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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


posted by on March 14 at 18:13 PM

So I took the afternoon off and went to see 300. Somehow seeing a deeply homophobic film—the Persians are portrayed as some sort of gaysian menace, a pride parade with suicide bombers, a threat to all things decent and, er, Greek—took my mind off Garrison Keillor’s deeply homophobic column today at Salon. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed 300 in part because the Persian Emperor is played by an eight foot tall black drag queen. Emperor RuPaul.

I mean, my God, the lengths the filmmakers went to in order to reassure the straight boys in the audience that there was nothing homoerotic about staring at men in thongs for three hours.

The King of the Spartans—among the most notorious boy fuckers in ancient history—dismisses Athenians as weak-willed “philosophers and boy lovers”? Hilarious. And Xerxes, the Persian Emperor, is so gay—how gay is he? mascara! nose rings! eye liner! leather!—yet he fills his tent with… lesbians? He he he. The King of the Spartans telling his three-hundred soldiers—recruited from and outfited by International Male—that Sparta is “the world’s one hope for reason and justice.” Bah! That would be the same Sparta that owned slaves and made running off into the woods and murdering a slave a right of passage for young boys—basically, the Spartan Bar Mitzvah. Holy crap! The endless sex scene between the Spartan King and his wife? Not funny, just pornographic. I went to the bathroom.

300 reminded me of Troy, another recent Hollywood film set in and around ancient Greece. When we first see Brad Pitt as Achilles he’s shown in bed, naked, with two nude and completely spent females draped over him. “See?” the filmmakers were screaming. “He’s an ancient Greek soldier and he wears a skirt and he’s oiled up like a porn star—but he fucks girls! Two at a time!”

300’s homophobia is so over the top it ultimately functions as a satire—see? I get satire sometimes!—of its presumed audiences’ homophobia. So is it a homophobic movie? That’s debatable, I guess.

What isn’t up for debate is the film’s politics. There are times when the Persian army looks unmistakably like a crowd of chanting Islamic radicals. And if the Spartan King has to break the law to defend Spartan freedom? Well, sometime a King’s gotta do what a King’s gotta do. Because, as the Queen of Sparta points out, freedom isn’t free. And, yes, she uses exactly those words.

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What alternative did they have?

They could have said that the preservation of Greek culture allowed -- in spite of the intent of the Spartan fascist kleptocracy -- the eventual development of democracy and justice. They could have said that the imperialist Persians were more just and merciful towards their subject peoples than the Mafia-like, sadistic Spartans. Or that the precious, overwrought Spartans and Athenians eventually got crushed by the even more meat-headed and Conan The Terminator-ish Macedonians.

But that would have made the whole message of the movie fraught with irony. Irony! In a film! Come on.

Posted by elenchos | March 14, 2007 6:32 PM

Holy God!! You and Ahmadinejad agree on something. Observe:,,2033630,00.html

For the record, I think I'm with you two on this one; it sounds pretty damn awful.

Posted by john | March 14, 2007 6:33 PM

Dan, I'd like to recommend that you read the graphic novel, as well as several others by Frank Miller. Everything that takes place in Sparta after the 300 leave was added by the director. In The Dark Knight Returns, Batman beats up Superman because he's a toady for Ronald Reagan. In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, he tears apart the society we've created since 9/11. He's really not right wing.

Posted by Gitai | March 14, 2007 6:36 PM

You really woke up in a mood to be easily outraged and offended today.

Maybe you should lie down in a quiet room before a cereal box or a gum wrapper sets you off again.

Posted by Peter | March 14, 2007 6:37 PM

@3: Dan isn't criticizing Frank Miller. He's criticizing the film made of Frank Miller's work. Frank Miller's name never appears in the post. What difference does it make if Miller's work is being perverted, considering more people will see this vision of 300 than read the original 300?

Posted by Sweeney Agonistes | March 14, 2007 6:41 PM

Dan Savage is racist.

