So I made the terrible mistake of trying to watch the movie Prince of Persia last night. I made it about twelve minutes in before realizing I was not in the right mindframe to watch the film, and stopped. I mean, first of all, there’s the whole whitewashing issue in the casting, which I could not stop seeing. But secondly, I’ve been reading Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War by Dr. Kaveh Farrokh. And. Um.
The Persian cavalry was feared throughout the middle east during the Bronze Age. They’d assimilated, or flat-out hired, the horse-riding cultures that had come before them. But there were no stirrups, and nothing like a saddle we would recognize. There were no crossbows. The short recurved cavalry bow had not been invented. Yes, the Persians did field considerable numbers of archers, but they were foot soldiers. Weapons were tipped with or made of bronze, not steel. Shields were made of wicker and leather, not wood and brass. Men wore long skirts and tall hats that looked like flowerpots. Chariots were in sporadic use, especially against the more heavily armed Greeks, who kept defeating the Persians.
I know this is a ridiculous rant. This is, after all, a movie about a dagger that enables time travel. But I had to get it out there. Prince of Persia. Not historically accurate.
Spidey and Black Cat 2.0: Well, one demonically-assisted annulment later, Spidey’s a single boy again, and enjoys the odd hook-up with Felicia…who insists on keeping it casual, and more importantly, his not telling her his real name and leaving the mask on. What’s more unsettling, that she insists on this or that Spidey goes along with it?
DeConnick: “That is unsettling? Seriously? Have you read the rest of this list?
“I find the Spidey/Black Cat thing to be one of the healthier relationships in, oh, most of comicdom. I hope he gets her a gift card to Babes in Toyland for Valentine’s Day. They make nice masks.
“I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women, though, they’re all ‘crazy.’ I have a suspicion — and hear me out, because this is a rough one — that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.”—Tina Fey (via hardlyart)
"By the time the telegram arrived in Los Angeles, the two prisoners had been hidden away. They were not taken to police headquarters or to the Cook County jail. They were not allowed to contact lawyers. The Chicago district attorney’s office did not know about their arrest. In fact, they had not been formally charged with any crime. On Billy’s instructions, they had been taken to a house in the suburbs. It was the home of Detective William Reed, one of the Chicago officers sent to Detroit to participate in the arrests. It would be their jail until the Los Angeles extradition papers arrived and could be presented to a Chicago judge. The fact that they were being held in a secret prison without being formally charged with a crime did not concern Billy. The nation, he believed, was ‘fighting a war against terrorists’ who were determined to destroy ‘the established form of government of this country.’"
American Lightning, Howard Blum, p 143, discussing events in 1911.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
However often we try as a nation to forget it, domestic terrorism has been a part of U.S. history from the beginning. The Whiskey Rebellion, John Brown, the Labor movement bombings of 1911, the Wall Street bombing of 1920, the Oklahoma City bombing — I’m watching a documentary on the Weather Underground right now. And, as far as I can tell, the Weathermen did what they did because they believed the evening news. They believed that the world revolution was at hand and that they had a choice to be a part of the revolution or to be gunned down by it. They weren’t lunatics, they were committed revolutionaries.
This *in no way* condones such acts of violence. But I wish that, as a nation, we would remember our history better.
Most of the damage from the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was officially recorded as damage from the fire. Insurers covered fire damage, but not earthquake damage, and after all was said and done, who could tell, anyway?