January 1, 2010
"Things I learned while watching Avatar"
Neo has some of the smartest commenters in the zone. Case in point: commenter Jim Sullivan at neo-neocon's Avatar: the war against humans brings us the very best round-up of the educational aspects of Avatar. Heed him and LEARN heedless humans!
Posted by Vanderleun at January 1, 2010 6:05 PM
- It's OK to kill things as long as you use a bow and arrow and not a gun or missile.
- Teh Interwebz au Naturale of the Allmother (or whatever the f*** the Giganto-smurfs called her) beats the technology of a species that has harvested the power of the atom, is capable of celestial travel, and has armored the unholy f*** out of everything. Also:
- It's a much better way to call up your bizarro world rhino and pterodactyl allies (the ones that previously wanted to eat you) than a Tarzan call or a Conch shell. But, you still have to send the Dire-pony express to the Four Corners of the world to rally the tribes.
- Soldiers are bad unless they are A) not Caucasian or B) handi-capped. All other soldiers are A) psychopaths B) mindless myrmidons or C) nameless cannon fodder (or in this case arrow fodder)
- Even shallow, selfish, homicidal savages are good because they're savages and therefore inherently and unquestionably noble.
- The best way for primitive screw-heads to fight off a technologically superior, militarily sophisticated force is to fight the superior force on their terms. Asymmetric strategy, insurgent tactics and guerrilla warfare couldn't possibly even the odds. Not in a million years.
- All scientists are compassionate and resent the very soldiers prepared to die to protect them. This is completely reasonable and in no way intellectually dishonest. Hollywood decrees it!
- Subjugating other species is wrong -- unless you are able to have mind-blowing ponytail intercourse and biologically hack into their brain. Then it's OK.
- When you encounter a new mineral that floats and causes whole mountain ranges to float, the coolest, catchiest, most marketable name for it is Unobtainium. After you succeed in mining it, it semantically transforms,a la magma/lava, into HaHaHa!I'sAllMine-ite.
- When the nobly savage Giganto-smurfs, the Emo-scientists and their Land-networked planetary defense menagerie evict the eeevil military-capitalist Gestapo from their idyllic floating mountain paradise back to their ecologically dead world, the nature frolickers all live happily ever after. There's no chance in hell that those same military-capitalists will return with a full blown invasion fleet. Never happen. Hollywood decrees it!
I watched the first of the new (Christian Bale) Batman movies the other night. Pretty much the same politics obtain. Oh, and a device which uses microwaves to flash all of the water in the buried water mains to steam for miles around--but the villain, standing ten feet from it, is unaffected.
Gotta love Hollywood.
Speaking as a member of the Choctaw Nation, I've got to say I kinda enjoyed seeing the Injuns win once.
I also expect the Na'vi to be getting contract offers from Ford soon. Ten feet tall, impossibly skinny, and blue? perfect models.
What disturbed me was the non-spiritual nature of the connections with the creatures. There was no spirituality there unless it was material... it was more like, as Jim said, biohacking...
A note about natural conditions: it's more of a mixed bag. In some times and with some persons nature was viewed as horrid and brutal, whereas some viewed it romantically and positively. The truth is somewhere in between, and depends a lot on where and when you are.
But the notion that nature was somehow perfect before man messed it up? That's bunkum. Animals this side of Eden have been killing one another for food since God gave 'em teeth and stomachs. Evidence is quite clear on that point.
Natives - as those of any place - varied according to their culture and tradition in level of brutality, treatment of the environment, religion, and so forth. What messes with us is we try to lump all outsiders into one group: i.e. 'Barbarian' or 'Noble Savage' - when it may as well be that every other native guy wants to kill you, and the one next to him would be your best dude.
Chesterton comes to mind:
We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbor. Hence he comes to us clad in all the careless terrors of nature; he is as strange as the stars, as reckless and indifferent as the rain. He is Man, the most terrible of the beasts. That is why the old religions and the old scriptural language showed so sharp a wisdom when they spoke, not of one's duty towards humanity, but of one's duty towards one's neighbor.
The other sorry part about the movie was that everyone was pretty much caricatures. The humans were in the wrong because they were painted that way. It was a Jessica Rabbit moment.
Civilize 'em with a Krag.
The next round will be nukes and napalm. From orbit.
I don't even go see these things anymore because even with my limited knowledge of tactics (that from being an enlisted infantryman in the US Army over 20 years ago), I could still come up with a plan to take the objective and hold it if I had as much materiel as appears on the trailers.
...It's the only way to be sure.
The eeeevil corporations could also rain down great clouds of depilatory mist to cut their ponytail-based communications network.
You learned you were $12 poorer?
It worked with the oh-so-spiritual Japanese.
OT: The one thing that the Western way of war shows is that the Western way tries to open up the distance between opposing forces.
BTW - after Little Big Horn and Islandhwana, what happened to the Indians and the Zulu?
The answer is 'crushed'.
We should have sent in the CIA first and got those savages hooked on coke and meth. Like taking candy from a baby.
"Speaking as a member of the Choctaw Nation, I've got to say I kinda enjoyed seeing the Injuns win once."
C'mon, the U.S. Army names all its helicopters after y'all Injuns, ain't that admission of a few defeats here & there, or at least grudging admiration?
Come to think of it, if Cam-moron wanted to stick to the true history of meddlesome leftism, the evil white guys would have introduced G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate into the atmosphere of Miranda, oops, Pandora, to mellow those blue freaks out.
Thus creating ten foot tall blue Reavers. On welfare. Requiring the subversive efforts of Community Organizers who know what's best for them. Forever. The end.
Wouldn't it just be easier for the Smurfs to defeat the humans if they just build a few casinos.
1) Did you notice the corporate master was the only one wearing a tie? The only one playing golf? Just in case you didn't get the point that he was the token eeeevil Republican...
2) This was Cameron's liberal fairy-tale fantasy-wish. Evict the evil ones, and we can commune with nature (The One!) in our Rastafarian hair. And everyone will sit in collective meditation around the collective tree while some elders who know the Truth ("God damn America!!") will heal us.
3) Un-obtain-ium! Hahaha! Infantile!
"Apache, Blackhawk, Tomahawk," well that's a missile but you get the idea. That piece of agitprop has made a billion dollars.
Why blow $12 + popcorn for this thing? I got the same philosophy lesson from renting "Easy Rider" for $1.96 and I get to see it several more times in case the indoctrination fails to take.
The company should just have introduced communism to the natives -- a Trojan horse that would eventually make them all lazy, dependent, and poor.
Then you could just have bought the stuff off the natives for next to nothing, cause their govt. needed cash -- like Andrew Mellon with Soviet Paintings (See "The Forgotten Man").