Posted by malwana | March 14, 2007 6:43 PM

It is possible to view the film the other way: The imperial army of overwhelming force led by a posturing arrogant tool runs into trouble when confronted by a small band of suspiciously homophobic and death obsessed terrorists. Neither analogy really fits all that well though.

Posted by dirge | March 14, 2007 6:48 PM

I didn't particularly see it as homophobic, as much as "fear of different/fear of submission" which is a theme echoed in the Queen's interaction with the councilman who attempts to betray her.

I totally saw a romance blossoming between two Spartans before one was beheaded.

In fact, I would say the film's basic message is "Submission is bad, mmkay?" which you may or may not agree with on a practical or philosophical level.

It's not historically accurate and it deviates from the source material, but those fight scenes were a ballet of violence and I loved 'em.

Posted by Soupytwist | March 14, 2007 7:03 PM

and if you don't pay your buck-oh-five, who will?

oooh, buck-oh-five...

Posted by mike | March 14, 2007 7:09 PM

Frank Miller is a skeeze.

GK is equally skeezy.

Posted by skeeze r us | March 14, 2007 8:28 PM

If it's about fear of submission, what does it mean that they made the persons demanding submission black, brown, and queer and the ones submission is demanded of white, male, and straight?

Posted by EXTC | March 14, 2007 8:30 PM

On an unrelated note, Dan, I keep drifting away from the Slog, so I finally added you to my RSS feed list. No more disappearances ;)

Posted by Gomez | March 14, 2007 8:49 PM

mike @ #9 that's EXACTLY what I was thinking while reading Dan's review.

Posted by monkey | March 14, 2007 9:21 PM

The other issue I have with the movie besides the odd gay as a slur attack was how the Spartans fought as a bunch of lone wolves. In reality, they held out as long as the did at Thermopylae because they. never. broke. up. the. phalanx. Wave after wave of Persian crashed up against their wall of shields and before they could swing their sword they had a spear in their face or a sword poking out from a crack in the shields in their belly.

Posted by TheTruthHurts | March 14, 2007 9:42 PM

I was a huge fan of the graphic novel, so me and the lady went and saw 300 this weekend. I walked out of it sorely depressed and feeling insulted. To my utmost surprise, my women's rights adamant, hyper-intellectual girlfriend simply loved it.

I didn't get it at all. They made Xerxes a fucking joke, and turned the queen into a bumbling idiot. "Gays and women sure are dumb, lalalala."

Aside from the fact it was insulting storyline wise, the special effects and actions sequences were just plain bad. I immediately thought they had run over budget and were forced to use extreme closeups of random body parts mid motion, coupled with almost vertigo inducing start-stop/slow-fast camera "effects".

Crap crap crap.

Posted by Joh | March 14, 2007 9:45 PM

Dan, the whole gay thing is wearing thin. Everything you do and say is filtered through that prism. Sure, everyone hates gays and black and jews and everythign else, if thats what you want to believe, that is what you will find, as evidenced by your recent posts. Quit crying already. Stick with pegging and santorum, that shit is funny. Serious Dan is a paranoid bore.

Posted by rufus | March 14, 2007 10:17 PM

#5, I know, I know. It's just I love Frank Miller's work far too much to not defend him whenever I get the chance. After seeing Sin City almost entirely true to the comics on a frame by frame basis (of course, that was Robert Rodriguez, not some guy I've never heard of), and seeing that something similar was going on in the previews, I really hoped that I'd just be seeing the graphic novel with Lynn Varley's lovely art put into motion. I agree with Dan that they worked overtime to make the Spartans look uber-hetero, especially since in the graphic novel, it was shown quite accurately that they didn't even wear little leather thongs, and slept with each other, but aside from that, and if I could get a Frank Miller cut that removed the added scenes, I think that it would be an amazing film.

Sorry to ramble, but I really care about comics as an art form, and if Frank Miller can convince someone to make a Martha Washington trilogy, I'll camp out overnight to see all three films.

Posted by Gitai | March 14, 2007 10:26 PM

I really liked Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake, but why would anyone over the age of fourteen go see this nonsense? It looks terrible! I would like to see the Spartans take on Garrison Keillor, though, not for being homophobic if he is but for being unfunny, boring, phony/corny and retrogressive. "This segment is brought to you by the army of Sparta, who just eviscerated me and fed me to hawks.."

