Sunday, August 2, 2015

My kingdom for a chainsaw!

640 tree huggers

h/t: American Digest

In Defense of White Dudes

A wonderful observation of geopolitical and cultural reality by the Diplomad 2.0 which the Left will never have the cojones to admit. Friggin' freakin' A, dudes!
________________________________________________________________________________
The Diplomad 2.0: In Defense of White Dudes

On at least one prior occasion I stated my antipathy toward the subject of race and the progressives' incessant calls to talk about race,
Unlike liberals who see what they believe, conservatives tend to believe what we see. We do not see a country in the grip of racial tension, at least not until the charlatans begin to act. I always harken back to my years in Sri Lanka; now, my friends, there was a country ripped open by a genocidal ethnic hatred stirred up by politicians. I saw the same process in Guyana and throughout much of the Caribbean: ordinary people getting along until rabble rousers arrive and drive wedges between them. 
In sum, we have had way too many conversations about race. Let's stop talking about race, stop giving opportunities to those who would divide us.
Let me be blunt: I find that discussions of race quickly get boring, idiotic, inconclusive, and, often, verbally and even physically violent. Race tells you very little if anything about a person and his or her attributes except, perhaps, for some inconsequential physical ones. (Culture is a much more interesting topic, but, progressives don't want to talk about that.) To keep pushing the topic of race can and will force even the most tolerant and open of people (as discussed here, for example) eventually to reach their limit and fight back. As mentioned in the citation above, I have seen that phenomenon personally and it is not a pretty sight.

In sum, little or no positive purpose gets served by discussing race. "Conversations" about race in Western countries become one-way progressive harangues deriding white people and their "privilege," calls for more government action in the name of "social justice," and, of course, more power for the progressive elites. In our befuddled times, such "conversations" get infused with yet another noxious theme, to wit, "white male patriarchy." White Christian Dude racism and sexism meld into one huge pulsating Death Star that requires, you guessed it, more legislation, more government control, more censorship, more repression, and more of all the other hallmarks of progressivism to defeat it.

So, of course, having said that we should not talk about race and its associated sin sexism, I will discuss race and sex, well, mostly I will rant about White Dudes. The contributions of "Pale Dudismo" are considerable, worth recalling, and--dare I say?--defending without shame. That, I will do.

I am a proud White Dude. Mind you, I say this as somebody who had zero ancestors on the Mayflower, in addition, nobody in my family tree was a Viking, or sat in King Arthur's CourtI am ethnically an Ibero-North African-Jew whom some might consider, at best, only a member of the White Dude Junior Varsity Team. To those "some," I would say, "Hey, don't be too picky about your allies." At a minimum, Dudes, if Elizabeth Warren can be Cherokee,  Rachel Dolezal black, Bruce Jenner a woman, Al Sharpton a Reverend, and Donald Trump a Republican, well, I think you should let me into the White Dude Club. Deal done? OK.

White Christian Dudes (WCDs)--especially English-speaking ones--make the best countries and civilizations. Horrors! There. I've put the spotlight on the elephant in the Race Conversation Amphitheater.

Let me crank up the wattage on that spotlight: The peoples of the world want to live where White Christian Dudes (WCD) hold sway. Here in our own increasingly frazzled USA, the anti-WCD, PC elite want us to forget that White Christian Dudes founded our country. Look at the Declaration of Independence; you won't see too, too many Mohammeds or Moishes among the signatories--sorry to report that none of my relatives signed-- and, likewise, with the drafters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers, all of them British and the epitome of White Christian Dudes, drew their moral and philosophical outlook, their concern for human rights and limited government, not from Asian or African philosophers, but from British, French, and Greek philosophers--all White Dudes, most of them Christian. Were our Founding Dudes perfect? Nope. Did they tolerate slavery, albeit reluctantly, when they should not have? Yes. White Christian Dudes can act out of step with their own principles. They are human. Yes, some White Christian Dudes from Europe ended up collaborating with African and Muslim Dudes to traffic in slaves. White Christian Dudes, however, do their own policing. It was overwhelmingly White Christian Dudes, we should note, who laid down their lives to end slavery. In more recent times, it was overwhelmingly White Christian Dudes who tore down European Nazism, liberated the concentration camps, and, by the way, also defeated racist Japanese Shinto militarism, freeing millions of Chinese, Filipinos, Malays, Koreans, and others from a brutal existence. It also was largely White Dudes, most of them Christian and Republican, who dismantled the Democrats' Jim Crow regime in the American South. White Christian Dudes gave America a new commitment to freedom and equal justice.

