Words of the Day: Geumatophobia, Ideophobia

(the 300 post I’d rather not be writing, thank you very much)

geumatophobia n: morbid dislike of taste.

ideophobia n: morbid dislike of ideas.

There’s been a lot of both on display in the great 300 stoush that’s been fought out in the blogosphere, and the MSM, over the past week or two. On one side the film has been panned because:

  1. It’s historically inaccurate.
  2. It’s distasteful.
  3. It’s fascist.

In response, those who like the film say:

  1. Get real, it’s only a movie.
  2. Youse lot are all intellectual snobs.
  3. Godwin’s Law, Godwin’s Law, Godwin’s Law!

As I said here, I haven’t seen the film yet. But I’ve seen enough of the trailers and review clips (on At the Movies with Margaret and David) to know I don’t want to pay cinema prices to see it. To me, Gerard Butler as Leonidas sounds like one of those Glaswegian laddies in a Billy Connolly joke and I can’t help mentally filling in gaps in the dialogue. For example:

Xerxes: This is madness!

Leonidas: This is Sparta, [Jimmy]!

Persian Commander: Spartans! Surrender your weapons! (or something like that)

Leonidas: Persians! Come and take them [y’ Jessies]!

Leonidas: Spartans! Tonight we dine in Haayll!

[Spartans: Aaalright Thayn!

First Wee Spartan: What d’ye reckon they drink in hayll?

Second Wee Spartan: Buggered if I know – hope they got hayvy.

First Wee Spartan: Oh aye – hayll won’t be so bad if they got hayvy.]

I’ve already had one night at the cinema that was marred by the fact that, as far as I could see, I was the only person in the audience who could see the funny parts in the film. The film was Lyrics and Music. I laughed once or twice, but when it became obvious that a lot of the jokes were a little too dry for the rest of the audience, I decided to keep it to myself. But then it was a small audience, mainly couples out on dates in Village Gold Class (I got in with a nearly expired gift voucher passed on by a friend) so most of the blokes probably had other things on their minds. Most of the women too, I think. What they had on their minds was knowing damn well what the blokes had on their minds and how to deal with it if the issue actually arose. That previous sentence was a complete waste of time, by the way.

What’s the joke in 300? As usual, when Hollywood tries to do big, portentous stuff on the cheap, it’s bathos. I doubt that the audiences at the test screenings found that trace of Glasgow in Leonidas’ voice funny – but I do. So, I suspect, will a lot of people outside the US. Every time Butler opens his mouth and to hurl out another line of dialogue – from what I’ve seen his delivery is just projectile vomiting with words – there’s a moment of sheer bathos coming. That’s why I’ve decided to wait for the DVD – I don’t want to spend two hours in a cinema fighting the impulse to laugh at the lashings of unintentional comedy which riddle the film.

So what if the producers have captured the visual style of a comic book? That only matters to the comics buffs – to me it’s just a way to dress up a cheap, studio bound sword and sandals epic with borrowed visual style. Arty-fartified “Epic Theatre”. Two hours of kitsch, and anyone who decries me – or anyone else – for recognising that is showing signs of geumatophobia.

Is 300 fascist? Too bloody right it is. Comically cheesy, perhaps, but in a distinctly fascist way. Paul Byrnes be over-reaching a little when he says that the Fuhrer would have approved of the film – while he’d like the depiction of manly courage, Adolf would no doubt have preferred to see heroes who were more explicitly German.

In making the declaration in the previous paragraph, I’m obviously taking on a considerable burden of argument. That’s thanks to the ideophobia in the “Godwin’s Law, Godwin’s Law, Godwin’s Law!” response, and the odious dismissal of …[SMH guy] and David Stratton and anyone else who raises this issue as pants wetting “luvvies”.

David Stratton, I expect, has seen all of the following landmark films in the history of film as propaganda: Olympia and Triumph of the Will by Leni Reifenstahl (they’re not typical of Nazi propaganda films – the really good stuff was produced (and sometimes written) by Joe Goebbels himself) – and Battleship Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible (parts 1 and 2). He is, after all, a bit of a movie buff. Byrnes too might be familiar with them.

These were all films produced with a purpose, and that purpose was to reinforce the viewer’s support for the current regime. But it wasn’t just the Nazis and Communists who were producing propaganda during the Second World War – Hollywood was producing its share – you can catch a lot of it, if you keep an eye on the late night movie listings on the ABC. A couple worth watching out for are This Land is Mine and Mademoiselle Fifi.

The first trick in making an effective propaganda film is this: you don’t tell the audience that the enemy is evil and rotten through and through while your side represents all that is good, decent and honourable – you show them, through the way the two sides behave towards each other.

The second trick (and once you’ve got this, you’ve got most of the propagandist’s art) is very simple – you don’t rely on one film to do the job. You follow Jude Suss with another anti-semitic film, then another and so on, until people more or less take it for granted that on the whole, the country would be better off without the Jews. You don’t make just one film about gallant Luftwaffe pilots singing along in perfect harmony as they go off to “strafe Englandt”, you follow it up. You do films about brave U-boat captains and all the rest. Toss in a few cheery morale raisers featuring happy Germans in Buenos Aires, dancing the tango and so on. On the other side, you don’t stop at one movie about the gallant French standing up to their Nazi occupiers – you follow it up – a different historical period maybe but the French and Germans stay basically the same.

You’ll get away with it too – anyone who notices what you’re doing will be told exactly what people saying to those of us who have a few reservations about 300. So what, it’s only a movie, lighten up. Just as we should lighten up about 24, Big Brother and The Biggest Loser. They’re just television shows, everyone knows that, no-one with any sense is going to have their outlook changed from watching them.

Dream on, suckers.

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111 comments on “Words of the Day: Geumatophobia, Ideophobia
  1. Jacques Chester says:

    Yes, I must admit that I too have come out in favour of fascism after watching an utterly stylised movie based on a graphic novel. Previously I have come out in favour of Batman, ultra-violent cities and the odd bit of messianic superheroism.

    If I have one criticism of 300, it would be that the director had a hard-on for slow-mo. The movie would be about 40 minutes shorter but for all the slow motion fighting, throwing, staring sadly etc etc.

  2. TimT says:

    The first trick in making an effective propaganda film is this: you don’t tell the audience that the enemy is evil and rotten through and through while your side represents all that is good, decent and honourable – you show them, through the way the two sides behave towards each other.

    Well that’s it, then. ‘The 300’ is not a propaganda film. It’s made pretty clear from the opening shots that the Spartan way of life is brutal. The Persians make a bad name for themselves by piling up a tree full of dead corpses, but then the Spartans do more or less the same thing by piling up a wall of Persian corpses. The Persians are seen more as comic stereotypes than ‘evil baddies’.

  3. Shaun says:

    Leonidas: Persians! Come and take them [y’ Jessies]!

    Without the Scottish inflections (making the Spartans as fierce as the Wee Free Men), that line is historically accurate.

    Having read so many takes on the ideology of the movie, I stand by my comment on other 300 thread that it seems to be a canvas ideal for a number of interpretations and not following a particular ideological line.

    Remember 24 is produced by Joel Surnow who identifies with the Republicans but that and one movie about Sparta does not make a summer of propaganda.

  4. tigtog says:

    the Scottish inflections (making the Spartans as fierce as the Wee Free Men),

    Crivens! Waily waily! Leonidas is havin’ at the Foldin’ o’ the Arms!

  5. David Rubie says:

    I honestly don’t see what the problem is. Morons need entertaining just as much as the rest of us, and if 300 stops them listening to Alan Jones and hanging out at McDonalds hurling abuse at anyone browner than they are, even if it is for a a couple of hours, it’s doing us a public good.

  6. Adam Gall says:

    I think this should’ve been filed under ‘Culture Wars’ as well as ‘Film’. For what it’s worth – and I’m sure it’s not much – I agree with Shaun, that the film itself could probably be interpreted a lot of different ways, but I also agree with Gummo Trotsky, that any ‘interpretation’ is going to be shaped by the cultural context in which it appears, and also that the ‘ideological’ effects are more likely to be cumulative and subtle, then singular and blatant.

  7. Katz says:

    I don’t think a useful comparison can be made between the Nazi film industry and Hollywood.

    GT, you have reproduced almost exactly the argument and the evidence of that excellent doco entitled “We Have Ways of Making You Think.”

    As that doco revealed, Goebbels was almost omnipresent in co-ordinating and orchestrating the output of the Nazi film industry. Ironically, Goebbels’s momentary loss of control to Hitler enabled the production of the movies for which Nazism is remembered, Reifenstahl’s solemn masterpieces and the appalling “The Eternal Jew”, which was a box office disaster in Germany. But, as you say, Goebbels was much smarter than this, for which he gets scant credit today. That is because his films don’t sit well with what we think we know about Nazism.

    Now to turn to Hollywood. This situation is quite different. There is no Goebbels. Rather, there are deal-makers who are assiduously attempting to sniff out the zeitgeist. Most of them fail. A minority succeed by being derivative. A tiny number succeed by inventing a new genre. “300” fits into the second category.

    And indeed “300” succeeds by recrafting and tweaking a wide range of genres, some of which are Goebbels-like, most of which are not.

    But “300” is only one movie. There are no conspiratorial meetings of movie makers deciding on the look and feel of Hollywood appropriate to the War Between Civilizations.

    Some movie makers are climbing on board Bush’s crusade. I’d say that the majority are sceptical or critical of Bush’s aims and methods.

    Goebbels would never have allowed that.

  8. observa says:

    Nah, it’s really a giant Hollywood pomo propaganda piece to lull us all into a false sense of security that it will only take a few hundred dedicated conservatives to turn back the Mussie hordes and there’s absolutely no need to outbreed them anymore. It’s a monster poofter/lesbian conspiracy I tell ya!

  9. observa says:

    And just you wait till we get Howard with Hair in and get really stuck into the curriculum with the benefit of those lefty PC culcha manuals. You aint seen history yet Hicks and Hilali lovers!

  10. glen says:

    300 in a teacup…

    ::grunt::

    a massive tea cup going down oxford street once a year

    ::grunt::

    such awesome homoerotic soft porn is only bettered by the weekly AFL and NRL games

    ::grunt::

    …going down… …oxford street…

  11. Katz says:

    Obby, sometimes you’re weirdly funny.

    An alternative reading of “300” is:

    A small but fanatical group make a suicidal pact to sacrifice themselves to show their brethren that is is possible to stand up to the greatest empire even though it possesses the most shocking and awesome weaponry imaginable.

    Their sacrifice won the suicides immortality, united the brotherhood and defeated the Evil Empire.

  12. giant bad things says:

    “Their sacrifice won the suicides immortality, united the brotherhood and defeated the Evil Empire”

    Wasn’t that Starship Troopers?

  13. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Sorry, Gummo, I don’t get it: why is a Scottish accent any funnier than any other kind of accent, short of what Leonidas would actually have sounded like? What accent would normalise it for you? Australian? American? Upper-class Brit?

