Random Nonsense

Last of the Mohicans- A review
harkovast at 9:59AM, July 10, 2009
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
(This review is going to contain a vast amount of bad language.
I mean a LOT!
If that bothers you…well fuck! Perhaps should stop reading sometime soon!)

Last of the Mohicans was a very popular film.
As far as I can tell, it had three things going for it.
1) An awesome score. (The main theme is fantastic, I am listening to it as I write this review.)
2) The scenery is breath-taking, capturing the sense of a wild, untamed land.
3) Daniel Day-Lewis looks good with his shirt off (if you are into that sort of thing)

As far as I can tell it had also had three key problems-
1) It had no story
2) It was incredibly racist
3) It was complete BULLSHIT!

The movie is a waste of film which serves only one useful purpose.
That being to successfully highlight some of the things that I most despise in Hollywood movies.
So rather than lay into this movie in particular, I am going to use it as a way to explain and demonstrate the MANY stupid and shitty things that Hollywood regularly pulls.

Things Daniel Hates in Movies-

White Guy Raised by Indians
Now these days we always want to seem PC, and we feel a bit guilty for portraying
the red man as an evil savage, only fit for being killed by John Wayne. So in our show we want to portray the Indian as a noble guy, with a great culture that has so much to teach us. But there is a problem! Lets face it, the audience are all mindless racists who will be offended at the site of an Indian as the main character, so what are we to do?
I KNOW! Let's have a white guy who is RAISED by Indians! That way we have a nice handsome white hero we can all relate to but still get all the benefit of showing off the native culture.
Then the white guy can become the best at everything in the tribe (after all, he is white, so he must be better at stuff than those stupid Indians!)
Did every tribe have a white person living with them?
In Dances with Wolves they had TWO!! (I guess so Kevin Costner could hook up with a chick who acted Indian, but looked white, so us racially insecure morons in the audience wouldn't get upset)
I have this image in my mind of the Indian Chief getting nagged by his wife-
“Running Stag, how come we don't have a white guy? The Cherokee on the other side of the valley have a white guy!”
“Look, I told you, we don't have room for one! And they're expensive! They cost at least two bags of beads, even for a skinny one!”
“The Chief of the Crow tribe just got his wife two white people!”
“Alright, alright! I'll go and get you one…I won't get a moment's peace till I do!”
A white guy to raise in the ways of their village must have been the old west equivalent of the latest fashion accessory!
And, as I mentioned, the white guy is always the best fighter in the tribe. Because…you know…he's white. And that gives him mighty whitey powers….or something.

There were only two Indian tribes in America
Now as I mentioned, we don't want to portray Indians as screaming savages that get shot by the heroes any more, because that is no longer cool.
But damn, shooting hordes of screaming savages without mercy was soooo cool!
If only there was some way we could still do that without seeming like the racist pricks we really are….
I KNOW! We just use the two tribes!
Who are the two tribes? Oh you already know who they are!
They are the same tribes that appear in every American movie about native Americans that has come out in the last 20 years!
The are called the Good Tribe and the Evil Tribe, and these two cultures are apparantly the only two that existed in America back then. As the name suggests, one was good, the other was evil. But they had many other interesting traits, which I will now list-

Good Tribe Traits
Long hair, braids.
All covering buckskin outfits
peaceful and wise
enjoy taking in white people to live with them.

Evil Tribe Traits
bald head or mohawk hair
Only wear a loin cloth and war paint
war-like, aways attacking/ambushing people
shout and make “woop” noises a lot

Recognise them now? You should! The exact same tribes appear in this film, Dances with Wolves, Shanghai Noon and many more.

This is not only cliche, but it is racist and moronic. Why is it that the tribe that dresses in a way more familiar to westerners (covered by clothing, more conventional hair cuts) is the good one? That is of course a rhetorical question. The answer is because Hollywood believes the audience consists of nothing but racist fuck wits.
So we can shed a tear for the good tribe (a noble people, losing their land) while cheering for the slaughter of the bad tribe (ugly, blood-thirsty savages who are better off dead). Wooohooo! Thank goodness the two tribes were there to deal with my white mans' guilt!

Only idiots fight in lines with muskets
Sometimes I despair for just how ignorant people appear to have become, based on the dross they allow Hollywood to spoon feed them.
A big part of the American sense of cultural identity is the image of the plucky American minutemen overcoming the dastardly British redcoats.
Unfortunately, this conflict has become so exaggerated and over simplified in the minds of many Americans that they have come to believe things which literally make no sense.
It has reached a point where Americans seem to genuinely believe that they invented the concept of hiding behind an object to avoid getting shot.
I wish that was an exaggeration.
If we are to believe this movie, the British lined up like morons every time a battle started and then just got slaughtered. In this film they even give a long winded countdown before firing during which the enemy has the time to duck down, wait for the British to stupidly fire into their cover, before resuming their attack.
Again, I wish that was an exaggeration.
Medieval battlements had blocks sticking up for bowmen to hide behind, so they knew how to hide from projectiles back then.
So presumably in the intervening time people simply forgot how to do that?
Am I the only one who can see how fucking stupid this is?
Standing in a line and all firing at once takes a lot of training and coordination, whereas taking cover and running around as individuals does not (it is what people would do naturally if you just gave them a load of guns and said ‘have at it!’ )
So Americans seem to believe that the British went to the trouble of training their troops to fight in a special way that was deliberately WORSE than just all running around on their own!
Presumably they just thought that throwing in some formation dancing would help make things look pretty while they all got killed. And oddly, every other army in Europe got the same moronic idea at the same time.
Just wow.
News flash, jack asses! People fought in lines, because it worked! All firing at once made up for the inaccurate nature of the guns of the time. A single devastating volley would have more effect (especially on morale) then gradually picking at them with individual shots.
I hate to ruin it for all my American readers, but the British did not come to America and go “what? hiding behind a tree? What is this sorcery?”
The British had light infantry called flankers, whose job it was to seek cover and go around the sides of the enemy, flush out skirmishers etc.
They had these guys at the START of the fucking American Revolution!
And by the end of the war, the Americans had an army of guys in uniforms who fought in lines! These line tactics were still being used years later. Why were people doing this if these tactics were so fucking goofy?
The answer is that they FUCKING WORKED!
The Americans were locals who knew the terrain and so made better use of guerrilla tactics, but it was not like no one had ever heard of them before!
Because of this cultural myth that pervades American thinking, any time in a movie that red coats form a line to fire, it invariably fails miserably. The audience is left wondering why these morons spend so long setting up an elaborate formation which does nothing but make them easier to fucking kill!
In this film the natives are not only massively better shots then those dopey red coats, they have vastly better tactics for using the muskets, which is odd considering the British actually PRODUCE THE FUCKING MUSKETS!

(Also, while I am on the subject, the British did not lose the American Revolution because they had red uniforms. If you believe this, well done, you are a moron.
The Americans had BLUE uniforms. Seen many navy blue trees lately? Even the militia troops were not dressed as trees or wearing camoflage! Get a fucking clue!)