Around the world we see that just about everybody wants to live with the White Christian Dudes. We see this drive to live with White Christian Dudes every day along our southern border; Australians see it on their coasts and in the changing make up of their cities; Britons in the unceasing wave of migrants besieging their island. Canada's beautiful Vancouver in even more beautiful British Columbia has become a largely Asian city. Everywhere, it seems, the civilization built by White Christian Dudes is the magnet. Non-WCDs don't leave; my family certainly didn't. 

White Dudes--most Christian, many Jewish--invented our modern world. The technology, the medicines, the engineering marvels, the stunning scientific discoveries, the great art and literature, etc., are all products of White Dudes, thank you very much. Even the unhinged feminists who seem to be everywhere spout a degraded form of Marxism--and, uh, Marx was a White Dude . . . most of us White Dudes are not too proud of him.

The mad progressives of our era create and promote all sorts of cryptids: the White Christian Dude as rapist, as racist mass murderer, as hater and killer of gays, as denier of women's rights, as all around abuser of women (poor little gals can't handle that liquor, doncha know?) The real world, of course, does not see White Christian Dudes that way. As I have noted, that world wants to live under the blessings of White Christian Dude rule. Why else do they come in such huge numbers every day to WCD countries?

One more elephant: if progressives get their wish and destroy White Christian Dude civilization, where will Third World migrants go? If, for example, the USA becomes like Mexico, why would Mexicans and Central Americans come here? If Australia becomes another Asian country, why would Asians risk their lives to go live there? Would Chinese immigrants want to live in a Third World pit? They can stay home for that.

I like being a White Dude. Long live White Christian Dude rule! It's the only hope for the rest of us . . .

h/t: American Digest

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trading Doomsday, by Ol' Remus

This just in. Crisply-written update from the future.

9-11, Boston and other mass murders say government can't defend us. 

By declining to inconvenience the criminal mobs which assaulted Ferguson and Baltimore, government showed they won't defend us. The attacks on military installations show government won't defend itself. The authorities have revealed themselves for what they are, gutless and spineless, promising what they can't, or won't, deliver and bullying the blameless for their failure. This is full-on "banana republic". The people have taken notice. Lesson learned. We'll rely on ourselves.

It's no mere coincidence gun sales routinely set new records, nearly doubling between 2010 - 2013 alone. Ammunition is in chronically short supply. Women, formerly reliable supporters of confiscatory gun laws, are arming themselves at a rate half again that of men, in fact, it's not unusual to see women at shooting ranges as instructors. Courses in self defense are increasingly popular, outright combat training isn't far behind, private ammo stockpiles are proliferating, reloading is becoming common and neighborhood alliances are forming. Survivalism is now mainstream. We're preparing for the worst.

As tensions increase any convenient division will serve as a fault line.  This is an image of ISIS violence

We pretty much know what the worst is too. Put in antiseptic terms it's economic and civil collapse, but it's really the murderous "can't happen here" bloody maelstroms we saw in Europe during much of the 1940s, again in the genocidal Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and currently in Syria and Ukraine. Some of us have seen the worst first hand, others in "viewer discretion is advised" video, in hi-def, at ground level where people actually live. Our 'worst' would be much the same, except without the subtitles.

So, what are all those guns and sweaty training exercises good for? Certainly not for taking on an armored division, say the hecklers, with a sneer. No indeed, nor for taking on any outfit with artillery or air support. They're good for what they've always been good for, taking out a bad guy with a gun. In case it needs saying, a good guy armed only with a first-rate argument for Jeffersonian self-rule will lose to a bad guy with a gun. That's what it comes down to. It always does. And there will be plenty of bad guys with guns.

The police will not respond to 911 calls because they have bigger issues to deal with.  Image of drug gang (cartel) violence.
Those who lived to tell about it say gangs are the main threat in a societal collapse, ethnic gangs being the worst. Think Crips and Bloods and MS13. Their competition won't be you, it will be gangs of opportunity made up of everyday criminals, perhaps some rogue military and police, all defending their turf and battling for more. Add fanatical partisans like ISIS. There's your basic bad guys with guns. It gets worse. Throw in freelance psychopaths—hobbyist torturers and recreational killers, mix with a steady influx of military grade weapons, RPGs and the like, then subtract any form of effective order. Everywhere outside your door, assuming you have a door, is a No Go Zone.

