Skip to comments.Lessons Of 'The 300'
Posted on 03/26/2007 6:36:58 AM PDT by RDTF
A society that does not value its warriors will be destroyed by one that does.
A low-budget movie with no recognized stars that presents a cartoonish version of an event that happened long ago and far away is a surprising box office hit.
The movie is "The 300," about the battle in 480 B.C. at Thermopylae between Greeks and Persians. Its opening grossed more than $70 million, more than the next 10 highest grossing movies playing that weekend combined.
"The 300" has been denounced by the government of Iran, and the battle it describes was cited by former Vice President Al Gore in his congressional testimony Wednesday as inspiration for Americans to fight global warming. That's a lot of buzz.
"The 300" has plenty of violence, sex and the largest number of ripped abdomens ever seen on the silver screen, which doubtless counts for much of its appeal. But there is more to it than that.
"The 300" is a simple story of good versus evil. A handful of valiant Spartan warriors, inspired by love of country and love of liberty, fight to the death against a foreign oppressor. (Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.)
"300" is soaked with the masculine virtues of courage, honor, patriotism and self-sacrifice, and the camaraderie that exists among fighting men who have been through a shared ordeal. These are little valued in Hollywood or contemporary society, and there is a hunger for them. This, I think, is the key to the movie's appeal.
We need to rediscover these virtues. At once the most preposterous and the most dangerous of contemporary beliefs is "nothing was ever settled by violence."
(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...
It is the soldier, not the priest, who protects freedom of religion; the soldier, not the journalist, who protects freedom of speech. History teaches that a society that does not value its warriors will be destroyed by a society that does.
Lesson: If you're main tactic is the phalanx and it works well against a vastly superior army, don't break that tactic and go all Rambo on their arse, for you will lose.
That's it in a nushell, as well as we have always loved the heroic underdog fighting massive overwhelming force.
Jesus thinks otherwise.
A soldier can both protect and take your freedoms. Don't let a simplistic but enjoyable movie provide simplistic answers.
I hope people remember our founding fathers were distrustful of standing armies.
Imagine the tales told around camp fires before the written word. The Trojan War was just such an event. Homer's Illiad and Odyessey were written in the 3rd Century BC which was almost 700 years after the event. It would be another 2100 years before an amateur archeologists would follow the clues of these tales and find the real Troy.
It's wonderful that filmakers tell these tales but a 120 minute show doesn't come close to describing the real event!
I think it's that exact truth that accounts for the overwhelming success of this movie, which elevates a factual event to mythic proportion in its elevated presentation of the ideals of bravery, patriotism, and self-sacrifice. It also illustrates something very special about the United States, and the anti-war movement, who make every effort to portray themselves as the courageous ones who dare to make a stand.
Certainly, throughout history, those who vocally opposed the actions of their respective governments displayed a type of bravery, knowing that they risked death, imprisonment, the loss of livliehood or total exile. The problem the anti-war movement has is that in this country, they generally risk very little to absolutely nothing, and indeed, they obtain some of the qualities of a protected class. I think this accounts for a lot of their self-loathing and bitterness, knowing that better men then they are facing the fire on their behalf. It also results in their antipathy to our real warriors as they project their self-hate outwards.
IMHO, maybe 1-2% of the anti-war movement exhibit the true moral courage of standing by their beliefs on religous or philosophical grounds...The vast remainder are cowards who naturally gravitate to their fellow cowards and look for reasons to call themselves brave in their quest for acceptance.
"That's it in a nushell, as well as we have always loved the heroic underdog fighting massive overwhelming force."
Don't include me in that opinion! By your simplistic reasoning, we should be supporting the insurgents in Iraq.
We obviously don't, but that is precisely why some do
Don't let a simplistic notion of Christ confuse your grip on reality. Christ was a soldier too. He did not try to "understand" or "live with" evil. He opposed it. This is the fundamental flaw in the in the "pacifist" Christ manufactured by Modern Religion. It complete ignores the basic reality of good vrs evil and the need for good to actively OPPOSE evil, not coexist with it.