Posted by Grant Cogswell | March 14, 2007 11:18 PM

EXTC - it means that the graphic novel the movie was based on had that as a part of the premise.

Frank Miller is a "libertarian" in geek terms, which means he's afraid of pretty much everything that isn't a straight white male.

So the "fear of submission" is totally viewed through that lens of a straight white male. The target audience for movies of this nature (action, gore, military history, comics, etc.).

The Queen's storyline was added by the filmmakers - and it was kind of unexpected to see a strong woman in the vein of Scarlet O'Hara in a gory action movie - and I was pleasantly surprised by it.

Posted by Soupytwist | March 14, 2007 11:20 PM

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Absolutely FREE PlayBoy & Penthouse:

Posted by goblin | March 14, 2007 11:47 PM

In a movie made for straight boys that is as gloriously homoerotic as 300 (spank spank spank to those Spartans!), it is no surprise to me that it has to be rather homophobic at the same time to make the straight boys ok with watching it. Just like college fraternities! That didn't bother me as much as did the subtext of the Persians being evil, perverted, terrorizing Middle Easterners while the Spartans were all white and all right! And kinda All American at that heh? (even with the infanticide at the beginning). And the militarization of Christianity stuck in my throat too. Did anyone else notice the Christ like death pose of King Leonides at the end? One person exiting the theater with me said it was like one long military recruiting commercial.... And another thing.... the Brothers seemed to be getting kicked down wells and beheaded more than the white dudes too. Casual racism is not so cool --- it really doesn't have to be a black guy getting kicked down a well at the beginning does it?
That said, I will see it again because I'm a cheap sell when it comes to all that spankable Spartan Man Flesh....

Posted by dave | March 14, 2007 11:57 PM

Pure fiction, it should be called 1700, 300 Spartans, but they had many allies. 400 soldiers from Thebes helped out, and many others. Of course they don't get any recognition. I'm too drunk to research it online right now and I don't really care, but as far as anyone alive today in the 21st century knows that actually researches this shit, there wasn't just 300 people. The movie sounds pretty stupid.

Posted by George | March 14, 2007 11:59 PM

Of course this is the stranger blog, you guys can deconstruct any movie to see the latent homosexuality in it. No offense :P

Posted by George | March 15, 2007 12:03 AM

to Geo at 23
yes, we can deconstruct any movie for latnet homosexuality, but you don't have to deconstruct much to find it in this film. The handsome,stapping and nearly naked men on display from the beginning of the movie to the very end should give even the straightest guy pause. Spankable Spartans Rule!

Posted by dave | March 15, 2007 12:31 AM

Haha, yeah that's what I hear.

Posted by George | March 15, 2007 12:33 AM

I haven't seen the film, but Dan's comment that it's so homophobic that it's almost a satire on homophobia makes me wonder if it isn't a bit like the way I, straight boy that I am, seem to like women-in-prison films. Not that they're erotic, but that they're trying so hard to be saucy it's simply hysterical. And so anti-feminist you can't possibly take it seriously.

To put it another way: maybe you should only be allowed to enjoy 300 if you think it's funny. Taking it seriously is bad for our whole society.

Posted by CowboyDave | March 15, 2007 5:35 AM

@ 21: Did anyone else notice the Christ like death pose of King Leonides at the end?

YES!! OH HELL YES I DID! I thought I was the only one who thought that though. :\

Posted by Hera | March 15, 2007 7:05 AM

I enjoyed the movie overall, but:
-"Freedom isn't free" - I could not believe she actually said that. And yeah, I had "buck oh five" playing in my head for the rest of the movie.
-Regardless of the filmmakers' intentions or political leanings, the whole time I was thinking (regarding Leonides): "This is how GWB sees himself," and it bummed me out.

Posted by Levislade | March 15, 2007 8:29 AM
I totally saw a romance blossoming between two Spartans before one was beheaded.

