In which Ruler of the Doughnuts reviews a docu-series and other entertainment.
Once again, I’ve stocked up on some media and am here to give you, dear reader, a healthy dose of reviews for your reading pleasure. Once again three reviews; two is too few and I don’t want to leave you unfulfilled. While for is too many, I would never presume to be worthy of holding your attention span too long. So, in the spirit of Billy Mayes: two reviews for one click and if you read now, I’ll throw in the third for free.
A Black General?!
A red and gray sickly mass begins to spread across the map. Tendrils of black stretching out and grasping the free and noble uncivilized peoples of Europe and North Africa. However, this rising contagion will not be me without resistance, no! A unique man of color stands in its way! This rising cancer called Rome will be stopped by a black man name Hannibal Barca! At least that’s how the narrative begins in History Channel’s Barbarians Rising.
I began this miniseries on a slow day at work and thought it might have a unique view of Roman history. Boy, was I wrong. As I mentioned in my colorful intro above Rome is not just set as the enemy of the series, the graphics and acting in this docu-drama casts them all as evil, and it sets the tone from the beginning.
The series begins with Carthage. In actuality, a murderous, child sacrificing empire of Phoenicians, a Semitic people who looked like this:
The famed General Hannibal is played by a black man. The history channel has enough shame not to outright claim he was black though, but it is obviously heavily implied. They wax poetic about the poor barbarians in Hispania suffering at the hands of an expanding Rome. They interview Jesse Jackson and other civil rights leaders and intersperse their comments about oppression and power dynamics. They don’t venture outside any history most people who have a passing interest in the history of Rome wouldn’t already know. Its just simply a narrative shift. Telling the history from the loser’s perspective rather than the victor’s.
It further chronicles points through Roman history, and various points of barbarian interactions. They try to tie Roman slavery as that of a quasi-racial or ethnic slavery of various barbarian peoples, putting forward the Spartacus slave rebellion as a barbarian’s rebellion. The narrative for his episode is he just wants to escape over the Alps until the evil Romans kill his friends and he is forced to fight them. Not that he led a horde of what was most likely rapists, killers, and thieves across Italy. Boudicca, humiliated under the Roman hegemony, has her children raped in front of her. Its only natural then that in her rebellion she burns women and children alive in vengeance. With her defeat being a tragic loss for freedom. Then the last several episodes deal with the Germanics. The various conflicts with the Germanic barbarians are cast as noble savages who are put upon by circumstances outside their control and repeatedly ask for a cruel and vindictive Rome that will help them out…for a cost. In the end that cost is too much to shoulder and the Barbarians are forced to fight the Romans.
From beginning to end its was obvious what this was to me. For thousands of years Western Civilization has aspired to Rome. Certainly, the Empire was not perfect, but it was mighty and glorious. Barbarians rising is a deconstruction of that legacy. Its purpose is to make you, as a European feel shameful at your history. As if the history of civilization in the west is one of oppression and slavery and was tainted from the very beginning. As I said at the beginning, they make the maps and movements of Rome look like a cancerous sickly growth and the movements of barbarians a cleansing fire. This is a prime example of what they think of you, a rotten and vile cancer to the core, from the very birth of your ancestors.
The acting was actually pretty good. They had serval identifiable and competent actors play various roles and the scenes were well done. Very high production value. But in the end its narrative is vile, and its history is banal and unoriginal, so I’ll give it five out of five black Romans.
It’s not a Woman!
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. I paid for a Daily Wire sub for a month so I could watch Matt Walsh’s “What is a Woman?” documentary. I’m a sucker for a good troll and so it pulled me in. I wasn’t disappointed. First off, if you are already against the LGBTQP narrative then this isn’t going to be a ton of new stuff for you. There were some interesting stats and history of the psychology behind the rainbow jihad and that was good. If you were of the “live and let live” category this documentary should disabuse you of that notion that it is possible to do that.
Walsh manages to interview a gender affirming therapist, a “pediatrician”, a gender studies professor, and a few others. The therapist seems to be the only one that didn’t catch on as the interview goes on. Her vapid smile and platitudes when asked questions that question her worldview is amusing. The “pediatrician” gets very testy when Walsh brings up how “puberty blockers” are also what is used for chemical castration. When getting to the more philosophical point Walsh uses an example of a chicken laying eggs as a female her response is “…Do chickens cry?” I literally laughed out loud at that line. The gender studies professor just can’t seem to handle the truth, which is apparently a very condescending and transphobic word. When asked what a woman is he replies with “…for me it’s very simple, its someone who identifies as a woman.” Then when asked if he knows what a circular definition is his reply is “yes I do” and that’s it (another lol moment for me). The rest of the interviews include a naked man on the street in San Francisco, a man who thinks he is a woman but also a wolf, and the most infamous (my word) trans surgeon in the country.