    This is a fairly serious question about class, cultural imperialism, the oppressed, etc etc. There’s a poem by Tom Leonard called ‘The Six O’Clock News’ about the way that Englishmen don’t believe the news if it’s read by someone with a Scottish accent.

    Given what an historically serious and deadly mob the Scots actually were and are (Glaswegians especially), and how much more appealing a Scottish accent is than any of the alternatives (except maybe an Irish one), I don’t get why it’s any funnier than Leonidas sounding like the Queen or whoever.

  14. Paul Norton says:

    In view of the alleged contemporary applicability of 300, it’s worth remembering that Herodotus reported that the Persian invading force included a contingent of warriors drawn from a people he referred to as “the Syrians of Palestine” who had a tradition that they originated in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf and subsequently roamed to Palestine.

  15. observa says:

    Yeah well it’s not all Mr Serious down here at the counter conspiracy theorists nerve centre bunker, Katz. We do have our moments, especially when we get on the turps and get a bit confused about whether it’s counter conspiracy or counter, counter conspiracy we’re dealing with at the time. Bit of a flap on with the Ruddster at the moment. He’s gotta learn to shut his mouth about Hilali till after the election. That’s the trouble with these tertiary new chums. Wouldn’t have happened in my day, when you started off on the broom and emptying the shredder.

  16. Katz says:

    Thanks for the explanation Obby.

    It might help if you try to remember what you were thinking the last time you were pretty sure that you weren’t confused.

  17. Some people hate the Persians, but I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are about to be colonized by wankers. We can’t even pick a decent culture to be colonized by….

  18. Sorry, Gummo, I don’t get it: why is a Scottish accent any funnier than any other kind of accent, short of what Leonidas would actually have sounded like? What accent would normalise it for you? Australian? American? Upper-class Brit?

    Maybe it’s just me PC, and the fact that I listened to too much early Billy Connolly in the Seventies. I didn’t inhale, of course!

  19. (the 300 post I’d rather not be writing, thank you very much)

    Well take your girly hands off the fucking keyboard and leave it fecking well alone, then. Nobody’s holding a gun to your head, ya big Nancy.

    I’m sick to my stomach of self-appointed cultural mavens on both sides of politics raving onanistically about the socio-political context of this movie.

    Let me break it down for you limp-wristed egg-heads: it’s a war movie. Boys like war movies. Teenage boys are the dominant movie-going audience. Ergo, Hollywood likes war movies. Game over. Thanks for coming.

    War movies are fucking cool, PARTICULARLY when they’re depicting the Goode Olde Days when war involved edged weapons and a lot of brute force, and none of this girlyman namby-pamby don’t-ask-don’t-tell-don’t-forget-to-say-fucking-please-you-nancy-boy-miserable-excuse-for-a-soldier projectile weapons shite.

    Christ, if Hollywood had listened to you whiners The Green Berets would never have been made. Get over yourselves.

  20. The Green Berets – now there’s a funny film.

  21. glen says:

    Let me break it down for you limp-wristed egg-heads: it’s a war movie. Boys like war movies. Teenage boys are the dominant movie-going audience. Ergo, Hollywood likes war movies. Game over. Thanks for coming.

    Well, yeah, obvious. Forget the actual cultural content, as it is mostly f’ckin retarded!! And well except that it is only being used as a tool to shuffle around audience-sheep. It is not a question of identification, of people seeing war and therefore doing war, but of individuation, of war being used to tap into the homoerotic eros of war itself. Brawny naked man chest is used to collective individuate a population by tapping into the phantasms of chesty-man that haunt such persons (a genealogical line would go from 300 to Bond’s ad). All the right wing cultural warriors gettings their mums’ panties in a collective knot therefore have the subconscious of teenage boys.

    This is something I have long suspected so than’you, Mr Xboxian.

  22. Katz says:

    Let me break it down for you limp-wristed egg-heads: it’s a war movie. Boys like war movies. Teenage boys are the dominant movie-going audience. Ergo, Hollywood likes war movies. Game over. Thanks for coming.

    Yeah but:

    1. If that were the case, there’d be many more war movies than there are already.

    and

    2. No war movie would be a box office flop.

    Making money out of war movies is much more difficult than Mr Xboxian asserts.

    Therefore, to get those sweaty-palmed lads to momentarily remove their hands from their todgers, plunge them into their pockets to produce the readies for entry, you’ve gotta promise them more than just slash’n’bash.

    Slash’n’bash is the delivery system. The subtext is the payload.

  23. Paul Norton says:

    Does 300 have a theme song like this?

  24. Grendel says:

    My grunting inner Sartan enjoyed the comic book gore, but on the whole I was under-whelmed by the film and not a little appalled at how ‘different’ was extrapolated to ‘grotesque’ and placed in the camp of the bad guys. And for that matter why were the bad guys so camp?

  25. Well take your girly hands off the fucking keyboard and leave it fecking well alone, then. Nobody’s holding a gun to your head, ya big Nancy.

    Considered that option, old son. But then it would have stayed “The 300 post I’d rather not be thinking about writing because it’s a bloody distraction, thank you very much.”

  26. John Greenfield says:

    Gummo Trotsky

    Old son, you should have cut your losses with your first 300 thread. Now you are just flaunting a chronic case of LIES (Leftist IrrElevance Syndrome).

    Y’all had a great gig with that Socialism, whithering away of the State, and opiate of the people shtick. But when the gig was up, ya just couldn’t let it go.

    So you cut out the “Special Offer” ad in the back of one of your MAD magazines and sent for a trial of “In just 90 Days you can wage Leftist jihad via the English Department. No need for economics, psychology, or politics re-training!”

    I suppose it was the money back guarantee that got you?

  27. Theodorus: Remember Pearl Harbor – the film. Never saw it, but it sounded like the sort of war movie that would turn off teenage boys. “About how on December 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle”, according to Roger Ebert.

  28. Yeah but:

    1. If that were the case, there’d be many more war movies than there are already.

    Really? What would you call more than “absolute shiteloads”? Next thing you know you’ll be suggesting war movies deserve their own genre ‘n’ stuff.

    2. No war movie would be a box office flop.

    Making money out of war movies is much more difficult than Mr Xboxian asserts.

    War movies don’t guarantee success. They guarantee AN audience. Whether that audience is large enough to generate a profit depends on a variety of factors, including whether said war movie is good or not. It’s easier to make money out of violence than high drama.

    Therefore, to get those sweaty-palmed lads to momentarily remove their hands from their todgers, plunge them into their pockets to produce the readies for entry, you’ve gotta promise them more than just slash’n’bash.

    Not always, and not much more. A rudimentary [you know: good, evil, victory of former over latter, rinse, repeat] plot and some sex usually get a film over the line, if not over your todger.

    Slash’n’bash is the delivery system. The subtext is the payload.

    Nah, totally wrong. The payload is divertion & escapism, with lashings of sex, violence, drama, comedy, etc. to taste. And gypsies if you’re lucky.

    Subtext is for that unfortunate minority in the audience who think too much. The sheeple can’t see it, so ignore it.

  29. Katz says:

    Whether that audience is large enough to generate a profit depends on a variety of factors, including whether said war movie is good or not. It’s easier to make money out of violence than high drama.

    [yadda yadda]

    Subtext is for that unfortunate minority in the audience who think too much. The sheeple can’t see it, so ignore it.

    Danger! Danger!

    Kenny from Knossos has snagged himself on the horns of a Minotaur-sized dilemma!

  30. Chris says:

    I saw this movie the other day and I have to say the sight of a Persian Emperor getting about in nothing but a golden pair of budgie smugglers, eye liner and a whole lot of bling was considerably more amusing than Leonidas’ accent.

  31. Well, yeah, obvious. Forget the actual cultural content, as it is mostly f’ckin retarded!!

    What cultural content? The movie’s a fairyfloss version of Sparta and the Greco-Persian wars.

    And well except that it is only being used as a tool to shuffle around audience-sheep.

    Exactly. Sorry, is that supposed to be a bad thing?

    It is not a question of identification, of people seeing war and therefore doing war, but of individuation, of war being used to tap into the homoerotic eros of war itself.

    Or, maybe, it’s an identification of an indivuated question on heterotical militaria and its application to the eros of the collective miasmagoria? Deep, dude, so deep it’s unfathomable. Here’s a couple of questions you could answer to help me catch up with your thoroughly individuated thoughts:

    1. Who, when and where suggested that the question was one of identification?
    2. Exactly how is the depiction of war and its supposed homoerotic elements in 300 related to individuation? Do you even know what individuation means?
    3. “Homoerotic eros” sounds terribly tautological. Perhaps you can explain why it isn’t?
    4. For that matter, what the fuck is the “eros of war” when it’s at home washing the dishes?

    Brawny naked man chest is used to collective individuate a population by tapping into the phantasms of chesty-man that haunt such persons (a genealogical line would go from 300 to Bond’s ad).

    Whoops. Spoke too soon. You’ve gone and explained it all in simple and concise English…

    …apart from the overwrought waffle about the hauntingly collective individuation of chesty-man phantasms, I mean. Those things sound dead-scary – a bit like the Borg, I imagine. Or Teh LP Collective, except the chesty parts are probably a damn sight more attractive with the latter.

    Also, what does “collective individuate” a population mean? Does it mean to differentiate a population into a collective? Or does it mean to collectivise individuals into a population? Help me out here, as your grasp of linguistic complexity has clearly left my comprehension in the dust.

    All the right wing cultural warriors gettings their mums’ panties in a collective knot therefore have the subconscious of teenage boys.

    Mmh. Sounds positively Oedipal. Not sure how their mums’ panties got into it, or why they felt compelled to knot them collectively, but you’re probably on the right track with the emotional age of the average right-wing cultworrier. It’s a good thing those lefty worriers are so damn mature, otherwise we’d be in awful strife.

    This is something I have long suspected so than’you, Mr Xboxian.

    No, than’you, Mr Individividuationalismalism.

  32. Chav says:

    “An alternative reading of “300″ is:

    A small but fanatical group make a suicidal pact to sacrifice themselves to show their brethren that is is possible to stand up to the greatest empire even though it possesses the most shocking and awesome weaponry imaginable.

    Their sacrifice won the suicides immortality, united the brotherhood and defeated the Evil Empire.”

    The Spartans are Jihadists!

  33. Chav says:

    I would have thought the socio-political context of ‘300’ is pretty obvious,…the Persians are Iranians (well, the Persians are actually Iranians)…an asiatic type horde of barbarous, dark, stunted, decadent, sapphic and homosexual despotism pitted against our pure, clean-limbed warriors.

    A such I think the timing of the film is important. Not only does the present atmosphere of an imminent US attack on Iran (for attempting to develop the wherewithal to possibly develop nuclear weapons…to defend itself against the only nation to have actually used nuclear weapons on a largely civilian population) make the film possible, it makes it in a sense necessary. Its pro-US, anti-Iranian propaganda, pure and simple.

