Friday, October 24, 2008


I wonder if anyone reads history anymore. I am watching Heroes right now and wonder what they read to set up this Takezo Kensei story. First they make Takezo Kensei a white guy...I'm rolling my eyes at that thought already, then the set him up in Japan in 1671.

And it is feudal Japan. Complete with ronin samurai terrorizing Japan.

I certainly hope that Tokugawa Ietsuna does not catch wind of these situation, I don't think he would approve of a competing warlord trying to screw around with his rule. I also wondered how this "White Beard" was able to give away half of Japan to the white guy with a Japanese name.

I guess they probably meant to refer to the Sengoku period, but they were a century or two too far ahead in history...

Thursday, October 23, 2008


After watching two versions of films covering the life of Temudjin, aka Genghis Khan, I noticed two things. The Japanese-Mongolian production seems more like a samurai eiga with Mongolian soldiers. It felt like a candy coated version of history. The Kahzak-Mongolian production was gritter and probably a bit difficult for westerners to handle, but it did cover some of the Western propaganda that painted Temudjin as merely a brutal butcher.

I've always found it interesting that no one will question the brutality of the Christian Crusaders who slaughtered the Muslim and Jewish population of Jerusalem in 1099, after they "liberated" the city from Muslim rule, yet Temudjin is demonized as only a brutal butcher. Indeed, the Mongolians did wage war with brutality, but the Mongolians are painted as the harbingers of death, the devil incarnate... And no one bats an eye in the face of Western brutality starting with the expansion of Portuguese naval power in the 15th century.

Ah whatever...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The wasteland of the Intelligentsia

My brain hurts.

Unfortunately, I was able to hear a sound clip from Rush Limbaugh today while at work. I completely forgot about...him. Yet, as I rolled my eyes and blocked out his voice to think about what to eat for lunch: curry or curry, a flashback reminded me that I was once a Rushbo fan. Dittos was a greeting and tobacco stained fingers was a laughter eliciting comment.

That was 1994-1999. Then I moved to college, supposedly became a ranting socialist liberal although I joined the military. I prefer to define it as "political atheism."

But it was not Rush Limbaugh that hurt my brain; well, it did cause some pain listening to his sense of logic. No, that award goes to The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior.

I know that I have a passing knowledge of classical history, but this movie caused me to cringe from start to finish. Randy Couture as Sargon was possibly the most painful to watch. I wont comment on the acting performance or the cheesy use of CGI, but the jarring and confusing history.

They mention Akkad and Sargon as an evil monster with the powers of the dark side--yet, the Sargon of the Akkadian Empire was probably not so empowered. What was really confusing was the moment that he travelled to Greece--not quite sure that civilization had really started to flourish in Greece by the reign of Sargon (24th century BCE). It was a jarring clash of mythology and history--especially when they went to the Underworld to see Lady Asarte....the Goddess of Love and War living in the Greek Underworld...and its gate existed in the Laybrinth in Crete, which was the home to the famous Minotaur. Yet, while Asarte is prevalent in Mesopotamian mythology, she was later adopted into the Greek Olympian Pantheon as Aphrodite.

What is truly confusing is that if this were all to occur in the 24th century BCE, the Greek guide/poet/etc refers to Herodotus who lived in the 3rd century BCE...and at that point, the region that was once Akkad and even Egypt and Crete were under the Perisan yoke. Herodotus gives us a great tale of the fall of Egypt to the Persian armies in his Histories. In fact, Herodotus only chronicles the histories that lead up to the great wars between the Hellenic states and Persian Empire...minus the Spartans in speedos, capes and heavy metal music in the background.

What is ironic, since I'm blabbering about Classical History and Hollywood film (either to theatres or straight to DVD...remember when it was straight to video? Damn), is that if they actually wrote the film to the histories that we have of the Greek stand at Thermopylae, it would have been probably more brutal and violent than 300. Somehow the final stand of the Spartans and Thespians as they dragged King Leonidas's body back to their lines fighting to the point of their claws and teeth against the Perisans would probably shock more than anything that was in 300...or Xerxes 's desecration of Leonidas's body.

What's the point? That someone reads Herodotus or Anabasis....