Left on a hillside…

August 13, 2007 at 9:18 AM (300, Exclusion, film) (, )

In an effort to do something thought-provoking in the middle of a breathing treatement with a hose in my mouth and kidney-stone disconfort….

I saw the movie “300” yesterday.

I was fond of picking apart the military hardware…(“Wait, didn’t the Spartans have an early version of mail armor? If so, where is it…?”)

Not during any “real” history study, but fumbling around in period novels, I had come across what I’ll describe as a ‘rumor’ that women as well as men received vigorous military training in the real Sparta, and that their skeletons are nearly indistinguishable from each other….

That part of the story fascinates me….

But….the discussion of the practice, real or imagined of a society prohibiting the lives of those whith impairments to have any value, indeed to survive at all was highlighted in the beginning of the film…..and *did they have to do that?* No.

They also did not need to reinvent Quasimodo, and turn him traitor and informant.

It’s hard to imagine that any impaired child was saved in exile, and taught an adaptive version of the Spartan warrior’s training…that is implausible enough…Then, the careful, compassionate but letter of the law letdown of the impaired Spartan by Leonidas rings true and almost reedems the idea that this should at least be discussed but not glorified as a good thing…., However, the bitterness and betrayal that follows by the disabled warrior are pure stereotype…it is doubly implausible that such a man would be granted Xerxes ear, and have a misguided moment of glory by revealing the route to overcome the 300….anyone watching the movie might be influenced to think:

“This is *why* we leave them on the hillside. Not just because they cannot meet the exacting physical standard of Spartan society, but that if we allow them to live and exclude them from our community of extreme athleticism and skill, then they will betray us to the enemy the first chance they get.”

Yes, just what we need from a film.

Bitter, vengeful impaired people…that will come after the “normals,” and decide that military defeat of the ‘typical body type,’ is the answer to a society’s abandonment of those who do not conform to a narrow physical ideal…



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