I'm listening to Blood on the Tracks
this morning, which means I'm probably feeling fatalistic. The long view, and all that.
Yesterday was one of those days that had entirely too much crammed into it. Farmer's Market didn't have anything interesting, although I brought home some Japanese mustard greens to see what they were all about. A graybeard propositioned me with something nasty involving a hayride, and I was put in the impossible position of trying to explain some kind of Taiwanese street food that were not unlike Madeleine to some elderly ladies who wanted me to be some kind of expert. (I'm not.)
Later in the afternoon I met rg_rothko
for coffee. Happily, we met at the same Starbucks. On my way there I thought of the tragedy of two people trying to meet at Starbucks, but never managing to show up at the SAME ONE. Kind of the opposite of that scene in Best in Show
where the couple meets at Starbucks across the street from each other.
Then I saw 300 with Brother, which was classic Frank Miller Splatternalia. I (predictably) hated it, but did not let the sombre tone ruin my good time. Brother and I ended up making fart jokes through a good portion of the film, which was totally inappropriate, but some how called for. I still can't believe so many people would think I'd LIKE this film. It was like watching a video game with boys who won't let you play. Thbbbt!
(I also can't believe Brother would want to see this film. He hates bravehearty crap where they say things like, "You can take our land, you can take our women, you can take our sheep, but you can't take our FREEDOM!" He pointed out that while land, women, or sheep might be worth fighting for, once they've all been taken, abstract concepts seem kind of silly.)
But I've never liked Sparta, being more of an Athenian myself. Brother tried to point out that they were like Vikings; I violently disagreed. One of the things that makes Vikings easier to understand is that they like drinking and fighting so much they want to go on doing it in the afterlife. Battledeath makes sense in that context. The Greek Underworld always seemed sort of pallid. It seems to me that there are several basic afterlife concepts: the afterlife is just like life, it's way better, it's way worse, or you get reincarnated. Take your pick.
Even weirder were modern cultural references. People yelling things like, "Godspeed!" and "See you in Hell!" which didn't really make any sense. Plus, the CG Abs were ridiculous, even if the thighs occasionally made me drool. The color was flat, and there was no bonhomie or humor, everyone was being sombre and heroic all the time.
If I were Quasimodo making a guest appearance in the film, I'd want to hang out in Xerxes dungeon as well. And don't get me started on the Asian Horde. It seems to me that a lot of the films we've seen coming out recently will have an interesting tie to the current political climate, kind of the way all those 1950s sf films had commentary about the cold war. 5000 years of recorded history and we're still feeling bunchy about the Asian Horde. Maybe we should deal with that instead of repeating history all over again.
Did I mention the ninja paradox: the more ninjas there are, the easier they are to kill?
Anyway, I can't recommend it; but you know if you like this kind of thing, and I knew even before I saw it, that I would not. What disturbs me is that so many people thought I would. Why?
Afterwords I had dinner w/Linnet & her husband who showed me some interesting transformers he'd made out of paper when he was a little kid because his parents wouldn't buy him toys. They were absolutely phenomenally complex. It was one of those moments when everything about him kind of clicked, I suddenly understood part of what made him tick.