March 29, 2007

White skins vs. brown skins

As I said, the 300 trailer clearly juxtaposed the light-skinned Leonidas with the dark-skinned Persian messenger. I also referred to a photo of Leonidas and Xerxes side by side. For those unable to follow URLs, here are several photos on the subject:

Does anyone want to declare that the Spartans have darker skins now? If so, speak up and embarrass yourself further...please.


Anonymous said...

rob, just 'cuz people are paying to watch this spectacle does not mean they agree with the overt message. this film is bacially propaganda to hopefully instill some morale into a culturally- and more importantly spiritually-weak nation. i wholeheartedly agree that the movie is pushing some sort of message, with the persians (non-white/dark-skinned) being portrayed as non-human monstrosities who are as vile and obscene as can be, while the spartans are chiseled good-looking "white" people fighting for freedom and democracy.

Rob said...

Yep, you embarrassed yourself further, Russ. Oh my.

Amazingly, you still don't understand that popular appeal has nothing to do with critical appeal. You literally think that box-office success is the same as artistic quality. No wonder your track record in Hollywood is so mixed; you don't know a first-class movie when you see one.

When you feel brave enough to address the issue I raised, please do so. Do the Spartans have darker or lighter skins than the Persians? If you're not blind as well as deaf and dumb, answer the question.

In this context, I don't particularly care if a movie is successful at the box office. It doesn't change my critical opinion of it. Nor does the popularity of Western movies, Indian mascots, or Native stereotypes in general change my opinion of them. Wrong is wrong regardless of popularity.

Let me know if you're still too befuddled to understand what I'm saying. I don't know if I can simplify it any further, but I'll try. I'm always willing to help the unenlightened among us.

Rob said...

Anonymous, I know every viewer doesn't agree with 300's message. You know, the message Russ doesn't understand any better than Apocalypto's message. Which he didn't realize was there despite Mel Gibson's telling us it was there. Duh.

I also know every viewer isn't swayed by what he or she sees. But some viewers may be. If they aren't swayed, it may shift their thoughts a little. It may shift the whole cultural dialog a little.

This comes up again and again when non-Natives tell us how "harmless" stereotypes are. No one was ever harmed by a buffoonish minstrel show or a big-nosed Indian savage, right? Well, I've documented the harm. If you're not convinced yet, check it out.

Rob said...

Speaking of minstrel shows, Amos 'n' Andy was hugely popular in its day. So was mocking good-for-nothing Indians. So were lynchings. Tell us which acts of ignorant racism you're willing to defend on the grounds of popularity, Russ.

We already know you support the racist messages of Apocalypto and 300. And I guess you support the anti-black message of Norbit and the anti-gay message of Wild Hogs. What other examples of racism or prejudice do you support?

Rob said...

What a couldn't answer my questions again, Russ. Your usual excuse is that you've already answered them, but since we've never discussed Amos 'n' Andy or Norbit, you'll need a new excuse. You know, for your cowardly and contemptible refusal to answer direct questions.

Meanwhile, I addressed your ignorance of movie messages back when we discussed Apocalypto. Since they still apply, read my comments again:

Mel's message: Christians saved Indians

J Wright said...

This is a joke, I may be on here late, but I stumbled upon this doozy of a site. The subject: 300 ok well if you know the story of the 300 Spartans you would know they fought the Persian empire, and you would know that they do have a darker complexion. So whats your problem with this film? You think it has an underlying racist message? What a joke, you just want something to complain about and you find it in anything that you WANT to find it in. Should they recast the Persians with all white actors? Oh no then we'd have an altogether different problem, Persian people would complain about our gross charicature of them in American cinema. Well then I guess making movies based on things that actually happened is completely out because people like you only see them as propaganda for a conflict that exists in the minds of fools and paranoia driven blow hards.

Rob said...

Where's your evidence that the ancient Persians had darker skin than the ancient Greeks? Present it and then we'll discuss it. Until then, here's (some of) my evidence:

The persians were and are fairer skinned than greeks.

Ancient persians were REAL aryan people.

Ancient authors knew that the Persians and Medes were Aryans.

Rob said...

Did the ancient Persians also pierce their bodies, file their teeth, and employ 10-foot giants? Doubtful.

Anyway, I didn't come up with the thesis about Racism in 300. I merely reported what others have said.

Check their postings and see if you can rebut their arguments. They're the experts on the subject, not me.