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300 Trailer is up! - Page 11

post #151 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
It's a little joke we play on you foreigners. We act dumb and ignorant whenever you're around.

Damn you - now I am paranoid

On a more serious note, has it been the same for you, where the majority of people have no damn idea even for something as recent as Vietnam?
post #152 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre View Post
I have a stranger story.

Required English literature/composition class at University (around 1997) . Was a special freshman class that put together foreign students (such as myself) and local students (English classes at that level were separated). Anyway, one of the texts had to do with the Vietnam war and its perception nowadays. Well, much to my amazement as the instructor went initially around the - smallish - class asking people to give their opinion about what the conflict meant, the local students either said they did not know or (IIRC) said that they were not sure about the reasons other than going in to fight communists (something like that). The discussion from that point on was mostly between the instructor and a bunch of foreigners
I would have thought that of all the things people would know at least something about, it would have been such a defining moment in USA's history that was just, what, 35 or so years ago? Really strange...
Don't know if this is indeed representative, you people that have grown up here can give me a better idea of that (as in whether that is something rerpresentative or not).

Plenty of stupid people get into college these days. Also, you can be pretty dumb and still get through high school in America. I have a feeling that in your situation they mixed the "smart" foreigners in with the "stupid" locals so that everyone is at more-or-less the same level of comprehension of English.

That being said, I don't remember the Vietnam war being heavily emphasized in history classes. As I remember, there was a much greater emphasis on the American Revolution and the Civil War during middle school and high school as far as wars go. The secondary emphasis was on WWII, followed by WWI. I think foreign countries are much more militaristic in their teaching of history (that is, they learn about various battles within wars and other such events). I recall our history classes being more about political issues then about wars - especially foreign wars. For example, a lot of time was spent discussing events that lead to the Great Depression and the New Deal; a lot of time was spent on the Civil Rights Movements; a lot of time was spent on the Red Scare, McCarthyism and the Cold War.
post #153 of 166
I generally agree with odoreater. I think that among people I went to college with, there certainly was a broad, if vague, awareness of the fact that the Vietnam war had happened. Most people had seen enough fictionalized movies to have a general sense that Vietnam was a hot, humid, place, that the war didn't go all that well, that some Americans did bad stuff, and that the bad guys were sneaky Asian types who sometimes exhibited quasi-supernatural powers. Most knew that if a politician is against our taking an interest in a geopolitical situation s/he is supposed to warn against it becoming "another Vietnam".
Beyond that, it's hard for me to generalize. Certainly there were many people who were shockingly ignorant, but certainly there were also native-born Americans who were quite well-informed.
Odoreater's experiences in terms of the emphases of junior high and high school history courses are consistent with my own. I'm not sure I ever had a history class that discussed the Vietnam war, except to the extent it formed part of the background for discussions (or should I say "rap sessions") of domestic politics that my ex-hippie 11th grade history teacher liked to conduct. (The same would true, perhaps even more so, with respect to the Korean war.)
post #154 of 166
I viewed the movie simply as a fantasy flick, like LOTR and such. It achieved it's intended purpose for me and I had a great time.
post #155 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man In Space View Post
I viewed the movie simply as a fantasy flick, like LOTR and such. It achieved it's intended purpose for me and I had a great time.

+1
post #156 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre View Post
For the rubbish I am talking about how so many people latched on to this being something pro-democracy and freedom when the realisty was that there was no such concept in Sparta.
Oh, I get it, you speak about the false conception some people have of the film, not about some false conception the film would be spreading about Sparta. OK, then.

I agree with the rest of your post.

Quote:
I don't know how much history is emphasized in the school system in France; it was certainly something that we spent a lot of time on back home while from talking to people here in the States, it is almost an afterthought in public schools, like mathematics (please correct me if I am wrong)...
It is, or used to be, rather heavily emphasized. For example, most self-respecting politicians in France have to have written one or two serious books (or at least pretend they have), and they usually choose to write a historical book (typically a biography). Shows the cultural status of the subject, I guess.

As far as I can tell, the program taught in France is less centered on our own country than the program taught in the US. It makes at least a show of being a comprehensive World History, though it actually presents only the Western World in any detail. Another point is that, since the spread of the "Annales" historical school, it has very little emphasis on battles, chronology or great events. It focuses on long-term socio-economical movements and civilizations. There has been some backlash recently and we see more chronologies now.
post #157 of 166
I think that 300 may be the most historically accurate re-telling of my childhood, ever.
post #158 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim View Post
I think that 300 may be the most historically accurate re-telling of my childhood, ever.


