Alpine Summit

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"300" and Homo Erotica

Victor Hanson FINALLY posted his thoughts on "300." Being a professor of ancient Greek history, I knew it was only a matter of time. This seems to coincide with a gay man's review of "Blades of Glory" who makes some, what I think, simplistic conclusions about "300" in the process.

Dave White concentrates on how homoerotic themes have leaked into popular culture and have ceased to be a 'big thing' among people. He cites people's acceptance of staring at half-naked men for 2 hours in "300" as evidence of this. As it turns out, the director might have just done his homework and showcased the male form for a reason. Says Hanson:

The warriors of "300" look like comic-book heroes because they are based on Frank Miller's drawings that emphasized bare torsos, futuristic swords and staged fight scenes. In other words, director Zack Snyder tells the story not in a realistic fashion — like the mostly failed attempts to recapture the ancient world in recent films such as "Troy" or "Alexander" — but in the surreal manner of a comic book or video game.

The Greeks themselves often embraced such impressionistic adaptation. Ancient vase painters sometimes did not portray soldiers accurately in their bulky armor. Instead, they used "heroic nudity" to show the contours of the human body.

I wouldn't dare give the average movie goer credit to appreciate the artistic value of a 21st century director mimicking the artistic style of ancient Greeks. But perhaps his approach was such that the appreciation for the fleshy showcase invoked in people (particularly men) a sense of awe in the same way the statue of David does. It isn't so much about having homosexual feelings or inclinations, as it is admiration for the masculine form. Whether people admit this or even realize it for themselves is irrelevant. It's enough to just say that seeing a Persian slam into Leonidas like slamming into a brick wall is "cool."

Continuing on, both Hanson and White comment on the king who's a queen rendition of Xerxes.


Here are some answers. But first two qualifiers. I wrote an introduction to a book about the making of "300" after being shown a rough cut of the movie in October. And, second, remember that "300" does not claim to follow exactly ancient accounts of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Instead, it is an impressionistic take on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, intended to entertain and shock first, and instruct second.

Indeed, at the real battle, there weren't rhinoceroses or elephants in the Persian army. Their king, Xerxes, was bearded and sat on a throne high above the battle; he wasn't, as in the movie, bald and sexually ambiguous, and he didn't prance around the killing field. And neither the traitor Ephialtes nor the Spartan overseers, the Ephors, were grotesquely deformed.


“And what was up with that Persian king with all the eye-shadow? How (F-wordy) was he?”

My response: “About as (F-wordy) as you are right now, you ‘300’-loving Scissor Sisters fan.”

As Hanson says, this is a rendition to entertain. Showing some pudgy bearded fellow sitting in a chair isn't as visually appealing as a 10 foot tall man riding around on a giant pyramidal throne.

What I think is great about "300" isn't just the plot which certainly has a bit too much of a "yay us" theme, but is also a visually engrossing film making you want to see the next scene not just for the story but also for the cinematography. In my opinion, that makes the film wholly well done.

White goes on to say how homosexuals would have discussed "300" in terms of homo erotica and homosexuality.

It has been my experience that people tend to perceive events in relation to key issues. For example, a church pastor may measure events in the world in relation to the book of revelation because they want the end of this world and the beginning of the next. Sometimes this method of perception causes a person to miss the larger point trying to be made. I believe this is what happened with White and his analysis of "300."

I cringe comparing White and Hanson as Hanson is obviously the stronger mind-- especially on this issue, but I think the two perspectives are interesting especially when homosexuals start trying to own "300" in an attempt to call the "homophobes" "hypocrites" for enjoying "300."

Labels: , , , , , ,


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Flying Imams Just Another Front

Michelle Malkin has spoken often on the case of the group of Muslims arrested for suspicious behavior, the so called "flying Imams," quite a bit lately

What I think is going on is another front in the GWOT. Muslim terrorists have always counted on using our freedoms against us. Ideally we would declare marshall law and completely cinch down on the population the way Islamic theocracies in the middle east do, according to the terrorists. In the same way terrorists hoped we would surrender our freedoms to protect our lives, I think they are hoping we will surrender our vigilance to protect our savings accounts on threat of being sued.

If I recall, each of these Imams were tied to charity organizations found to have terrorist ties. Is it such a stretch to think they are merely fighting with our own courts as weapons now? It's obvious they intended to act suspicious for just this scenario to happen so they can now instill in us a fear, terror if you will, that if we assert ourselves against terrorist threats, we will get hurt one way or another.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Trick My Truck

Country Music Television has a show similar to MTV's "Pimp My Ride" called "Trick My Truck." The obvious inspiration for CMT's show aside, the similarities end.

