Sunday, April 22, 2007

Er Bai Wu and '300' The movie.

I watched '300' the movie. It was about a bunch of 300 Spartan under the leadership of King Leonidas who fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army at the ancient Battle oh Thermopylae.

The story has been told and retold by many cultures of their own respective heroes. While inspiring, it was the fighting action that I was really impressed by. I was convinced that the Spartans are the greatest fighting army ever-their valor, sacrifice and the fearless action and gallantry. You may say that it is only a show but it was based on some historical data while exaggerated as in action movie-hold some truth. The Japanese Samurai comes second.

This morning, I read an article written by Celeste Fong (Beijing Express) and that sets my mind wondering-in it she enlightened me of a Northern Chinese slang, er bai wu (Two hundred and fifty) for an idiot, a dabbler or an imbecile.

Coming back to King Leonidas. He asked for 300 men, they all came and during the roll call, King leonidas gave an inspiring battle speech. Supposedly, after listening, fifty of them decided to go back to tend to their goats and wives, 250 braves and the King was left making a total of 251. King Leonidas then turn to his trusted Lieutenant and asked why is his grandson here. He reasoned that it was enough that this Lieutenant's son volunteered but he can't accept his grandson as it was tantamount to wiping off his entire clan. And so, his grandson was send home to tend his goat and wife. 250 men march off and never came back.

In that show, I did a rough head count, there can't be 300 men. 250 is more like it.

I am not mocking a brave King and his army and as a matter of fact, I really, unreservedly hold the highest respect for their gallantry.

I am really trying to draw a parallel and perharps understand what went through the mind of gallant men who sacrificed their life for a cause.

In my world, I would have to be Er bai wu.

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