Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Movie 300, History and the Freaky Nature of Time - Prose of Ramadhan Part 12

In '300' there is a lot of screaming half-naked men. It makes up for the nauseating 'message' of the movie.
24. For freedom or for the King?
Historians are prone
To garnish history
With the trends
Of today.

Imputing alien ideas
And foreign motivation
To those who cannot,
Alas, respond.

We too,
Could be labeled the same,
Save that the subjects
Of our constant study,
Do react,
Most passionately.

Our predecessors are reacting now.
And they are telling us,

"We studied you
Before you studied us."

RATIONALISM AND FREEDOM? REALLY? The prose above was recorded soon after watching the movie '300' some years back. My pet peeve about the movie is essentially the gross misrepresentation of history. In those feudal days, really, let's be sensible, nobody fought wars for 'rationalism' or 'freedom'. They fought because they had to. They fought because if they didn't, their kings, barons and warlords would probably decapitate them in a show of royal displeasure. They fought as part of an ancient contract between the ruler and the ruled based essentially on loyalty and servitude from the peasants, in payment for some protection and benefits from their masters.

A POTTER? HAHAHA! In one famous scene, the Spartans met a bunch of Arcadians who came to join them in trying to defend Greece from the Persian King Xerxes. Oh, how they mocked their fellow Greeks who admitted that they were essentially part-time warriors drafted for the butchery. All the Arcadians had proper day jobs like a porter or a farmer, which I thought was an admirable notion. Yet for the Spartan King Leonidas, it was something to look down upon, because in Sparta, the only honourable job (it seems) was to be a soldier. What the good King forgot to mention was that this was only possible because Sparta used to raid its neighbours for slaves to farm their land and perform all those sort of menial chores unbecoming of a true Spartan. Oh God... what a bunch egoistical wombats.
No, he ain't Spartan. He's Australian. I like him because
unlike Spartan Kings, he doesn't go about screaming at people.
And of course the opening scene where the Spartans dumped the less than perfect babies into a ravine did not actually ingratiate me to them. So through out the entire movie, I was willing Leonidas to lose, and really the whole of Sparta to be consumed in a Persian conquest. Of course, it wasn't so. But that is what happens when you disconnect facts from history.

TIME IS NOT LINEAR. I do not think that time is linear. I do not think that the moment that just passed merely went kaput and stop existing, having no further effect on the present and future. I think that the entire TimeScape is like the cartoon centrespread of a Sunday newspaper. I do believe that the past continues to exist even as time moves inexorably forward. And I do believe that the ancient (well, perhaps not all, but the more thoughtful ones) have already read about us, their descendants, long before we ever made our first appearance in the delivery room of the hospital. I can imagine it now... one of my ancestors reading about me, some thousand years ago...
Oh boy... Why do I always get the hopeless cases?

Have a wonderful day, sunshine. This day has been prepared for you an eternity ago. So enjoy it while it lasts!

Pax Taufiqa.

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