  34. John Greenfield says:

    Chav

    In 2007, hoi polloi would not have a fucking clue that Xerxes or Darius or any of those oriental fops were Persians, who nowadays are called Iranians. And hell will freeze over before they concoct a connection with Armanidinnerjacket, the mad Mullahs, and Muhammad.

    Go and see the film again and see if you can hear the chatter about Zoroastrianism, oriental despotism, and the Ayatollahs, there’s a fiver for you.

    Please.

  35. Fiasco da Gama says:

    Teenage boys are the dominant movie-going audience

    Long-dead elderly navigators like ’em, too, you know. That’s why I’m saving up my gold dobrão to see Alatriste. You don’t have to be a jessie to appreciate a bit of early modern swagger, baby (though when it came to nautical affairs, the Portuguese were always the superior Iberians).
    BTW, it’s very easy to make a bad war movie—the immediate shocker that springs to mind is the woeful Kokoda, closely followed by the seriously whiffy When We Were Soldiers.
    Best? Hmmm, I’ll pick The Longest Day, closely followed by Platoon, 12 O’Clock High, M*A*S*H and Waterloo. If Cold War movies counted, the list’d also include Dr Strangelove and the underrated Crimson Tide.

  36. Katz says:

    Full Metal Jacket for mine.

    Honourable mention to Patton.

  37. Idiot/Savant says:

    It’s fascist.

    But they’re Spartans. They practically invented fascism. A militaristic state run as an army, which annually declared war upon the untermenchen (the Helots) and practised systematic violence against them. Complaining “it’s fascist” would be like complaining abou the fascism of a movie about nazis…

  38. Fiasco da Gama says:

    Yeah, Patton is pretty good, though it tries to shake off as eccentricity the genuine historical unpleasantness of the General. He wasn’t mad or bad, he was just a very talented jerk.
    Down & Out, throw your copy of Pearl Harbor to the bottom of the graving dock where it belongs, and get yourself a DVD of the far superior movie: Tora! Tora! Tora! It’s not good enough to be on my list, but it’s a damn sight better than Bruckheimer’s Titanic-with-Zeros effort.

  39. Katz says:

    That was the art of Patton FDG.

    Lefties couldn’t understand why Righties loved the movie.

    And vice versa.

    In the context of 1971 that was no mean feat.

  40. j_p_z says:

    “A small but fanatical group make a suicidal pact to sacrifice themselves to show their brethren that is is possible to stand up to the greatest empire…”

    Oh, so you mean “The Dirty Dozen.” Gets my vote.

  41. zoot says:

    Complaining “it’s fascistâ€? would be like complaining abou the fascism of a movie about nazis…

    Err, you can make a movie about nazis that’s not fascist, you know.

  42. Fiasco da Gama says:

    No no no, JPZ, that’s Zulu, with Michael Caine. Hang on, or was it The Alamo with Billy Bob Thornton? Or was it Glory, with Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman? Or was it The Charge of the Light Brigade? Or was it Braveheart? Or was it Masada?

  43. j_p_z says:

    FDG — Wait, I think I’ve got it… it’s “The Matrix.”

    Now that I think of it, the greatest war movie of all time would be a mashup of “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Great Escape” (are you reading, Artie Fufkin? Could be your chance for a masterpiece!).

    Consider: Ernest Borgnine as the pompous general, Richard Attenborough as the plucky and surprisingly likeable Brit, John Cassavettes and Donald Pleasance as the helpful weirdos, Telly Savalas as the unhelpful weirdo, Charles Bronson simultaneously playing TWO DIFFERENT ROLES, Steve McQueen essentially no help at all but looking great on a motorcycle, and Lee Marvin in command of everybody. That, my friends, is how wars are won.

    The only thing funnier than “300” is the utterly predictable responses to it. C’mon, folks: Frank Miller published the comic back in the late 90s, when Clinton was president and the Clash of Civilizations was just a twinkle in some interested party’s eye. Remember those days, and the 2000 presidential debates about discount drug prices for senior citizens? Och, the problems we had back then! I’d say odds are good that the movie rights were sold close to, or maybe even prior to, the initial publication, and it’s probably been in development ever since. Then “Sin City” did well, and Miller was (wrongly, I think) elevated to the status of Living National Treasure; I haven’t seen 300 yet, but people say it’s pretty much a shot-for-shot film version of the comic book. Which, as I said, was conceived prior to the woes of this decade.

    You can’t help but have the sneaky feeling that the main reason all the lefties are upset by the movie is that the heroes are… they’re… well I mean I’m so upset I can barely say it, they’re, they’re, they’re… w-w-wh-wh-white.

    As to whether the movie is “fascist,” well, I think that’s one of those over-worked words. And I also think it belongs squarely to its time and place, just like, say, “Victorian” (no small dose of erstwhile fascism in that worldview eh?, so you see how quickly we could trip over these words out of carelessness). Not everybody who was/is “authoritarian” was/is “fascist”. The Spartans were not fascists, they were, well, Spartans, and that’s quite bad enough, thank you. As to the movie makers, they aren’t fascists, they were probably just calculating what was the best way to do this thing so it would make money.

    And presumably the Spartans have Scottish accents because the straight-up British accents were already all taken by the Romans, in American movies about the ancient world. Actually, it’s probably meant to imply that the Spartans are scrappy rough-hewn outlanders; if there were Athenians in the movie, THEY would probably have the British accents. Remember Colin Farrell’s zany Irish accent in “Alexander”? See, Macedonian, not Greek. And Angelina Jolie’s wacky Russian accent (which I loved, btw)? Scythian. Again, not Greek. Somewhere, hiding in all of this, there’s a truly hilarious PhD thesis waiting to be written.

  44. Fiasco da Gama says:

    The Ultimate War Movie sounds good so far, JPZ, but you haven’t cast any villains, or even any enemy. I’d want David Niven as the spy-in-the-ranks, Liam Neeson as the beancounter/goldbricker/stooge, Rose Byrne as the femme fatale/Mata Hari, Marty Feldman as a torturer/interrogator, Jürgen Prochnow as the good/honourable Nazi, Walther Matthau as the stage/pantomime Nazi, Mel Brooks as the comic Nazi and Yul Brynner as a fanatical Communist (Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cuban, whatever—over to you, Makeup).
    Seriously, though, another outstanding war movie I haven’t listed is the South Korean epic Brotherhood of War. Naff title, spectacular film. Really earns its R rating.

  45. Laura says:

    Ever feel like you’ve missed something really really important? I’ve seen the poster for this on billboards around the place and nearly crashed the car laughing at it. But I only just realised they were ads for this 300 movie. I misread it as Zoo.

    Why the mounting of the keyboards over this movie, all of a sudden, and not some other (or every other) overadvertised piece of ham schlock?

  46. JahTeh says:

    Great day in the morning ‘300’ is the new ‘Da Vinci Code’.

  47. glen says:

    “The movie’s a fairyfloss version of Sparta and the Greco-Persian wars.”

    You ignore everything interesting about the film by calling it ‘fairyfloss’. This is relevant for the answer to your second question below.

    And well except that it is only being used as a tool to shuffle around audience-sheep.

    Exactly. Sorry, is that supposed to be a bad thing?

    Bad, if you are worried about anything beyond the economic success of this particular cultural commodity. Which you don’t seem to be.

    1. The question of ‘identification’ is one that was raised by early audience studies researchers. The classic “monkey see monkey do” assumption of the stupid bourgeois psychologists who believe that sex and violence in the media produces sex and violene in the world. This fed into what used to be called the cultural hegemony (along gendered, class-based, ethnic, etc lines). All the stuff from the early cultural studies organised around what thje marxist histiographers called an ‘idealist anthropology’. My dismissal of it was anticipatory because some peanut always brings it up.

    2. ‘Depiction’ which in my terminology is ‘representation’. I am NOT talking about representation. Representation is a necessary component of the ‘identification’ thesis. I couldn’t give a shit. I am interested in what you call the ‘fairyfloss’. Therefore, it is not so much the content depicted, but the mode of depiction — the ‘fairyfloss’ — that is at stake. The ‘fairyfloss’ in this case is used to capture a certain response in the audience, lets call it the ‘grunt’ response, when the audience ‘grunts’ (or makes a similar immediate visceral response) to the film. The key here are the relations set up between the film and the audience. This relation is determined by the collective phantasms of a certain population, which you have already identified as teenage boy. Going by conceptions of psychological development by people like Stern and others (and not Piaget, etc) ‘teenage boy’ will forever by part of the psychological maekup of adults (just as ‘infant’, etc are not stages to be passed through but specific affective and phantasmatic accumulations).

    3. Homoerotic eros is not tautological. There is a heteroerotic, perhaps a machinic-erotic, many different erotics. Eros is a passional desire. There are many different types of eros, such as a capitalist eros that also underpins this film.
    4. Eros of war is exactly fucking, or an imaginary fucking, the erotic desire felt by some who get off on the homoerotic spectacle of war itself. Muscular fit men piercing each other not with penises but with unsheathed weapons; and all the talk about ‘kneeling’, you didn’t get the homoerotic undertones in that? So, yes, eros of war = people who get hard-ons from this type of spectacular violence.

    5. was a whole bunch of questions:

    Also, what does “collective individuateâ€? a population mean? Does it mean to differentiate a population into a collective? Or does it mean to collectivise individuals into a population?

    Well that should have been ‘collectively individuate’. It is not so much a differentiation (if you are using that in a straight linguistic sense, however if you are alluding to Deleuze’s notion of differentiation then, yes, that is exactly what I mean), but the sense of a collective whereby members know when they belong and those who don’t belong simply don’t “get it”. The “getting it” is important. When you “get it”, such as a joke or some complex theory or that some girl on the bus likes you or whatever, you become part of a special population. This has little to do with demographics, and everything to do with a shift in perspective. However, the sense I am using it here is slightly different in that the film is not creative at all — it does not produce perspectives, which is the domain of true art — it simply reproduces all the same triggers of jokes, action, etc. that have already produced populations (of ‘teenage boy’) many times before.

    The film is trying to tap into this population of those who “get it” where the “it” is what you called the “fairyfloss”. Also it is not without some irony that you call it “fairyfloss” when I have described it as the (homoerotic) phantasm of chesty-man. Yes, fairy. The movie makers know this, and they exploit it. The film itself is largely irrelevant, the film is just a tool for produciong an audience. What really matters is the audience produced. This audience are those people who are largely turned on by war and semi naked muscular men cutting each other, which you have correctly identified as ‘teenage boys’. I have taken the next logical step by suggesting that ‘teenage boy’ is not merely a demographic, but clearly part of the psyche of right wing culture warriors who get turned by war and semi naked muscular men cutting each other.

  48. David Stratton (isn’t he the most odious person in all Australia?)

    Nope.

    Incidentally, it seems 300 isn’t the only film copping it for historical inaccuracy.

