Avatar - Granite Grok



“Dances with Wolves” meets the “Lion King,” only instead of hyenas coming to rob the available resources away from the soldier who has gone native and his new BFF’s we get GIJOE Rise Of Cobra meets Blackwater—and maybe toss in a few minutes of Altered States for good measure.  That’s my take on Avatar, which I broke down and bought yesterday on the holiest of holies—that over-commercialized act of environmental nativity appropriately held on Lenin’s Birthday—right after I replaced all my mercury filled curly-cue death lights in the house with cheap and inefficient incandescent bulbs and started a stack of tires on fire in my back yard. 

I’m kidding about the tires. 

All in all it’s a pretty piece of film making that has brought the technology to a new level.  I’m thinking the way George Lucas and Star Wars changed special effects film making.  And I didn’t even see it in 3D.  The visuals are seamless and expansive.  I expect to watch it over and over the way an adolescent boy marvels at a centerfold—minus the staples. 

So it is pretty, but is it just Heidi Montag pretty?  Has Cameron nipped and tucked so much that all we are left with harsh beauty, a pretty face trapped in 168 minutes of sappy pabulum for the modern environmental zeitgeist? 

The story is not all that compelling for anyone that is over the age of thirty and not possessed of big budget recitations of rich liberal guilt built on Kermit the Frogs hallmark conundrum—‘It isn’t easy being Green.’  We’ve seen this repeatedly from Hollywood and it’s tiresome in a “same old whore new dress” kind of way.   But what a dress.  Avatar as a movie is really beautiful.  Even the scary violent creatures look good.  And I suspect that it will inspire (it should) a whole generation of desktop movie-makers the way the British Music invasion inspired millions of budding guitar players. (The one in the 60’s not the 80’s)  But to what end?  

The honest answer is of course a contradiction to the premise of the movie–capitalism.  Cameron took risks, spent hundreds of millions, and now he is reaping the benefit of his vision.  But it is an idea that is out of favor with the kind of people he pals around with—even sans the immoral violence of Cameron’s antagonists.  So can we venerate his version of capitalism over that portrayed in his movie; the violent destructionists whose greed would compel them to deny the Na’Vi of their choices, their freedom, even their lives in pursuit of their goals, or are we confronted with too many problems? 

The environmental movement-of which Cameron is an admitted player–is itself just as destructive.  It uses violence and intimidation to achieve its goals.  It seeks to deny progress and prosperity.  It smears and threatens opponents.  And it willingly chooses the Faustian bargain of government tyranny to confiscate the livelihood of others for its own ends, forsaking freedom and liberty for the agenda. 

It ignores the real costs of the bureaucracy and regulation their endless redress is responsible for, and the individual personal expense to Americans of replacing cheap reliable energy with more expensive unreliable alternatives.  

Environmentalists stew in their own blatant hypocrisy as they demand we prop up wind and solar with tax dollars, then file lawsuits against states and municipalities to prevent these turbines or solar panels from being erected in places that are not half as pretty as Cameron’s Pandora.   

This movement would even starve the third world to stuff less efficient fuels in our tanks to assuage their guilt. 

Meanwhile, foreign countries are tapping reliable carbon resources and causing significantly more harm to their environment than we ever we would, had the movement allowed us to develop them with less impact. 

Finally, the green movement hides from its own lies, ignoring contradictions that challenge their flawed reasoning, while they immortalize green robber-barons whose enormous carbon-foot print–elite jet-set lives continue to reap profits off the backs of the indigenous population while making private government controlled arrangements to reap more at taxpayer expense. 

And Cameron will use some of his profits from Avatar to support this ideology.  I think that’s kind of funny. 

So we have here a corrupt multinational conglomerate based on an institution steeped in impenetrable bureaucracy, headed by unaccountable princes, well-heeled ronin green warriors, and secularist circuit popes that represents everything they have spent the last 30 years destroying.  The difference of course is that it is ok to just bow down to the oppression of their corrupt unaccountable institutions. 

And you’d think I could just once, sit down and enjoy a movie.  I did enjoy it.  I felt a little bit dirty when I woke up the next morning but I didn’t have to fork over cab fare and my favorite T-shirt so we’re good.

So do we ignore the xenophobic Na’vi who would kill strangers unless they receive a sign from God? 

Will vegans be unhappy to know that Cameron’s Fern Gully friends eat meat, and does this send the wrong message to green children? (Only one child per family of course)

Can we live with the free market contradictions of large-foot print multi millionaire capitalists reaping the rewards of their risk on a theme of anti-capitalist anti-oppressor agenda? 

I’m good with it.  Cameron probably created more jobs than Obama ever will, even if they were just temp jobs. 

And it’s just a movie. It is the land of make believe, Mr. Rodgers.  And it is a cinematic wonder worth watching even if you can’t accept that it is big-budget environmentalist gold digging.  Yeah, she’s a pretty piece of work, but you can’t take her too seriously. If Cameron was trying to accomplish something beyond pretty, besides making tons of money, I can think of one other thing that’s relevant; the plot is recycled. 

Cross Posted From NH Insider