Hundreds of Muskets are useless, one pistol is deadly
In movies, especially shit movies like Last of the Mohicans, a hundred guys stood in a line firing their muskets won't ever do shit (as explained above), but one named character firing a pistol will always hit.
Now a musket is much more accurate than a pistol (obviously, think about it) and a pistol is only meant to be used at point-blank range.
But not in Hollywood. Pistols are like hand-held sniper rifles!
During the the battles in this film, the only guys in the British army who hit anything are the commanders with pistols (again, not exaggerating, they are literally the only ones that ever ever hit anyone.) If pistols are so fucking awesome, why doesn't everyone bring one? They are smaller and thus cheap to make!
I'll tell you why….because this is BULLSHIT!!!

The British are weak…and more often than not, evil

The British are evil. Fact!
They are also mincingly gay, weak-willed and stupidly do things by the book rather than doing the smart thing that would make them win. Also fact!
Wait…not fact. I was thinking of that other word….BULLSHIT!
Unfortunately, because the American Revolution looms so large in the American mindset, and because no Americans identify themselves as ‘British-Americans’ we are pretty much fair game for Hollywood.
Despite the fact that in this film the American colonists are on the same side against the French (as they were historically) the film makers go out of their way to make sure that we know how bad AND how stupid the British are.
The American colonists don't like them! After all, we can't have good decent Americans being pally with the filthy British can we? That might force the audience to actually fucking think! So instead the Colonists are not keen to join the battle…a little odd considering that if the French win, the British will lose an overseas colony….BUT THE AMERICANS WILL LOSE THEIR FUCKING HOMES!
The battle is about a million times MORE important to their future than to the British. But we still have to show them to be reluctant to fight for the British. Also Daniel Day-Lewis is quick to CONSTANTLY remind us that he doesn't work for the British. The guy can't seem to go 5 minutes without reminding us of how much he doesn't work for the British. He ought to get a T-Shirt with ‘I don’t work for Limeys!' written on it. Which is weird because he quite clearly does. He guides them around and kills their enemies (and without him killing the evil tribe, the evil tribe would not actually be taking any casualties!) I guess he is just a moron who does all the dirty work for them but doesn't ask to get paid or something. The movie left me wondering why Daniel Day-Lewis helps the British at all, when he obviously dislikes them so strongly. Maybe he sees the noble spirit of freedom in the eyes of the colonists (who it should be noted, he has no ill will towards, he only resents the British…yes he likes white people who have just come over here to fight other white people rather than the ones settling ON THE INDIANS' FUCKING LAND!)
American film makers have always been uncomfortable with the idea of having the British be on the same side as the Americans. This causes especially large problems when they want to make a WW2 film. Evil British on the same side as the Americans? That don't sit right! That's why in war films the British are either absent (Saving Private Ryan, U-571) or actively get in the way and make the war more difficult through their stupidity (Band of Brothers, various Dirty Dozen films.)
In last of the Mohicans The British are (of course) snooty and arrogant. They look down on the colonists, they never listen to the Daniel Day-Lewis and his wise advice and every time there is a battle they die like the pathetic spineless cowards they are.
The one of them that does something good to save Day-Lewis is shown to be laughably weak in a fight and loses the girl to Day-Lewis, to ensure he is completely demasculinated. And of course, Day-Lewis always acts like he hates the guy's fucking guts for the entire film, belittling him at every opportunity. The guy has no real comeback. How could he? He's British and thus is completely shit at everything!
The movie has two big battles, both of which are just the British standing around getting slaughtered and not really fighting back. In fact that seems to be what the movie substitutes for a plot. Half the pages of the script were probably just the phrase “kill some fucking Limeys!” written in red marker.
Perhaps this sort of thing gives Americans a Liberty Boner or something?
But even putting aside the overt racism, watching a bunch of red coats who have been demonstrated to be complete assholes, morons and weaklings, getting slaughtered by a bunch of the evil tribes' savage, blood thirsty killers is not exactly thrilling entertainment. Who am I supposed to cheer for? Why should I care about either side? They are all total dicks!
A bunch of over-dressed wankers getting slaughtered for ten minutes by a group of under-dressed wankers? Yeah, really building up the drama there.
It did leave me wondering why the Indians don't just kill all these losers, steal some boats and go over and take over the mother country. These red coats seem to be such a joke, that it is sort of odd that they defeated both the French and their Indian allies and set up colonies all along the eastern coast of North America. I guess the two tribes must have wiped each other out somehow.
It also leaves me wondering why the British bother with all those steel swords and bayonets when wooden and bone clubs seem much more effective. Funny that! Then again, you could probably give these red coats rocket launchers and they would still get slaughtered, such is their pathetic nature.

If you portray British people this way in your movie/webcomic/anything else, well done. You are a racist. Fuck you.

An amusing side note is that the Movie has absolutely nothing bad to say about the French. It even makes them seem like an honourable bunch, despite the fact that the are technically the bad guys in the plot (if you can call this nonsense a plot).
This was pretty common with American movies, right up until the Iraq war, when the French lack of support turned them into public enemy number one in the states.

This movie is Shit
This last point is the most important of all.
This movie is bollocks. It is just moronic racist stereotypes of the British and the Indians put through the ultra strong filter of how Americans like to think of their own history.
It barely has a plot, barely has any characters and certainly has no point.
This sort of drivel only serves to make the human race more prejudiced and ignorant of our own history.
I just wish Last of the Mohicans could have been “last of the shitty movies with these moronic faults.”
Sadly, I am not that lucky!
Fuck this racist Bullshit.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Amelius at 11:21AM, July 10, 2009
posts: 307
joined: 1-15-2006
Wow, that's a pretty good list of things to hate about this movie! If it's any consolation though, not all Americans are so dumb as to completely buy into Hollywood revisionist history. Well some are, but about as much as stupid people from any other part of the world! I saw a Revolutionary War reenactment at a fall festival once and despite the “wily guerrilla tactics” the Americans were using, the British won the skirmish and a lot of people whined about it! Me and Nick just laughed though, all these folks getting disappointed by a realistic portrayal of how it worked. Oh, how dare they reenact a battle where we didn't win! Haha! It was nice because they actually explained how the weaponry worked and why they had formations, and the fact that the Americans had formations too but their weapons were kinda crappy so they almost had to sneak up to use them.
A more prevalent myth here is that the formations were a matter of wartime etiquette rather than function! As if manners were that important in a battle! This isn't dueling after all! :)

Oy, and the mighty whitey trope rearing its ugly pale head! Sometimes I think the folks in Hollywood live in a world all their own where “viewers are morons” and they can push their ideas and agendas on us all…and they keep giving us the same regurgitated plots over and over. Unfortunately, what comes out of Hollywood's butt is what the rest of the world gets to see of us, and no wonder they think we're idiots! But despite how these movies portray you guys, I think most American citizens have a rather fond view and opinion of you. It actually is the French that get the short end of the stick these days, I get pretty upset when I hear people bashing any one country though.
And we Americans have quite a fondness for British humor, a fact which makes us most upset when our own studios attempt to “Americanize” it for “our own consumption”. I think leaving it well enough alone would be nice, thank you!