  49. Katz says:

    Well, this whole imbroglio started when the self-proclaimed cultural warriors of the right began hooting derisively at efforts made by a few foolish self-proclaimed warriors of the left to read a fascist sub-text into “300”. For tehe record, let me state that I believe that the movie is a knowing pastiche that borrows from several genres. Moreover, it is like a squiggle sent to Mr Squiggle — susceptible of many interpretations, or none.

    But certain conclusions can be made:

    1. Very few leftists over-analyse.

    2. Many more rightists are exceedingly interested in what leftists say.

    3. Many of these rightists cannot distinguish “all leftists” from “very few leftists”.

    4. It has been a long time since a movie has been made that a rightist can feel happy with. Either it contains the wrong message, or it is a piece of crap.

    5. In the culture wars the right are the left’s bitches.

    Live with it.

  50. Graham Bell says:

    GummoTrotsky:
    Yeah but at least with “Aleksandr Nevsky” you know the stern hero really is a hero and you know his mate deserves to win the beautiful maiden because he is brave and you know Darth Vader – sorry – the priest-ridden evil German knights are utterly despicable. See, it’s all clear and uncomplicated. Goodies are goodies; Baddies are baddies. What more could any regime want?

    FiascoDaGama:
    Hadn’t heard of Arturo Perez-Reverte but he sounds good. Is his Capitan Diego Alatriste anything like C S Forester’s Lt Horatio Hornblower set two centuries later? The film might have hit the European screens in Sept 2006 but hell will freeze over before it is ever seen way up here in The Other Australia.

    Katz, FdG, j-p-z et al:
    I’ll go for “Tora! Tora! Tora desu!”, “Seven Samurai” and “A Bridge Too Far” [how a campaign develops]. BOTH versions of “All Quiet On The Western Front”, “Battle Cry”, “Gallipoli” and “Saving Private Ryan” [how war affects ordinary soldiers]. However, “Zulu” and the recent “Joan of Arc” deserve classes of their own. Before condemning “Kokoda”, was it subjected to a lot of outside fiddling as was “The Odd Angry Shot” ?

  51. j_p_z says:

    Fiasco — like your casting suggestions. This movie’s getting better and better! (I particularly like Walter Matthau as the pantomime Nazi.)

    Now, all we need are…

    Chow Yun-fat as the world-weary gun-runner who’ll do anything for a price — or will he?; Matt Damon as the soulless young ideologue who just might convert to the other side (like that kid in the Sound of Music); Morgan Freeman as the hard-bitten, seen-it-all black guy who thinks the white CO is ridiculous, but only smiles wryly and fights alongside him For the Greater Good; Ian Holm as the sneering know-it-all intellectual who doesn’t realize he’s On the Wrong Side of History; Nicole Kidman and Sigourney Weaver as tough, beautiful partisan underground fighters; and John Candy as the clumsy misfit who makes a noble sacrifice.

    Somebody get me Jeffrey on the phone.

  52. Leinad says:

    …Antonio Banderas as the hard-pressed but fundamentally decent Iranian Army officier trying to restrain his psycho superiors in the form of Nicholas Cage, IRG and Tony Shaloub the creepy VEVAK honcho; Toni Collette and Dakota Fanning as shell-shocked but grimly realistic civillians caught in the crossfire; Maggie Gyllenhaal as the dutiful soldier’s wife struggling to adapt to her husband’s swinging moods…

  53. j_p_z says:

    All right, then: Brian Blessed as the king of a mysterious and secretive tribe that has been wronged by the Good Guys in the past, and doesn’t know whether to trust them now that they need his tribe’s help; Keira Knightley as the ambitious intelligence officer who bucks for an assignment that is over her head, and gets sent as the ambassador to Brian Blessed to try and win him over, and later proves her worth in guerilla combat alongside Brian Blessed’s forces; Donald Sutherland as her superior officer, who reluctantly gives her the coveted assignment; Mos Def as the exasperated go-between mercenary who’s trying to explain Brian Blessed’s mysterious customs to Keira Knightley. Oh, and John Cusack as the self-aware, emotionally vulnerable master assassin, who hates himself for being so good at his job. He and Mos Def will be rivals for Keira’s affections, but to no avail, as she will fall for the dashing and mysterious free-booter, loyal to no man, played by Johnny Depp.

  54. Nabakov says:

    And the hardbitten yet strangely vulnerable war correspondent Scarlett Johanssen temerariously belting out a karoake version of “Gimme Shelter” in some just outside the Green Zone bodega while the host, George Clooney doublechecks he does stubble better than Bogart.

    “All Quiet On Saving The Longest Path To Glory”

    Straplines:
    “Just when you thought it was safe to make another war movie.”
    “You think war is hell? Take a script meeting with Harvey.”
    “They had everything to lose. And they risked a little bit of it.”
    “No guts, no glory, no story.”

  55. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Isn’t there a place somewhere for Big Russ to say ‘At my signal, unleash hell’?

    Keira Knightley already has a combat bra!

    And nothing to put in it, Kim.

    *Sniggers and runs away*

  56. Kim says:

    So you should, Dr Cat! Us B Cup gals is gals too!

  57. Nabakov says:

    Stalingrad was a pretty damn good war movie.

    And the full director’s cut of Sam Fuller’s ‘The Big Red One’ is really worth a good look. A lot more to it than the version that first hit the screens. It’s loud and overly stagey (Sam Fuller!) but some sequences do seem to capture the bloody surrealistic absurdity of modern mechanised warfare.

    Battle of Britain – surprisingly historically accurate from what I understand and didn’t dodge the human cost of what was the last ever great romantic battle. Also it had Spitfires. Lots and lots of Spitfires, the most beautiful plane ever.

    Dark Blue World also had lots of Spitfires and the equally classically beautiful Tara Fitzgerald, framed by a very poignant story about happened to Czechoslovakia post WW2.

    ”Repeat please.”

  58. James Dudek says:

    Has anyone stopped to recognize that the movie is stylistically amazingly original. Only Sin City (also a Frank Miller graphic novel) has transferred the feel of a graphic novel onto the big screen.

    I bet industry execs saw the success of Sin City and thought “let’s get any other graphic novel this guy has made and make a movie about it”.

    As a piece of eye candy, 300 is almost without peer in my opinion and it’s success is due to the fact that it found a whole new niche market — video gamers.

    That the story line pisses off a bunch of lefties is just an added bonus.

    Although I’m sure that back in ancient Greece there were a whole lot of tut-tutting going on about Urns and other art that represented this war.

  59. Nabakov says:

    Brian Blessed as the king of a mysterious and secretive tribe that has been wronged by the Good Guys

    There’s no need to remake Flash Gordon, is there?

  60. Kim says:

    Beat me to it, Nabs! I was just about to post the first pre-production pic!

    <img src="http://www.nerf-herders-anonymous.net/images/BrianBlessed_FlashGordon_Vultan.jpg&quot;

  61. Nabakov says:

    How about a cheesecake shot of Peter Wyngarde then?

    On second thoughts, make it Ornella Muti.

    Also, a previous comment of mine seems to be stuck in spam limbo. Can you haul it out? Only one hyperlink but yes many gratitious Spitfire mentions.

  62. Leinad says:

    Stalingrad was a pretty damn good war movie.

    what.

  63. j_p_z says:

    Kim — are you sure that isn’t a photo of the young Oliver Reed?

    Now that Flash Gordon has been brought up, isn’t that the greatest (read: worst) theme song ever created?

    Flash! Ah-aaaah!
    King – of — the — impossible!

    or whatever it was. All the same, there’s something gratifying about knowing that Max von Sydow has no problem playing Antonius Block, then Jesus, and then Ming the Merciless. And a really great assassin in Three Days of the Condor.

    So: Max von Sydow as the Leader of the Bad Guys; Crispin Glover as his flaky son, who is starved for paternal approval; George Clooney as the captured rebel leader who thinks he can manipulate Crispin Glover by exploiting his craving for emotional sustenance, but in reality, *who’s conning who?!!*; Jennifer Jason Leigh as the cynical madam of an international whorehouse that is visited by both Good Guy and Bad Guy officers, but who has an intricate secret agenda of her own, which involves Charlotte Rampling and Richard Dreyfus, both seen only in flashbacks; and a cameo by Freddie Mercury as a gay cabaret singer who has an unrequited crush on Elijah Wood, a young officer who is exploiting Freddie’s crush to pry information out of him about the doings of the sinister double-agent club owner, played by Ralph Fiennes, which will lead to Freddie’s knowing and self-sacrificial doom.

    “I am ashamed of my century
    For being so entertaining
    But I have to smile.”
    — Frank O’Hara

  64. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Kim, if Keira Knightley can fill even one B-cup, much less two, then I am Mae West.

    Is there no part in this supermovie for the peerless Robert Carlyle?

  65. Nabakov says:

    You still need the cynical and worldy war correspondent with a marshmallow heart in the crunch. I hear Hugh Jackman’s still asking less than Mel Gibson. And comes with less baggage too.

  66. Alan says:

    I’ll wait for the DVD because most cinemas frown when you ask if you can take an empty bucket inside. We’re going to see more movies like 300. Some will be worse. (Where’s my bucket?) Some will be better. 300 is a movie for comics graphic novel fans and gamers. It even looks like the video footage tacked onto the front end of games like Civilization.

    Of course, its’ wildly inaccurate and of course it’s heroic defenders from the Three Hundred Rightwing Keyboarders are wetting themselves with excitement. Pity they don’t know enough ancient history to recognise that the Persian Wars were won by the namby pamby citizen soldiers of Athens, not the lunatics from Sparta and that Thermopylai itself had sfa to do with the ultimate Persian defeat. They also don’t seem to know that Persia lacked god-kings, invented monotheism and had managed to run a fairly liberal empire for quite a long time. Xerxes was peeved by Athens’ terrorist attack on Sardis. If the THRK had been around at the time so would they.

    That really does not matter to its audience or its makers. Many of them, after all, believe (like the Xerxes of the film) that empires create their own reality. It reflects the what if world where you can play with your own private Napoleon or Chingiz in the privacy of your own screen.

    And why was it necessary to show the Spartans fighting semi-naked? If the Persians were half as perverted as the movie shows them, the sight of all that Spartiate manflesh would have reduced them at first sight to a lust-crippled mess screaming ‘Have me! Have me!’.

    The makers of 300 have achieved something unique. They’ve made the 1963 flick of the same event look fact-based. And less provocatively dressed.

  67. Nabakov says:

    the peerless Robert Carlyle?

    Coldstream Guards Sergeant, increasingly exasperated member of hapless UN peacekeeping force.

    “Aye, it’s all turned to shit, right. Watcha gonna do? Orders are orders Pvt Smythe! Hear me or I’ll crawl yer. OK, quick, c’mon love, hop in the back before the officers see’s yer. We’ll get yer and yer bairn out out of this hellhole. Who needs a bloody pension anyway.”

  68. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Nice.

