Sunday, May 02, 2010

Haven't seen Avatar? HAVE seen it?

doesn't matter. Best damn movie review EVER.

1 comment:

markm said...

One thing that was repeated several times in the comments seemed a little off to me: that 200 Spaniards could beat the Aztecs and Inca's with 16th Century technology, so why couldn't those mercenaries handle the giant smurfs? I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong, until I got down to your post about a British sniper named Anderson, who made a kill at over 8,000 feet. I thought, "that danged near doubled Billy Dixon's shot at Adobe Wells", and bingo.

The Aztecs and Incas were defeated handily by something like classic chess strategy because they had kings. Cortez and Pizzaro bored straight in and captured the kings, and it was all over. OTOH, it took decades to beat the plains Indians, although their military organization was ludicrous - precisely because of that lack of military or civil organization. You might persuade the Indians currently in your hands that they had lost, but that meant nothing to all the others.

In the end, it wasn't the military that beat them. When protecting wagon trains across the plains became the Army's job in the 1840's, they soon found that the best tactic was bribery, occasionally backed up by a bloody revenge when Indian bands reneged - but at some risk of being ambushed and wiped out themselves. (Custer wasn't the only one; look up Fetterman, for instance.)

It was Billy Dixon and all the other buffalo-robe hunters that finally defeated the plains Indians. They took out their food supply, and then the Indians had to settle down on reservations and beg for white man's beef.