You got that too? I was enjoying that. =)

Posted by wench | March 15, 2007 8:57 AM

What is up with The Stranger lately? Somehow when it comes to films they seem to have turned into the Commity Fot Po-Faced Seriousness.

Posted by Art | March 15, 2007 9:41 AM

Uh, you saw a "romance blossoming" between the Spartan captain and the son he was proud to fight alongside, before the son was beheaded and the father went insane with grief and rage? Oooookay.

I guess the good news for you is that every two people you see talking to each other must seem like a potential passionate couple. So exciting!

CowboyDave @26 has the right idea about this movie -- it's a big, dumb loud rock anthem, based on a comic book with about fourteen lines of dialogue. Deconstructing it to be meant as homoerotic or homophobic or pro-Iraq Occupation or anti-Darfur genocide or pro-seal killing is investing too much angst and worry into something meant to be goofy fun, like a Led Zeppelin track.

Posted by Peter | March 15, 2007 9:48 AM

I think it's bizarre that the only thing the Stranger can see in the movie is homosexual undercurrents. What you're missing is what some other critics have pointed out: it's not about the gay, it's about the war. Specifically, the movie is about the glorification of war and warriors. That's why it got made, and why it's popular. It promotes the viewpoint that war is the only answer and the only question; that life is nothing but a constant threat of defeat, and can only be managed by an emotional swelling towards battle.

I fear that when you respond to the sexuality you see in it, you are conflating the two as you fall under the spell of militarism.

Posted by Fnarf | March 15, 2007 9:50 AM

I'm a big ol' gay guy and have been for years. I've marched, I've advocated, I've fought back, I've put my job on the line.
That said - I really enjoyed the movie. I didn't find it to be an attack on the gay community or the persians. I found it to be an enjoyable action movie based on a comic book. I didn't expect it to solve to even answer the worlds problems and their is no frackin reason why it should have.
relax people! lighten up! sometimes a movie is just a movie.

Posted by BostonBear | March 15, 2007 9:54 AM

Peter @ 31 - Not the father & son, but I don't want to SPOIL it for people who haven't seen the movie yet.

And your analysis of the movie is very snobby - I guess you need a moving piano score and lots of dialogue to tell you that there are SERIOUS IDEAS happening.

Posted by Soupytwist | March 15, 2007 10:01 AM

I think the real snobbery lies in pretending 300 means anything except a whole lot of asskicking.

Posted by Gloria | March 15, 2007 10:11 AM

And 70 million box office weekend aint bad. As far as the gay stuff didn't think of it that way at all. If anything their was a lot of BI-Sexualism going on. Men in those days like to get it on with women and men. And women liked men and women. So what. Was there not being any total gayism or lesbianism in the movie what got you in a huff. Bi- Sexual exists and we want the right to marry to.
And war history exists in true form or legend. All this was was Legend. How about we make a Big Gay soldier battalion that fights of straight people who want to invade the gays land and keep them from marrying. We can call it 300 strangers vs. the repugs and their king is GOP.
Bet you'd like that war in all its glory potrayed in film. With lots of blood even better.

Posted by DreadLion | March 15, 2007 10:42 AM

I meant the king is Dan Savage. Lead us to battle.

Posted by DreadLion | March 15, 2007 10:44 AM

I think many people, maybe even most, will come away from the movie and see it for the action adventure, over the top, sexed up, bloody CGI visual fest it is. It's not a subtle movie and it's not intellectually brilliant. You can just have a good ole time watching it-- either for the violence or the muscle boys. BUT that doesn't mean the subtext should be ignored. The glorification of violence is disturbing. The black and white portrayal of the Spartans and the Persians (esp in todays political world) is troubling. And most unsettling to me is the militarization of Christianity. Is war what Christ was about? Sacrifice yourself for God and Country boys! There may be times and reasons to do that, but with Iraq going on, I'm critical of any pop culture that promotes an emotional, not-so-well-thought-out testosterone fest. The muscle boys had me at hello, but movies (even bad ones) are the stories we tell ourselves and I watch them on different levels. What are we telling ourselves here?

