“Avatar” Is a Steaming Pile of Sith
I have no plans to see this movie. But that doesn’t prevent me from commenting on it.
As an English major, the primary thing I am taught is the art of connection: connecting disparate threads, turning ideas over and around to see what they look like in a different light.
When I saw the commercials for James Cameron’s 15-years-in-the-making film opus, Avatar , the first connection I made was “This is Dances With Wolves with Blue People.” The second connection I made was “oh boy, here comes the ‘noble savage’ trope. ”
The infinitely interesting website “TV Tropes” defines a trope as “a conceptual figure of speech, a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly.” I think that’s a really good definition.
Within Western culture, liberals have fetishized the concept of the Noble Savage™, the idea that Modern Civilization (patent pending) is Evil, that technology has had a corrupting influence on the human soul.
We see strains of this primitivism in the radical liberalism of the Unabomber’s manifesto (“The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race” ), the socially acceptable eco-terrorist movement , or the creation of plans about how Western civilization can be destroyed from the inside .
In the movie, the alien planet Pandora is rich in a resource that us Earthers desperately need to survive, a material unironically called “Unobtainium .” The Earthers’ “Resource Development Administration” declares all-out war against the native Na’vi to get this Unobtainum with the “Avatar program”—a human consciousness remotely controls a Na’vi, as Pandora’s atmosphere is unbreathable by humans.
The main character is recruited into the Avatar program, and infiltrates the tribe of nine-foot-tall Noble Savages, and ends up switching sides to fight the humans’ plan to enact a tacky World Trade Center-like attack on the Na’vi “Home Tree,” complete with human gusto-filled descriptive phrases such as “pre-emptive [attacks] to fight terror with terror.”
In case you don’t get the analogy, we (the humans) are the Bad Guys who are going to attack the “Tower” that the Noble Savages hold dear. In other words, humans are attacking the environment with technology, and it’s analogous to 9/11. Americanism is terrorism, in other words.
This ham-fisted anti-Americanism in the movies is hardly new, though.
If you recall, in the movie Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, there was much tongue-wagging about whether or not the Big Bad Darth Sidious/Chancellor Palpatine and his actions were meant to be taken to be analogues to President George W. Bush.
When asked by the Ottawa Sun , actor Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) replied that the movie “absolutely […] takes metaphoric shots at the war-mongering politics of U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and the two George Bushes.”
Christensen, who has all the acting acumen of a 2×4, went on to say that “I think for that reason the French will be really responsive to it. I think they’ll get it. They’ll get the political commentary and the subtext. Anakin says: ‘If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy!’ I think they’ll love it."
In Sith , Palpatine used a manufactured war to gain dictatorial power, and in later movies went on to dissolve the movie universe’s version of Congress, as the Galactic Senate was resisting him on certain measures.
At this point, I think President Obama is closer to "dissolving the Senate"—making the Legislative Branch irrelevant and impotent —than Bush ever was.
No one should be surprised that Hollywood liberals hate America and Western Civilization, nor should anyone be surprised that Hollywood liberals such as James Cameron or George Lucas use their artificial elevation as commanders of movie industry to espouse their anti-Western viewpoints in the form of their “visions.”
That doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about it, though.
[Crossposted at your one-stop shop for Ohio and national politics news, Athens Runaway . ]