bill-swift - July 28, 2015
Ancient Sparta was an advanced civilization with a complex military culture that helped shape much of the Hellenic world. But most modern people think of the Zack Snyder movie 300 when the subject of Sparta comes up. The image that comes up is Gerard Butler and his band of rough trade warriors going off to face that creepy Xerxes guy wearing no shirt. So, it is not surprising that if someone, say a Chinese salad company called Sweet Salads, wanted to invoke the film to promote the health benefits of eating salads, they might use 300 to invoke the Spartan ideal of physical fitness. In America, we would be all about a bunch of muscled guys wearing capes and no shirts going around promoting salads. But China is not America.
When Sweet Salads pulled their latest campaign of doing just that, the Beijing police arrested the gang of "foreigners in short pants". To add insult to injury, the salad company imported their hotties from Europe and America. They explained it by saying,
"We chose Spartans and invited foreign models who are physically fit simply because we wanted to encourage our customers to pursue the beauty of being healthy."
Certainly a noble thought. But the police just saw it as a decadent western show of social disorder and they weren't having it. That is one more reason I don't ever want to live in a Communist country. They have 0% sense of humor.
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