Arming yourself is necessary but not enough. The bad news is, you have to go into that zone because you still have to eat. There's no workaround. You won't buy your way out of it. Survivors of civil collapse tell us gold and silver are useful at the beginning, and for bribes in the short window of time when there are authorities to bribe. Afterward precious metals are wanted in quantities you're not likely to have, by people too far away to be relevant. It's not wanted by people who are picking at the cracks in their floors for every last crumb. Barter sets in quickly. The unvarying long-term demand is for high calorie food, especially canned meat. Rice and flavorings are popular as well. MREs are good as gold. Not far behind is comfort stuff, coffee in particular, and tobacco, cigarettes mainly, traded by ones and twos. Also near the top of the list are candles and batteries in common sizes. Oddly, medical supplies, guns and ammunition aren't often mentioned.

Not like this
The prudent trader doesn't go around in cammies and tactical gear, he becomes the "grey man", uninteresting, difficult to describe, easy to forget. He looks like a nobody with nothing of value. He presents himself as a guy who can get things, not as a guy who has things. He trades in small quantities as opportunities arise. His stuff is always as promised, the brand names middling-good. He prefers to meet at neutral locations and trades only a few times with the same person—the risk of ambush grows with each encounter. He may have a security partner shadowing him.

The survivalist may consider putting together a "grey man" kit. Such a kit would include plain, durable pants and shirts, in quiet browns or greens; a jacket, light but lined, with a rain hood and inside pockets, nondescript, in a subdued neutral color, with no graphics. Top it off with a plain baseball cap and a small backpack, the kind kids use for schoolbooks, in a dull color with no logo or gimmicks. Such a kit could get you in and out of a small town largely unnoticed, or a few blocks into a city and back, perhaps even past an unforeseen checkpoint.

The experiences of those who have survived the horrors and desperation of civil collapse are far more valuable than speculation by theorists and doomer novelists. Their best advice is worth keeping in mind: "don't be there when it happens." Going in, most were captivated by events and thought themselves merely observers. They stayed calm. They believed what they were told, it was just a rough spot, that the authorities would soon get things back to normal. Each new calamity seemed as bad as it could get. Then it got worse.

When they finally understood they were trapped in an unstoppable freefall, events moved faster than they could adapt. Absolute collapse overtook them. What they had—in their physical possession—was all they were going to have. There was no way out, and even if there were, they had nowhere safe to go. The lesson is to be prudent, be suspicious, trust your own senses, have a prepared bugout location and get there before self-evacuation becomes as dangerous as staying put—better a week too early than a minute too late. And stay away from crowds.

http://eatonrapidsjoe.blogspot.com/2015/07/trading-doomsday-guest-post-by-remus.html

Friday, July 24, 2015

Times Square Protest Against Obama's Unconditional Surrender to Iran

Thousands of people protest in Times Square the bogus Iran nuclear deal, photos of which America's lying mainstream media have not been posted in ANY newspaper anywhere in the USA. There's nothing the US media won't do to protect their darling little cokehead Barry Soetoro. Pathetic.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Truth About the US Democratic Party


The Democratic Party is the most repressive, dishonest political party in the Western world. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

GLADIATOR, Part 1


GLADIATOR
by David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson

01 EXT. BATTLEFIELD IN GERMANIA. DAY.

A hand is passing over a field of ripe, waist-high grass, ready for harvest. (Red-gold, bright earth tone). Very peaceful.

MEDIUM on MAXIMUS, a grim expression, looking into the frame. (Blue, dark tone.)

He sees a bird, small and indifferent to what is occurring around it, and smiles.

PULL BACK to Maximus walking alone through an empty battlefield, smoke rising from charred tree stumps. The campaign has been going on for some time.

LONG SHOT on mounted troops riding by.

MEDIUM on MARCUS AURELIUS, standing on a hillside, among a company of Praetorian guards, surveying the preparations on the battlefield.

MEDIUM on Maximus walking among the infantry, greeting soldiers

MAXIMUS
(smiling)
Lean and hungry. 
(nodding to the enemy side)
Nothing yet?

QUINTUS
Not a sign.

MAXIMUS
How long has he been gone?

QUINTUS
Nearly 2 hours. 

2nd OFFICER
Will they fight, sir?

MAXIMUS
We shall know soon enough.

QUINTUS
(calling out to nearby soldiers)
Soldier! I ordered you to move those catapults forward, they’re out of range.

MAXIMUS
The range is good.

QUINTUS
A danger to the cavalry --

MAXIMUS
-- is acceptable. Agreed?

Sudden unearthly shouts of one of the barbarian leaders come from the forest.

A horse with a rider emerges from the trees, and walks towards the Roman forces.

MAXIMUS
(as if to himself)
What do they say now.

