Friday, January 1, 2010


I saw it (in 2D) last Tuesday, and I've now got the time to do a quick response.

It's good eye candy, and from what I understand it is even far better in 3D. That alone would make it worth the price of admission. However, the story was unoriginal and idiotic in places. For instance, all those slow-moving helicopters with those invitingly exposed props - helloooo, haven't the Na'Vi ever heard of stones and logs? If those winged creatures are able to throw the smaller copters about like handbags then they're obviously capable of lifting up some pretty hefty rocks. *drop*KEERUNCH!*crashboom!* game over. Also, if the miners have no problem with killing the natives and the unobtanium is so valuable that the public will overlook it, there's nothing to stop the miners from using the natives' revolt as a pretext for public consumption for doing a big orbital bombardment to take care of the problem thoroughly! Sheesh.

As to the environmentalist content, I am with Andrew Bolt on this one: it's an own-goal for the environmentalist movement. To the extent that the viros adopt this as their own they will be exposing themselves to ridicule. They would be confessing that they see the world in these kinds of utterly inane terms:
- views of corporations and the military so patently contrived and whose personnel throw stereotypes and hackneyed insults around like confetti so much that few normal people will take it seriously as representative of the real world
- the stock (and idiotic) idea that there's no non-environmentalist reason to keep greenery around, in total defiance of agriculture, architecture, and homeowner aesthetics, etc
- environmentalists are at heart not much more than naked-savage wannabes
- environmentalism as having bugger all to do with science and everything to do with whacked out mystic communion
- if the environmentalists have their way, we'd have almost no technology to speak of, which, besides ruling out the modcons in the home and modern medical devices and medicines that Obama et al are relying on people wanting on order to push the HCR, would mean constant and direct exposure to the nastiness of nature red in tooth and claw as soon as one stepped outside one's home.

As well as thinking it's Dances With Wolves using space aliens, I was also put in mind of an episode of UK comedy show The Goodies where UK forces (done up as circus clowns) defeated the mighty US forces by use of a nerve gas that clownified a platoon of marines, who then mournfully trudged back to their ship in clown shoes. That's how seriously I took the environmentalist message in it. I didn't get worked up in the slightest, and I found it laughable instead.

Bolt is right. "December 2009. Note it down. The beginning of the end, even as Avatar becomes possibly the biggest-grossing film in history." The only way that this kind of ridiculous story could gain traction as an environmentalist rallying point is if normal people did not think at all and were nothing more than neurotic children. One can predict the retorts to environmentalists that are going to have currency for a while, such as "Someone has taken Avatar a bit too seriously!" In time, as Bolt notes, the movie will degenerate into satire in the minds of all but the ecofaithful. On the topic of wolves, I am thinking that the Church's position in Brotherhood of the Wolf is about the best kind of damage control is what the more sensible core of the environmentalist movement can mount at present, but I suspect the luntics like the DU denizens and the Kossacks et al will be too loud, resulting in the collapse of what's left of public respect for systematic environmentalism. "The beginning of the end" indeed.


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