Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Avatar overload and the "anti" agenda

(Previously published by Blogcritics)

That's all I'm seeing lately. A close-up of a blue face with a yellow cat-like eye staring at me from every bus stop, and 1,001 versions of newspaper advertisements and television commercials extolling the apparently overwhelming need for your own DVD or Blu-ray copy of what has been declared mankind's all-time motion picture achievement. It's Avatar overload. I don't think I've ever witnessed such fawning saturation of the market for any film before this one.
If Avatar had stuck purely to its message of respect for the environment and people's rights, then fine, I might be willing to watch it and perhaps even agree with the sentiment. I have no love or respect for corporations who plunder and ruin the environment for no other good reason than profit. But director James Cameron takes things much further.
Uncle Sam had to get up to his devilish ways and try to destroy everything and everyone on the Avatar planet in order to fulfill a thirsty desire for a rare mineral found there. This storyline is every bit as puerile as it is predictable.
Cameron, like most self-styled Left-wing heroes, conveniently ignores that fact that the United States is to be reckoned with with respect to environmental technology and that the majority of Americans approve of conservation. If Cameron's message was that America was being controlled by some sinister lobby which ensured that the film's fictional administration had to provide the mineral at all costs, that would be one thing. A stretch, but at least some sort of excuse. Instead, Cameron gets all Michael Moore on us, gleefully informing worldwide audiences that America, through its rock-solid belief in capitalism and its armed forces, is always reckless and dangerous.
As one sentinent critic observes: "James Cameron believes that the way forward is to tear down the factories, to tear down the cities, and give up on all mod cons."
Then there's the charge of racism as it pertains to Avatar. That one of the leading human characters, a white researcher, defends the Avatarians, enforces the notion that a fictional race of other people of color should need and rely on white assistance in order to defeat a threat to their way of life.
As this review makes clear, in Avatar, "the narcissistic fantasy of the white hero who leads people of another color in a struggle of liberation presents whites a pleasing images of themselves as saviors rather than oppressors. The racial masquerade is another fantasy solution to white guilt in which the white hero crosses over and pretends to be black or native American."
Gee, let's all smile and hold hands, shall we? This fantasy is very adept at perpetuating the notion that Caucasians—especially Anglo-Saxon ones—are deeply suspect, sinister and even evil unless they turn their backs on and reject their fellow war-like, rampaging whites. Whoever coined the phrase "blue-eyed devil" was a natural at PR and Cameron was only too eager to extrapolate on this theme.
Again, this very conveniently ignores the fact the great majority of environmentalists are, and have been, whites. When you think of a member of Greenpeace, the Sierra Club or Friends of the Earth, what's the first image that pops into your head to define the look of the average member? That's right: I'm thinking Shaggy from Scooby-Doo myself.
(Besides, let's not forget that Avatar's director is the same man who was happy to see several domesticated rats drown in the attempt to perfect a scene in an earlier film of his, The Abyss. Some nature-lover.)
If racism and civil rights is what you're concerned about, you only have to look at the way most Americans have reacted with horror to Arizona's tough anti-illegal immigration law to know that the nation's civil-rights consciousness is stronger than ever. (A completely misguided sense of civil rights outrage, mind you, but surely admirable in the eyes of Cameron clones nonetheless.)
In other words, I'm sick to practically the point of death—surely a good thing according to whackjobs like Cameron on account of my being white—of Avatar due to its only-too-predictable anti-Western, anti-American, anti-white, anti-capitalist bias. There is nothing "pro-" about this film. It has "anti-" written all throughout its screamingly obvious agenda.


goddessdivine said...

I wasn't interested when it hit the theaters, and I have no interest now. I do not wish to promote/support Mr. "I hate America even though it's where I make all my money" Cameron. It also just looks like a dumb movie.

rocslinger said...

I love the hypocritical nature of those who make millions besmirching capitalism. It's good for them to make money but greedy for everyone else.

Cathy, that's me ! said...

This article is quite disappointing. Has the author even seen the movie ? Indeed, this movie is way beyond the traditional good guy vs bad guy movie, or any racism issues. It makes me think of a mix between Walt Disney's Pocahontas and Anne Mac Caffrey's world of Pern and its dragons. The world in itself is a jewel in its beauty... You have the usual battle between good and bad guys, of course, but it comes with a reflexion on how science and violence cannot answer everything, and you have to open yourself to other ways, be able to acknowledge your errors, to make peace within yourself to make peace with other.