Sunday, May 7, 2017

- Woe Unto Rufus Tranquilus

HBO’s Rome was one my all time favorite pieces of moving picture entertainment. Great character after great character, clever writing, a general adherence to the actual history as we know it, and mounds of interesting detail thrown in. What’s more than that, I think it stays true to the basic nature of men and women.

In the video below from the series, we see truths about everything. The truth about power, the truth about alliances, and the truth about the consequences of allowing women in government. More, I’m afraid, than I have to go into today.

In this scene, if you don’t know the history, the newly allied former enemies of Marc Antony, and Julius Caesars son Octavian, are plotting how to seize the remaining power they need to unite the Roman Empire, from Brutus and Cassius, in the drama after Caesar’s death. The woman plays an interesting role. She is Polly Walker playing Atia – niece to Julius Caesar, mother to Octavian, and Lover to Antony.

She has no official power of course except the power to influence the men near her, but that manifest enormous power in the series, as I’m sure it did in real life. If women would simply stick to their strengths they would ‘officially’ be in charge of nothing, but actually be in charge of everything. Like that line from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, “The man is the head of the household, but the woman is the neck, and can turn the head wherever she wants.”

But Atia isn’t worried about consolidating power, or uniting the Republic. She’s worried about her own solipsistic nature, and the people she likes and doesn’t like. This is what you get when you let women make decisions. In the end it’s always about them, and how they feel – usually bout themselves.

Anyway, I think of this bit every time I see he government trying to ‘do something’. “Woe unto Rufus Tranquilus.” I wonder who will be playing the part of Rufus Tranquilus in today’s drama’s around Washington? Based on the last 30 years, I’d say me and people like me. But you never know.


Lt. Edmund Exley said...

Loved Rome. That and Deadwood, two of my all time favorites.

Tom said...

Until I researched it I thought Al from Deadwood was a made up character with a goofy play on his name. Al Swear-Engine? He certainly produced swears often enough. But... he was an actual guy from the actual Deadwood.

Funny thing about that series. I had read that HBO wanted to syndicate it like they had the Sopranos, but when they cut out all that swearing, nudity, and other NSF AMC network content, they didn't have enough of the show left to syndicate. That changed the economics of the production, and is why they had to terminate it after year three, even though it was quite popular and had a total of 5 seasons planned.

True or not, it's a good story.