The horse is carrying a Roman soldier's headless body, the scout who was sent out 2 hours ago to reconnoiter. More shouts of other chieftains emerge from across the battlefield as the horse gallops between the Roman squadrons.

QUINTUS
(to Maximus)
People should know when they’re conquered.

The shouts rise to a scream. One long sentence in the ancient German language.

One of the barbarian chieftains walks out onto the field.

Maximus, kneeling, takes up a handful of earth and rubs it between his hands. The action has a ritual air. He glances at a dog, sitting on its haunches, which returns his look.

MAXIMUS
(looking up)
Would you, Quintus? Would I?

He brushes off his hands, stands, and shakes hands with Quintus and other officers standing nearby.

MAXIMUS
(to Quintus)
Strength and honor.

QUINTUS
(to nearby officer)
Strength and honor.

OTHERS
Strength and honor.

Maximus mounts his horse. The dog looks up, aware his master is preparing to leave.

Maximus looks down at Quintus and the other officers.

MAXIMUS
At my signal, unleash Hell.

He rides off, the dog running at his side.

MEDIUM on Marcus Aurelius, observing closely as the troops are mustered.

QUINTUS (O/S)
Load the catapults!

Large arrows are lowered into the war machines.

QUINTUS (O/S)
Infantry, form up for advance.

Groups of soldiers run forward.

LIEUTENANT (O/S)
Archers ready!

SARGEANT (O/S)
Archers! Nock!

They place arrows against the bowstrings of their bows.

ARCHERY LEADER
Nock!

Maximus rides into the forest on the Roman side. He rides up to the center of the cavalry and looks around at his men.

MAXIMUS
(shouting)
Comrades!
(soldiers cheer)
Three weeks from now I will be harvesting my crops.
Imagine where you will be, and it will be so!

(pauses)
Hold the line! Stay with me!
If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled --

(joking)
-- for you are in Elysium --
(laughter)
-- and you are already dead!
(laughter rises)
(pauses)
Alas! What we do in life … echoes in eternity!

Out on the field, catapult winches are turned.

On the enemy side, an archer dips a nocked arrow into a fire, and shoots it. The flaming arrow crosses over and lands on the Roman side.

Rows of Roman archers shoot their first wave of arrows.

LONG on the phalanxes of Roman troops moving forward toward the forest.

LIEUTENANT (O/S)
Archers ignite!

A long line of Roman archers lower their nocked arrows into a shallow firetrench at their feet.

Catapults are fired.

Flaming arrows are shot, and land in the foliage of trees, starting fires.

Large catapult arrows land in the forest, impaling warriors, smashing into the trunks of trees.

MEDIUM on Marcus Aurelius up on the hillside, his gaze following the incendiary missiles.

LONG on the forest, where pockets of fire have sprung up.

Maximus and the cavalry ride into battle.

MAXIMUS
Roma victor!

Maximus, mounted on his horse, kills two of the enemy.

He cleaves an enemy soldier’s head, the blade of his sword lodging itself in a tree-trunk.

MAXIMUS (cont’d)
(shouting above the din of battle)
Hold the line!

Maximus is knocked off his horse. In close combat, he falls, and fights his way back up.

MAXIMUS (cont’d)
(shouting)
Hold … the … line!

The battle rages on.

Maximus is again knocked down, and again fights his way back.

MAXIMUS (O/S)
Stay with me!
(louder)
Stay with me!

One of the barbarian leaders is killed.

The dog attacks one of the enemy chieftains.

Maximus raises his arms.

MAXIMUS (O/S)
Roma victor!


02 EXT. FOREST. DAY.

A heavily fortified war-coach, drawn by 4 horses, is moving through the forest.


03 INT. IMPERIAL WAR-COACH. DAY.

An aristocratic pair, a young man and woman, are reclining on cushions, on opposite sides of the coach.

COMMODUS
Do you think he’s really dying?

LUCILLA
He’s been dying for 10 years.

COMMODUS
If he hadn’t really dying, he wouldn’t have sent for us.

LUCILLA
Maybe he just misses us.

COMMODUS
And the senators. He wouldn’t have sent for --

LUCILLA
-- Please! Two weeks on the road and your incessant scheming are hurting my head.

Commodus gets up and sits on her side of the coach.

COMMODUS
He’s made his decision. He’s going to announce it. He will make me … The first thing I shall do when … Is honor him with games worthy of his majesty.

He smiles. She smiles back.

LUCILLA
And now the first thing I shall do is have our bath.

A sudden knocking on the coach door.

DRIVER
We’re almost there, sir. 

The door is opened. Commodus emerges into the daylight, squinting.

OFFICER
Sire.

