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 There's lots of debates about  economic theories and their outcomes. What surprises me is that we see the same arguments for economic  growth*  that have no evidence of their efficacy. Today, in the US, the conservatives are pushing a tax bill that would give further tax breaks to the super rich and the idea is that the rich & big corporations will generate more jobs and a bigger economy. There's no proof that such a policy works.

So, after 30+ years of conservative economics,  the gap between the super rich and everyone else has grown tremendously. This is a fact.

Same with health outcomes. You may hear how the US health care  model is good and how bad the Canadian, French or German are, but we can definitely see & measure  the health outcomes in all of  those countries..... with the US not doing so great!

* there might be growth but the lower classes don't benefit; in the US, the middle class has lost ground since the 1970s.

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Though I wouldn't call this a documentary, but BBC has a new series, Troy: Fall of a City

I was reading some Greek news sites and saw that many people expressed their outrage because  Zeus, Achilles and Patroclus are portrayed by  black actors.  I don't have a problem with this, and I don't think it makes a difference to tell a story about events 2,000 4,000 years in the past. What do you think?

 

EDIT: Correction.... it wasn't 2,000 years ago the Trojan war happened. Homer is believed that he wrote the Iliad about 8th century BCE and he may have been writing about something that happened in the 13th c. BCE. So, the story of that war could be 3,300+ years ago.

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I dunno what the relevance is with skin color, like you said its 2000 years in the past, I would be more interested to see whether or not the acting was good vs the complexion of the actors, but of course in a country where the 3rd most popular political party is a group of dimwits who praise the SS and have wet dreams of AH, there will be some sandy vajayjays.

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I don't have a problem with this, and I don't think it makes a difference to tell a story about events 2,000 years in the past. What do you think?

I haven't seen the series and I do know that Greeks tend to be a 'racially purists' (which I don't agree with).

That being said, how can one tell a story that discusses the adventures and values of people that existed 2000 years ago without sticking to some parameters?

First, what was the context of black people in Greek literature in ancient times? According to Wikipedia "Homer's literature is said to have a black character included Eurybates, Odysseus's herald in the Odyssey, who is described as “black-skinned and woolly haired."Homer also wrote that Menelaus visited the Ethiopians first. "  (black people were referred to as “Aethiopian,” regardless of their actual ancestry in Africa). While black people were not seen as inferior in ancient times (even when it came to slavery - unlike modern European and American slavery), there is no reference to them as being an integral part of a culture - ancient Greek culture in this case ( Zeus was the top dog, do you think ancient Greeks saw him as a black person? )

And while the values of ancient Greek civilization are shared with the modern Western world, is it necessary to desecrate a people's mythology and rip off their cultural identity? In the name of what? Political correctness? Why can't they write a brand new story that discusses issues, values and presents people as equal to each other without race barriers?  Even if one wanted this to be a politically correct adaptation of the Iliad, where are the other races that represent humanity? Why isn't the Aphrodite character an oriental woman? Why isn't Odysseus a Native American? Why isn't Agamemnon a South American, somebody from Peru? Maybe because it's not much about being color blind either? And if Zeus is black, how come all of his offsprings (Aphrodite, Hermes, et.al.) don't include a single non-white person? So much for mythological accuracy.

J.K. Rowling successfully borrowed elements from many different cultures and civilizations and created the "Harry Potter" series. Never stepped on anybody's toes. J.R.R. Tolkien gave us the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. This is what modern mythology is.

While, I don't care much whether this series has a mixed-race consortium of actors, I do have to say that I don't agree with usurping other cultures in the name of a fast buck!  To tell (read 'butcher') a story that was written 2000 years ago - a masterful story at that. The Iliad belongs to the world  - no doubt on my part - but keep it in context with the times it was written. Consider it ancient Greece's gift to the world, but don't take it away from  the modern day inhabitants of that south-Eastern European region. Let Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Turks all share thousands of years of wars and culture.


“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell

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+1 Lazarus.  I would've said it better myself but didn't want to make you feel insecure.

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First, George Orwell is one of my favorite authors. But, I would take issue with that statement. What does "Own understanding" mean? Should such statement stand if people's understanding of their own history is based on myth?*  In the beginning, various groups and tribes felt "chosen" by God(s), and their "history" was based on this understanding.

Secondly, what kind of destruction are we talking here when myths eventually are replaced by scientific facts? Many advanced societies have given up believing their ancient history. I don't think the Norse today are destroyed because they don't believe in Thor and Odin.