    That, or a berserker reprise of Begbie from Trainspotting, as the hitherto-unnoticed Army private who’s about to get dishonourably discharged on the grounds of chronic weirdness, eg gratuitous dismembering of voles and stoats and other shy woodland creatures while on night patrol.

    Couldn’t David Wenham play the cynical and worldly war correspondent with marshmallow heart?

  69. Nabakov says:

    Couldn’t David Wenham play the cynical and worldly war correspondent with marshmallow heart?

    Nah. Not enough tortured by what he’s seen facial wrinkles for the part.

    Oh, there should also be a role for Danny Huston as the scallywag corrupt merc who does one final run to take a truckload of war orphans out after being emotionally blackmailed by a sweaty but still cool Cate Blanchett as a Médecins Sans Frontières Doc.

  70. Leinad says:

    Couldn’t David Wenham play the cynical and worldly war correspondent with marshmallow heart?

    Like, instead of all the other types of characters he plays, PC?

  71. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Like, instead of all the other types of characters he plays, PC?

    Well, exactly. He’d hardly even have to get out of bed.

  72. Leinad says:

    A cynical globetrotting war correspondent who never leaves his bed… Sounds like quite a few people on the internets…

  73. j_p_z says:

    Just One More Dept. —

    Oh, did I mention that Johnny Depp is, of course, the renegade son of Brian Blessed, and he was exiled from the mysterious tribe for committing some weird tribal taboo, which he only did in order to save the life of Gong Li, knowing full well that he would forfeit his rightful throne as a result of his good deed. Oh, plus Keira and Gong Li are going to have one major-league massive cat-fight over Johnny Depp in Act Three, after which they will become inseparable friends.

    Also, at Keira Knightley’s first interview with Brian Blessed, he agrees to ally his tribe with the Good Guys, on the condition that Keira prove her loyalty by doing something heinous, like say killing an innocent young boy who is the son of a traitor to the tribe. She can’t bring herself to do it, of course, even though this means the failure of her mission; and Brian Blessed then smiles and says it was a trick; if she had killed the lad, then the tribe would know that the Good Guys were simply using them out of desperate cynicism — but since she showed basic human decency, now the tribe knows that the Good Guys who sent her are decent chaps worth fighting for. He then pulls aside a curtain to reveal where John Cusack, the master assassin, was crouched, ready to kill Keira Knightley if she had raised her weapon against the boy. Keira and John Cusack lock eyes; John Cusack is troubled, because even though he loved Keira at first sight, he still knows in his heart that he would have killed her all the same, because that’s how much of a stone professional he is. Who knows… maybe he’s killed someone he loved before, in a similar circumstance, and maybe that’s why he’s so appealingly haunted?

    And Rick Moranis is an eccentric scientist who invents the Ultimate Weapon, but doesn’t realize at first that that’s what it is, until his spunky children use it that way to kill an enemy spy (see, he thought he was inventing a ray that cured diseases).

  74. Nabakov says:

    Oh, plus Keira and Gong Li are going to have one major-league massive cat-fight over Johnny Depp in Act Three, after which they will become inseparable friends.

    Nah. Catfight is either third bump of the First Act when the team is going through its practice/training paces or second last bump in Act Two as the shit piles up in apparently insurmountable fashion. Mutual respect and trust under fire is discovered and shown through action in Act Three when they take down the bad guy’s sidekick just before the mainboy takes down the bad guy himself. Then you have the terse but heartfelt reconcilation with a slight lesbian frisson as part of the treacle cutting following the um…climax.

    Really I despair of you kids these days. If you can’t master the plot dynamics of modern fairytales, how the hell can you fill out the preview cards for the stories Hollywood will recycle for your children?

  75. Fiasco: never seen Pearl Harbor; never wanted to. It annoyed a lot of the survivors – especially everyone who knew “Jimmy” Doolittle. He was an ogre in the flick, but a modest guy in real life. I agree that Tora! x 3 is a good flick, although it’s not my favorite WWII flick (Das Boot, anyone?).

    And to everyone: you can’t have your “ultimate” war flick without your charming yet scheming, calculating and treacherous Whitehall mandarin plotting and undermining the Good Guys. Ian Richardson, anyone?

  76. Helen says:

    All these wonderful ideas and you’re giving them away for free??

    Coming to a cinema near you.

  77. Fiasco da Gama says:

    I suspected a thread about war movie casting would end up with a discussion of boobies. Thank God Brian Blessed’s found some modest support for his, though.
    If you’re gunna have David Wenham, it’s going to be an Ozflick. In which case, you should sack David Wenham and get in Gary Sweet as a fatherly officer figure, Jack Thompson as another fatherly officer figure, John Howard (actor) as another fatherly officer figure, Michael Caton as a slightly stupid fatherly officer figure, Bill Hunter as a working class drunk fatherly officer figure, and Ernie Dingo as a token black fatherly officer figure. They can all take turns being laconic. And it’ll cost about ten times what any other film costs to make, and be shit.
    PC, I’m surprised you haven’t cast Tex Perkins. The world wants to know where to put the rock star!

  78. The Pipe-Layers' Union Local 579 says:

    “Catfight is either third bump of the First Act when the team is going through its practice/training paces or second last bump in Act Two as the shit piles up in apparently insurmountable fashion.”

    Damn right. Hear hear. Pip pip. Eh wot. (BLOW TK)

  79. Paul Norton says:

    Chav wrote:

    The Spartans are Jihadists!

    And as I’ve already noted, they were resisting an invading force which, according to Herodotus, included the contemporary equivalent of the Israeli army.

  80. Ornella Muti’s B-cups are only two of the many very good reasons to see Flash Gordon, one of my all-time favourite movies. And the refrain, jpz, was “Flash – AhAAH – Saviour of the universe!”, used to best effect in the Hawkmen attack on the rocket warship Ajax, one of the best, schlockiest pieces of sci-fi filmic flairyfloss ever created.

    Now, back to the stoush which most of you will wish to gloss over.

    “The movie’s a fairyfloss version of Sparta and the Greco-Persian wars.â€?

    You ignore everything interesting about the film by calling it ‘fairyfloss’. This is relevant for the answer to your second question below.

    Fail to see your logic there, chum. Fairyfloss accurately describes an artistic license that is fantastical rather than realistic, mythical rather than accurate. There’s no ignorance of “everything interesting”, as you contend, just an assessment of Miller’s idiosyncratic version of the story.

    Also, I’m rather partial to fairyfloss. Like your contributions it’s flowery and content-free, but unlike your blather it’s sweetly pleasing.

    And well except that it is only being used as a tool to shuffle around audience-sheep.

    “Exactly. Sorry, is that supposed to be a bad thing?”

    Bad, if you are worried about anything beyond the economic success of this particular cultural commodity. Which you don’t seem to be.

    Why should I be? You’re the cultworrier here, not me. Not surprisingly, you’ve singularly failed, yet again, to demonstrate why making money from movies is a Bad Thing.

    1. The question of ‘identification’ is one that was raised by early audience studies researchers. The classic “monkey see monkey doâ€? assumption of the stupid bourgeois psychologists who believe that sex and violence in the media produces sex and violene in the world. This fed into what used to be called the cultural hegemony (along gendered, class-based, ethnic, etc lines). All the stuff from the early cultural studies organised around what thje marxist histiographers called an ‘idealist anthropology’. My dismissal of it was anticipatory because some peanut always brings it up.

    “My dismissal of it was anticipatory because some peanut always brings it up”. So true. The rest of that waffle was irrelevant.

    As I implied, you brought it up. Probably because you are, in fact, a peanut.

    2. ‘Depiction’ which in my terminology is ‘representation’. I am NOT talking about representation. Representation is a necessary component of the ‘identification’ thesis. I couldn’t give a shit. I am interested in what you call the ‘fairyfloss’. Therefore, it is not so much the content depicted, but the mode of depiction — the ‘fairyfloss’ — that is at stake. The ‘fairyfloss’ in this case is used to capture a certain response in the audience, lets call it the ‘grunt’ response, when the audience ‘grunts’ (or makes a similar immediate visceral response) to the film. The key here are the relations set up between the film and the audience. This relation is determined by the collective phantasms of a certain population, which you have already identified as teenage boy. Going by conceptions of psychological development by people like Stern and others (and not Piaget, etc) ‘teenage boy’ will forever by part of the psychological maekup of adults (just as ‘infant’, etc are not stages to be passed through but specific affective and phantasmatic accumulations).

    Nothing about “individuation” and the “homoerotic eros of war”, then? What a shame all those lovely words were wasted.

    You’re big on the phantamatismism though, aren’tcha? Why don’t you just admit you prefer Coke?

    3. Homoerotic eros is not tautological. There is a heteroerotic, perhaps a machinic-erotic, many different erotics. Eros is a passional desire. There are many different types of eros, such as a capitalist eros that also underpins this film.

    Provide a literal translation of homoerotic eros, then try that one again.

    4. Eros of war is exactly fucking, or an imaginary fucking, the erotic desire felt by some who get off on the homoerotic spectacle of war itself. Muscular fit men piercing each other not with penises but with unsheathed weapons; and all the talk about ‘kneeling’, you didn’t get the homoerotic undertones in that? So, yes, eros of war = people who get hard-ons from this type of spectacular violence.

    “Exactly fucking” or “imaginary fucking”? Which is it? A young bloke like you should get these concepts right, for your own sake. You do rather get carried away with yourself sometimes.

    The depiction of men practising war can be homoerotic, and there’s lashings aplenty in this movie, but war itself is an abstract concept unable to be eroticised.

    5. was a whole bunch of questions:

    “Also, what does “collective individuateâ€? a population mean? Does it mean to differentiate a population into a collective? Or does it mean to collectivise individuals into a population?”

    Well that should have been ‘collectively individuate’. It is not so much a differentiation (if you are using that in a straight linguistic sense, however if you are alluding to Deleuze’s notion of differentiation then, yes, that is exactly what I mean),

    OK, so you don’t mean the words to mean what they mean, but what YOU mean them to mean, and if I was a Deludedeleuzian comme toi I’d understand. OK, with you so far.

    but the sense of a collective whereby members know when they belong and those who don’t belong simply don’t “get itâ€?. The “getting itâ€? is important. When you “get itâ€?, such as a joke or some complex theory or that some girl on the bus likes you or whatever, you become part of a special population. This has little to do with demographics, and everything to do with a shift in perspective.

    Oh, right, so it’s all about the shared “getting it” of a collective? And what do the group dynamics of a collective have to do with individuation, then? And what exclusive belonging collective do teenage boys join when they enjoy a bit of mano a mano action in a fairyfloss war movie?

    If you haven’t noticed by now, these are rhetorical questions. There is nothing particularly “individuating” about watching a movie, and nor is it a collectivising experience in any but the most trivial sense. Moreover, the processes of individuation and collectivisation are contradictory. If you actually had a meaningful point to make, try to use words that mean what you think they mean.

