I absolutely adore the way the movie "300," adapted from a graphic novel and filmed on the cheap without any "name" stars, has reduced the Progressive set to so many fanatical, spittle-cheeked censors, determined to stop people from seeing the film. Who knew such a simple message ("freedom isn't free..." says the Spartan queen at one point) could send so many of them into such a frenzy of homophobic ranting?This story
in the Toronto Star, attacking the movie struck me as rather venomous for a simple assistant history professor. Apparently, "300" is the greatest fraud perpetrated on mankind since the Cardiff Giant
Professor Ephraim Lytle lays it on pretty thick, accusing the movie's creators of massive historical distortions (undoubtedly, they're guilty of taking poetic license, though nowhere does the phrase "based on a true story" appear in the credits).
This moral universe would have appeared as bizarre to ancient Greeks as it does to modern historians. Most Greeks would have traded their homes in Athens for hovels in Sparta about as willingly as I would trade my apartment in Toronto for a condo in Pyongyang.
Wow! The Spartans were insane, starving Communists deliberately cut off from the rest of the world! Who knew?
Now, keep in mind that Ephraim Lytle is offended by "300" as a historian, so there's no reason to think Lytle's article is part of the general liberal assault on the film, is there?
Of course, the Star didn't mention that Ephraim Lytle was a Kos Kid
. "Eph" signs his full name
to the letter below.
[click for larger image]