Friday, October 08, 2004

I Get Mail

Three letters about entries in the past week or so, and each one stems from me being less complete (and long-winded) than I usually am. That's what I get for brevity.

On my review of Hero, The Monkey King pointed out that the basis of the tale comes from Chinese history and the founding of the Qin dynasty. The Communist leadership of China are big fans of the Qin for its accomplishments, which include abolishing feudalism and building the Great Wall. The Qin were also hard on their rivals (ambushing and assassinating them) and burned a lot of the history of earlier rulers (the scholars argued with the Emperor with recorded facts, so the Emperor removed those facts from the record). Monkey King is right, and Communist China, which is in charge of Hong Kong, should be very comfortable with this film, since it addresses a core bit of cultural mythology in a fashion positive to government thinking. The nearest thing I can think of is the Disney Davey Crockett films from the fifties that end with him fighting on the battlements of the Alamo as we fade to the credits - what is presented may not be true (Crockett was apparently captured and shot), but it serves the national dream.

On the other hand, Mrs. Monkey King reminds me that the Kerry campaign has a theme song - Springstein's "No Surrender". I don't know the song, other than its title, which is good for a challenging candidate, but I dug up the lyric off the net to get:
Once we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Blood brothers in a stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender
I can't find a George Bush Campaign Song, though there seem to be a number of other snarky suggestions out there ("Die for Your Government" by Anti-flag, or "Fortunate Son" From CCR). Both are still better than Perot's use of "Still Crazy" by Patsy Cline.

And finally, Frank in Pittsburgh who doesn't have a blog expressed mild surprise that I said something nice about the media in regards to the recent coverage of the Mt. St. Helens rumbles. Actually, I said something nice about the LOCAL media, which has been pretty good - straightforward without being too sensationalistic. The further away you get from the mountain, the scarier the reports get. But the local guys - they have enough real news to cover here (and a market willing to listen to a vulcanologist for fifteen minutes), so there has been a minimum of bells and whistles.

Hang on, I may have spoken too soon - the volcano news report now has its own theme songs.

More later,