I view America forces as a well-trained professionals with superior military tactics and weapons (like the Spartans), but still so outnumbered by the Persian hoards (like the Spartans) that they remain the underdogs.
Not to mention the pretty-boy cowards whispering "redeploymnet" (surrender) in the back and the false religous "leaders" whispering compromise.
Every time I looked at the trianle/line "^" symbol on the Spartan shields I wonderd if there was an intentional or historical link to the stripes of modern enlisted men or even the recent ensignia on our Coalition troops/equipment.
It is neither moral or religious to act as the empowers of evil. The "anti war" movement is the active PR agent of mass murderers, rapists and torturers. It uses a fraudulent claim of moral principals while acting as the active agents of evil. The moral or principals claims by the "Anti war" movement are fraudulent. ALL religions preach that their adherents are suppose to actively oppose evil, not act as it's PR agent
"At once the most preposterous and the most dangerous of contemporary beliefs is "nothing was ever settled by violence."
My answer to that one is, "Oh, really? How many slaves do you own?"
IMHO, it is the ultimate vanity to assume God's role in determining what is, "moral or religious," but since you've apparently become the arbiter of such things, I would only say that many martyrs in the Christian tradition did not resist, struggle or protest against their executioners, but hardly empowered them. There are likewise, a small number of people who oppose the war, not because they have an aversion to violence or a love for moslems, but simply because the U.S. did not follow its own rules for going to war (i.e., Ron Paul, the Constitution Party). Again, these are the tiniest minority within the anti-war movement (and rarely, if ever have anything to do with the rest of the movement), but they are remaining intellectually and philosophically consistent, and can hardly be considered the enablers of evil.
Christians rose up in arms against the Roman empire that was killing them? No. Jesus warned his message would be distorted in the end times and he was correct.
Christians were not cowards - but how they fought (and should fight) was to willingly die through martyrdom WITHOUT ARMED RESISTANCE against authority. 'The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.'
Christ is not a jihadist,
We agree - see my comments.
Sure, Christians rise up and physically fight for their right to worship.
In Rome, itself, eventually they did (along with a lot of other things going on at the same time).
The Crusades were similarly a defensive fight against muslim oppression.
Indeed, in modern times, the answer is frequently violent.
Christians in Sudan need new AK-47s more than they need new Bibles.
This iconoclastic article aims to tear down Greek and Spartan values. Cyrus the son of Darius aside, Persians, like Mohammedans, have ever been the enemies of freedom.
They think they are all so clever because they see everything as shades of grey. NO, actually it is a remarkable childish, stupid way of looking at the world. By refusing to see anything as evil, the spoiled brats of the Baby Boomer years authorize themselves to do as they wish when they wish. By refusing to see anything as it is, the Boomers rationalize their moral cowardice in refusing to get off their fat sanctimonious butts and confront it.
Evil exists. Just because the Baby Boomers are all too great moral cowards to see it, or do anything about it, does not make it go away.
Your view is distorted.
Before Marathon the Greeks were never able to defeat the superior Persians - the Persians fought using combined arms of heavy and light infantry working with heavy and light cavalry. Greeks (especially Athens who instigated the war) were not only helping the rebellions in Asia Minor but sent forces to try and liberate Egypt from the Persians as well - all failed.
In open fields the Greek hoplite phalanx would be easily outflanked and defeated as it was over and over again by the Persians until Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander incorporated a cavalry element to their phalanx. Their cavalry was still inferior to the Persians but it prevented their outflanking and thus allowing the phalanx to smash into the weaker Persian infantry.
There was a real reason the defeat of Persia TWICE was seen as a miracle by the Greeks - because it was.
And the Athenians had a lot to do with that victory as well. In a few decades Sparta would take Persian gold to create a navy to be able to defeat Athens - Persia did get her revenge on Athens via her gold.
The vast remainder are cowards who naturally gravitate to their fellow cowards and look for reasons to call themselves brave in their quest for acceptance...
The vast remainder are lefties who would be telling us how necessary the WOT is, if Al Gore or the Clintons were running it...
