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A fascinating cultural phenomenon is unfolding before us. A battle fought 2,486 years ago, chronicled by a Greek known as the Father of History, resurrected from the dusty basement of academia by a cartoonist who turned it into a 1990's comic book series, has now hit the movie theaters in a groundbreaking mash-up of cinematography and computer graphics, a blockbuster hit, which inspired an cry of outrage from the spokesmen for a Middle Eastern theocracy, who are blaming the whole thing on (that's right) the Jews.
I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have purchased the book, which is a hardbound edition combining the five comic books in which Frank Miller's "300" were originally issued in 1998 by Dark Horse Comics. In the year after it came out, "300" received the Comics Industry Will Eisner award, named after an industry legend, father of the Spirit series. (Will Eisner is not to be confused with Disney exec Michael Eisner.) For fans of cartooning, comics, comix, and graphic novels, of which I am one, the reprinted Miller work is a superblly collectible example of the art, and well worth the $18 Amazon price.
At Thermopylae, a narrow pass in Greece blocking access to the vast Persian army under Xerxes I (the great shah Khashayar, remembered annually in the Jewish holiday of Purim), a confederation of Greek warriors held off the Persians long enough to enable a Greek victory in a later sea battle. The Spartan warriors who held off the Persians at Thermopylae all perished in the process, having created one of those rare moments, like the Alamo and the Battle of Kosovo, where the losers got to write the history. The graphic novel, vividly colored by Lynn Varley, conveys the testosterone-powered drama of the great battle while laying no claims to historical accuracy in the portrayal of either Greek or Persian dress and accessories of the time.
Greater Iran, called Iran Zamin, at times a powerful empire beginning 2700 years ago, has rarely been defeated by invaders from either the East or the West, notable exceptions having been the British, the Arabs, the Mongols, and Alexander the Great. Iran was for millenia the far eastern limit to the Roman Empire, and by implication, Western hegemony. Thermopylae, for the West, has become symbolic of Western resistance to the Eastern "hordes" which included Huns, Mongols, Arabs, and Turkic Muslims, but not, until now, Iranians. This fact has not been lost on the current Arab-admiring theocratic and militant Shia regime in Tehran, which issued a statement condemning "Warner brothers, which belongs to the rich and famous American Jew." Do they mean Jack Warner? He died in 1978.Permanent Link to This Entry | | | Technorati Tag: 300 blog comments powered by Disqus Comments (View)
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