He doesn’t just look at the left though. He talks to a anti trans activist Scott: a woman that got surgery to look male. The story is incredibly tragic and the interview compelling. She was 42 when she got bit by the trans craze because she was always tomboyish. She relates the complications she has had from her body modifications and other problems providing the warning that it got her at middle age, and that your kids don’t stand a chance (if you do nothing). She has also had 3 kids, as a said a tragic story. His interview with Miriam Grossman, a psychiatrist, gets into the horrific origins of the psychology behind the trans movement with the monsters Kinsley and Money. This part truly highlights the disgusting a perverse origin of this filth. He also flies to Africa and talks to the Masai tribe in Africa. This amusing and lighter side of the documentary shows how these people understand reality and duty in a way many of those in the west have lost.
In the end if you are reading this you probably won’t learn much new. It’s certainly packaged in a very nice and amusing way, but it would be a good show to suggest to a friend or relative who is still of the “live and let live” mindset so I will give it five out of five pride flag swastikas:
No, not that left, the other left!
If someone were to tell you that Austria’s submission to the Oscars in 2014 was a western, you’d probably have to look it up because you wouldn’t believe it. But that exactly what Dark Valley is and let’s face it, if you keep going left on the map, you’re eventually gonna end up in Austria anyways, so we’re good. Additionally, if you are American, you’re required to like westerns (look it up, it’s in the rules). This being the case, and since it was free on Amazon Prime, I naturally had to watch this western made by Austrians when RazörFist recommended it.
As defined by The Legend Chuck Dixon: a western is a story where all the problems are solved by violence. In the end, the bad guy’s plans aren’t just foiled, the bad guy ends up with at least a couple bullet holes in various parts of his body. According to RazörFist this elemental western is a tale where a lone rider comes to bring the vengeance of God upon a corrupt town. On both counts Dark Valley delivers, and what it delivers is well worth a watch by any fan of westerns.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Admittedly Dark Valley gets off to a slow start. After an exciting prologue where a hiding man and woman get found and taken away from each other it cuts to a lone rider named Grider (I just said that so that it rhymes) comes to an isolated village in the mountains of Austria. We know this because we are told so by a young woman, Luzi, about to be married but is also the narrator at certain points. Surprisingly, for having a narrator, the movie doesn’t really hold your hand, and it does a great job of showing rather than telling. For example, it quickly establishes that there are a group of men in charge who are led by a bedridden old man named Old Brenner (they are also his sons). Grider comes to the village as a photographer and pays enough to be put up in the home of the young woman narrator, planning on staying the winter.
There is not a thing that is diverse about this village. The cast is all white, as you would expect of an isolated Austrian village. While Luzi is a strong woman, her strengths are entirely feminine. This is all shown through the narrative rather than told, as Grider goes about taking picture of the incredibly beautiful scenery. As winter comes the first death comes to one of Old Brenner’s sons while they are logging in the forest. You aren’t sure who did it or why it happened, and it could have been an accident. Another death comes to a son hunting alone in the woods. This is where Grider is revealed as the killer and upon finding the body the Old Brenner and his sons realize that it must be Grider.
Its during this time we come to understand Old Brenner has been controlling the village by taking the wife of every newly married couple into his bed until she conceives. Grider then begins his vengeance with killing the priest who has been sanctioning this the whole time and recuing Luzi from being taken away from her new husband. Then the battle begins between Old Brenner’s sons and Grider with his Winchester 1873 lever action (Not a single handgun in this story). I won’t play by play the fight, but it culminates in Grider killing most of the sons, going into town and fighting a blacksmith and almost getting killed. I knew he was going to be helped so when the blacksmith is shot it’s not a surprise. My thought was “please don’t be Luzi, be a man”. I was pleasantly surprised when it was Lukas, Luzi’s new husband, who kills the blacksmith. Shortly after Grider finds Old Brenner, the movie gives the last reveal that Grider is the son of Old Brenner, and his mother, the woman from the prologue, escaped after they killed her husband for trying to resist. Grider does not give Old Brenner a pass though, and neither does Old Brenner beg for his life.
It was a great and refreshing story. It’s simple, straight forward, and was a pleasure to watch. The pacing is a bit slow, but it works for the theme of the story and enhances the narrative. The acting is competent, and the setting is absolutely gorgeous. I highly recommend you give this a watch and recommend it to anyone you know who likes a good western. All in all, five out of five skinned smokewagons: