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March 11, 2007


Rick Ballard


Other Tom

Makes me think of that wonderful scene in "Ramblin' Rose," where the intoxicatingly overripe and oversexed Laura Dern is coming on to Robert Duvall, who is as tempted as any sentient male being would be. But he gathers himself up and declares, "I'm standin' at Thermopylae! I'm standin' at Thermopylae!" That's my contribution to this historical discussion...

clarice feldman

Tell your son I'm stealing his joke. I like it.


I can't wait for the satire based on the film.

"I'd like to see .. three hundred Spartans"
(said with a napkin on your head ala Monty Python).


I just saw it. Caught the Sunday night late show in an uncharacteristically packed house. Interesting crowd. Most all were under 35. Very somber. Seemed to suck it all in. Maybe that Honor and Liberty stuff ain't so passe after all.


A thermal-explosion?

M. Simon

300 Fartans.

Think like a 10 year old.


Good one.


what do you get if you serve a baked bean dinner to 300 Spartans?

Global warming?



Fartin' Spartans?

lol. TM your kid's a hoot.


I'm often taken aback when the left goes nuts over something the way they have over this silly movie.

It really says something about their window on the world I think. I read this review in Slate and about all I could do was sigh.

Your son has a good sense of humor TM.

Nick Kasoff - The Thug Report

Yeah, my 11 year old would love that too. So I am not stealing your joke. Between The Simpsons and his own imagination, we're already deluged.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report


See 301 Dalmations for exaspiration over the Slate review ignorance.

Gabriel Sutherland

Dude, the Persians were totally the Americans.

Today's media is so off the radar each day is one more closer to when we stop trusting the media to be any kind of watchdog over government.

Here's what Zak Snyder faced after showing 300 at the Berlin Film Festival.

''I was getting bombarded with political questions,'' says Snyder. Some Europeans saw Leonidas' lone-wolf march against the Persians as an allegorical defense of President Bush's incursion into Iraq. ''When someone in a movie says, 'We're going to fight for freedom,' that's now a dirty word,'' says Snyder. ''Europeans totally feel that way. If you mention democracy or freedom, you're an imperialist or a fascist. That's crazy to me.''

You see, it makes sense. The Spartans were picking a fight with a quarter million man Persian army docked 10 miles from Sparta. Those damn imperialist Spartans with their freedom and democracy. Why couldn't they just accept their Persian overlords?

I'm more inclined to hand out press credentials to patients in a mental ward then I am to the "professional class of reporters".


My 17yr-old was primarily impressed with the visual style of the movie though he is historically knowledgable enough to be pleased the setting was along the shore rather than a classic mountain pass scenario. Despite Slate's PC take, it's hard to see how a tiny band of soldiers defending their homes is the moral equivalent of massive invading army. Even if the Spartans were guity of fighting while European, which seems to be Slate's main issue.


"Why couldn't they just accept their Persian overlords?"

Exactly. For some, "peace at all costs" is preferable to quaint notions like "self-defense" and preservation of one's culture. As the bumper sticker that I saw on an aging 60's counter-culture alumna's car said:

"Peace Is Patriotic".

Other Tom

I just read the Slate review--just marvelous! Of course the poor dear has to be upset that the Spartans were white; no writer hoping to keep her job at a respectable leftish mag could possibly fail to be upset by that inconvenient historical truth. She is also miffed that the movie never lets on that we're at war today. Well Jesus, lady, it's a movie set in 480 B.C.--give us a break!

The review reminds me of the unwatchably bad Mel Gibson thing, The Patriot. The flick was so awful it made me cringe, but I loved it for the people who got politically upset by it.


I have an answer to your son... Go tell the Fartans! (I am so ashamed!)


The thing I liked about this movie was the lessons of the Queen. First, what happens to you when you give in to the appeasers, and second, how to really deal with them.

Somehow I suspect this movie is very unpopular at the Department of State.

Gabriel Sutherland

Perhaps the representation of mythological fundamentalists a top the mountain was too much religion for Slate.