But good rant and some excellent points!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 2:21PM, July 10, 2009
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Actually you do raise a good point about the American weapons.
At least earlier in the war, they largely had hunting rifles, which were more accurate and had more range (so great for sniping) but had low rate of fire, could not fit a bayonnet, were more fragile and easily broken and the rifling in the barrel would foul after a few shots, thus losing the advantage they offered.
Obviously a good weapon for taking a quick shot and running away, but in a drawn out, close range pitched battle, pretty shit.
The Americans often used a sort of rolling skirmish line, where one man stepped up and fired and then ran back as another rushed up, which played to the relative strengths of their weapons. Yes the Americans had formations of their own (who would have thought?)

Actually I do think there is a lot of fondness for British stuff in America. Certainly everyone there loved to listen to my accent (Personally I think Americans have a great sounding accent…as you might guessed from my wife being American!)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
ifelldownthestairs at 5:30PM, June 10, 2010
posts: 432
joined: 7-4-2007
you don't have any idea what you're talking about.

firstly, if you knew a THING about history, you would know that it is highly detailed in records of meetings with the indians in which they agreed to give us their land (that they were just wasting with being gay on anyway) that they had braided hair, buckskin outfits, and were very wise (which is why they were giving us their land in the first place). there are a few offhand references to the indians constantly trying to coax some of the whites to come live with them, and even more references to what they called the ‘evil’ tribe, and went on to describe them as, and i quote, “RAWWRRR BLOOO GROOOGBLAWWWHHHGGG.”

of course, the indians were stupid savages, so they couldn't speak properly. thankfully, however, a nice white person translated this as “those damn mohawked evil tribe bastards, with their assless chaps and tomahawks. they're always trying to fuck shit up. good thing you guys are here to get rid of them. and since we kinda look like them, we understand that we have to go too.”

secondly, the whole musket argument of yours is ridiculous. it's common sense that people all aiming guns at the same thing are more likely to miss. they have to constantly check up on each other, like “so we're aiming at the enemy, right?” and that not only distracts from the aiming itself, but also makes it a very time consuming method. now running around and shooting, on the other hand, is free of these issues. and since every american male since the revolutionary war can, much like john rambo, automatically know how to take on a large amount of adversaries with minimal resources, it's the only method of attack that works. the reason the americans were firing in lines at the end of the war was (something i thought to be perfectly clear) to mock the pathetic british, as it was clear that they were losers who were disappointing their country, and on their way home to disappoint their wives as well (most british men are impotent, another fact i thought to be widely known).

but having said all that, i do agree with you on one thing - this movie sucks. it portrays the indians and english a little too positively, and even though all the violence was truly awesome, more than a few times i felt the urge to seriously vomit at how generously those disgusting bastards were portrayed.
you know why birds don't write their memoirs? because birds don't lead epic lives, that's why. who'd want to read what a bird does? nobody. that's who.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 7:47AM, June 12, 2010
posts: 3,643
joined: 4-9-2010
I thought the film was excellent when i saw it aged 12-14, or however old I was back then. I haven't seen it since and remember jack shit about it.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 11:08AM, June 12, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Genejoke, the kind of racism and historical revisionism that this show engages in are the types of things young kids would miss. If you watch it again, you might find them a lot more obvious!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 3:40PM, June 15, 2010
posts: 3,643
joined: 4-9-2010
you are probably correct, keep meaning to watch it again, one of my friends considers it one of the finest films ever.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 4:33PM, June 15, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
A lot people like it, basically because it looks pretty.
But when you break it down its racist, pointless, plotless and very very silly.
Still…gotta love that theme tune!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 8:43PM, Sept. 4, 2010
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Interestingly a lot of the theme tune isn't actually original. They took a (I believe) Scottish piece called “The Gael” or something, and put it to violins instead of the proper bagpipes. Bastards. Bit it does still sound good, and the scenery was great.

But I have some sticking points with your review.:

Sure, the British weren't like Sauron or anything, but they weren't nice to anyone in the “Hey, lets go have a party in the rose garden! I'll bring the tea!” way. And if the English lost the Settler's would not have necessarily lost their land, the French didn't usually just kick people off… the British did that to the Acadians though. Not nice that… Than again, the lady person saying that “the sooner French guns blow the English out of America the better it will be for the people here” was probably a bit much.

The English did forget that everyone's interests need to be considered in order for a state to thrive… and they were content to do things only for their own good. Then again, that's aristocrats in general for you.

Let me just say that the Movie is FAR better than the book… in almost every way.

And yes, we know that historically the British kicked ass, its just a fact, well, it was mostly the Scottish, after all, who better to use against an opponent then the people who are either in “pissed off” or “Lets get the Bastards!” mode.

Yeah, I'm kidding of course, the English could kick ass too.

And my computer is givinng me hell at the moment.. Hard to type when the hwhole thing lags like mad, in fact as I write this I am a paragrapgh aheaad of myself and cannot see the words as they appear on the screen. It's a mess, I donn't know if it's Drunk Duck or just my computter.

Okay, back on with laptop and everything running fine.

there is a LOTM pre-quel that is almost identical to it in plot except there is no “Bad Tribe” just Native Americans and Vikings. Yes. Vikings, and a young Viking child raised by… The Native Americans! And guess what… the Vikings come back and the little white boy fights off the evil white guys… and… is it less racist than LOTM because there are only good Native Americans? No… these natives are so wusssy they can't lift a sword! It's awful. Wise and all, but can't lift a sword. (Then again, maybe that's a somewhat forgivable depiction because the Native Americans wouldn't have had swords and would have had little idea about their use, doesn't make the movie less racist). But the white boy can lift the sword… Oh, yes, racist to both sides… Also all the Vikings are big and buff, and look like freaken giants… except for the “Good Guy” who is a scrawny little thing. There is also a scene where lover-boy's competition gets tortured and they kill him to stop his suffering even though he had been a jerk to the lover-boy earlier… in fact the vikings might even have been burning him alive… sound familiar? Oh and the scrawny little white boy is their only hope… I do believe that's called the “White Saviour” complex… at least that wasn't the case to the same extent in LOTM (still there though).

This movie is called “Pathfinder”

The problem is that as terrible in many respects as this movie it, it has something going for it. It is entertaining, and so is Last of the Mohicans. Sure, you can't consider either of them a historical statement of ANY accuracy except that there were French and British and Native Americans all trying to kill each other. Hell, it's racist, stupid, with a plot that is at the very least questionable, but it's entertaining. I am not convinced by your review of LOTM that it is not entertaining. Maybe that we shouldn't be entertained by it, yes, but it is entertaining. It's like the tooth rotter candy of the movie world. And, I like it, I feel I shouldn't (and won't be able to watch it the same way ever again), but I do.