Lastly, when it comes to artistic license, I don't think we have to stick to tradition, or history. Of course, this should not be presented as history or a documentary.

I'm trying to advocate for such artistic freedom here. I'm tired of being told that myth (something without any scientific or scholarly evidence to back a story telling) should be fed to us as history. We just ended a holiday season seeped in such myth. 

Happy new year** to all.

 

* I hear that there are some ..Macedonians who believe Alexander was a Slav. hmmm

**when the new year starts is another arbitrary notion; it would make more sense if it was on the solstice or equinox :christmas-204348::band:just sayin'....

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12 hours ago, athinaios said:

Many advanced societies have given up believing their ancient history. I don't think the Norse today are destroyed because they don't believe in Thor and Odin.

It's not about believing it or not. It's about defending it. There's a place for science in the world. But we would have to agree that it is not science that shapes people's consciousness of belonging to a greater group, it's not science that helps forge values and culture. It is folklore and myth that has shaped the face of a people and has instilled values to the masses. Yes, in today's world, we all know what is folklore and what is myth, but that doesn't mean we should not celebrate their place in human culture.

But speaking of Thor and Odin, have you seen them anywhere 'artistically' portrayed by black actors? Do you think they should be?

Quote

Lastly, when it comes to artistic license, I don't think we have to stick to tradition, or history. Of course, this should not be presented as history or a documentary.

Again, I haven't seen the series, but just because it's released by the BBC doesn't make it "artistic." What message does it communicate? Why the retelling of a classic?

This is their promotional narrative: " An 8 part TV series commissioned by the BBC to retell the story of the 10 year old siege of Troy, which occurred in the 12 or 13th century BC. "

Creator David Farr said: ‘I’m delighted we’ve assembled such a high-quality ensemble cast, mixing some exciting new faces with experienced actors whom I have long coveted and admired.’  ‘The story we’re telling has an epic and political sweep but is also deeply human and intimate. I look forward to seeing these actors take you on the journey,’ he said of the big budget historical drama, which is still filming in Cape Town, South Africa.

It's like reading somebody say, "we came across this two paragraph idea and turned it into a masterpiece."  Personally,  I find his statement very arrogant. And speaking of artistic, it's like taking a can of red paint and spraying across the Van Gogh masterpiece "The Starry Night" and then saying "it needed a little red!"

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19 minutes ago, Lazarus said:

But speaking of Thor and Odin, have you seen them anywhere 'artistically' portrayed by black actors? Do you think they should be?

Again, I haven't seen the series, but just because it's released by the BBC doesn't make it "artistic." What message does it communicate? Why the retelling of a classic?

It's like reading somebody say, "we came across this two paragraph idea and turned it into a masterpiece."  Personally,  I find his statement very arrogant. And speaking of artistic, it's like taking spraying a can of red paint across the Van Gogh masterpiece "The Starry Night" and then saying "it needed a little red!"

If the Norse god were portrayed by purple or green people, it wouldn't bother me a bit. I wouldn't take this as a history lesson either. If I cared enough, I'd read some reliable sources on Norse mythology and history.

I meant "artistic license" would allow the creators to veer off historical facts and established culture. It really doesn't bother me. Granted many people learn history from the movies, but is shouldn't be the responsibility of the artist to educate them.  Like any other expression, producing art isn't necessarily tasteful or ..non-arrogant.  If the BBC billed this series as a historical piece, then BBC should be criticized.

Please don't spray-paint the original Starry Night. But if you're so inclined to spray paint a ..copy, I may even buy it from you!:artist:

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1 hour ago, athinaios said:

If the Norse god were portrayed by purple or green people, it wouldn't bother me a bit.

It would bother me if there were no justification in doing it. Now, if those purple or green people added a twist to the story (i.e. Odin was a Martian), then I'd say "OK. give this one a chance. Let's see what the movie has to say." But having a person painted green for no apparent reason, and performing his character in a traditional interpretation, would have either an ulterior motive of some kind, or the director had 100 buckets of green paint stashed in his garage and wanted to dispose of them. See where I'm headed with this? Let's say we put together a play where Odin was green and Zeus black. [Now comes the important part.... ] Why so? What is the reason for taking this initiative?

If somebody does watch the BBC series maybe they can answer my question.

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Maybe the skin color was not a consideration for the persons in charge of casting, and choco and vailla faces both auditioned and choco played a better Zeus?

Reminds of this clip for whatever reason...

 

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What? I bet the next thing you'll tell me is that Santa (Aghios Vassilis) was a fat Anglo, and that Jesus was pale white with blue eyes.

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