of the population has one) the most offensive thing possibe.

End rant.
Blogger Weeping Willow, at 9:54 PM  

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