It's also interesting that DDL (Daniel Day Lewis) doesn't actually go through any character development except to kinda feel sorry for Duncan because Duncan sacrificed himself for the girl. Hell, Duncan goes through more character development. The Girl (Madeline Stowe I think? Can't remember) goes through quick and haphazard character development, but at least gets some! Maugua (Wes Studi, or something, can't remember how to spell the actor's name) is neato actually, he manages to play a good old evil character that I love to hate. Possibly best actor in the movie actually. And Chingachcook (now, good luck with that name! I can't spell it at all) just kills shit and gets angry at the end. Which was, admittedly, pretty awesome (though that might have been due to the music mostly). And Uncas and The Girl's younger sister (I only remember the name Cora and forget which it was exactly)… really, where the hell did that come from! Nowhere! Almost nowhere! I don't believe Uncas even speaks English, and I know Mr. Scotty's daughters didn't speak whatever the Native Americans speak. I liked colonel Munro because he is Scottish and he had an awesome sword. I know we were supposed to dislike him as a pompous ass, but I liked him.

Oh, and Maugua shoots Munro's horse with a musket, not a pistol, so yeah… plus DDL uses a musket… so no, even this movie didn't portray pistols as hand held snipers… but I didn't see one jam either.

Okay, done for now!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 3:59AM, Sept. 5, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Canuovea- Let me address a few of your points.

Is the movie entertaining?
No, because it has no real story, no real character developement and the battle sequences are all massive curb stomps.

Are muskets useless?
Muskets are useful when fired by a main character, or a native.
Fire by a British solider, the guy might as well be trying to fart the natives to death.
Pistols are always fired by named characters and thus are super duper lethal and never fail.
If you watch the battles, and watch the british soldiers, ONLY pistols inflict any casualties on the natives.
If everyone in the british army had a couple of pistols, maybe they would have done better?
Mind you, considering how mind numbingly racist this movie is, probably not!

Character developement-
Duncan (I didn't remember the characters names when I id the review) is CONSTANTLY de-masculinated throughout the movie. Every idea he comes up with is stupid, he has to be rescued in every fight. At one point he is guardng the women when the bad guys show up. He has his sword drawn and is ready or them but maugua just walks up to him and smacks him out of the way like he s nothing.
The purpose of this film seems more about making Americans feel good about themselves by running down my country (like so much of the racist crap hollywood churns out!)

Settlers losing their homes-
Perhaps the french would not evict the settlers…but my point still stands that this war is MASSIVELY more important to the settlers than the British.

Yeah I know, total racist bullshit!

As I say again, this movie is NOT entertaining.
The fights are silly, totaly one sided and make no sense.
There is no real story.
There is no real character development.
It is massively racist.

I refuse to believe there is nothing more entertaining I could do with my time than watch such total crap!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 12:00PM, Sept. 5, 2010
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Some people like massive curb stomps… like what happened to Paladin Platypus… but at least he put up a fight.

There is some character development… just not a lot, and not for the “main characters.”

As for there being no story, blame the book, I hated the book… But there is a story. It's something a seven year old could come up with while being DM in a D&D game, but there is still a story. Small band of “good guys” or “plucky heroes” wander into bigger struggle between two powerful nations. Save some ladies, cue romance and competition, develop a nemesis, cue hate-able “bad guy” who has some kind of vendetta for reasons that are supposed to make him more than 2-dimensional but don't, there are some fights, girls and competition kidnapped, Token wise man for the “Bad Indians” try to placate Huron movie viewers, Rescue attempt, romance competition heroically sacrifices himself, showdown with “bad guy,” one of the “plucky heroes” is killed and revenge is taken in a glorious, gory, and epic-like way with good music being played alongside it. End significant part of movie. Have the older Native American fellow pontificate about stuff.

There. It has a story.

And, I think it should be noted, Magua's little band of merry skirmishers seemed much reduced after that particular battle.

As a child I always thought that a few of the “Evil Natives” should have bitten the dust due to the good old volley fire… and there was the one scene where the volley firing British beat the shit out of the French (but only because the French also stood in lines, right?).

As for your point about Duncan's character development… yes, I agree, but he still goes through more character development than DDL's character.

Now that I think of it, the way you describe it sounds like it's almost a video game adaptation. You know how in video games only characters with names actually ever kill anyone? And the main character just slaughters all the bad guys?

I am not convinced that the war would be massively more important for the settlers than the British, I can tell you that's not how the British at the time saw it. The British needed their little colonies for supplies for their industry and growth, and America was a huge source of that. The Settlers just lived there, and I'm pretty sure they were seen as a means to an end. That isn't to say the British were evil bastards, I just think it was the case… as it often is when “Empires” are involved.

The movie really can't be taken seriously, I agree it is massively racist in some respects, but then again, most movies with a clear cut good guy/bad guy are… if the Orks in LOTR actually existed then LOTR would be considered racist… and yes, I know they had British accents sometimes, and the big Orks (Uruk Hai) were played by New Zealanders, possibly Maori (I believe), or just the Rugby team, but I don't think that's exactly racist.

Was Zulu racist? It showed the British as a bunch of incompetent losers, lead by stupid nobles who didn't know squat shit, except for a handful (the characters in the movie, but I dare you to watch the pre-quel). Thing is, the British really did get their butts handed to them there, which sets it pretty far from LOTM historically.

Now, here's the thing, I blame the music for making it entertaining (as some people seem to think it is). The music is perfect in every way, including timing, and it makes simple curb stomps exciting and fun. Without the music this movie would not have the effect it does… but it does have that effect and you saying it is not entertaining will not stop countless people from believing it is; even if it should not be entertaining. There are some pieces of music that can make me eating a hard boiled egg feel epic; the Gael and the rest of the stuff from LOTM are some of them.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 3:14AM, Sept. 6, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Canuovea I dont think there was any scene in LotM that depicted the British winning a battle agaisnt the French. I think you are thinking of a different movie.

With regard to who the war was important to, it was important to the British, thats why they were there. But I think “will we continue to make a profit from over seas collonies” is not as big a motivation as “will we be take nover a foriegn power?”
Certainly, the colonists were not as disinterested in the war as this moronic movie tries to teach us.

Zulu racist against the British? I think you might wan to reconsider that one.
The protagonists are almost all british and a small numebr of them fight heroically and win agaisnst over whelming odds! That is that exact OPPOSITE of what we get in LotM.
If the British in that film had been portrayed in the LotM way they would have done a count down to fire, then at the last second the Zulu's entire army would have ducked so the British all miss and then the zulus would have slaughtered the entire British army without any casualties (except for one zulu, shot by Michael Caine using a pistol!)
The worst part is, as absurd as the whole ducking thing sounds….they do that in LotM! And its NOT played for laughs!

