Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is 300 a Conservative Movie? No. Illiberal? Yes

There were some discussions about whether the new movie 300 is an attack on Bush's militarism? Or is it in support of it? So why do every war movie have to have a political message? Maybe it's just a simple historical movie with awesome CG graphics. The answer to "Is it a conservative movie"? is a simple NO. Why? Because if it were, it couldn't have been made in Hollywood. But what it is for sure, it's an illiberal movie. Our friends at Libertas clearly explained why it is illiberal: 300 is about bravery, freedom, honor, and country. These are universal themes. But universal themes that will offend liberals because they’re not defended in a PC fashion. Liberals believe bravery is being brave enough to kiss despot hiney in the corrupt UN. Liberals believe freedom is porn in school libraries. Liberals believe honor is leaking national security secrets to the New York Times. Liberals believe ”country” is about everybodys counry but ours, so it’s okay to give mass murderers autographed basketballs and ask them to dance. The men in 300 believe they are good, their families are good, their country is good, and worth dying and fighting for. Now, that is not a conservative value. But it is an illiberal one.

Now the best take on 300 that I found is the article on National Review. David Kahane hits a lot of right notes about the movie. Among them: When, early in the film, a sneering Persian emissary insults King Leonidas’s wife, threatens the kingdom, and rages about blasphemy, the king kicks him down a bottomless well. And yet nobody in Sparta asks, “Why do they hate us?” and seeks to find common ground with the Persians on their doorstep. The Spartans mock the god-king Xerxes (whose traveling throne resembles a particularly louche Brazilian gay-pride carnival float), mow down his armored “immortal” holy warriors and generally give their last full measure to defend Greek civilization against superstition and tyranny. Where are the liberal Spartan voices raised in protest against this blatant homophobia, xenophobia, and racism?

After seeing the movie, I found out it has a lot of other anti-liberal themes. Mocking the metrosexual fags, like Mr. Kahane said, is one of them. Going to a pre-emptive war to face the enemy away from home is another one. Reminds me of a team sports principle, that offense is the best defense. But aside from this, it was a great movie, and anybody who liked Lord of the Rings, Gladiator or even Kill Bill should like it.

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