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Avatar's Savage Message

• The Atlas Society

5 Comments in Response to

Comment by Don Cline
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I have always liked James Cameron's work (Terminator, etc.), but IMHO, with Avatar-3D he has outdone himself by more than a quantum jump.  I just saw Avatar in 3D about thirty minutes ago, and it is, bar none, the most visually beautiful, visually stunning movie I have ever seen.    Listen, I've read some of the critiques of this film by what must be sour-faced cynics who critique it to death, complaining variously that it's all about "white guilt over how we treated the indians or the negroes or the wolves or some such," and/or it is a rehash of the tired old environmentalism theme about how capitalism rapes the earth and destroys the people and it's going to destroy the world, and/or it is not "Christian" enough or "Biblical" enough because it pushes "Hollywood's pagan themes" of pantheism, the "Earth Mother," or some such rot.  Oh, give it a rest, can't you?  What a bunch of psychobabble!  It's a movie, for crying out loud.  it's not a philosophical treatise or foundation for some new religion.  But it is very entertaining and enjoyable.    Let me tell you what I think:  Yes, it is about a greedy corporation using military power to do what it wants and take what it wants by force and kill anything or anyone standing in its way -- in fact, I saw obvious parallels with white Christianity's treatment of "heathen indians" in the early years of our nation -- but that has been a speculative fiction (and even factual) theme for a century or more, and it is a valid one that strikes a chord in people.  I think it is ironic that these cynics who complain about its anti-capitalist message are the same people complaining about Monsanto's hybrid seed program, corporate pollution of the environment, and so forth.  Capitalism may be the best economic-driven liberty system we've found yet, but immoral thugs who hide behind limited liability to destroy lives for a profit have made capitalism a legitimate target.    I'm not opposed to capitalism; I'm opposed to any system in which the decision-makers who cause harm are shielded by law from accountability for their decisions.  It was called feudalism at one time, and should be kicked out again with extreme prejudice.    I have to say a word about the pseudo-religious objections to the movie:  In my view, God is quite capable -- more than anyone on this planet, including myself, could possibly conceive -- of encompassing and being the very totality of every belief system that has ever existed or ever will exist, including pantheism, "Gaia," the alleged "Earth Mother," a.k.a. "Mother Nature" that even Christians discuss even-handedly.  (I exclude "evil," of course, but defining evil in the generalities of religion is above my pay grade.)  There is nothing wrong with honoring life in all living things, which is a fundamental tenet of pagan religions -- more so, I regret to say, than some versions of Christianity.    It is one awesome movie, and I recommend seeing it in the 3D version.  It is incredibly good 3D; at times you'd swear burning ash is falling on the audience, and when the camera looks over a cliff you have to fight the reflex to move back from the edge!  The aerial dogfights are phenomenal, and so are the environmentals.  I was very impressed.    (Do remember to wear the right glasses, issued to you at the door.  For the first ten minutes I couldn't figure out why everything was a dark double image, until I realized I was wearing my sunglasses.)  --Don Cline   
Comment by Valerie Protopapas
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My husband HAD to see this film so I went, expecting all the worst about nutty environmentalist tree-hugging and the tale of Nasty White Man vs. Noble Native. But it didn't happen that way for me. True, there was a LOT of environmental propaganda - tree spirits and the like - but it seemed more a "Dances with Wolves" in outer space rather than a crude condemnation of all things white and American. And, in fact, as a Christian, I take seriously our stewardship of the planet as opposed to the present environmental movement which is run by the left and cares far more about power to the government than saving the earth.

On the whole, the film was very much a colorful reiteration of the fate of the American Indian at the hands of the American Government and, frankly, there is no way that that situation can be "cleaned up" to favor the Government!  Was there political correctness? To a certain extent. Two of the "earthling" heroes were women and the villains of the piece were a corporate bully and a sociopath Colonel (both white males) - but there were male heroes too - and they were - surprise, surprise! - white. 

To me, the main theme was distinctly PRO-American - or at least the America of the Founders rather than the Empire we became after the War of Secession. It was a matter of the rights of people NOT to be coerced at the point of a gun into giving up their property and their sovereignty and to bow down before a rapacious Central Government offering them worthless trinkets in return for their national soul. As much as it was an "Indian" thing, it was also very much a "Southern" considering what happened to the people and states of the South when they tried to leave an ever expanding collectivist nation whose power would be centered in Washington rather than in the States and the People as the Founding Fathers had determined within the Constitution. 

Frankly, I enjoyed AVATAR. It did have its "messages" that will be applauded by the left, but if one watches with discernment, it has messages that will applauded by the "right" as well - or at least that segment of the right that does not believe that "America" is always right - right or wrong and that things diametric to the Constitution are fine as long as they're done by "our side". Patriotism does not mean accepting every evil that is imposed upon us by those who wrap themselves in the flag. As a People, we have to be discerning.

Comment by Powell Gammill
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Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Comment by Tony Migchelbrink
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 I agree with Ernest's comment about the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, you should. Here's my take on a lot of the reviews I've read about Avatar including the one from this article...

Neo-cons have a real problem with this movie. While they harp on the themes of nature vs industry, spirituality vs secularism etc, I think the thing that really pisses them off and that they never mention is the theme of private property. The theme is present in the fact that the Na'vi had a moral right to their home regardless of what substance was underneath it. The invading company used military force to take their home from them and trying to rationalize this theft because of the seeming lack of technical development of the Na'vi is just a lame attempt to excuse the US government of the moral verdict due it's world-wide imperialism.

Comment by Ernest Hancock
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Saw it... liked it. The 3D technology will bring a wave of new movies and remakes with another layer of 'engagement' for the audience.

The 'Mother Earth/Gia' theme was well done without angering me,... and since it was another whole planet with an entirely new set of conditions we were exploiting the message was easier to relay without earthly concerns.

I didn't have a problem with the message. "There are those that just want to be left alone,... and there are those that just won't leave them alone".

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