If orcs were real, Lord of the rings would be racist. But they are not real. That is a big difference! British people actually exist, so when you insult them with idiotic, racist, chest thumbing trash like this movie, you insult real people (like me!) People should consider this kind of thing before making this kind of shit.

Once the Britihs fired on mass and all hit nothing, it sucked me out of the film. It made me accutely aware this was not a real battle, no real bullets were being fired and it was all staged nad predetermined as everythign that was happening was so unrealistic and silly.

Though yeah…the music was amazing, as was the scenary.
But that dont make it okay!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 12:07PM, Sept. 6, 2010
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
I believe the scene the British kicked the French's ass in was when the English (led by Duncan) went out to cause a distraction so the courier could get away. But you probably remember DDL's character sniping the “evil tribe” as they tried to kill off the courier. But the distraction is effective and the English prove to be competent… at one point in the entire movie and with the aid of DDL, but it's still there.

You may be right that the colonist were probably not so disinterested in the war as they are made out to be… but if they were, and you are wrong… well, that doesn't say anything good about the colonists does it? It means they were a bunch of stupid, lazy, idiots. Just like the fellows who occupied Constantinople prior to it's fall (Much of the population could have helped in the defense but didn't bother, they would rather discuss how many angels could fit on the end of a needle). If it was the case then they didn't actually care about the land they owned. At least the Canadians actually fought alongside the British in 1812 (though they like to think they beat the shit out of the Americans by themselves; this was not exactly the case).

Urgh. Zulu only mentions the previous annihilation of British forces, then pits that small group against the Zulus. It does show the noble leader as being next to useless… at first anyway. But you are right. It isn't racist, perhaps I should have focused more on the prequel. I believe it was called “Zulu Dawn” which shows the British getting butchered. But that actually happened (The move was surprisingly historically accurate). I wasn't saying it was racist, I was wondering what you thought of it in comparison to LOTM. I quite liked Zulu.

They hide behind greenery, duck, etc. Yeah, its pretty bad.

Yes. People should consider this. However they don't. As you said, this is hardly the last of this type of movie. But don't worry, now that the US and Britain are great friends again because they both worked together again in Iraq and Afghanistan, the films will make the French look evil… and possibly the Canadians too, after all, those bloody Canuks only supported the US halfway! They should have gone to Iraq too! Well, I don't think so, but I'm not Hollywood.

Music and scenery made the movie entertaining (not okay), otherwise no one would have cared and it would have been a called a shit movie (as well as actually being one).

I wonder what would happen if they put LOTM in a fantasy setting like LOTR… It might not be racist anymore (It's nice that Harkovast gets around similar issues by not having any humans). But even if that was the case, let's say the British were “elves” and the “evil tribe” were “Orks” (which is somewhat like how they were portrayed in all honesty), we would still be wondering why the hell the “Elves” weren't hitting anything (I just complemented Imperial Era British soldier's aim by comparing them to Elves, even though I know you hate elves). I suspect it would still be a shit movie, but would still be entertaining because of the music.

I find it interesting to note that, although the book was horrible, it didn't carry quite so much hatred for the British. It just made the Hurons look worse.

Also, there was that older, black and white, version of Last of the Mohicans. I don't remember it as well, but I think it managed to make the Americans look even better than the newer movie. I don't remember if it made the British look really bad though. It did make the Hurons look bad… even worse than the newer version. I think. I definitely remember that tune “Yankee Doodle.”

Okay, so there were several old versions… I don't know which one I saw! Americans really seem to like this story… hmm. I also find it interesting that most of the critics who reviewed the film didn't mention anything that you have brought up. Bias?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 8:32AM, Sept. 23, 2010
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
In the old black and white version the evil tribe are just as bad but are far worse at fighting.
The British are actually maed to look better, with the British character proving entirely effective at fighting off the evil native hordes.
This shows a shift in hollywood where people have become more sensitive about the way native americans are potrayed and have shifted most of thier negativity onto the British, who are seen as a safe target. Strnagely, it is a relatively resent phenomenon in Hollywood.

I wont hold my breath for any American movies that make the British look good, regardless of our support for their wars.
Frankly, I think its just a matter of time before they do to iraq what they always do with WW2 and make a film which claims we spent the whole time getting in the way and making things more difficult (Oh, how I wish I was joking!)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 2:41PM, Feb. 20, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Guess what Hark? Seems you're wrong!

Yup. That's right. Fighting in lines is inferior to “skulking” around and taking pot shots at things.

Think I'm joking? Well, yes I am, but only partially. You have to admit that the skulking has it's advantages, particularly in dense terrain (thick forest) or when ambushing (from thick forest).

Where am I getting this? King Philip's War. 1675-76. Metacom (known as “King Philip” by the New Englander Colonists) and the Narragansett proceeded to beat the Puritans over the head repeatedly. Here ya go:

“In early 1676 the desperate colonial leaders recognized that they could not win without the assistance of Indian Allies, principally the Pequot and Mohegan.” Yes, you heard it right. “Mohegan” or, similarly “Mohican”, and they were lead at some point by, get this, a fellow named “Uncas”. Yeah, names repeat and all that, but I still think it's funny. Uncas spent his time getting buddy buddy with the colonists and killing other “Indians” for them.

Anyway: The allies taught the colonists how to avoid ambushes and how to track down and destroy the rebels in their refuges. The best colonial commanders abandoned European military tactics, based upon masses of men engaged in complicated maneuvers to deliver volleys of gunfire. Instead, they adopted the Indian tactics of dispersion, stealth, ambush, and individual marksmanship.“ Yes. Those were ”Indian“ tactics before they belong to the plucky Americans… but it only really developed in response to the colonists themselves. ”Indian“ warfare was fairly bloodless in comparison.

Surprisingly, the Puritans noticed this change. ”Recalling the military changes since the Pequot War, John Elliot remarked, 'In our first war with the Indians, God pleased to show us the vanity of our military skill, in managing our arms, after the European mode, now we are glad to learn the skulking way of war.“

All these quotes are from Alan Taylors's ”American Colonies“. An actual academic source! Wow… not wikipedia! In fact the only reason I'm writing this is because I need a break from reading it. And I put quotes around ”Indians“ because Taylor uses the word.

Overall, the Colonists lost about 1000 people, the ”Indians“ about 3000, but most of the casualties for the Colonists were from the early stages before they recruited their ”Indian“ allies… the reverse is true for the Narragansett.

Anyway, yeah, the skulking way of war had advantages. That much really should be obvious. As such, the first battle we see in LOTM was not entirely Hollywood fiction. Without a clear line of sight and shot the standing in lines thing probably wasn't all that useful. The same is true for the second battle between English and Hurons. There was actually relatively little distance to close before reaching the English lines and so relatively short period of time for the lines of muskets to be effective unless they managed to organize very quickly. And they weren't expecting an ambush (oddly enough, given the perfect territory for it). It's like that movie Centurion… actually, maybe not. A Roman battle line would have been far harder to butcher than portrayed, probably similar with the British here, but… less so.

