March 18, 2007
A Rare Rant
Did anybody else see “300”?
I thought it was basically war porn.
The less politicized majority, who perhaps would like to draw inspiration from this story without glossing over the crazy and defective aspects of Spartan society, have turned, in droves, to a film from the alternative cultural universe of fantasy and science fiction. Styled and informed by pulp novels, comic books, video games and Asian martial arts flicks, science fiction eats this kind of material up, and expresses it in ways that look impossibly weird to people who arenít used to it.
That sounds weird to me. As I said over in the Fimoculous comments, I’m not sure I buy the conflation of geek culture with… er… whatever “300” is. Just ‘cause it’s from a comic book, it counts more as an avatar of nerd-dom than as, say, a hyperviolent fantasia of nationalism?
And I don’t buy the “what, you don’t want to celebrate the Battle of Thermopylae and the salvation of the west??” argument at all because “300” is pretty clearly not intended to be a historical document. Stephenson can’t claim it as both a sci-fi hyperreal anime kung-fu nerd-fest and as a documentary.
But really, I think I’m just a little bummed because Neal Stephenson wrote something and it didn’t make any sense. First the climate crisis, now this…