300 comes out this week, accompanied by many in-depth explanations of the the Battle of Thermopylae, complete with a nauseating number of extended histories, cultural refreshers and so forth.
The release is interestingly timed. This past week (March 6) marked the 171st anniversary of the fall of the Alamo – a defining moment in Texas history, a military clusterfuck of epic proportions and the linchpin for one of the finest grassroots propaganda campaigns on the 19th Century.
They didn’t exactly defend the state to the last man (spartan style), more like found themselves stranded in a backwater mission after refusing to retreat. The real victory was a PR one. The massacre at Goliad far out-weighed the Alamo in brutality and general bad-times. But the Alamo, perhaps due to the defender’s (mainly Travis, who make no mistake, was a class-A asshat) disregard for the obvious outcome of a siege involving 200 vs 6000 was remembered, mythologized, and provided a unified motivation for the Texas rebellion in their eventual victory.
Lieutenant Colonel Travis wrote in his final dispatches: “The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken — I have answered their demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls — I shall never surrender or retreat.”
Ballsy. Dumb, but ballsy. Kind of serves as an explanation for the way we are, or at least the way we are generally perceived.
Just a note – I leave for Vegas tonight to watch some friends tie the knot. I don’t think they’ll be any foolishness posted here, but as I have recently discovered that blogging from my blackberry is not that difficult, I cant promise anything.