Regardless of this, the whole thing was still rather pathetic.

European method of fighting was simply better than skulking around when it came to actual… battles. Skulking and individual marksmanship are all well and good in skirmishes and ambushes (the only thing the Bad Tribe seem capable of… and the good tribe and DDL too actually). Pitched battles, the kind fought between the Americans and British in the Revolutionary War, could only be won by the European style. Until machine guns came out.

Also, interesting fact: The Iroquois Confederacy, or Haudenasaunne, remained a power up until the end of the war of 1812. They were on the winning side but… sometimes winning is losing too. Also, they were partially responsible for the White House going up in flames. (Why do they say ”up“ in flames. Shouldn't it be ”down“ in flames? Yes, I know fighter pilots go ”down" in flames, but still…)…
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 5:01PM, Feb. 20, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
The battle sequences in LOTM are painfully ridiculous.
You obviously haven't watched the film for a while, cause some of the things you are saying simply aren't true.
During the second battle the natives charge the british one mass across the open, the british have time to form lines nad fire.
No natives get hit.

During the first battle the British all fire, but do a count down and the natives DUCK WHEN THEY SHOUT FIRE!
No really, that actually happens and it works.

The British also proves to be so weak in hand to hand combat its not even funny.
Yeah because european soldiers never had to fight in hand to hand, they stuck bayonets on their guns cause they thought it was funny.
Note that historically native American tribes started modelling their clubs on the butts of European muskets. You can actually see this in the iflm with the huge wooden axe thing the dad uses. Looks kinda like a musket butt doesn't it? Thats why!
The Europeans hand to hand weapons were thus so effective the natives were COPYING THEM!

Now thats not to say the natives were rubbish at fighting or anything, but the idea that they fought wiht some kind of mystical kung fu powers like in this movie that rendered the effeminate english powerless is total bullshit.

Now I should point out, I am not saying skirmishing and sneaking about and sharp shooting were not important to warfare (especially in the Americas) so I dont want you to go away thinking I am saying such a fighting style was stupid.
WHat I think is stupid is the idea that organised line fighting was some how goofy or a daft way to fight is an embarrassing myth that needs to be countered in order to reduce the general stupidity of the movie going public.

Seriously, fuck LOTM.
Fuck it right in the ear.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 7:51PM, Feb. 20, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Oh, you're right about the battle sequences. The choreography and sequences for the large battles were utter shit. I mean, countdown and ducking? Really? I think in the first fight one British fellow kills one Huron (or whatever those ones were). One. And that's Duncan with a pistol. And as we all know about pistols…

And the bigger ambush? Eh. The Hurons fired first from both sides. That's fine and gives them an edge. But one would think that there would have been some British inflicted casualties… aside from the two Monroes. What was that, three dead Hurons? One sword and two pistol deaths. And I'm pretty sure that the British did kill some Hurons… I mean, I remember that one guy running out of nowhere and killing people (who I think were Colonial Militia, actually). Then 20 British guys turn around and, in line format, shoot at him. So… it apparently takes 20 British to kill a lone Evil Tribe warrior… and you don't get to see the lone killer die.

My point was that while the sequencing was stupid etc… technically the Huron would have had a decent chance in both encounters. In fact, they probably would have had a real advantage. In a situation like that I would put my money on the Hurons. I would NOT expect to have Huron deaths be under 1/100th of the force, or 1 Huron per 20 British, though.

Though, err, ducking might work. I mean… if everyone was aiming at torso height… well… uh… Actually, I'm wondering why everyone didn't just through themselves on the ground in lines and fire from a prone position at all the guys standing up. Hmm… Yeah, I got nothing. Though the British deed kneel to fire at some points…

And there is a lovely scene where a Brit whacks a Huron in the face with the musket butt pretty hard… yeah, does nothing. In real life I don't think the end would be so pretty. That would at least shatter a jaw. Have you tried fighting with a shattered jaw? I haven't, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't.

Now Hark. A bayonet against a war club? Rea- oh, wait. Wasn't a musket also a war club? Right… it was… so, it's a projectile weapon that doubles as a club AND a spear. That's brilliant. Wish we could have seen more of that in the movie.

Maybe one of the terms in their contract made them not show British Imperialists killing Native Americans. Would that be racist? Hurt people's feelings? Or was this a decision made by management? We will never really know. There could be another explanation aside from Hollywood hating British… Nah. They hate the British. Hate them so much they ignored the coolness factor. I mean, Bayonets! Bayonets are cool (well, not necessarily, I have no special affinity for bayonets). Almost as cool as a decent recreation of a fight!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 6:28AM, Feb. 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
The Huron had the advantage and should have won when ambushing, but the film gave the impression that you could have beaten the British by walking up to them and throwing rocks.

In the second battle the Huron were charging at the British ONE AT A TIME!
And as you point out, this not only works, but when the British return fire we never see one Native fall over.

I didn't see any colonial militia in the second battle, I got the impression that being heroic, freedom loving Americans they would never fight alongside the dastardly, cowardly British and that native Americans would never kill them (because they live in peace and harmony with the natives.)
The strange thing is, as insane as that paragraph sounds, that really IS how the movie plays things. I'm not using hyperbole at all!

Part of the reason the movie ends up having no coherent plot is that the movie is desperate to make the British the bad guys and show them to be as cowardly, stupid and weak as possible.
But in story terms the British seem like they should be the good guys, so the whole situation ends up seeming confused and stupid.
We're cheering for the hero who fights the bad guys and works for the British…but he hates the British cause they are evil….wait….whu?

The sad fact is, hating the British sells well in America.
No one in America identifies themselves as a “British American” and the whole American Revolution is seen as a rejection of Britishness.
So presenting Britain as bad reaffirms Americans only sense of self importance.
“Britain is shit, showing how great we were for breaking away from it and becoming AWESOME!”
It's a safe kind of racism, giving you someone different from the average American that you can hate, without feeling guilty about how patently racist you are.

Now Americans reading this will probably say-
“I like Britain, I'm not racist against them!”
To which I would respond-
“Has the depiction of Britain in American movies ever offended you? Have you ever thought that a movie set in America where every character is American except for the one bad guy who is British is kind of offensive? Before I just pointed it out to you?”
The answer is no, and we all know that the answer is no, so lets not beat around the bush with that one.
And dont tell me it doesn't matter or mean anything, cause it offends me.
And I count!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 6:56AM, Feb. 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
One last thing to note…
When the natives do their brilliant ducking tactic, how did they know when to duck?
Most of them did not speak English (the Huron were allied with the French, so if they did know another language it would be French…in fact them speaking French is a plot point later on.)

Magic indian mind powers I guess.

Rewatching it closely I think you can see one or two indians falls over during the second battle, but you have to watch REALLY closely. You certainly never see one of them killed in hand to hand combat by the wussy British.
The problem with looking this closely is that you also notice how many extras are just standing around doing fuck all during the battle.