COMMODUS
Where’s the Emperor?

OFFICER
He’s at the front, sire. He’s been gone for 19 days. The wounded are still coming in.

COMMODUS
(to his adjutant)
My horse.

The horse is quickly brought up.

OFFICER
My lord.


04 EXT. BATTLEFIELD. DAY.

CLOSE on Maximus’ sword, still stuck in the tree.

Maximus pulls it out.

The Emperor Marcus Aurelius approaches.

AURELIUS
You have proved your valor yet again, Maximus. Let us hope for the last time.

MAXIMUS
There’s no one left to fight, sire.

AURELIUS
There’s always someone left to fight.
How can I reward Rome’s greatest general?


MAXIMUS
(hesitates)
Let me go home.

AURELIUS
Ah, home!

Commodus rides at the head of a mounted imperial guard, coming down onto the battlefield.

TROOPS
(cheering)
Roma victor!

Maximus and Aurelius look round at the army.

MAXIMUS
They honor you, Caesar.

AURELIUS
No, Maximus, it’s for you. They honor you.

Commodus arrives, dismounts and walks quickly towards them.

COMMODUS
Have I missed it? Have I missed the battle?

AURELIUS
You have missed the war.

COMMODUS
Father, congratulations. I shall sacrifice a hundred bulls to honor your triumph.

AURELIUS
(drily)
Save the bulls.
Honor Maximus. He won the battle.


COMMODUS
(turns to Maximus)
General. Rome salutes you. And I embrace you as a brother. It has been too long, my old friend.

MAXIMUS
(bows his head)
Your Highness. 

Commodus turns back to Aurelius, taking hold of his father’s elbow.

COMMODUS
Here, father, take my arm.

Aurelius gently removes his arm.

AURELIUS
I think it is time for me to leave.

Aurelius mounts his horse. Maximus comes over and helps Aurelius with his stirrup. Aurelius leans down.

AURELIUS
(to Maximus)
So much for the glory of Rome.

Commodus watches with a cold expression.


05 INT. OFFICERS’ TENT. NIGHT.

Maximus walks up to the exterior forecourt of the main tent. Inside a celebration of the victory is in progress.

OFFICER (O/S, bgd dialogue)
It was 3 of our legions against 4000 of their …

He greets several soldiers, and enters the tent.

MAXIMUS
(calling out)
Faro, you’re still alive! Your luck is still with you.

FARO
And you, General! The gods still have a sense of humor!

Maximus laughs.

He turns to a washstand and washes his hands.

He glances up and sees Aurelius, seated on a throne, speaking with Commodus and several officers.

He walks on among the soldiers and political guests.

In an adjacent reception area of the tent, Lucilla and another woman of the imperial court are looking through a flap in the tent. Lucilla nods, pointing out Maximus.

Maximus walks up to the two officers from the battle, Quintus and a second officer.

2ND OFFICER
(to Maximus)
General.
Back to barracks, general?


MAXIMUS
Back to my wife, my son, my harvest.

QUINTUS
Maximus, the farmer. I still have difficulty imagining that.

MAXIMUS
You know, dirt cleans off much easier than blood, Quintus.

Commodus approaches. Two senators, standing nearby, turn as the Emperor’s son joins the soldiers.

COMMODUS
(to Maximus)
There he is.

MAXIMUS
Your Highness.

COMMODUS
(greeting)
Senator Gaius, Senator Falco.
(to Maximus)
Beware of Gaius. He’ll pour honeyed potion in your ear, and you’ll wake up one day and all you’ll say is: “Republic. Republic. Republic.”

GAIUS
Well, why not? Rome was founded as a republic.

COMMODUS
Yes, and in a republic the senate has the power. But of course, Senator Gaius is not influenced by that.

FALCO
Where do you stand, general? Emperor or Senate?

MAXIMUS
A soldier has the advantage of being able to look his enemy in the eye, Senator.

GAIUS
Well, with an army behind you, you could be extremely political.

COMMODUS
(to Maximus)
I warned you. I shall save you.
(nods to the others)
Senators.

Commodus walks alongside Maximus.

COMMODUS
Rome may soon need good men like you.

MAXIMUS
(cautiously)
How may I be of service, Highness?

COMMODUS
You’re a man who knows what it is to command. You give your orders, the orders are obeyed and the battle is won. But these senators, they scheme and squabble and flatter and deceive.
(moves closer to Maximus)
Maximus, we must save Rome from the politicians. Can I count on you when the time comes?

MAXIMUS
(resolutely)
Highness, when your father releases me I intend to return home.

