Nevertheless, I settled for watching it in plain-old, everyday 2-D this past week in my little, hometown of Powell, Wyoming. I suppose we’re just darn lucky to see it with the rest of the world in the same week of its release.
Despite all of the eye-candy special effects, I sat in the theatre wondering if anyone else was picking up on that old and tired story line—the one that we should all know by heart—by now.
If we could put Avatar in a movie classification, besides the predictable sci-fi category, I think it would also fit in nicely with that long list of movies and books that recount the stories of greed, excessive capitalism, power and racism. Dances With Wolves, It’s A Wonderful Life, Remember The Titans, King Kong, and the Star Wars Trilogy are some that come to mind.
The writer of one particular column suggested that there were hidden messages of anti-war, pro-environment and racism in this latest story of underdogs battling an evil empire—that coincidentally looks much like the United States.
If they truly were hidden, they weren’t difficult to find. Even viewing the trailers several weeks ago I detected these messages loud and clear. Yet, I wonder if many viewers (especially American) simply don’t see these messages or only see them in the context of the movie and once it’s over (like church), it’s on to the usual business of mindless and excess consumption in a dog-eat-dog world.
When our civilization lies in its self-inflicted ruins, I wonder if those that survive or those that uncover our soiled tragedy will think of us as even more deserving of our demise given the books and movies like Avatar that warned us of our undoing all along.
On a related note… from James Howard Kunstler’s blog:
“ClimateGate,” the latest excuse for screaming knuckleheads to defend what has already been lost. It is also yet another distraction from the emergency agenda that the United States faces—namely the urgent re-scaling, re-localizing, and de-globalizing of our daily activities.
What seems to be at stake for the knuckleheads is their identity, their idea of what it means to be an American, which boils down to being an organism so specially blessed and entitled that it is excused from paying attention to reality. There were no doubt plenty of counterparts among the Mayans when the weather changed and their crops failed, and certainly the Romans had their share of identity psychotics who doubted reality even when Alaric the Visigoth was hoisting off their household treasure.
Reality doesn’t care if we are on-board with its mandates or not. The human race has to get with whatever program reality is serving up at a particular time. Are we shocked to learn that scientists fight among themselves and cheat as much as congressmen? Does that really change the relationships we understand about parts-per-million of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and the weather?