Interestingly, during the second battle the British actually know they are about to be attacked ‘cause the Indians start doing that evil tribe wooping noise BEFORE they open fire. It’s lucky the British don't know one end of a gun from another, or that might have been a bit of a dumb move.

I did some checking and someone on here mentioned a scene of the British fighting off the French. This scene DOES exist, but was deleted from the released version of the movie.
After all, it went against the films moral of “I hate the British, I really do, look at the fuckers die, it's giving me a boner.”
Showing the British to be useful for….well….anything would have made the movie too confusing for the audience I guess.
Which I suppose is ironic considering how confusing and pointless the story is, leaving me wiht no idea which side of this war I am supposed to cheer for.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 11:45AM, Feb. 21, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
It was me who mentioned that scene. And, yeah, you're right, it was in the extended edition. In the regular one they just march out, shoot at nothing, and march back in once the Huron show up. I think that's pretty bad. Just like the rock throwing thing was pathetic.

As for the ducking… well, face it, there's a bunch of guys pointing guns at you. They must have been pretty stupid to have NOT ducked earlier.

“one or two indians falls over during the second battle” - yeah, and who wants to bet that was because there were twenty British aiming at them?

Actually, the British didn't really do anything once the whooping started, just kinda kept on walking and looking confused. Even Monroe just kinda popped out of his saddle and looked around before sitting back down.

I think the moral of the story is that if the British had just put a bunch of Scots in there, given them claymores (basket hilted or otherwise) and let em at the Hurons they would have done better. Given that the collective family of the Monroes was responsible for three Huron deaths (sounds like more than the entire English part of the army), and the Monroes weren't technically English. They were Scottish, still British, but Hollywood likes the Scots. Likes them more when they're killing English people, but still…

Also, yeah, those freedom loving Americans were there. And they get killed off. Remember that whole thing with “yeah, I'll help you desert if you want to.” And the other guy says, “I'll stay around…” I think so…

I know, the whole ‘I hate the British but I work for them even though I hate them“ thing only kinda makes sense when you toss in the convoluted love story. One can only imagine the gang of three only helped out in the beginning because they noticed there were women there. And maybe because they don’t like Hurons more than they don't like English because the Hurons might kill their good freedom loving American buddies.

All the loyalists moved up here to Canada during the revolutionary war. God save the Queen! Well, my family has not been here that long, and we're technically Scottish on the British side…

Master and Commander had good British in it! It's got the British kicking French ass… except that might have been supposed to be an American ship, not a French one (I believe I read the relevant books). Then again, they changed plenty around from the book anyway.

I wanna see a movie about the War of 1812. And I wanna see the Americans make it. Why? Well, it's kinda hard to get around the fact that the Americans were the aggressors there…

As for the question you ask: It depends on how it is seen. Do ”we“ hate the British because they are British or because of what they represent? Britain was an imperial power of the greatest magnitude, maybe more so than the US is now (if you want to call the US that). Imperialists make very good bad guys because Imperialism makes for a very good evil concept (cultural assimilation, oppression, etc). It would be nice to see a movie where the stereotypical uptight arrogant incompetent fool was not stereotypically British, but… well it happens sometimes. But I haven't seen all that many movies that just hate the British, as I see it, but rather hate concepts. Again, as I see it. When I look at it from a different side, however, I can clearly see the hate for the British. Thank you for that perspective. But to support that whole Imperialistic thing, have you seen how they portrayed the Romans in recent films? I'll give you a hint: ”Evil fucking Imperialists!“ See Arthur, Centurion, and probably that Eagle move too. Interestingly, Zulu, for example, had mostly good British in it, but one of those stupid aristocratic types too (though he gets better). Seemed more class based to me than not. There are other interpretations than just hating the British… but… yeah, the British hatred is still there.

And besides, have you seen what they do to Americans now? Maybe not in Hollywood, but elsewhere? What the arrogant, incompetent, evil, aristocrat stereotype has done to the British; the stupid, ugly, annoying, often fat, assholic, often tourist stereotype has done for the Americans. Example, there are two Pierce Brosnan Bond movies that feature this one sheriff from Louisiana… and boy is he the kind of stupid, gun toting redneck we all love to laugh at! He's fat too. He's not a bad guy, he tries to assist Bond, but in an utterly incompetent way.

So look, everyone is going to have some kind of negative image of another country. Sometimes there is a vague historical basis for it. Its a pretty BAD historical basis, but it is there sometimes. Overall it IS STUPID, incredibly Stupid. But… British are evil Imperialists, Americans are stupid hicks with guns, Canadians… I don't even know, maybe Canadians are those kinda nice quaint people who, while not entirely bad, ARE entirely useless, but I'm Canadian so I can't tell, what is the British negative stereotype about Canadians? I'd like to know! Russians are angry all the time. Germans are Nazis (it's gonna take a long time to live that one down is seems) and/or evil. Japanese are honour/loyalty fanatics. Etc etc etc. And all of these stereotypes come out in entertainment venues like film. Well, bad films usually. I think a good film would handle these images in a much more complex manner. Problem is, that since Hollywood is so big it pumps the American versions of these images everywhere. I like British cinema, but it has it's own issues and stereotypes too.

I have a name for movies like LOTM which employ these stereotypes to that degree. I call them: ”Nationalist Porn“. I see Inglorious Basterds in a similar way actually. These ”nationalist porn" films can, it is true, have some other decent elements (like scenery and music and acting etc) but their actual quality is reduced because of it.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 2:17PM, Feb. 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
Actually I know how Americans portray the war of 1812.
The American version goes as follows-
It was caused by the British press ganging AMerican ships, so they provoked it and started it.
The Americans fought bravely against the overwhelming hordes of the evil british.
The Americans won the battle of New Orleans (The last battle of the war) so it was an heroic victory for freedom!

That whole invading Canada aspect tends to get swept under the rug (as it does in the American revolution, where similar attempts to take Canada failed.)

Interestingly, Americans are largely oblivious to the concept that canada even has an army or has fought wars.
For example, on the Simpsons they had a “joke” where the veterans home in Canada was called “Veterans of one war” implying canadians had only fought a single war.
I kind of assume they meant ww2, though that would imply they didn't know canadians had fought in Korea, the Gulf War and are serving at the time of me writing this in Afghanistan.
Mind you, I think the fact Simpsons is both stupid, lazy and unfunny has been long established around here, so expecting them to check even the most basic facts is being overly optimistic.

Master and commander DID make the British the good guys, but it was based on a book by a British guy AND it was making the French the bad guys at a time when Franco-phobic tendencies in America were at their height (Cause they would not support the iraq war) so it was just trading one racism for another.