COMMODUS
Well, no one’s earned it more. But don’t get too comfortable. I may call on you before long.
Lucilla’s here, did you know? She’s not forgotten you.

(pauses)
And now you’re the great man.


06 INT. ADJACENT RECEPTION AREA OF TENT. NIGHT.

Aurelius walks in, turns and sees Lucilla and the other woman, still looking through into the reception area. The other woman steps back, bowing. Lucilla turns and faces her father.

AURELIUS
If only you had been born a man. What a Caesar you would have made.

LUCILLA
(bows her head)
Father.

AURELIUS
(pensive)
You would have been strong. I wonder, would you have been just?

LUCILLA
(matter of fact)
I would have been what you taught me to be. 

AURELIUS
Ah. 

They start walking along together.

AURELIUS
How was your journey?

LUCILLA
Long. Very comfortable. Why have I come?

AURELIUS
I need your help, with your brother.

LUCILLA
(smiling)
Of course!

AURELIUS (cont’d)
He loves you. He always has. And he will need you now, more than ever. 
(brusquely)
Enough of politics. Let us pretend that you’re a loving daughter, and I am a good father.

LUCILLA
This is a pleasant fiction, isn’t it?


07 EXT. FIELD FORTIFICATIONS. DAY.

Maximus is out walking among the troops, greeting soldiers.

He comes to the stables, and strokes the mane of one of his horses. He smiles.

At the sound of swords CLASHING, he turns and looks on as Commodus, with a group of several soldiers, all stripped to the waist, practices the sequence of slashing movements in a swordfight. Maximus pauses, watching.


08 INT. EMPEROR MARCUS AURELIUS’ QUARTERS. DAY.

Marcus Aurelius is writing at his desk, a scholar at work, completely absorbed.

Maximus, in formal general’s attire, enters and stands at attention.

MAXIMUS
You sent for me, Caesar?

Aurelius continues writing. His infirmity is apparent.

MAXIMUS
Caesar?

Aurelius speaks familiarly, picking up the thread of a debate they have enjoyed together before.

AURELIUS
Tell me again, Maximus. Why are we here?

MAXIMUS
For the glory of the empire, sire.

AURELIUS
Ah. Hm, I remember.
Do you see that map, Maximus? That is the world which I have created. For twenty-five years I have conquered, spilt blood, expanded the empire. Since I became Caesar I have known four years without war. Four years of peace in twenty! And for what?


He stands and walks round his desk.

AURELIUS (cont’d)
I have brought the sword, nothing more.

MAXIMUS
(protesting)
Caesar, your life is --

AURELIUS
Don’t call me that. 

He walks from this study over towards the reception area.

AURELIUS (cont’d)
Come, please. Come, sit. 

Maximus sits on a bench.

AURELIUS (cont’d)
Let us talk now, very simply, as men. 

Aurelius sits on a sofa.

AURELIUS (cont’d)
Well, Maximus, talk.

MAXIMUS
(respectful, but angry)
Five thousand of my men are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved, two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe that they fought and died for nothing. 

AURELIUS
And what would you believe?

MAXIMUS
They fought for you. And for Rome.

AURELIUS
And what is Rome, Maximus?

MAXIMUS
I’ve seen much of the rest of the world. It is brutal and cruel and dark. Rome is the light.

AURELIUS
Yet you have never been there. You have not seen what it has become. 
(firmly)
I am dying, Maximus. 

Aurelius speaks of things he has clearly reflected on for many years.

AURELIUS (cont’d)
(gently)
When a man sees his end, he wants to know there was some purpose to his life. How will the world speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as the philosopher, the warrior, the tyrant, or --
(hesitates)
-- will I be the emperor who gave Rome back her true self?
(wistfully)
There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it! Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter. 
(moves over beside Maximus)
Maximus, let us whisper now, together, you and I. 
(settling back)
You have a son. Tell me about your home.

Maximus relaxes, warmed by the memory.

MAXIMUS
My house is in the hills above Tejilla, a very simple place. Pink stones warm in the sun, a kitchen garden that smells of herbs in the day, jasmine in the evening. Through the gate is a giant poplar. Figs, apples, pears, and soil, Marcus! Black. Black like my wife’s hair! Grapes on the south slope, olives on the north, wild ponies play near the house, I tease my son he wants to be one! 

AURELIUS
When was the last time you were home?

MAXIMUS
2 years, 264 days from this morning.

AURELIUS
I envy you, Maximus. It’s a good home. Worth fighting for.

Aurelius stands slowly.

AURELIUS
There is one more duty I would ask of you before you go home.

Maximus stands and faces Aurelius, at attention.