    However, the sense I am using it here is slightly different in that the film is not creative at all — it does not produce perspectives, which is the domain of true art — it simply reproduces all the same triggers of jokes, action, etc. that have already produced populations (of ‘teenage boy’) many times before.

    Oh no! TRUE ART!!! How terribly pretentious of you. Of course the movie produces a “perspective”: Miller’s for one. The fact that as a work of cinema it contains generic elements (what you call “triggers”) of action, violence, spectacle, romance etc. has no bearing whatsoever on its originality or lack of “perspectives”.

    The film is trying to tap into this population of those who “get itâ€? where the “itâ€? is what you called the “fairyflossâ€?.

    The only thing the film is trying to tap into is the generic desire for an entertaining experience, in the form of a story with a visual narrative. There’s nothing in the IT more complex than that. What I call the “fairyfloss” and what you call the “fairyfloss” are not the same thing. Read my comment above if you need a clarification, as I’m unwilling to debate your strawhoplite.

    Also it is not without some irony that you call it “fairyflossâ€? when I have described it as the (homoerotic) phantasm of chesty-man. Yes, fairy. The movie makers know this, and they exploit it.

    Yes, your grasp of irony is exquisitely subtle. Fairy = gay. My, how arch your prodigious wit.

    The movie makers, AFAICT, did not set out to make subversive beefcake, but to faithfully render Miller’s graphic novel on screen. Now, Miller suffers from a whole host of maculinity issyews but, partly for that reason, he is the LAST man on Earth to explicitly exploit the perceived homoerotic elements in his own work.

    The film itself is largely irrelevant, the film is just a tool for produciong an audience. What really matters is the audience produced. This audience are those people who are largely turned on by war and semi naked muscular men cutting each other, which you have correctly identified as ‘teenage boys’. I have taken the next logical step by suggesting that ‘teenage boy’ is not merely a demographic, but clearly part of the psyche of right wing culture warriors who get turned by war and semi naked muscular men cutting each other.

    Interesting that you ascribe this obviously dangerously disturbed psyche only to right wing cultworriers. I’m pretty sure there were some louche lefty types at my viewing, and they weren’t conspicuously booing the movie.

    Or, as I put it woefully succinctly well before you launched your barrage of potage: “It’s a war movie. Boys like war movies. Teenage boys are the dominant movie-going audience. Ergo, Hollywood likes war movies. Game over. Thanks for coming.”

    But you used more words and less clarity, so I award you the LP Individuated Collective Gold Star for Tryhards.

  81. harry says:

    This is much ado about nothing.

    If I wanted to sell tickets to a movie I’d go on the lists and inflame Leftist righteous indignation. You’d sell an absolute buttload using this form of advertising. Oh, look: they did.
    If you want to talk conspiracy step 1 is ALWAYS “Follow the money”.
    If an audience was that easily swayed the message of 300 would be swamped in May by the messages of PiratesoftheCarribean3, Spiderman3 and Shrek3.
    Heck, The Last Samurai (which had one of the best fight scenes ever: ninja versus samurai) was a lecture on the warrior code – yet now, American audiences support the war in Iraq less.

    So what’s the lesson? Either (a) people get fired up over movies very breifly or (b) Real life has more of an impact on people than make believe. (How many movies sell the line that “You’re beautiful no matter what”? Buttloads. Do women agonise over their looks? Yes. Are guys catching up with women? yes. So give me a fricken break about how influential movies are.)
    or (c) both a and b.

    As for the dudity, pish. Might as well get all het up about any attractive man being cast in any movie.

    If we all thought about movies as deeply as Glen has here, and based our viewing accordingly, we’d never go to any movie for fear of subscribing to some subtext. Far out man, take a chill pill. You read like you’ve been chewing laurel leaves.

  82. Left McLeft says:

    I’m waiting for ONE newspaper article in which a fat nerd kid stands up to a bully, gets beaten up, yet stands up to him again; and says he was inspired by 300.

  83. glen says:

    haha PEANUT!!!!!!! There is no stoush. I am not arguing with you. As I have alluded I am making arguments that exceed what is being discussed here. I involve you when pointing things out that you clearly don’t want to understand or when trying to help you by explaining them. oh, wtf? lol

    Fairyfloss accurately describes an artistic license that is fantastical rather than realistic, mythical rather than accurate. There’s no ignorance of “everything interestingâ€?, as you contend, just an assessment of Miller’s idiosyncratic version of the story.

    Thanks. You fail to realise that I am in part trying to describe the reality (in the cinema, eating popcorn, arguing about it afterwards, etc) OF the fantasy, but I will get to that below.

    There is nothing particularly “individuatingâ€? about watching a movie, and nor is it a collectivising experience in any but the most trivial sense. Moreover, the processes of individuation and collectivisation are contradictory. If you actually had a meaningful point to make, try to use words that mean what you think they mean.

    Wow, you need to do a bit of reading about causality. I have repeatedly said the movie is quite irrelevant to the production of an audience. The truth of this is apparent by the fact that the audience is normally assembled before the movie has been watched, because they are assembled to watch the movie. Therefore, it is not the movie itself that is relevant for the individuation of a given population as an audience.

    What does the work of audience assembly? Particular technologies like movie reviews, previews, websites, gossip, etc. However, certain elements of the film must be present in these other media-based technologies otherwise they would be irrelevant. What are these elements? Lots and lots, everything from cinematics of comic aesthetics to the actors to the dialogue to the action to whatever.

    My suggestion is that which individuates an audience of right wing culture warriors who insist on seeing it as “just a movie” are the phantasmatic elements of ‘teenage boy’ homoerotic eros. Look up daniel stern and his conception of development. The adult male subconscious does not pass through and leave behind ‘teenage boy’, it is an accumulation. Part of the homoerotic eros of war is realised in the iconic image of the film of chesty-man. Chesty-man adorns many a poster. I imagine this is to get some heteroerotic eros of the ladies in the cinema, but it is also for warmongering boofheads who want to bloke-it-up and chuckle at the sword piercing action into rippling 6-packs. Do they want to do the piercing or be pierced? Who knows?

    You have not actually rebutted any of this but attempted to dismiss it using what I have described elsewhere as the “reified stupidity” attack — where you use your own non-understanding as proof of the nonsensical nature of whatever it is you don’t understand. I am not demanding you understand it, it doesn’t really worry me that much, but just don’t think you are doing yourself a favour by using your own stupidity as a rhetorical weapon. Begin to understand my argument, then we can argue. Otherwise you are fighting in the wet paper bag of your own meagre intellect.

    Oh, there is no such thing as “just an assessment”. For example, you think it is silly to use words like ‘individuation’ or phrases like ‘homoerotic eros’, but you are happy to use ‘fairyfloss’ to mean something. lol!

    Not surprisingly, you’ve singularly failed, yet again, to demonstrate why making money from movies is a Bad Thing.

    ?
    Where have I written that making money from anything is a bad thing? PEANUT haha!!!!! I talked about how focusing only on how a cultural commodity is used to make money is a bad thing.

    The only thing the film is trying to tap into is the generic desire for an entertaining experience, in the form of a story with a visual narrative. There’s nothing in the IT more complex than that.

    PEANUT haha!!!! There is no such thing as generic desire! lol! To collapse a lot of psychoanalytic theory: Desire is not some abstract thing. It belongs to certain bodies of certain people and makes them do certain things. There is certainly nothing ‘generic’ to the phantasms used to activate desire in the population of right wing culture warrior movie goers enthusiastic about this film.

    Interesting that you ascribe this obviously dangerously disturbed psyche only to right wing cultworriers. I’m pretty sure there were some louche lefty types at my viewing, and they weren’t conspicuously booing the movie.

    Yes, we obviously have phantasms activated by the desire to be recognised as better looking and smarter than everyone else, hence when I saw dumb and ugly peanuts in the audience enjoying the film I felt really good. rofl

    There is nothing really that dangerous about such a chesty-man phantasmatic libidinal apparatus. It is as gentle as easter bunnies because then they also get individuated as the population of “1st-person shooter” players where they can ejaculate bullets over all their monstrous enemies.

  84. Adam Gall says:

    I don’t think Glen is reading for ‘subtext’. He is offering a pretty literal account of how the film operates, applying a set of concepts that are philosophically consistent, and more to the point offering a more interesting account of what’s going on than if he were just spilling the ‘the film is secretly fascist’ line. As amusing as Farkov’s ad hominem response was, I don’t see why you have to be limited commonsense concepts and understandings. They always seem to yield the same old boring readings. ‘Collective individuation’ is a subtle concept, but it’s not contradictory, and it seems to be a very good one for understanding contemporary cultural forms actually, if I understand it correctly. ‘Overthinking’ is always the accusation that’s leveled at somebody who wants to try and engage with something in a different way.

  85. haha PEANUT!!!!!!! There is no stoush. I am not arguing with you. As I have alluded I am making arguments that exceed what is being discussed here. I involve you when pointing things out that you clearly don’t want to understand or when trying to help you by explaining them. oh, wtf? lol

    Yes, you’re right. You’re clearly not arguing with me. It’s now obvious you’re arguing with yourself. Not only do your arguments exceed what is being discussed here, they don’t even pertain, as I’ve demonstrated, to what is being discussed here. Thanks, however, for involving me in your non-explanation of arguments that have nothing to do with the topic of this post.

    Thanks. You fail to realise that I am in part trying to describe the reality (in the cinema, eating popcorn, arguing about it afterwards, etc) OF the fantasy, but I will get to that below.

    You’re welcome. But YOU fail to realise that when I used the word “fairyfloss”, it did not have the meaning that you have subsequently ascribed to it. Having pointed this out to you, you now tell me you’re describing the “reality of the fantasy”. I think you better “get to that” damn quick, because I’m about to excoriate you on that score too.

    Wow, you need to do a bit of reading about causality. I have repeatedly said the movie is quite irrelevant to the production of an audience. The truth of this is apparent by the fact that the audience is normally assembled before the movie has been watched, because they are assembled to watch the movie. Therefore, it is not the movie itself that is relevant for the individuation of a given population as an audience.

    Wow, you need to do a bit of reading of WHAT YOU ACTUALLY SAID:

    “Brawny naked man chest is used to collective individuate a population by tapping into the phantasms of chesty-man that haunt such persons (a genealogical line would go from 300 to Bond’s ad).”

    It’s obvious you WERE talking about the viewing of the movie. Now you want to restate your argument, it makes no more sense: how can the “audience assembly”, i.e. marketing, of the movie “collectively individuate”? Still no explanation, just more waffly garbage.

    What does the work of audience assembly? Particular technologies like movie reviews, previews, websites, gossip, etc. However, certain elements of the film must be present in these other media-based technologies otherwise they would be irrelevant. What are these elements? Lots and lots, everything from cinematics of comic aesthetics to the actors to the dialogue to the action to whatever.

    Yes, it’s called marketing. What does it have to do with “collective individuation”?

