Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cleopatra was White

Apparently there's a big hoo-ha over the idea of Angelina Jolie playing Cleopatra, and that the role should go to an "actress of color". Postmodern PC ahistorical silliness. Look, Cleopatra was Greek. Well, specifically, she was Macedonian. When Alexander of Macedon (called "Alexander the Great") died, his generals whacked up his vast empire among them. Egypt went to his general Ptolemy, who decided since he was ruler of Egypt, it would be really cool to name himself Pharoah. And so the "Ptolemaic Dynasty" was born. The Macedonian rulers did -not- intermarry with the locals. Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemaic Dynasty, was pure Macedonian. Saying you don't want Jolie as Cleopatra because she's not Greek is fine -- someone like Nia Vardalos ("Big Fat Greek Wedding") or the still-gorgeous Marina Sirtis ("Counselor Troya") would be historically-accurate to play the role of Cleopatra. But saying she isn't suited to play Cleopatra because she isn't black is silly. She isn't black -- and neither was Cleo.

Chimps attack other chimps ... for their land

The Sharks and the Jets. The English and the French. The Germans and,
well, pretty much anybody. And now chimps. Apparently the urge to
engage in expansionist warfare and seize one's neighbor's land is
another thing that is no longer exclusive to the human race. So
if territorial expansion is hard-wired into our DNA, does that give
us an alibi to invade our neighbors and shrug it off as "evolution, baby".
Serious question.

Chimp-on-chimp attacks in the wild are very common, especially among small packs of males on patrol. Now research suggests the motive for these crimes is to gain territory.