MAXIMUS
(formally)
What would you have me do, Caesar?

AURELIUS
(issuing command)
I want you to become the protector of Rome after I die.
I will empower you to one end alone: to give power back to the people of Rome and end the corruption that has crippled it. 

(pauses)
Would you accept this great honor that I have offered?

MAXIMUS
With all my heart, no.

Aurelius reaches out and places his hand on Maximus’ shoulder.

AURELIUS
Maximus, that is why it must be you.

Aurelius drops his hand.

MAXIMUS
Surely a prefect, a senator, somebody who knows the city, who understands her politics?

AURELIUS
But you have not been corrupted by her politics.

Aurelius turns and walks away a few steps.

MAXIMUS
And Commodus?

AURELIUS
(turning back)
Commodus is not a moral man. You have known that since you were young. Commodus cannot rule. He must not rule. 
(wistful)
You are the son I should have had.
(firmly)
Commodus will accept my decision. He knows that you command the loyalty of the army.

Aurelius sits.

MAXIMUS
I need some time, sire.

AURELIUS
Yes, by sunset I hope you will have agreed. Now, embrace me as my son. 
(smiling)
And bring an old man another blanket.


09 EXT. OUTSIDE AURELIUS’ TENT, ADJACENT TO LUCILLA’S. DAY.

Maximus emerges from the imperial tent. He paces, his mind in turmoil over Aurelius’ request.

Lucilla walks out from under the awning of her tent. He turns and sees her.

LUCILLA
My father favors you now.

MAXIMUS
My lady.

LUCILLA
It was not always so.

MAXIMUS
Many things change.

LUCILLA
Many things. But not everything. 

He turns away.

LUCILLA
Maximus, stop. Let me see your face.
(looking more closely at him)
You seem upset.

MAXIMUS
I lost many men.

LUCILLA
What did my father want with you?

MAXIMUS
To wish me well before I leave for home.

He again turns away.

LUCILLA
You’re lying.

He pauses, turning back.

LUCILLA (cont’d)
I could always tell when you were lying because you were never any good at it.

MAXIMUS
I never acquired your comfort with it. 

LUCILLA
True. But then you never had to. Life is much simpler for a soldier. 
(pauses)
Do you think me heartless?

MAXIMUS
I think you have a talent for survival.

He turns away yet again.

LUCILLA
(impatient)
Maximus, stop!
(laughing gently)
Is it really so terrible seeing me again?

MAXIMUS
No, I’m tired from battle.

LUCILLA
It hurts you to see my father so fragile.
(he nods)
Commodus expects my father will announce the succession within days. Will you serve my brother as you’ve served his father?

MAXIMUS
I will always serve Rome.

LUCILLA
You know, I still remember you in my prayers. Oh yes, I pray.

MAXIMUS
I was sad to hear of your husband’s death. I mourned him.

LUCILLA
(quietly)
Thank you.

MAXIMUS
And I hear that you have a son.

LUCILLA
(brightening)
Yes. Lucius. He’ll be nearly 8 years old. 

MAXIMUS
My son is also nearly eight. 
(bowing his head)
I thank you for your prayers.

He turns and leaves.


10 INT. MAXIMUS’ TENT. EVENING.

CICERO, Maximus’ soldier manservant, is washing drinking mugs in the corner of the tent.

Maximus is kneeling before a small shrine.

MAXIMUS
(praying)
Blessed mother, come to me with what the gods desire for my future.
Blessed father, watch over my wife and son with a ready sword.
Know that I only live to hold them again.
Ancestors, I honor you, and I will try to live with the dignity you have taught me.


He picks up two small figurines from the low table before the shrine. One is a carving of a woman, the other a young boy. He kisses the one of the woman, and then places them into a small satchel. It has a ritual air, the conclusion to his prayers.

He stands and sits down in his field chair.

MAXIMUS
Cicero!

Cicero brings Maximus a drink.

CICERO
Sir.

Cicero blows out the candles on the altar to Maximus' ancestors.

MAXIMUS
Do you ever find it hard to do your duty?

CICERO
(reflecting)
Sometimes I do what I want to do, the rest of the time I do what I have to.

MAXIMUS
We may not be able to go home after all.


11 INT. IMPERIAL TENT, ANTECHAMBER TO AURELIUS’ QUARTERS. EVENING.

Commodus walks out from behind a shroud, and approaches one of the Roman busts displayed in this small reception area. He comes up very close to it and touches its face.

Aurelius walks into this formal reception area.

AURELIUS
Are you ready to do your duty for Rome? 