Posted by dave | March 15, 2007 10:56 AM

Two things:

1. Sparta was not anti-homosexual - if you read history, you know it. But your duty was to get married and have kids as well.

2. Anyone else notice none of the arrows hit their loincloths? I thought that was very strange.

3. I'm sorry, I was distracted by the women in the film. You'll have to ask someone else for details about the men.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 15, 2007 11:17 AM

Gloria - it's not snobbery, it's deluded self-importance!

Posted by Soupytwist | March 15, 2007 11:17 AM

Not everything in the world directly relates to your personal crusades.

The one reference to homosexuality in the film is to 'boy lovers' which is more of a pedo slur than anything else.

You're seriously reading in to this way too much. I understand that you are trying to judge the film on the film, and if that's the case then you should take it for what it is: popcorn. There really isn't much deep meaning in the film other than these guys were willing to sacrifice their lives for their homeland.

Now if you want to get in to the history of it, Spartan citizens were free. Yes they owned slaves, but so did every other greek city state. They also were the only society that had any kind of women's rights; women owned and managed the estate of their soldier husbands and were educated unlike the women of Athens who were treated as chattel. Spartan warriors were encouraged to have sex with the men they fought with because they knew you'd fight harder for your lover than anyone else, and because of the bonds it would create.

In other words, it looks like Dan just wanted to rant, chose this as a vehicle for his rant and didn't really look into it further than he had to in order to prove his point.

Posted by Smegmalicious | March 15, 2007 11:24 AM

"Prepare for glory?"? "Prepare for glory holes" more like......

(that's the slogan it's being marketed under in the UK, BTW)

Posted by Shane | March 15, 2007 11:47 AM

Militarization of Christianity my ass. The Christ pose has been a practically religion-free symbol of martyrdom since forever, and moreover, Leonides's actions in the movie go directly AGAINST the will of the religious leaders in this movie.

Moreover, while this is in fact a highly conservative film, 300 doesn't work at all as an allegory for the Iraq war, seeing as both sides can be read as America and neither side really seems to represent Iraq/the terrorists.

Posted by Ken | March 15, 2007 12:06 PM

"This segment is brought to you by the army of Sparta, who just eviscerated me and fed me to hawks.."

Nah man, you were eviscerated by sleepy McIver.

Posted by SeMe | March 15, 2007 12:25 PM

Wow, people upset about a war movie where the protagonists attack the antagonists? How could those screenwriters be sooo insensitive to protray the enemy as, well, the enemy? You're right, it must be racism. Before we go screaming hypocrisy lets at least get all the facts straight:

1. Frank Miller worked closely on the set, so many changes to his graphic novel were approved by him.

2. Both Miller and Snyder set out to mythologize a historical event instead of trying to make a mythological event seem historical (Troy). Giving them poetic license.

3. The Spartans did not engage in the same degree of pederasty as the Athenians (note I don't say none). There is some historical evidence that the relations in Sparta between men and boys were not explicitly sexual.

4. After Xerxes defeat a few years later, he DID spend the rest of his life in his harem while fading into historical obscurity.

5. Allegory to the Iraq war? Lets see, did Iraq invade us? no. Are we an exceedingly small military force against the organized militias of an empire? No, we are the damn empire. Are we losing? debatable. Is our loss going to bring about the ultimate success in this campaign? That just wouldn't make sense.

6. Who said anyone was trying to reassure the straight crowd of anything? I saw the film in San Francisco. I saw it with a lot of gay men. They loved the oiled bodies (which by the way was a Spartan tradition). One quip in this film about Athens and you have to compare it to another movie just to make the argument stick? Lame.

7. By the way Dan, in all seriousness, I love your column. I read it every week. I also loved the piece on Keillor. He is an ass. But getting worked up over 300? Did you run out of real assholes to skewer? This critique sounds like a peculiar kind of conservative anger.