You are right that British people are often used to represent something we are meant to dislike (Being uptight, being imperialistic, not being American etc) but the fact that lazy writers always use Britain to represent these things is not cool. By that logic, would it be okay if every film made all the criminals always black? Its just being used to represent the concept that being a criminal is bad, and its easy for the audience to identify black people as criminal.
Obviously no one in their right mind would accept such a concept (I would hope), so I would ask why we should accept that with regard to countries and nationalities? I dont think it is okay to use someone else's culture as a short hand for evil, cowardice or other negative things.

These are themes that actually interest me a lot (as you might be able to tell) and if you look at Harkovast I am sure you can see the huge amount of it that relates to interactions between cultures and how they view each other.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 5:46PM, Feb. 21, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
The version I've seen in American textbooks with regards to 1812 is this: It was a tie.

Yeah. I can see the Americans doing that…

It's kinda funny about Canada not having an army, the idea that we don't I mean. Funny in a “wow are they really that daft” kind of way. Still, how they see Canada is rather harmless (both to me and in the nature they see Canadians as), after all, having someone underestimating you is rarely a bad thing. That we can say Americans generally actually believe this is, however, probably wrong and plays into the notion that Americans themselves are stupid nationalistic pigs, which they are not, generally (like anyone), and makes both parties in the wrong.

Unless I am most mistaken the French were portrayed well and humanely in Master and Commander. I got the sense that they were highly competent and the ending gave the suggestion that the two sides were both alike to the British and human. I certainly didn't get a sense of chest beating “oh the Frenchies are evil!” Not at all.

Thing is, if we can't have any nationalities playing bad guys/antagonists, then we shouldn't bother with historical fiction at all! You get around this kind of issue by making the setting a fantasy one with no humans whatsoever. You have cultures that are similar to human cultures, in fact some are nearly identical. I doubt anyone will be attacking you for the Al-Saigal (tiger cat things I think) by suggesting you are saying that Islam is an oppressive religion. Personally I like the way you have handled the different cultures, but some may not…

Thing is, I like my historical fiction sometimes, even if it's kinda silly, and someone has to be the antagonist. I like my fantasy stuff too though, of course. I do think that historical fiction, or just fiction actually, can be done better than having one nationality, ethnicity etc al, shorthand for evil etc, though.

I wonder, in Star Wars all the Imperial Officers were played by British actors. Is that okay? They aren't playing British people, but… they still sound British. Where do we draw the line?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 6:58PM, Feb. 21, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
The evil imperial officers in star wars were british, and yes that would trigger my racism alarm when all the Rebels are plucky Americans BUT Obiwan was English, so I give it a pass.
With fantasy, if you make one culture resemble a real culture, than you have to be careful about the statement you are making.

And yes, master adn commander was not racist in the way it depicted the French, though the timing of its release and the climate at the time made me a bit uncomfortable. When hatred of a French was at its peek, going to see a film about fighting the french….I dunno, that just seemed kinda dodgy.
I'm not going to say dont do historical fiction, just be careful to avoid turning it into chest thumping about one culture or denigrating another.
As I said, with the French thing in master and commander, it was just considering the timing.

Canada has a long and very successful military history, anyone who doesn't know that has either never studied anything to do with Canada or is a complete idiot.

The Al-Saigal are an interesting case, I kinda feel like I should jump to that section of the forum to discuss the issues you raise, so people wanting to read about the Al-Saigal can get all my thoughts about it.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 8:01PM, Feb. 21, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
True. Obi-wan Kenobi was British.

Well, when you went to the theaters to watch Master And Commander you could go grab some “freedom fries” afterwards I suppose… oh that still cracks me up! “Freedom Fries!” Ha! Though I see your point. Problem is, I never saw it in theaters. I think. I'm pretty sure we rented it some time after. LOTM, however, the British hate is palpable still, not just at the time it was released.

How people view Canada is interesting to me, more out of curiousity than anything else though. I suspect having such an attitude about one's country is healthy. Better than assuming it's better than everyone else's!

I just posted something about the Al-Saigal in that section of the forum, in a kinda preemptive manner I suppose.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 8:29AM, Feb. 22, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
A smart guy once said-
“Patriotism is the belief that your country is superior to all others because you were born in it.”

I think, interestingly, American tellings of the war of 1812 tend to pretty much over look the fact that Canada was involved at all.
I think it is mainly because the elements of American aggression and failed attempt at a land grab don't cast them in a very good light and make for less of a rousing and straight forward story of heroics.

The only other time Canada gets mentioned regularly in America at the moment is when Conservative Americans claim that Canadian health care involves basically putting a bullet in your head cause socialism is so horrifyingly bad. So fair and balanced as always.

My view of Canada was always pretty positive. I mean its a first world, democratic nation that produced numerous performers and artists, especially considering it doesn't have a huge population.
Though I have heard that Canada is, in fact, to blame.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 1:55PM, Feb. 22, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
To blame? To blame for what?

Our small population?

Dear God no! He's onto us Thomas! Quick, hide the forced birth control mechanisms!
… You aren't going to call MI6 on us now, are you? The world cannot know the true extent of our Socialist Health Care program!

“These are not the death panels you are looking for…” “Move along…”

Tell ya what, us Canadians want all you guys to think we're good and nice and all. That's right. We aren't (we'ren't? We are not?). Stan Rogers and Gordon Lightfoot were designed for use as psychological warfare… strangely Celine Dion seems to be generally well known in the US and she was supposed to be our ultimate weapon…

Yeah, and those Igloos up north? They're a cover. Literally, covers for our Nuclear Silos. Nobody suspects anything. If anyone notices a nuclear launch from this continent the US gets blamed for it. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Erm. Anyway, disregard all that. Britain's pretty safe anyway.

That guy who said that really was a smart guy. Except… well Hitler wasn't born in Germany, he was born in Austria! And he hated Austria. Okay, okay, I know he was ethnically German…

Seems to me that the moral of the story is that History changes depending on which side you are on. And some versions are dumber than others, eh?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 5:04AM, Feb. 23, 2011
posts: 5,198
joined: 10-12-2008
This Canadian plot for world domination might not be such a bad thing.
A resent study of the best cities to live in ranked Vancouver as number one and canadian and austrailian cities dominated the list.
This was in a large part due ot their good standards for education and (this is going to annoy all you right wing americans) health care.

So all hail our new Canadian over lords. I will begin rounding up others to work in the maple syrup mines (which, as far as I know, is where maple syrup comes from.)

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Canuovea at 12:53PM, Feb. 23, 2011
posts: 287
joined: 6-25-2010
Vancouver really is excellent. Except for how much a bloody house costs! I mean, one small apartment building can sometimes go up to 1 million dollars. That is just ridiculous!

And Australia only has one main disadvantage when compared to Canada… See, in Canada there are far less little poisonous critters running around. Can we say Sidney Funnel Web Spider? I couldn't live there without constant fear. Gotta give the Australians credit for that!

No! Hark, you mustn't spill the secret of where our Maple Syrup really comes from! The last thing we need are UN inspectors here looking for Child Sla… er, Slavery generally… Oh fine. See the Maple Syrup mines have very small tunnels and…
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM

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