Commodus turns to face the emperor.

COMMODUS
Yes, father.

AURELIUS
You will not be emperor.

COMMODUS
(choking)
Which of the nobles will take my place?

AURELIUS
My powers will pass to Maximus to hold in trust until the Senate is ready to rule once more. Rome is to be a republic again.

COMMODUS
(shocked)
Maximus.

Auelius reaches to stroke the side of Commodus’ face, who leans his head away. Aurelius drops his hand.

AURELIUS
My decision disappoints you?

COMMODUS
(dignified, harsh)
You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues: wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance. As I read the list I knew I had none of them. But I have other virtues. Ambition, that can be a virtue when it drives us to excel. Resourcefulness. 
(voice breaking)
Courage, perhaps not on the battlefield, but there are many forms of courage. Devotion -- to my family. But none of my virtues were on your list.
(near tears)
Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.

Aurelius kneels before his son. A terrible guilt moves across his face.

AURELIUS
Commodus, you go too far.

COMMODUS
(weeping)
I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you. To make you proud. One kind word. One full heart as you pressed me to your chest would be like the sun on my heart for 4000 years. 
(a confused child)
What is it in me you hate so much?

AURELIUS
Commodus.

COMMODUS
All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar … father.

AURELIUS
(reaching up towards his son)
Commodus, your faults as a son is my failure as a father.

Commodus embraces his father’s head, his hands gently holding the older man’s head. Emotion drains from Commodus’ face, as he woodenly pulls Aurelius tightly against his chest.

COMMODUS
And I will go to the whole world until you have heard me.

Commodus’ grip on his father tightens; the son is strangling the father.

Aurelius, flailing, tries to push himself away from Commodus.

Commodus groans deep as his father’s struggling arms slowly go limp. Aurelius dies.


12 INT. MAXIMUS’ TENT. NIGHT.

Maximus wakes suddenly, drawing a dagger by his pillow. Quintus faces him.

QUINTUS
Maximus, the emperor needs you. It’s urgent.


13 INT. AURELIUS’ TENT. NIGHT.

Maximus walks quickly into Aurelius’ bedchamber.

COMMODUS
Amend with me, brother. Our great father is dead.

Maximus walks to the side of Aurelius’ bed, and holds his hand against the Emperor’s forehead, and neck, feeling for a pulse. Commodus stands at the threshold, watching.

Lucilla is standing off to one side, looking on, tears on her cheeks.

MAXIMUS
(evenly)
How did he die?

COMMODUS
The surgeons say there was no pain. His heart gave out as he slept.

Maximus leans down and kisses the corpse on the forehead.

MAXIMUS
(to Aurelius, softly)
Father.

Maximus still does not turn round.

COMMODUS
Your emperor asks for your loyalty, Maximus. Take my hand. I’ll only offer it once.

Maximus turns and looks hard at Commodus, and aside at Lucilla. He does not take Commodus’ hand. He strides out of the room.

MAXIMUS
Quintus!

Quintus hesitates, then follows.

Lucilla steps towards Commodus and forcefully slaps him twice. He does not respond.

She takes his hand, raises it and kisses the imperial ring.

LUCILLA
(grieving, angry, ironic)
Hail Caesar.


14 INT. MAXIMUS’ TENT. NIGHT.

Maximus walks in quickly from the forecourt of his tent. He is putting on his leather field armor.

MAXIMUS
(to Cicero)
I must talk to the senators. Wake them, I need their counsel. Quick, Gaius and Falco.

CICERO
Gaius and Falco.

MAXIMUS
(nodding to the corner)
Sword.

CICERO
Sword.

Quintus strides into Maximus’ tent.

QUINTUS
Maximus, please be careful, that was not prudent.

MAXIMUS
Prudent? The emperor has been slain.

QUINTUS
The emperor died of natural causes.

Maximus looks up at Quintus.

MAXIMUS
Why are you armed, Quintus?

QUINTUS
(calling out)
Guards! 
(to Maximus)
Please don’t fight, Maximus.

Behind the curtain Cicero has started to draw Maximus’ sword.

MAXIMUS
(to Cicero, under his breath)
Don’t.

The guards enter.

QUINTUS
I’m sorry. 
(issuing orders)
Caesar has spoken. Ride until dawn and then execute him.

MAXIMUS
Quintus, look at me. 
(shouting)
Look at me! 
(one soldier to another)
Promise me that you will look after my family.

QUINTUS
Your family will meet you in the afterlife.

MAXIMUS
NO!

Sudden sound of THUNDER as dark clouds move (FAST MOTION) over Maximus’ villa.