Skip to comments.From Jungle Book to Apocalypto
Posted on 12/10/2006 9:41:43 AM PST by kinghorse
First off let me state I haven't yet seen Apocalypto, but knowing what I know of Mr. Gibson's sensibilities, I expect it to be a rather rude departure from political correctness regarding non-western culture. And, being a cultured western male, I applaud this. The insinuations are prime to survival and subject for honest debate in the current situation in the ME and more specifically Iraq and Lebanon. I thought about all of this while listening to Cookie and Zachie and the inestimable Mr. George Will debate the ways and means of surrender in Iraq on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. This was after enduring the grinning moron that is Joe Biden rub his hands with glee while a ranking Republican laid out all the reasons why we need to abandon the Green Zone in Iraq.
Why bring up Apocalypto? It shows the cruelty that exists in the heart of man, the animal, not the divine creature. Western thought gave meaning and reason to divinity as a justification for imposing change. When the Europeans first met indigenous people at Plymouth, there was an exchange of food as a celebration and giving of thanks. Ultimately, the indigenous culture's inability to accept reason and logic as the guiding principle in their lives was their undoing. What we are witnessing in Iraq is but another example of a culture's inability to accept logic and reason as a guiding principle in their lives.
George Will, God Bless This Man's Soul, laid it out so clearly when he explained the abject stupidity of the premise behind the Baker Report. And this is what he said. The Baker Report states that a solution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict will solve the problems of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. Then Mr. Will illustrated this stupidity. He gave the example of a Shiite or Sunni hit squad going out on their morning run to kill their neighbors when they hear over the radio that peace has been achieved in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The squad leader then announces they stop the hit and all go home and become good proper citizens. I almost fell out of my chair! But he wasn't finished. Next Mr. Will rightfully asked what makes anyone think Iran or Syria want to help stabilize Iraq when Baker's main tenet assumes a new cooperation.
When irrational people are presented with the agent of change, predictable results will follow. The rational process we will follow by adhering to our democratic principles of open debate, consensus building and compromise will inevitably alter the policy to more properly respond to conditions in the region. If we fall back or stay, the calculus doesn't change much. It's going to be violent and chaotic. President Bush should be commended for keeping the faith with western rational thought and being an agent for change where change is needed. In the end, rationality must prevail over irrationality. Our kids even get it better than some of these so called leaders. My son came home last night after viewing the film Munich and needed to be calmed down about things. I tell you, there's a resurgence and pride among our youth regarding our culture's rationality and civility that shouldn't be discounted. Mel's Gibson's Apocalypto is the latest example of this belief and the need to defend and promote, for lack of a better word, a divine way. Or maybe it is just that I hope for this. But I see it rising and I see good things for America. And yes it's a big tent and everyone is part of this. Race or nationality doesn't preclude being a part of this resurgence of pride in who we are and what we represent. Sadly, I can't see much of it in the generation of people leading us today (President Bush excluded).
When I said my son had to be calmed down I did it by explaining in America we are guided by principles that allow everyone to share in the glory of our nation. It doesn't matter how you worship (as long as you aren't advocating violence), who you are, what you look like, you are welcome to live you life and raise your children freely. The people here overwhelmingly are here because they want to share in our blessed freedom.
I've seen Apocalypto. Think of it as "Quest for Fire" set in the Yucatan.
Just a story about a family man trying to do his best for his own in the only world he knows. ;-)
It's a good flick.
The theme of Apocalypto is a good one. Fear is a disabling disease. You can cure it only by fighting back with everything you have.
My big problem is the choice of the title for the thing, Apocalypto; sounds like a Latin-American dance.
Praise God, may it be so! Amen!
Beautiful essay. I, too, have to have hope. My kid is a 20 something grad student in international studies. I spoke about some of my own discouragement with the old hippie agenda recently, and my kid said, "Have faith in the next generation. Maybe enough of us don't want to live like that any more."
How can we have faith in the next generation when we still haven't found all of the cracker crumbs, stuffed animals and prohibited magazines they left behind in their rooms when they went off to save the world.
Are we talking about the Nannystates of America? You have the blessed freedom to go to a government office and get a permit to do what you want, after paying appropriate fees. Soon, smokers will need to get a permit to smoke in their own houses.
And people overwhelmingly are coming here, not for freedom, but welfare, free housing, and other freebies if you are lucky - paid for by you. If you are unlucky, they are muslim immigrants, brought in by Senator Brownback, and waiting for the signal to attack the Great Satan and the infidels - (aka YOU).
someone should get this message to the defeatocrats! Reagan handed us freedom from fear- Jimmy Carter and Clinton killed it and handed us fear again. http://sacredscoop.com
***I've seen Apocalypto. Think of it as "Quest for Fire" set in the Yucatan.***
I haven't seen it, but I saw this recut trailer for it, and thought it was hilarious. There's a fifteen second ad for target first.
I am heartened by my offspring's often-repeated byword since around 10th grade, "Generally speaking, people are stupid." It took me until my late thirties to accept this realization. So I'm not seeing any illusions about saving the world; only having a scope of influence within it. I think this differs from what I saw and heard around me in the 60s.
brought in by Senator Brownback,
Could you give me some sources on that?
For the full discussion, do a keyword search for "sambrownback" - it is a an article entitled, Brownback, A Full Scale Conservative. This is an excerpt of my post.
