Be-Pantied They Charged: Conan vs. 300

Let's look at two be-pantied sword-wielding men with flexing boobs:

This is Conan. He's from Hyperborea. He set out to slay the evil wizard-king Thulsa Doom because Thulsa Doom slew his family and his people when he was but a child.

This is Leonides. He's from Sparta, in Greece. He set out to defiantly scream "LET'S ALL GET FUCKING KILLED FIGHTING PERSIANS!!!" over and over until he finally got (fucking) killed fighting Persians.

The original graphic novel that 300 is based on is great. I read it in college and it was gripping, fun, and the art was extraordinary. The translation to the screen was a let-down on two counts: you realize in watching it as a movie how 2-dimensional the plot is and it's the most hyperbolic, frothing-at-the-mouth bunch of nationalistic pro-war horseshit you could ever conjure up while the Iraq War is going on.

The weird thing is that the director, apparently, defended it repeatedly, in one case actually claiming that the logical parallel is between the Iraqis and the Greeks; invaded by an overwhelming force, struggling to maintain their sovereignty. The problem, as so many have already pointed out, is that the Persians are portrayed as this kind of gang of gay black perverts. As Dan Savage said of 300's political implications, "it's Ann Coulter on a meth binge."

I'll keep this nice and short: for superior sword-wielding men in leather panties ACTION, may I suggest the original Conan the Barbarian. Conan isn't out to invade Iraq, he just wants revenge for the death of his family, and he eventually gets it by hacking off James Earl Jones' head after killing about 300 big viking guys. I think we can all relate to that.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

stuff like this is why you'll never be a lame-ass prof, and your classes will always be full. :)