Only the Catholics viewed the Crusade as a holy war - the Crusade was against Christian teaching even f justified from a secular point of view - i.e. the Roman Emperor at Constantinople requesting military aid against the Turks from Western Europe via the Pope. The emperor never requested a holy war or imparted a religious dimension to his request for military assistance. In fact Eastern Christianity was horrified at the notion of holy war like Crusade and insisted that the knights came to fight as soldiers sworn to the emperor, not to Christ.
300 is a ground breaking film in many ways
Molon Labe - Molon ending with an n.
I certainly agree with much of what you say, particularly with regards to the self-absorbed narcissism of the baby boom generation and the society that they have wrought. Furthermore, I do try to see things in terms of black and white (recall that my original post on this thread was about moral absolutes). Having said that, if one truly wants to try to see things as they really are, sans any gray area, one needs to keep in mind that we cannot possibly know what's on another man's heart. I find little, if any, disagreement with you when you state the anti-war movement empowers evil. I merely think that your blanket implication is that all persons in the anti-war movement are enablers of evil is incorrect...not by much, mind you, but there are a handful of exceptions, and to dismiss a Ron Paul with the same casual regard as Cindy Sheehan is in fact, to muddy the water and fail to see matters in the clarity of black and white.
Cyrus the son of Darius aside, Persians, like Mohammedans, have ever been the enemies of freedom...
Actually, I believe Darius was the grandson or great grandson of Cyrus the Great...
What a pathetically gutless generation that can look at those items and still refuse to admit to the completely evil nature of our current foes. Truly the Boomers are America's Worst Generation.
So if you were against the Kosovo war were you a bleeding heart lefty?
Maybe we need more complexity in our thoughts rather than simplicity? Not so much that we become like Hamlet the Dane but not too little that we are like Homer the Simpson.
Greeks (especially Athens who instigated the war) were not only helping the rebellions in Asia Minor but sent forces to try and liberate Egypt from the Persians as well - all failed.
How nice of you to see that...thanks
"Christians NEVER rose up against the pagan Romans. That is an outright lie."
Yeah, I forgot Constantine was peace-nick. Tell that to Maxentius, et al.
Did I imply the resistance was not justified? Of Course Asia Minor was Greek. Should still be if I had magic powers.
I can think of no other group of people in history that were as self-absorbed or had a bigger sense of entitlement.
The emperor (Byzantine) never requested a holy war or imparted a religious dimension to his request for military assistance.
Constantine's fight against Maxentius was not fought as a Christian vs a Pagan. In fact Constantine was not a Christian at that time and he was fighting for non theocratic reasons.
I dare you to name one Christian armed revolt against the Roman authorities.
"Don't let a simplistic but enjoyable movie provide simplistic answers."
Have you seen it?
The Holy Fathers were and are right about Islam but the Crusade is a heresy to the Orthodox.
The Emperor only requested military aid from the West - no Eastern Orthodox Christian accepted the premise of the Crusade - that if you die in combat with a Muslim during a Crusade you get your sins forgiven and you go to heaven. Alithia or psemata?
It is true that when tyranny takes over the first thing that goes is the freedom of the press. And, the other freedoms subsequently disappear.
Remember, Jesus didn't abolish slavery, didn't abolish mass executions, or any of the things that are aborrant to today's society.
In Christ' day, the enemy didn't have nukes.
Discussing history over '300' would be like arguing about WW2 via Captain America comics.
lol...I missed that he did that. What a freakin' 6th grader.
War happens for Christians as we are tought through the same bible that we are sinners and prone to warring. Nothing denies a nation the right of lawful self-defense.
Dont know how to Italicize but below is qoute from the Catholic Catechism;
"Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until Christ comes again; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and these words will be fulfilled: "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
In Christ's day they could achieve kill ratios on par with nukes - don't kid yourself. A proper Christian DIES to advance his faith he does not kill to advance it. Besides, America has never fought a war for Christianity - in Fact one of the cities we nuked in Japan was the only center of Christianity in Japan.