To: Aussie Dasher
The real question is whether President Brownback will turn your town into a ghetto filled with polygamous Africans on welfare. If you move to Kansas, you will be safe from this fate according to this writer:
Sam Brownback and the Somali Bantu
By Thomas Allen
Coming soon to a town near you: some of a projected influx of 12,000 Somali Bantu. Unless you live in Kansasthanks to the hidden hypocrisy of its arch-immigration enthusiast Senator, Sam Brownback.
You have to admire the sense of humor of the folk in the refugee industry. Their current bright idea: to resettle part of a polygamous tribe that practices female genital mutilation in Holyoke, Massachusetts--next door to the first womens college in America.
Even by the standards of the refugee industry and God knows etc.--the story of the Somali Bantu is wild. They are not ethnic Somalis, the group who have just notoriously discovered Lewiston, Maine, doubling its welfare budget in two years. (At 3 percent of the Lewistons population, Somalis now receive 46 percent of its welfare payments). Instead, the Somali Bantu are the descendants of slaves brought to Somalia from further south as much as two hundred years ago. They remain distinct and are allegedly despised by their former masters--themselves, it should be noted, black Africans.
Under a 1997 agreement with the United Nations, which operates Somali Bantu refugee camps in Kenya, the Somali Bantu were to resettle in Mozambique, their ancestral homeland. But Mozambique backed out at the eleventh hour, citing a change in government and a lack of resources.
So the Somali Bantu are coming here.
Of course, for a fraction of the money the U.S. will spend to move this tribe to America, Mozambique could have been persuaded to carry through on its promises. But the U.S. refugee industry needs clients! So that option was never considered.
The cost to the taxpayer of resettling this tribe in the U.S. could run into the billions.
- In case you haven't kept up with the news, Taleban types have taken Mogadishu, where the Somali capital is located. Burkas and Osama are popular there. Brownback imports them because diversity needs African Osamas in America - but not in Kansas. If you read the full article, it discusses how Brownback dumped the Muslims in Massachusetts, Virginia, and California but not in Kansas. Hypocrisy, anyone?
I saw Apocalipto Friday night, and it's an excellent film, as well as an excellent piece of storytelling. It's easily the best among many good films I've seen this year.It reminded me most of Cornell Wilde's The Naked Prey (1966), although at times it seemed to draw from Fellini's Satyricon, and the ending was right out of Lord of the Flies.
Sounds awfully Menckenian.
Well, better that than going like a lamb to the slaughter as I did from my sheltered adolescence out into the world during the turbulent 60s. Happy holiday greetings to you!
I lived in Monterey, Ca. during 1966-1970, our son was one when we got there from Burbank and I cut his hair once, we called him our "Little Hippy."
Hey, maybe we crossed paths when I visited out there in 1970, sitting around nude in the hot tubs at Esalen with a bunch of complete strangers. Those were the days.
Apocalypto is the Spanish word for Apocalypse--which in the original Greek means "I reveal" as in St John the Apostle who wrote the Book of Revelation...and all that entails.
Mel has reasons for naming it after the divine book of the Holy Bible.
What has that got to do with a perfectly good insult?
Everything about this movie worked. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A tremendous achievement. Raves, raves, raves. I applaud Mel for making this film. The characters were distinctive and sympathetic. Great writing.
One gratuitous "f" word in the English translation was my only beef, used in the context that "his goose is cooked". It got a cheap laugh from the audience.
ping for your consideration.
"Generally speaking, people are stupid."
I am 59 and feel that people are generally smart. See my tag.
First, let me say that neither one of us takes the "stupid" thing too seriously. And I do agree in principle with your tagline. I guess it comes down to one's relative ability to control the types of people you must interact with on a daily basis. In some lines of work, it's tougher than in others.
By the way, it's veering off a little, but in President Bush's press conference the day after the Republicans lost the election, the press were, as usual, trying to get Bush to denigrate his performance and apologize for living, and he prefaced his reply with, "In this line of work..." That gave me such a chuckle. Like it was any other line of work...
Sounds like a great film.
One quibble: what is in the heart of man and produces such cruelty is not his "animal' nature --animals seldom are cruel--but the sin that resides there, easting away at its vitality until it kills us. Sin--which is separation from God--can turn us,as it were. into incarnate demons.
Fair enough. Two words. Saint Mel.
Why let someone else tell you how to think. See for yourself and decide. It's the polar opposite of chiding Bush. It validates Bush.
Oh wait, I got your drift in the last 2 words. Still go see it. It's a beautiful vindication of western morality as unequivocable morality.
Of course you are right. I just don't want to contribute to the Bush Bashing Craze. It is as if he is the real enemy and not the Islamofacists.
Besides, I think my wife and I want to see the Nativity Story together instead.
Thanks for the advise.
The whole concept of stability is a concept of death.
It's part of my problem with the Bambi concept of natural history, where everything is beautiful and cute and benign. It's not the world. The world isn't like that at all.
You're either 'prey, you're an 'enemy', or you're 'ignored'.
Now think about all the islands. Island wildlife was wiped out because people could walk up to them with a stick and hit it on the head because it's much easier to kill something that doesn't see you as an enemy. By the time they realized it, they were extinct.
Ray Mendez, mole rat specialist, quoted from the documenty Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control (1997)
I see a lot of influences in "Apocalypto" - Gladiator, the first Conan the Barbarian film, Quest for Fire. I personally wondered if the entire film was Mel's metaphor about the decline of our corrupt, decaying American culture that refuses to honor the life of the unborn, but that's just my underlying impression.