Posted by Z H | March 15, 2007 1:07 PM

@43 I agree that the movie can be seen as either Bush is Leonides OR Xerxes. It is not smart enough to be a direct analogy of the current war, but still.... east vs west is there and plays out against the world we live in. In a mish-mash way. Which is how some of my relitives view the war. In a mish mash way.
And yes the martrydom-like pose can be seen without the Christian reference. But for people who are hard core Christians (like my cousin) it is likely to be taken with religious overtones. SHE sees Christ-like overtones in clouds! I'm not offended by the pose, just interested in how it is used. Was it an intentional and subtle reference to Christ? I doubt it in this movie. This movie's not smart enough. But the symbolism is still interesting to me depending on who the target audience is or will be. but, yeah, it's a minor point.

Posted by dave | March 15, 2007 1:20 PM

So the persians were a little femmed out. So what? The 300 were gymrats with airbrushed abs and meticulously groomed facial hair.
And Xerxes as RuPaul? wtf? He was the embodiment of power through ego, which should feel a little unctious, but I'm not really sure how it works out as "gaysian." He sought influence and advantage by seduction, and not his own. He positively flung the pussy at the cripple. If anything, it struck me as a movie that Guys of all varieties could get behind. There's carnage and badassery as well as rampant shameless displays of manmeat in thong and cape.
The persians were depicted in an Orientalist fashion, not a homophobic fashion. They were otherized and shown in forms that confused and befuddled greek culture. Men in veils, giants and monsters, aliens (or whatever the immortals were) in veils, and yes, a king who dressed for success. Dude-on-dude action was not necessary for this, because, lets face it, Ancient Greece.

Hedonismbot said it best. Let us cavort like the Greeks of old!... you know the ones I mean...

Also, chill out.

Posted by Matt | March 15, 2007 1:23 PM

I think it was far too "invaders-are-bad" to be pro-Bush, and far too silly to be much of anything, and I usually take ridiculous things very seriously. I did like King RuPaul (funny, the exact same words my friend and I used to describe Xerxes) and the Spartan outfits, but I was left with the feeling that Spartans were more completely insane than anything. I know they were supposed to be glorified, but they just all seemed silly, which detracts from the glorification.

The Spartans sure were pretty, though. I approve of that. So few action movies objectify men as much as they objectify women.

Posted by Abby | March 15, 2007 1:55 PM

Questions: the "lesbians" in Xerxes tent were listed in the credits as "transexuals." Can any explain that to me? As a lesbian, I thought they were lesbians...

Posted by Jo Ann | March 15, 2007 2:25 PM

Those credits were hilarious! "Transexual (Asian) #1" - I think there were three credits like that.

RE: trans performances, I thought they were lesbian-ish ladies, too.

I swear I am not obsessed with this movie, it's just so much FUN to talk about it.

Posted by Soupytwist | March 15, 2007 3:50 PM

Ahem. Did I say "the war with Iraq"? No. I said "the war". The war with Persia, i.e., Iran, just like in the movie. And yes, in the minds of the fantasists in the White House and in Hollywood, Iran has "attacked" us, by threatening our national myths.

Hope you enjoy your war when it comes. The Marines sure are; they're absolutely digging every second of this movie.

Posted by Fnarf | March 15, 2007 5:41 PM

Elephants? Xerxes? Ninja like assasins
called the Immortals? I don't know but me thinks even the Iranians and Iraqis forgot there bloodlines with india and the far east. I have this feeling that their ancestors asses got whooped by the mongolians/chinese, indian looking tribes and thats how Xerxes lets see he doesn't look like Mohammad to me, he looks more Indian, like the god Vishnu or something on an Elephant in battle. That was cool. So I don't really see any Iranians or Iraqis or the Us or Britian in this movie. I see 300 spartans defending there homeland when some guy they never met wants to conquest it. They respect battle and they got a good death. To me the Spartans reminded me of the Native Americans who fought a valiant fight against this nations white man. Read wounded Knee and Hear of Natives who fought just as valiantly as the Spartans. Don't see the big deal. If anything Xerxes spawned Ghengis Khan.
And I like how Xerxes offered him everything. Man he could of had Kingdoms, Treasure, everything. And King Leonides turned him down. I was in Xerxes shoes, and I was like no he just didn't. And he threw that spear at me no he just didn't. I liked the guy now I gotta kill him. And I'm going to show his wife what a real man is like. Oh but little does Xerxes know how much a badass she is as well. So I liked both sides in the movie. We have so much to thank those great warring nations and those old ways of intermixing the genepool. We would not be Indian or part Spartan without them. In fact I was wondering where the kinky hair and tan I got really comes from, even though I have Roman nose. Is Xerxes my great Ancestor? this movie makes me think of that. And thats cool by me.

