Wednesday, January 10, 2007

About Apocalypto

January 10, 2007

Okay, guys, let me get this off my chest. It's a terrible movie; don't bother going to see it. What induced me to want to do a program about it was Craig Childs' provocative op ed piece which appeared in the New York Times last week. (There's a link to it on our website today). I found a lot of outright denial in the reviews I read concerning whether the Mayans practiced human sacrifice. They did. To deny the truth of the past, however painful, is to leave it open to distortion. In our political correctness, we mince around what makes us sqirm, apply platitudes and euphemisms, point to our own shortcomings and bloodlettings as if that justifies it, and in the end do nothing to clear up the mess. What I liked about Mel Gibson's horrible movie which he made, I believe, primarily to serve his own religious and political agenda, is that it gave us the opporunity to have an honest conversation about what really went on in Mesoamerica prior to the arrival of Columbus. Noble savages? No. Hideous heathens? Again, no. Real people? Yes. Just like us? Again, yes.

Thanks for the ride.


Tom in Zurich said...

Amazing that the European myth of the "Noble Savage," created by such luminaries as Rousseau and Montaigne and debunked by Voltaire, still persists among those who pass these days for educated. I agree with you--we avoid inconvenient truths at our peril. But I doubt I'll go see Gibson's bloodfest; there's enough on TV news to satisfy my sanguinary tastes.

Anonymous said...

Great program on The Strange Rise of Modern India. I wish I could have listened to the entire program, but I had to study of an Exam. Indian is fascinating and I would love to hear other programs on India.
Madison, WI