March 14, 2007
"300": Most Important Piece of Propaganda Made Since 9-11 (Sticky, Scroll Down For New)
I just saw "300". It is probably the most important movie made since 9-11.
As you know, I wasn't going to see the movie for fear that it would be a 2 hour advertisement for joining the gays. You know, something about a bunch of guys prancing around in banana hammocks that creeps me out. To quote Sarah Silverman: it doesn't really matter if you're homosexual or bisexual--both are equally gross.
But watching Sout al-Kuffar's mash-up today, I said to myself, self, let's go see that movie. You are on vacation, after all. And it was a kick ass mash up. So I went. I wasn't disappointed.
I know enough about history to know that the movie was terribly inaccurate. I also know enough about both Sparta that if given the choice of living under the Persian yoke or the Spartan yoke, I'd gladly take Persia.
But this movie was fiction. No, more than fiction. This movie was propaganda.
But longtime readers know how much I believe in the necessity of propaganda. Propaganda is neither good nor bad. Propaganda is about adding purpose to ideas. It is only when either those purposes or those ideas are bad, that propaganda becomes a problem.
There was no hidden agenda in "300". It was not a "metaphor" about Western Civilization standing up against the Asiatic hordes. There is no Rorschach effect here as I thought going into the movie--Leftists and Islamist apologists seeing the Persians as a metaphor for U.S. imperialism, while those on the Right and Liberals of all stripes seeing Sparta as representing the U.S. fight against Islamofascism.
Not hidden, but explicitly stated. The characters come right out and say that Sparta is protecting Enlightenment principles of reason, freedom, and liberty from the "Asiatic hordes". They actually use those words--"Asiatic hordes".
And, what did the "Asiatic hordes" look like? Muslim jihadis.
And, no, I'm not reading anything into the movie here. That is exactly what they looked like. Not the leaders, but the warriors. All except the Persian "Immortals", who were obviously modeled after Japanese Samurais--down to their swords.
The vast majority of Persian warriors looked like this:
You're telling me I'm "reading something into that"?
Or how about these guys, with more than a passing resemblance to Hamas fighters or any number of would-be shahids about to commit suicide?
And the dialogue? Puh-lease! It's absolutely thick with the notion that the Spartans are fighting for freedom and liberty defined exactly in the Western Enlightenment sense of those terms. The dialogue consists of only three themes: liberty, sacrifice, and gay jokes. And the monologues are strictly about the first two.
Any Leftist, Islamist, or other hater of Western values who saw this as a "metaphor" for oppressed people around the world fighting against the vastly superior power of the U.S. is simply deluded.
Sometimes a rose is just a rose. And sometimes the rose is a metaphor for something else. But I got news for you: a picture of a giant penis isn't a metaphor for something phallic. It is phallic.
I'm not even going to explain the larger point of this great piece of propaganda. It is simple and straight forward: Western civilization is worth fighting for.
There are some more subtle messages in their, too. Like: Professional warriors fight and die so that people like you and me can become philosophers, artists, and politicians.
Oh, there's more. Much more.
The propaganda, it is oh-so-beautiful. It rivals anything put out by Republic Pictures or Warner Brother's animation during WWII. Heroic Americans fight the Hunnish/Asiatic hordes (many seem to forget that it wasn't until after WWII that our movies redeemed the "Germans" by separating them from the "Nazis"---part of the Cold War propaganda effort).
In fact, I'll go out on a limb and compare this to Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, Part I--that classic piece of Soviet propaganda which artfully legitimized the Stalinistic purges as an effort to consolidate state power in the face of a foreign menace (Ivan as Stalin, the boyars as anti-revolutionary forces, and the Turks as the Germans). And who would argue that Eisenstein's masterpiece wasn't needed to help the war effort? Or Bugs Bunny? Or John Wayne?
No, "300" brings us back to the good-old days of propaganda. When propaganda was produced in support of our country. When propaganda was produced to remind us that we are the good guys and that our ideals are better than the ideals of our enemies.
Go see "300". If you don't like it you probably hate America. That, or you're gay.