March 10th, 2007

Shaw

Feathers hit the ground before the weight can leave the air.

So, yes, I saw Zack Snyder's adaptation of 300 this evening, and I liked it quite a lot. Quite a lot more than I liked Sin City. Yet, I feel this odd need to apologise for liking 300 so much (especially to sovay). And I think I want to apologise for all the wrong reasons, and it's late, and I probably have no idea what I'm trying to say. Except, yes, I am an eyeslut. I am a glutton for beautiful cinematography and choreography and the pornography of violence and androgynous Persian god-kings and their transsexual harems. I'm just broken like that. I can forgive all manner of historical inaccuracies, any amount of undo liberty with the writings of Herodotus, if only my gluttonous eyes are sated for a time. And 300 filled me almost painfully full. No, it's not the Second Coming of Sliced Bread, but it's an awfully amazing film.

Part of it was Gerard Butler, whom I loved in Reign of Fire (2002; he was a lot less beefy then) and in Beowulf and Grendel (2005). And part of it was Lena Headey as Queen Gorgo. And a whole lot of it was Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes.

And, of course, I do see how people could watch this film and read into it some hawkish parallel with the various U.S. wars being waged against the Middle East. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the frelling U.S. military wants to use 300 as a recruiting film. But, surely, surely...only an idiot is going to buy America in 2007 CE as Sparta in 480 BCE, or see the U.S.'s "shock and awe" high-tech invasion of Iraq as some equivalent of Leonidas' stand at the Battle of Thermopylae. But, yeah, I know. Idiots do abound.

I will say, though, that I think the battle scenes in 300 still are not as amazing as the battles in Jackson's The Two Towers and The Return of the King. But, nonetheless, I did like this film.
Shaw

holding the sky in their arms

One of the very good things about keeping journals — both the pen-and-paper sort and this other, virtual sort — is the ability to look back at a given past date in my life, whether it's one year ago or ten years ago, and measure how much I have changed from that time. Or not changed, as the case may be. It's like my personal fossil record, a reckoning of my own psychological evolution, whether gradualistic or of a more punctuated tempo. Yesterday, I came across this paragraph, from my 3/9/06 entry. It was heartening, as I can read these words now, a year later, and not be embarrassed by them, by the sentiment they express, which, if anything, I feel more strongly now than I did a year ago:

I wanted to say thanks to the people who've commented on yesterday's dream entry. Especially mockingbirdgrrl, who wrote, "Your statement, 'Magic is communication. Magic is the one-way communication between any living organism and the cosmos. We speak and the cosmos doesn't listen, but we speak because there's nothing else we can do.' resonates soundly. I kept rereading it, thinking I'd heard that somewhere before. Here it is, from Simon Black's The Book of Frank: 'Because in reality, there is no response to our howling, not here. But that fact is intolerable. The mind invents a response.'" I've never read Simon Black, but yes, exactly. Consciousness cannot help but howl. I know I've been howling my head off for my whole goddamn life. And, so far, the only response beyond wishful thinking has been the beauty and profundity of Nature and Art* that's right here for anyone who'll but open their eyes and see the small fraction that's visible. I know my howling consciousness will always long for something more, some two-way communication, but I'm beginning to accept (in the words of Elizabeth Bear) the apparent truth that "Nobody is coming for you." My dream was fascinating and helpful, but it was only me talking to me, my unconscious and perhaps a Jungian collective attempting to aid my clumsy, fretting conscious mind. Of course, it was also the voice of the "goddess," the Dark Mother and Father and Divine Androgyne, but only because I am a part of the cosmos, as are you and that lightning-struck tree and the crows and everything living and non-living, every molecule and atom and sub-atomic speck and particle and wave...and, well, I think you see where I'm headed with this. Sagan said it best. "Star stuff."

I would add, now, that "Magick is the willful invocation of awe," but I sort of suspect that more recent statement is only a refinement of "Magic is communication. Magic is the one-way communication between any living organism and the cosmos." Also, while I'm on the subject, this bit from the LJ of morganxpage yesterday:

I strongly believe that the subjugation of sexuality is the root of all evil in the world. It causes every complex, it starts every war, it is the only perversion. Sex is the all-pervading force that animates the Universe, to try to bridle it is disgusting. My Gods are Orgasms, we all are orgasms. Really, think about that: you are the fruition of someone's orgasm. Your whole body, your entire personality, everything about you is someone's orgasm. The whole Universe is one big orgasm.

While I would not go so far as to state that the repression of sex is the only perversion or "evil" (personally, I continue to identify wasteful acts as the greatest crimes against Nature), I wholeheartedly agree with the general sentiment being expressed here. As a child, I was raised in some odd twilight, halfway between the Roman Catholic Chrurch and the United Methodist Church. But, either way, there was that constant message, explicit or implicit, that sex was the reason for "the fall" from some imagined grace, the route by which "sin" entered the world, that, indeed, sex was such a vile act that the Xtian saviour had to be born asexually, sort of like a bacterium or a sponge. Only by spontaneous generation could a "pure" man be born. And I say now, all these years later, that one of the lights Neopaganism could, in theory, retsore to humanity is the knowledge that sex — straight, gay, bi, poly, auto, pretty much whatever floats your boat without sinking someone else's — is part of that thing which we would call sacred, magickal, divine. Anyway, just thoughts going round in my head.

Today, I expect to finish "In View of Nothing" for Sirenia Digest #16. Today, I write the last two sections — "08. The Book (II)" and "09. Exit Music (The Gun)" and find THE END. The dream in back of this story has not recurred over the last couple of weeks, and I hope that when I am done with this story, I will be done with the dream and it will be done with me.

Not much to yesterday. A day off. Last night, we watched Paul Rachman's documentary American Hardcore (2006), which was quite fine.

The platypus says it's time the make the doughnuts, and who am I to argue?

*Truthfully, though, Art is merely a subset or expression of Nature.