I was watching “Troy”. And for the first hour it was totally great. The mother of Achilles, who has the power of prophesy, and is believed to be a goddess or something similar, prophesies that if he goes to war with Troy, he will die in that war, but his name will live for a thousand years.
This is actually conservative, for Achilles was part of the collapse of Bronze age civilization, three thousand years ago, and his name still lives.
And Achilles, being warlord, a king, and a hero, and the greatest warrior ever, and a living legend, and incredibly brave and manly, naturally decides to go to Troy.
He goes to Troy, and after the first battle, orders his men to loot the temple of Apollo. So his men dump a kingly share of the temple loot in his tent, part of that loot being a dazzlingly beautiful girl, a virgin dedicated to Apollo tied up in his tent.
And then he just … he … he just totally fails to act like a man. In addition to being famous, and a hero, and the greatest warrior ever, and a living legend, he is also unbelievably handsome. But I swear, that there is no way that girl would voluntarily bed him in real life, if he acts like that.
Now I am old, and fat, and no one terribly important, and I look like Jabba the Hut, but if I had had a few hours with that girl in my tent, she and I would have been going at it like weasels in heat. (Voltaire said all he needed was ten minutes, but I think he was lying, and in any case, I am not as good as Voltaire.)
Everything Achilles does prior to going into that tent is totally, unbelievably, impossibly manly. Everything he does in the first hour of the movie is totally, unbelievably, impossibly manly. And then he goes into that tent and he is just …
You know why boys are no damn good with girls these days. Because they watch movies like that. They are taught to respect women. But women do not really want to be respected. And what is this girl that Achilles should respect her? We see him disrespect King Agamemnon. Until this scene we only see him respecting mighty warriors who have earned it by their courage and their prowess, or King Odysseus, whom he respects for his cunning. What has this chick done to earn respect?
After that scene, I just could not watch the film any more, because I just could not see Achilles as a man. Just some kind of cuck. Real men just don’t treat women like that. It is not just that it will not get you laid. It is unmanly. It is wrong. It is gay. It is effeminate.
OK. In the workplace I have to treat women like that or be fired, but it burns. OK, I bend to power and grit my teeth and suffer the humiliation, but the whole Achilles story is that he does not bend to power. Show him acting like a cuck, then there is no story any more.
Achilles does not respect King Agamemnon. He does not respect the King of Thessaly. He does not respect the champion of Thessaly. He does not respect the troops of Thessaly. He does not respect the ambassadors of King Odysseus. Why is he so damn respectful to some speaking temple loot?