Geez, read part of the Slate peace. Leftists really have no humor or sense of perspective. Whoever wrote that needs to get the burr out of his butt and loosen up a little.


" One of the few war movies I've seen in the past two decades that doesn't include at least some nod in the direction of antiwar sentiment,"

it appears to me this is what has twisted the writers panties. You know "peace is the answer" and all that.

Cecil Turner

Heh. Haven't gotten to see it, yet, but saw the History Channel's version this weekend, which was outstanding. It's the usual background, overview, and battle recreations with commentary by guest historians (including Steven Pressfield, author of the superb Gates of Fire). It's nice to see filmmaking technology progress to the point they can do this sort of thing well, both for the historical and entertainment versions.


This is an article which might touch on some of the lefties hysteria concerning this movie. This article is written with Europe in mind but the Euro/socialist vision is shared by the US leftists.

March 12, 2007

The Hidden Premise of European Anti-Americanism

By James Lewis

If "one's man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," then all wars are the same, liberation equals conquest, tyranny equals democracy, aggression equals defense, and Churchill equals Hitler.

That seems to be the hidden premise of European, and especially Franco-German cant against the American-British overthrow of Saddam. Because the truth is of course that George W. Bush's decision to overthrow Saddam for fear that he was armed with WMDs, is a lineal descendant of FDR's decision to come to the aid of Britain against Nazi Germany, Harry S. Truman's decision to fight in Korea, and Woodrow Wilson's decision to aid Western countries against Prussian militarism in World War I. The United States involved itself in these conflicts to prevent larger and terrible consequences for itself before being militarily attacked by Germany.

Saddam was a mass-murdering, aggressive tyrant, whose Baath Party grew straight out of the fascist parties of the 1930s. Saddam's desire and capacity for making WMDs were obvious to all, even the Left. Since military intelligence is always partly wrong, adult decisions must be made under uncertainty. Bush and Blair made a rational decision to overthrow Saddam, just as FDR and Churchill made a rational decision to overthrow Hitler. The West knew nothing about Hitler's efforts to make atom bombs and cruise missiles when they decided to stop him.




El Fixo!


TM did you know JOM is banned in China?

Good work. :-)






Nah. The metaphor played Sparta as America. Even the senate politics was disgustingly true to form. The blackheart who lorded over the Spartan senate portrayed the perfect Democrat; Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd and John Kerry all rolled into one. By contrast, the vileness of Democrat politics over Iraq was laid bare for all to see. Then Xerces gold coins spilled across the senate floor.

The theater was full; most there were 35 and under. Most probably know somebody in Iraq. I think they got it loud and clear.


Were they mostly male? Just sayin' it wouldn't take much to get them inside the theater if there is chick on chick action. Regardless of party affiliation.

Rick Ballard


Many Thespians participated in the battle but I don't believe that Lesbos actually contributed forces. Given the current quality of education, it's possible that the target market may have been influenced by the thought of a bunch of sweaty Thespians battling the Achmaenidean foe.

Charlie (Colorado)

With the effects and such, I'm not sure they needed many thespians.


OT: Tom, you are an Insty Header REBEL!! :>)


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258299,00.html>Bad week?

Not as bad as this guy's...


These guys along with their democratic allies had a bad week as well. Iraqi's killing terrorists is the democrats worst case scenerio.

Anbar tribes kill 11 insurgents

Friday, March 09, 2007 09:37 GMT

Government media office issued a statement reporting that a group of Anbar tribes killed 11 insurgents including four emirs belonging to Al Qaeda Organization. In cooperation with Iraqi army and multinational forces, a group of Anbar tribes attacked caches of Qaeda insurgents in Juiba region in eastern Ramadi and arrested 16 insurgents and confiscated a car used by gunmen for criminal operations.



clarice feldman

JOM is banned in China? Odd, I've seen on the site meter, lurkers from there in the wee hours of the morning.


Tom's hyperfinating post forced me back to my Herodotus for a quick reread of the battle. Haven't seen the movie, but some interesting points from Herodotus, (The Penguin Classic's Selincourt translation)seemed worth a post:

"The contigents of the various states were under their own officers, but the most respected was Leonidas the Spartan, who was to command the whole army. Leonidas traced his descent directly back to Heracles...He had come to be king of Sparta quite unexpectedly, for as he had 2 elder brothers...he had no thought himself of succeeding to the throne. Dorieus however, was killed in Sicily, and when Cleomenes also died without an heir, Leonidas found himself next in the succession...The three hundred men whom he brought on this occasion to Thermopylae were chosen by himself, all fathers of living sons.

...Xerxes sent a man on horseback to ascertain the strength of the Greek force and to observe what the troops were doing...The Persian rider approached the camp and took a survey of all he could see...He did carefully observe the troops who were stationed on the outside of the wall. At that moment these happened to be the Spartans, and some of them were stripped for exercise, while others were combing their hair. The Persian spy watched them in astonishment ...and then rode quietly off. No one attempted to catch him, or took the least notice of him. Back in his own camp he told Xerxes what he had seen. Xerxes was bewildered; the truth, namely that the Spartans were preparing themselves to die and deal death with all their strength, was beyond his comprehension, and what they were doing seemed to him merely absurd. Accordingly he sent for Demaratus, (a Greek ally, who now says to Xerxes)...Once before, when we began our march against Greece, you heard me speak of these men. I told you then how I saw this enterprise would play out and you laughed at me. I strive for nothing, my Lord, more earnestly than to observe the truth in your presence; so hear me once more. These men have come to fight us for possesion of the pass, and for that struggle they are preparing. It is the common practice of the Spartans to pay careful attention to their hair when they are about to risk their lives..."

Bad Hair Day? You make the call.


Clarice, I was in China early in the month and had no trouble at all pulling up JOM in ShangHai. If Tom's been banned, (which I doubt), it's very recent. I'm sceptical.


My ten-year-old son claimed that 300 was just like Lord of the Rings, which he saw with my blessing. Nice try, didn't work, as I explain here.


I guarantee none of you had the experience I had. I saw this movie before it was released in the States. I saw it in the movie theater in Balad, Iraq. Packed with Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors.

We really enjoyed the movie but I was also surprised that it was actually made. Hollywood and all.

clarice feldman

I'm certain that was a unique experience, Swede. I envy you that.


Many Thespians participated in the battle...

I believe the Spartans were accompanied by Thebians, not Thespians.

And what was that "classical" mountain-pass scenario? Even the cheesy 60's movie got that geography right.



Isn't that weird. When I ran JOM on that tester earlier it came up banned. Now it comes up available.

Someone on another blog speculated all typepad blogs were banned, but obviously not. And it seems that tester is unreliable. Sorry. :-p >~


Y'know, there's a scene in Blazing Saddles this boy would love.
Unfortunately, the country has lost its sense of humor since 1974.
So no child, er, no one, is allowed to watch any of Cleavon Little's scenes.

Rick Ballard


There weren't no Thebans there at Thermopylae. The Thebans were latter day Copperheads who signed on with Xerxes faster than a Democrat can say "Let's surrender".

No Lesbians neither.

There were, however, seven hundred Thespians (nationally - Boetians).

I have no idea as to whether or not they were card carrying SAG members, though.

Rick Ballard

Herodotus (from the Rawlinson translation):

222. So the allies, when Leonidas ordered them to retire, obeyed him and forthwith departed. Only the Thespians and the Thebans remained with the Spartans; and of these the Thebans were kept back by Leonidas as hostages, very much against their will. The Thespians, on the contrary, stayed entirely of their own accord, refusing to retreat, and declaring that they would not forsake Leonidas and his followers. So they abode with the Spartans, and died with them. Their leader was Demophilus, the son of Diadromes.

At my college (UNC Chapel Hill) the Classics department had an intermural basketball team named the "Boetian Bombers". Don't think any of 'em were Thespians nor Lesbians. Anyhow, they pronounced Boetian as "Bay-ocean", and gave you crap when you pronounced it otherwise. Just thought I'd mention it so that we all didn't run around saying "BO-EE-Tee-In". Go to hell Duke.

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