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Birthday After Action Report

Even though my sister and brother (and his kids) didn't make it into town, I ended up having a pretty good birthday. My sister sent me a lot more presents than she should have (as she always does). They arrived from Amazon on March 7th, but I was a good boy and didn't open them until my birthday. 12:01 AM on my birthday to be exact.

One of the presents she got me was the book Harvest Of Sorrow by Robert Conquest. I spent most of my birthday hanging  around Jackson's Java blogging and reading about the Ukrainian famine. I am such a party animal.

That night I went with a bunch of people from Jackson's Java to see 300. It was very crowded and we had to sit one row back from the screen. I wasn't surprised to learn it broke box office records.

It was deservedly crowded. 300 is the best film I've seen in a theater since Almost Famous, and that includes 2 Scorsese movies. It was visually stunning and the story was great. It made my jaw drop, and at one point I leaned over to similarsmell and said "this is the coolest movie in the whole world".

I  liked the fact that it was completely unashamed of being a war movie. At various times I thought to myself "OK, here it comes, here's where they're going to give us the antiwar message" and that never happened.

It also did not treat being a man as a bad thing. Conventional wisdom, as expressed by people like this nitwit, says that  no good can come of masculinity. I found it interesting that the worst treatment of women in the film came from an antiwar senator, not the king and his warriors who conformed to more traditional notions of being a man.

There was a moment early in the film I liked a lot. A Persian messenger said of the queen "Why do  you let this woman talk among men?".
The queen looked at him and said " That's because only Spartan women give birth to real men." I liked her answer, and I liked that the king didn't answer for her.

Victor Davis Hanson has written a very thoughtful review  that  does a better job than I'm doing of explaining why 300 is such a damn good film.

After we got back from the movie I hung around Jackson's Java for a bit, and then went over to Harris Teeter and bought some duck pate and some crackers. Extravagant, I know, but it was my birthday. The pate was delicious.