Wher "PMR" takes the crapped out cars of high school students and puts stupid superfluous toys inside, "TMT" actually applies a sentimental aspect to the show. Their choices for the show each have back stories of truly hard-working people who showcase why this country is so great.

Case in point: Harry Hooper. Someone who truly deserves a gift finally gets one. Try and catch the show if you can-- it isn't a truck tricking show as much as a showcase of good people.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Cry Babies

After returning from PT this morning, I was watching Fox and Friends and they mention Time's latest issue with a crying Reagan to advertise the article "How the Right Went Wrong."

Their question was not on the substance of the article (which was dismissed out of hand); but on the picture of Reagan on the cover. It shows a close up picture with a tear added to the picture. Apparently people are taking offense that someone dare desecrate the picture of Reagan.

I haven't read the article but can only assume it talks about how Republicans drool and Democrats rule. Regardless, why are people making such a big deal about Time adding a tear to Reagan? They're making a statement with the edited picture that Reagan would cry if he saw the direction his party has gone the last few years.

I took this to be an honor to Reagan because Time, while not exactly the example of "objective," is making a statement with their cover holding Reagan up as the ideal right winger. I certainly have no problem with that.

Also, if the Republican party is the party of ideas, we should be more concerned with the content of the article than the picture accompanying it.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Finally, A Victory For Our Constitution!

I know this story is already a little stale, but it's the type of story on which I just have to comment.

Before 9/11 we (Americans) were more concerned about other petty issues like social security, education, or just the latest hippie mad because nobody listens to all their "great" ideas.

While people still care about all the above issues (excluding the latter), what has become foremost in the mind of Americans since 9/11 has become terrorism. The issue I most cared about, and care second most now, is our first right: the second amendment.

So imagine my glee to hear that a 30 year old law, unconstitutional since the day it was made was finally struck down.

George Lyon says he wants a gun in his home because it's his constitutional right. Tom Palmer says he used a gun to ward off a beating. And Gillian St. Lawrence says her shotgun is useless because it has to be unloaded and have its trigger locked.

They are among the six city residents who successfully challenged the District's long-standing gun law, winning a major ruling Friday in a case that could reach the Supreme Court. The three men and three women share a strong desire to keep guns legally in their homes in what they say is a violent city.

The interesting thing about this is that despite Washington, D.C. being one of the most dangerous cities in America since this law's inception, people still argue that giving law-abiding citizens access to their second amendment rights is too dangerous.

D.C. officials contend that easing the gun ban will put citizens at an even higher risk of crime and say they will appeal the decision. An appeal would be likely to delay any change to the law. Officials maintain that the gun law is just as important as when it was enacted 31 years ago. Even with a ban, guns are used in more than 80 percent of the city's homicides, and police are struggling to get them out of the hands of criminals: More than 2,600 were seized last year.

A law was enacted 30 years ago and they are STILL seizing guns? But if it's illegal, why do criminals still have guns in this city and why aren't they obeying the law? Oh that's right, because they're CRIMINALS! It always makes me happy when enemies of this country (foreign AND domestic) and our constitution suffer a defeat.

The fight is hardly over, but it's well underway and hopefully this will rally others to strike more laws from the books. I sincerely hope that this issue can be finally put to bed in my lifetime. Such a simple problem is hardly worth the wasted time fighting for given our current situation. People need to just come to terms with the fact that owning a firearm in America is a RIGHT and that gun laws do nothing but bind the hands of the law-abiding.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hippies of Latin America

I read this story about Bush planning a tour of Latin America. Naturally there were protests from the stupid people. I found two things interesting-- one more than the other. First, Hugo Chavez having an "anti-imperialist" rally. I find this interesting because it's coming from a man who has wrested dictatorship powers from the (formerly) free hands of his (now) subjects. Second was the last paragraph of the story:

Among those participating in Thursday's protests were environmentalists and social groups who oppose the biofuels project, fearing that Brazil may clear pristine jungle to ramp up sugarcane cultivation. Greenpeace activists hung a huge banner warning against increased reliance on ethanol as an alternative fuel on a monument to 17th century Portuguese explorers and conquerors.

Environmentalists are now complaining that biofuels, something we were told was a better alternative to gasoline, is now a bad thing because it might lead to jungles getting cut down. What I find interesting is that nobody thought about this before now; so what changed? The fact that ethanol is becoming a more viable alternative to gasoline. Flex fuel cars (especially in Brazil) have proven to help not just pollution, but also fuel costs to consumers. Not only that, but flex fuel cars were introduced (in Brazil) because of an outcry from the environmentalists in the first place!

We only hear complaining about biofuels now; when capitalists embrace them and people are able to make that all-too-evil of endeavors, profit, on the hippies' terms. I can't imagine the kind of frustration that must make them feel.