    My suggestion is that which individuates an audience of right wing culture warriors who insist on seeing it as “just a movieâ€? are the phantasmatic elements of ‘teenage boy’ homoerotic eros. Look up daniel stern and his conception of development. The adult male subconscious does not pass through and leave behind ‘teenage boy’, it is an accumulation. Part of the homoerotic eros of war is realised in the iconic image of the film of chesty-man. Chesty-man adorns many a poster. I imagine this is to get some heteroerotic eros of the ladies in the cinema, but it is also for warmongering boofheads who want to bloke-it-up and chuckle at the sword piercing action into rippling 6-packs. Do they want to do the piercing or be pierced? Who knows?

    Who cares? Your argument that teenage boys are somehow “individuated”, “collectively”, by watching advertising is even more ridiculous and unfounded than your previous, pre-clarification, argument that it is “triggered” by watching the movie itself. As for your linguistically incompetent misuse of the phrase “homoerotic eros”, I note with no great surprise your unwillingness to confront your tautology head on.

    You have not actually rebutted any of this but attempted to dismiss it using what I have described elsewhere as the “reified stupidityâ€? attack — where you use your own non-understanding as proof of the nonsensical nature of whatever it is you don’t understand. I am not demanding you understand it, it doesn’t really worry me that much, but just don’t think you are doing yourself a favour by using your own stupidity as a rhetorical weapon. Begin to understand my argument, then we can argue. Otherwise you are fighting in the wet paper bag of your own meagre intellect.

    Here’s a newsflash, Chester: the fact that you’ve tried on this pathetic argument before [i.e. “YOUR inability to understand MY brilliance is YOUR fault”] makes it no more persuasive on this, the umpteenth time.

    The fact of the matter is you can’t express even simple ideas in comprehensible English and, most irritatingly, appear to delight in wrapping your ultimately empty ideas in noxious, obtuse waffle. I’m doing you a favour by breaking down the blather into moderately comprehensible chunks, and yet again you proclaim it’s MY understanding that fails, not your woeful articulation. Get off whatever moronic steed you’ve mounted and produce a clear and concise argument and we just might get somewhere with my “meagre intellect”. Christ, you’re a pretentious wally.

    Oh, there is no such thing as “just an assessmentâ€?. For example, you think it is silly to use words like ‘individuation’ or phrases like ‘homoerotic eros’, but you are happy to use ‘fairyfloss’ to mean something. lol!

    I’m happy to use the word fairyfloss, because it conveys the meaning of what I’m describing: superficial, sugary, disposable pap. You fail to use “individuation” accurately and continue to employ tautologies because you ARE silly.

    “Not surprisingly, you’ve singularly failed, yet again, to demonstrate why making money from movies is a Bad Thing.”

    ?
    Where have I written that making money from anything is a bad thing? PEANUT haha!!!!! I talked about how focusing only on how a cultural commodity is used to make money is a bad thing.

    Jaysus. YOU SAID: “And well except that it is only being used as a tool to shuffle around audience-sheep.”

    Clearly you imply that shuffling audience sheep into theatres for money is a Bad Thing. When I asked for clarification [“Exactly. Sorry, is that supposed to be a bad thing?â€?] you reply:

    “Bad, if you are worried about anything beyond the economic success of this particular cultural commodity.”

    So what you’re saying is that making money from movies is a bad thing if you’re interested in more than making money. A clumsy sidestep, but you’re clearly implying that making money from movies is a Bad Thing.

    PEANUT haha!!!! There is no such thing as generic desire! lol!

    LOL as much as you like, but the desire of movie goers to be entertained IS generic, i.e. felt by the general movie-going populace. A particularly stupid mistake on your part.

    To collapse a lot of psychoanalytic theory: Desire is not some abstract thing. It belongs to certain bodies of certain people and makes them do certain things. There is certainly nothing ‘generic’ to the phantasms used to activate desire in the population of right wing culture warrior movie goers enthusiastic about this film.

    Again with the phantasms. There is certainly a lot that is generic in the movie, and its marketing, that appeals IN GENERAL, and we’ve already discussed those elements (i.e. action, drama yadda fecking yadda). You’re simply Deleuzing yourself again, Glen.

    “Interesting that you ascribe this obviously dangerously disturbed psyche only to right wing cultworriers. I’m pretty sure there were some louche lefty types at my viewing, and they weren’t conspicuously booing the movie.”

    Yes, we obviously have phantasms activated by the desire to be recognised as better looking and smarter than everyone else, hence when I saw dumb and ugly peanuts in the audience enjoying the film I felt really good. rofl

    Congratulations. That comment had absolutely nothing to do with mine, on right-wing cultworriers.

    There is nothing really that dangerous about such a chesty-man phantasmatic libidinal apparatus. It is as gentle as easter bunnies because then they also get individuated as the population of “1st-person shooterâ€? players where they can ejaculate bullets over all their monstrous enemies.

    What a lovely visual climax to mark the end of your turgid, masturbatory, screed.

  86. dj says:

    so, which one of you is Sparta and which one Persia…

  87. Graham Bell says:

    Everyone:

    How does “300” compare with “Kingdom Of Heaven”?

  88. harry says:

    Adam,
    “I don’t think Glen is reading for ’subtext’.”
    # What? He’s talking about individuating or some such nonsense that isn’t explicitly stated in the film. Ergo, it is subtext.

    “He is offering a pretty literal account of how the film operates, applying a set of concepts that are philosophically consistent, and more to the point offering a more interesting account of what’s going on than if he were just spilling the ‘the film is secretly fascist’ line.”

    # Erm, but he’s rejecting or downplaying the notion that first and foremost films’ purposes are to make money. The film’s fascism is quite overt, as it is in the graphic novel. Miller found the story of the 300 inspiriational and (with his latent homer-sexualness and fascism) produced a graphic novel accordingly. His creative motive was “This is cool!” rather than “This is individuating”

    “As amusing as Farkov’s ad hominem response was,”
    # Since the response generated includes multiple “lol” and “rofl”s, I feel any ad hominem is justified.

    “I don’t see why you have to be limited commonsense concepts and understandings.
    They always seem to yield the same old boring readings.”
    # Come again?
    That’s like saying that landscape painters of the 1920s painted with washes of yellow because they had a jaundiced view of the world or romantisiced the non-realist past, when in actual fact they sufferred from glaucoma which means everything looks yellow.
    Boring, but factual. Boohoo.
    Or, it’s like telling Robert Hook that all his work with springs and shit is fine, but it always seems to yeild the same boring readings.

    “‘Collective individuation’ is a subtle concept, but it’s not contradictory, and it seems to be a very good one for understanding contemporary cultural forms actually, if I understand it correctly.”
    # Really? It sounds like some bullshit term that somebody made up to me. Trying to apply a subtle concept to a movie such as 300 is like trying to tickle an earthquake.

    “‘Overthinking’ is always the accusation that’s leveled at somebody who wants to try and engage with something in a different way.”
    # You’re right. I should have used the term “wanking”.
    Taking something too seriously is wanking. The Iranians who have taken offense are being wankers: the Persians bear no resemblance to (a) Persians and (b) Iranians.
    Similarly, the right wingers who see this as positive propaganda are deluded: the movie is nothing but an elucidation as to why the VC and Iraqi militias have won.
    Furthermore the lefties who think it’s all a rightwingers plot are paranoid. When was the last time Hollywood made a movie that was subtle? Pfftt!

    Did “V for Vendetta” start a libertarian revolution aimed at establishing responsible, democratic government? No, unfortunately not. Yet there is support for such reform for both sides of politics.

    Right, so why would rightwingers sink $60million dollars into making 300 with the view that it was $60million worth of propaganda? Oh, they wouldn’t.
    Rightwingers are stupid, but they’re not that stupid.

    Does the slo-mo fighting express an individuatedness, or does it show how cool a fight sequence can look these days?

  89. harry says:

    “It is as gentle as easter bunnies because then they also get individuated as the population of “1st-person shooterâ€? players where they can ejaculate bullets over all their monstrous enemies.”

    # Fyodor, I think what he’s trying to say is that he wants you.
    In the butt.
    Possibly even pwned.

    I mean, he’s not even engaging your argument here, but he did imply that he was neither dumb nor ugly. He’s flirting. I think you’ll have to let him down gently and tell him you’re not his type.

  90. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Fyodor, I think what he’s trying to say is that he wants you.

    Well, that’s a bit of a jolt. I was about to propose to Dr Farkov myself, so that I could be Frau Doktor Doktor Katze von Farkov-Pavlova.

    But clearly there’s a queue. Oh well.

  91. Flash Nabakon says:

    I feel we may be in danger of overintellectualising this issue. Sometimes penetration is just a flesh wound.

  92. But clearly there’s a queue. Oh well.

    You flatter me, Mme.

    If it’s any consolation, I don’t think it’s giving too much away to note that you’re v. highly placed on my harem list (not too far behind Harry, in fact) should the government ever repeal that ridiculous polygamy ban.

    Speaking of Harry: um, dude? I thought I was supposed to be the smutty one? You’re the one who “looks simultaneously gay and irresistible to women”, remember? Or was that the other way around?

  93. Dom Fiasco da Gama y Haiku, Count of Vidigueira says:

    When queueing for love
    In your first person Doom-clone,
    Practise safe strafing.

  94. harry says:

    “You’re the one who “looks simultaneously gay and irresistible to womenâ€?, remember?”
    # That’s dredging the memory banks!

    “Or was that the other way around?”

    # You mean irresistibly gay and simultaneous with women?
    You and me (beat) and her (ie Pavlov’s Cat)
    Simultaneous.

    Evidently I HAVE been affected by some of the all to obviously latent attributes of 300. I withdraw all my arguments above.

    Speaking of Homersexuality, if we got Mr Paxton back and EP, this would be a two year timewarp back to the halcyon days of LP. C’mon Haiku, flirtatous haikus aimed at Kimberella.

    Memories light the corners of my mind.
    (Ahhh, my mind!)

  95. Adam Gall says:

    “The fact of the matter is you can’t express even simple ideas in comprehensible English and, most irritatingly, appear to delight in wrapping your ultimately empty ideas in noxious, obtuse waffle.”

    But what if they’re not simple ideas?

  96. glen says:

    dear u and mption,

    So what you’re saying is that making money from movies is a bad thing if you’re interested in more than making money. A clumsy sidestep, but you’re clearly implying that making money from movies is a Bad Thing.

    yawn. I am saying what I am saying. lol. you are INFERRING what you believe to be an IMPLICATION, but if I say “No, peanut, my point is not ‘making money from movies is teh bad’ it is rather both more subtle and more complex than this and regarding the production of audiences” then you should probably realise your inferrance is wrong and try to understand how it is wrong just as I have tried to continually explain myself in various ways. again you are attacking some imaginary point (an inference to an assumed implication) by trying to defend your own stupidity (your inference). I admit that you have launched an admirable defence of your stupidity and for such an attempt you must trying love it.

    “Brawny naked man chest is used to collective individuate a population by tapping into the phantasms of chesty-man that haunt such persons (a genealogical line would go from 300 to Bond’s ad).â€?

