This Is Sparta!

Victor Davis Hanson (himself a renowned scholar of the Greco-Persian War) has an interesting take on why 300 seems to rankle so many on the left:

There is a great yearning among the public for just a small, rare chance to see some issue presented in terms other than moral ambiguity. 300 provided that in a way other costume dramas like Alexander or Troy either could not or did not. The 300 and those beside them were better than the alternative, had the moral high ground, and were willing to match deed with word.

Now, I haven’t seen 300 yet (being a law student and having time and money be in perennially short supply), but it does seem to have hit a certain audience who wants a movie that doesn’t require itself to ponderously attach a host of moral equivocations to its plot. Sometimes the good guys really are good, and the bad guys really are bad. (And the fact that it happened to come out in a time of conflict with the modern-day Persian Empire probably doesn’t hurt either…)

Consider this an open thread…

10 thoughts on “This Is Sparta!

  1. Oh, come now, I’m a starving grad student too, and I still found the cash and time to go see 300.

    Trust me, it’s worth it. Just make sure to take your sense of humor, and check your sense of disbelief at the door (War Rhinos? The Persians didn’t have War Rhinos!- though I’d bet if Herodotus had a digital film studio at his disposal, there would have been War Rhinos at Thermopylae…)

  2. What am *I* doing wrong? I’ve got a job, and I still can’t afford going to the movies. 300 has not hit Germany yet, and I think I will not treat me to it when it does. I am saving for the Harry Potter excitement in July…


  3. Wha, wha, wha? Harry Potter over 300?

    Go turn in your balls, Janek, you’re no longer worthy. 😉

  4. oh lord, I loved 300. consider me game for a movie about men in leather thongs.

    but who’s to say that that xerxes– he’d be the bad guy– isn’t supposed to reprsent dubya, rather than osama?

    I see very little moral ambiguity in the actions of the republican right, you know 😀

  5. Me, not worthy anymore? This, Nicholas, implies that I have been, once. This is something I wholeheartedly deny! 😉

    But man, it’s not just the movie, it’s the book as well. And, in my defense, I met my wife on a Harry Potter discussion forum, so allow me to be a little biased in favor of HP 😉


  6. Jay, come on, prioritize! It’ll be out here in Sweden on wednesday, and the previews were enough to convince me of going just because of all the visual goodiness.

    BTW, how’s it going? =)

  7. Hey Jonas! Good to hear from you!

    I still haven’t gotten around to seeing 300 — but once I’m done with redrafting my memo for the last time, I’m definitely going to check it out. I may even treat myself to the IMAX version. It will be quite nice to have a weekend in which I don’t have a legal memo assignment over my head…

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