As my thousands of regular readers could have probably guessed, I have some major problems with the film “Avatar.” Yeah, I knew it was gonna’ be Pocahontas, but I didn’t realize how terrible the dialogue and race-idiocy was going to be. It was a mash-up between a bunch of old Star Trek episodes: Kirk goes Native American in one episode of The Original Series; in DS9, Major Kira has to get an old man to leave a moon being mined for energy (“Progress”, season 1). But make no mistake, it was nowhere as cool (or humorously cerebral) as anything Star Trek.
I don’t want to rant much, because I’m more pissed off about the news coverage of Haiti right now, but I’ve been planning this post for a couple of days. If you want to read a couple of interesting reviews about “Avatar,” check out the links below:
Armond White @ New York Press http://www.nypress.com/article-20710-blue-in-the-face.html
Annalee Newitz & io9 http://io9.com/5422666/when-will-white-people-stop-making-movies-like-avatar
Personally, what I hated most was the dialogue. I hated the main character, because he never really learned ANYTHING. He didn’t ever learn that land is not to be owned. (“This is our land!” he shouts when rallying the troops.) He never learns to treat other creatures as equals (“You’re mine now!” he tells the mini-dragon that he conquers, in what felt disgustingly close to rape.) The whole movie was this stupid white guy fantasy, told in far too many movies, where, as Newitz says, “white guy manages to get himself accepted into a closed society of people of color and eventually becomes its most awesome member.” And my lord, could James Cameron have been picked more “native” stereotypes for theNa’vi? Newitz writes: ” Avatar is a fantasy about ceasing to be white, giving up the old human meatsack to join the blue people, but never losing white privilege.” Here she names what I hated the most: “Whites still get to be leaders of the natives – just in a kinder, gentler way.” I hated the fact that Jake, the main idiot, somehow gets to be the hero to the naive noble savages. First, we project a VERY Disney-Pocahontas myth of purity on the “natives”, and then we whites claim that purity for ourselves and, finally, become the most pure of all! It makes me want to puke.
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