    It’s obvious you WERE talking about the viewing of the movie. Now you want to restate your argument, it makes no more sense: how can the “audience assemblyâ€?, i.e. marketing, of the movie “collectively individuateâ€?? Still no explanation, just more waffly garbage.

    its obvious that we have another assumption, making an ass out of u and mption. You are again trying to tell me what I was saying!!! I was talking about “brawny naked man chest” which you have correctly identified as existing in the movie, well done. Perhaps you could try to correctly identify it in my argument? In my argument I was talking about one of the functions of brawny naked man chest (to collectively individuate an audience).

    LOL as much as you like, but the desire of movie goers to be entertained IS generic, i.e. felt by the general movie-going populace. A particularly stupid mistake on your part.

    do you belong to ‘mainstream’ australia, too? lol! Perhaps another example of how silly the notion of a “general movie-going populace” is can be found in the similarly wrongly named ‘general interest’ mens and/or women’s magazines which are all special interest magazines organised around a discursively constructed ‘generic’ of a specific gender and then targted demographics for class, education, age, income, etc. mainstream!!

    part of the much larger context of my argument is that the populations individuated as audiences for specific movies (or whatever media, talkback radio, for example) are also individuated as political constituencies. Popular culture and politics do not operate through identification, ie i want to be a spartan king or john howard, but through individuation, ie I belong to the population who feels the spartan king in this movie is cool, just like john howard. so your fervent attempts to identify the audience with the film with some sort of ‘generic movie-going public’ is interesting as it seems as if you are unwittingly making the same point that I am. Although I am not sure, and would not want to make any assumptions about the points you are or are not making.

    The fact of the matter is you can’t express even simple ideas in comprehensible English and, most irritatingly, appear to delight in wrapping your ultimately empty ideas in noxious, obtuse waffle. I’m doing you a favour by breaking down the blather into moderately comprehensible chunks, and yet again you proclaim it’s MY understanding that fails, not your woeful articulation. Get off whatever moronic steed you’ve mounted and produce a clear and concise argument and we just might get somewhere with my “meagre intellectâ€?. Christ, you’re a pretentious wally.

    I agree with Adam’s response. Hmmm, “get somewhere with my ‘mearge intellect'”… you’re not an undergarduate student in the new service-based university system demanding to be spoon fed ideas to ‘earn’ a degree, are you?

    I would be pretentious if I was pretending or had a pretence of being a smarty pants, but I’m not and I don’t. Sorry. I actually am a smarty pants, lol

  97. Liam says:

    this would be a two year timewarp back to the halcyon days of LP

    Karl Popper.

  98. harry says:

    “But what if they’re not simple ideas?”
    # James Gleick can explain Chaos Theory.
    I have very little idea what glen is talking about.

    What is “individuate”?
    What is “collective individuate”?
    How does a movie collectively individuate an audience?

    “Perhaps another example of how silly the notion of a “general movie-going populaceâ€?…”
    # Why do people go to movies, glen?
    Is it (a) to be collectively individuated?
    b) escapism?
    c) something else (please articulate)?

  99. Graham Bell says:

    GummoTrotsky and FiascoDaGama:
    I thought this was a haiku-free zone; there was no warning label at the top 😦

    Anyway, any comparisons of 300 with Kingdom Of Heaven yet?

  100. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Unable to resist that link of Zoe’s, I followed the comments thread, a veritable Theseus in the Blogyrinth, for long enough to stumble on a comment from Fyodor dated June 9th 2005, in which he describes himself as a dessicated coconut, thereby demonstrating that he is perennially ahead of his time.

    So, Fyodor, are you also Araldited to your seat?

  101. Fiasco da Gama says:

    All tip and no iceberg, is the mysterious Fyodor, PC.

  102. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Oh dear, aren’t we all!

  103. Fiasco da Gama, MP, Member for Baixo Alentejo says:

    Well, not all of us, PC.
    The thing about Boxhead there is that he seems to have swallowed a fucking dictionary at age fifteen and he thinks that gives him the right to pour shit over the rest of us.

  104. Karl Popper.

    The nostalgia was better in the old days, wasn’t it, Haiku?

    Frisco, you can be my wingman anytime.

    Kudos, Earth Mother.

    Mme. Pavlova, this seat is araldited to me. And, yes, that plagiarising scumbag PJK owes me royalties.

    And now, to my favourite cupcake…

    yawn. I am saying what I am saying. lol. you are INFERRING what you believe to be an IMPLICATION, but if I say “No, peanut, my point is not ‘making money from movies is teh bad’ it is rather both more subtle and more complex than this and regarding the production of audiencesâ€? then you should probably realise your inferrance is wrong and try to understand how it is wrong just as I have tried to continually explain myself in various ways. again you are attacking some imaginary point (an inference to an assumed implication) by trying to defend your own stupidity (your inference).

    No inference necessary, Glen; your implication was obvious on both occasions:

    “And well except that it is only being used as a tool to shuffle around audience-sheep.â€?

    and, after I directly asked for clarification:

    “Bad, if you are worried about anything beyond the economic success of this particular cultural commodity.â€?

    Now you want to restate, for the third time – you’re clearly a third-time lucky bloke when it comes to articulation – what you think you think you mean:

    “No, peanut, my point is not ‘making money from movies is teh bad’ it is rather both more subtle and more complex than this and regarding the production of audiencesâ€?.

    Yes, your point is so awfully subtle and complex it’s incapable of being rendered into any known language, unlike the simple and direct question I asked you: “Sorry, is that supposed to be a bad thing?â€?

    Now, why don’t you spare me the tortuous bullshit evasion and snide implications and answer the question? Come on, pumpkin, I’ll make it easy for you.

    Making money from movies is:

    a) not a bad thing; or
    b) always a bad thing; or
    c) a bad thing sometimes, but I’m not going to tell you why.

    I admit that you have launched an admirable defence of your stupidity and for such an attempt you must trying love it.

    Dream on, Glen. It’s your defence of YOUR stupidity that proves “you must trying love it” [sic]. But, please, don’t let me stop you; show me more, oh mighty intellect.

    its obvious that we have another assumption, making an ass out of u and mption. You are again trying to tell me what I was saying!!! I was talking about “brawny naked man chestâ€? which you have correctly identified as existing in the movie, well done. Perhaps you could try to correctly identify it in my argument? In my argument I was talking about one of the functions of brawny naked man chest (to collectively individuate an audience).

    Pathetic.

    First, you state that viewing “phantasms of chesty-man” by some magical, unexplained process, “collective individuate a population”.

    Then, when challenged to explain what the feck you mean by this you cop out with a new, bullshit evasion that, actually, WATCHING the movie has nothing to do with it. No, apparently, the “assembly” of the audience actually does the job.

    When I point out to you that changing your focus from the viewing of the movie to its marketing makes no difference to your STILL unsubstantiated argument, you tell me I’m not following your argument. Bullshit.

    The truth is, I AM following your argument. The problem is that your argument is going nowhere but in ascending circles in the direction of your fundament.

    “LOL as much as you like, but the desire of movie goers to be entertained IS generic, i.e. felt by the general movie-going populace. A particularly stupid mistake on your part.”

    do you belong to ‘mainstream’ australia, too? lol! Perhaps another example of how silly the notion of a “general movie-going populaceâ€? is can be found in the similarly wrongly named ‘general interest’ mens and/or women’s magazines which are all special interest magazines organised around a discursively constructed ‘generic’ of a specific gender and then targted demographics for class, education, age, income, etc. mainstream!!

    You see, this is your problem in a nutshell, peanut: the inability to tackle an argument directly without introducing irrelevant blather.

    It’s a very simple issue, my little roasted peanut: if you think people, IN GENERAL, don’t expect to be entertained by the movies they PAY to see, you’ve a bloody difficult task ahead of you in proving it. Not that I expect much in the way of proof from you, of course, as you can barely structure an argument, let alone substantiate one.

    part of the much larger context of my argument is that the populations individuated as audiences for specific movies (or whatever media, talkback radio, for example) are also individuated as political constituencies. Popular culture and politics do not operate through identification, ie i want to be a spartan king or john howard, but through individuation, ie I belong to the population who feels the spartan king in this movie is cool, just like john howard. so your fervent attempts to identify the audience with the film with some sort of ‘generic movie-going public’ is interesting as it seems as if you are unwittingly making the same point that I am. Although I am not sure, and would not want to make any assumptions about the points you are or are not making.

    No, you wouldn’t. In fact, you should steer clear, if at all possible, from making any assumptions about the points YOU are making. Judging from recent experience your ideas have all the permanence of soap bubbles, but without the clarity.

    However, to address the issue you raise, I said way back when that different types of movie appeal to different types of audience. This contribution of yours only recycles that point with more useless verbiage and tedious, unfounded political baggage. If you’re going to regurgitate my points, stick to the original text, buddy. You’re on safer ground when someone else constructs your argument for you.

    I agree with Adam’s response. Hmmm, “get somewhere with my ‘mearge intellect’â€?… you’re not an undergarduate student in the new service-based university system demanding to be spoon fed ideas to ‘earn’ a degree, are you?

    What, you mean from one of those “universities” that used to teach trades? Obviously my meagre intellect couldn’t facilitate entry into one of those institutions, despite their lax entry requirements. Certainly, it wouldn’t get me into that esteemed university facilitating your PhD in…what was it again? Motor magazines?

    I would be pretentious if I was pretending or had a pretence of being a smarty pants, but I’m not and I don’t. Sorry. I actually am a smarty pants, lol

    Oh, trust me – I’m laughing alright.

    Just remember, kids: sometimes the audience isn’t laughing WITH you.

  105. Fiasco da Gama says:

    Wound up like a thousand day clock, you are, blockhead.

    It’s a very simple issue, my little roasted peanut: if you think people, IN GENERAL, don’t expect to be entertained by the movies they PAY to see, you’ve a bloody difficult task ahead of you in proving it.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Glen’s arguing that the phenomenon of movie-going is about a great many more things than the personal entertainment of the ticket-buyer. Apart from anything else, there’s the market-constructed social cliques and subcultures who expect their members to have seen certain movies and know the content by heart. I think I’m as ambivalent as he is about the youngsters who’re getting their jollies talking about stabbing movies amongst each other.
    What the fuck individuation or collectivism or tautological home-owneroticism have to do with anything I’ve no idea, but you’re playing the demanding inquisitor with your line-by-line responses, oh smuttiest of redheads.
    Next thing you’ll be demanding EVIDENCE!!!!1!!!

  106. Disinterested Observer says:

    I hope its not too far off topic, but my favourite film review is:
    http://www.townhall.com/blog/g/ae616447-0175-4edb-86dd-3ba11e02023d

    That is favourite as in – “Did this person actually see the same film I did, or did he just bring an astonishingly inappropriate set of preconceptions to the movies?”

  107. glen, Fyodor – go to your rooms! Gummo is very cross with you both!

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