Love the colour you chose Slim... Lemon Chiffon...

post #159 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre View Post
Love the colour you chose Slim... Lemon Chiffon...


The color also accurately describes my childhood.
post #160 of 166
American textbooks have the distinction of promoting the nation's glorious mythology and frequently omits mentions of controversial subjects. They teach Thanksgiving in grade school as some form of a true event when it simply wasn't at all how it is depicted. As well, they love to emphasize how much the government intervened in the Civil Rights era and also tends to make the Civil War all about slavery with a good North and a bad South.
post #161 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I was at the chicago vintage poster show this weekend. held in the wonderful chicago cultural center.

I found myself talking to the owner of a shop that specializes in military posters. a woman, probrably in her fifties, came by the stand.

from her questions, it was obvious that she had no knowledge of the history of europe in the first half of the 20th century, to the extent of not being aware there had been a spanish civil war, not knowing what side italy fought in the begining of the war, not knowing that germany declared war on the US in wwii, and not knowing about the Lusitania (which was more understandable)

this was a highly cultural event, in a small cultural center, with a $15 entry fee. I am pretty sure this woman is upper middle class, with a college degree. her english was native level.


go figure.
When has monetary status signified anything worthwhile in a person?
post #162 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre View Post
I have a stranger story.
...I would have thought that of all the things people would know at least something about, it would have been such a defining moment in USA's history that was just, what, 35 or so years ago? Really strange...
Don't know if this is indeed representative, you people that have grown up here can give me a better idea of that (as in whether that is something rerpresentative or not).

In addition to oe's analysis, which I agree with, I'd say that there's been an unconscious effort to expunge the Vietnam era from serious discussion in America outside of University settings. We have our myths, which lawyerdad essentially listed, and any talk in detail that does not match those myths is generally frowned upon. There are good reasons for it, but it also obscures some important lessons. The ones I've had to discover for myself are military, but I'm sure there are others.

I obviously wasn't alive in the '50s, but from what I've seen in modern Germany and what I've seen through films of post war Germany (RWF's trilogy, mostly), memories of WWII and the holocaust were expunged much more quickly and efficiently than what we've done with VN.

Tom
post #163 of 166
I wrote this in the other thread:

300 is possibly the worst movie I've ever seen.

It's basically "Triumph of the Will" for the new millennium.

The visuals are coo, other than that a complete waste.
Terrible dialogue and "feel", all you can imagine is how foolish the actors must have felt while delivering their ridiculous war chants and lame smart alecy retorts.

I never thought I'd feel this way going in, but I understand why Persians and non-europeans might be pissed at this. It was a pretty lame "the west and enlightenment" v. "the swarthy dark people from the east" retread.

If I must use hyperbole, this was seriously Hitler-esq.
A Military state that openly exhorts eugenics fields an army of glistening, buff white men to outsmart and destroy an army of blacks, asians and middle easterners, who are, when needed androgynous, lecherous and for some reasons full of disfigured and deformed soldiers and performers.

Had you told me I'd write something Like the last few lines before I saw the film, I'd say you're crazy (I dismissed all that Lord of the Rings is a racist war on terror analogy as B.S.).

Oh, and the political overtones ("the council won't support the king's war")a s well as the constant "we're fighting FOR democracy and freedom against an evil religious force from the Middle east" stuff was stupid, as well as poorly done.
and I'm someone who generally supports Bush's foreign policy, Iraq and the fight against radical islam.

Besides all the political stuff, except for the visuals it was just kinda lame. Like you know when you see a sports movie, or a battle scene out of context and instead of cheering for whomever you're supposed to, or feeling goosebumps it just seems manufactured and ridiculous? that's 300.


I'll add that this peaked my interest for Spartan history (Gates of Fire just ordered from amazon), they may have been grizzled proto-fascists, but Spartans and their ways kinda fascinate me.
post #164 of 166
I enjoyed it. It was a bit gross in places but mostly entertaining. As entertainment it was fine. As a bit of mindless distraction, I enjoyed it more than say, Casino Royale, which frankly was a bit boring and cliche in places.

I didn't even begin to think it may be an accurate depiction of history, but it has renewed my interest in that period of history. It's not going to win any Oscars, if that means anything.
post #165 of 166
I just saw this movie on a plane

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/movies.php?id=3024

very very good - excellent, apparently accurate portaul of the tactics and mechanics of early 17th century warfare in western europe. also, the portrayal of male bonding and warfare is much less discusting and realistic than in some, cartoon like movies.
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