Posted by DreadLion | March 16, 2007 12:22 AM

Savage is right; the rest of you disagreeing with him are wrong...I'm really tired of all these lame-ass movies that re-write history esp. the recent crop of sword and sandals movies....homosexuality was NOT a big deal in most of the ancient world, as long as you eventually married and sired most of these stupid movies, they impose contemporary standards on same-sex IS irritating...and 'fagging up' the enemy and 'de-fagging' the heroes, IS a form of homophobia...

Posted by michael strangeways | March 16, 2007 9:46 AM

No, Savage is wrong. This movie isn't about being gay. Trying to wedge an anti-homosexual message into it is just flat out ridiculous and any reasonably intelligent person should know that.

Posted by Smegmalicious | March 16, 2007 10:04 AM

I'll quit kvetching when Hollywood makes a war movie like this in which the gay-looking side beats the crap out of the degenerate straight-looking side.

Straight people are very naive about these things, since they've never been depicted negatively in comparison with gays. Ever. Never ever. NEVER. Not in a film or graphic novel or comic book anyway.

I'm puzzled by comments that the black characters in the film were killed faster than the white characters... Since when were there black people in Ancient Persia or Sparta? The Persians are the original Aryans, i.e., white people.

Your homework for tonight is to go watch "The Celluloid Closet." Then tell me if there isn't a pattern of purposefully depicting gay people in a negative light in Hollywood.

Posted by Hephaestion | March 16, 2007 5:15 PM

they just intermixed armys back then, in Persia. Assassins for hire from allover. Exploration and Nomadic tribesman do travel by horseback or on foot thousands of miles. The silk road goes way back and tracks from China to Africa and beyond. Many religions, but no body cared. It was all about money, Land , conquest, Kingdoms and more wealth and all the sex you could want. Assassins and warriors and scholars and wisemen came to Persia in all shapes and sizes and straight or gay it didn't matter.
That whole contenent over the Atlantic and Pacific from America was ripe in interacial relations. Ancient Civilizations greater to human history
than even those in the Bible did exist before Jesus and Mohammed though some skeptics(religous ones want you to believe otherwise). Everyone was Savage if they weren't christian, muslim or jewish. Its funny that those three still existing religions can't seem to get along, cause they fucked up everyone elses mythologies and past and folklore, we are lucky we can even say Odin, Bhudda, or Vishnu outloud during story time. Or Xerxes and King Leonides.

Posted by DreadLion | March 17, 2007 12:50 AM

"[Frank Miller]'s really not right wing."

Maybe not, but he has of late become a promoter of flag-waving nationalism. He's a great writer and artist, but he and his works are definitely wide open to criticism from the left.

Posted by Jason A. Quest | March 19, 2007 6:35 AM

Homoerotic, homophobic, pro-Bush, anti-Bush ... I can see the merits of all of those arguments, but, as so many have already pointed out, this is just a silly damn movie. It's so stylized and so thin that really it just looked like one long Maxim ad (which is also simultaneously homophobic and homoerotic in its drooling devotion to masculinity).
The problem I have with Dan's comments is that he's decrying the movie because he's afraid of the message people will take away from it. Do you not trust us, Dan, to figure out what is right and what is wrong on our own? Must you cajole us into avoiding the film because you worry we'll become bashers simply by watching a movie adapted from a comic book? It just smacks of PC-ness to decry this film based on its "message," and if there's one thing I count on Dan Savage for it's NOT being PC.

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