Saturday, December 19, 2009

Avatar and The West: A Review

Avatar: An extremely entertaining white guilt redemption fantasy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go back in time and stop the slaughter and genocide of the Native Americans? While you’re at it, you could prevent the clear-cutting of old-growth forests, the poisoning of lakes and streams, and say FUCK NO! to the ugly and environmentally unsustainable suburbs and strip malls? Yeah, sure that’d be nice. But we don’t have a time machine. What’s past is past. Shucks, sorry about that Indians! But there’s nothing that can be done about it now. I mean, even if we gave back your land (which we aint), what would you do with it? Most of your ancient ways of life are long forgotten.

But we whites sure envy your ancient ways. We like to start magazines like Shaman’s Drum. We wish we were one of you. (Except without the bad stuff like living on a reservation. Or puffy-nosed alcoholic homelessness. Or being forced to earn your daily bread with white people stuff like casinos and fireworks.) We like to drive our cars to the National Parks and say to our children, “Hey now, don’t just throw that Capri Sun package on the ground. Be like the Indians who used to live here: respect nature!”

Avatar is perfect for us. Because we love seeing war and destruction and kick-ass special effects. And we love imagining that we could become a kick-ass native warrior who could protect the trees and ride a mother-fucking dragon and mate with some hot “exotic” native lady. We’re so dedicated to these causes that we’ll buy the DVD!

So I guess I had mixed feelings about this movie. I mean, I actually really DID like it. I mean, at least insofar as it was fun and exciting to watch and visually beautiful. I didn't even care that they never explained how the floating rocks always had waterfalls coming from them. Now I wanna go back and watch it in 3D. But it made me think: What's left to say about The West?


Hunter said...

My feeling was that I've read too much history for that to be the happily-ever-after ending it was supposed to be.

Anonymous said...

where did this review come from?