Timeblind on Avatar vs Nirgendwo in Afrika:
Anyway, in case you haven’t seen Avatar, its about a white (American!) dude that goes native and becomes their most awesome leader and achieves an improbable, lo-tech victory (but with soul power! and the animals help them!). Awesome battle sequence ! Good vs. Evil, get it ?
In the real world you live in a complicated global capital network that sometimes deliberately but mostly inadvertiantly leverages injustices so that your locality can exist with the wealth and convienience it enjoys. You cannot opt out. You can’t just choose the right items on the Health Food store shelf.
You can use your influence to convince specific companies to change behavior and you can make the best decision when you personally have a decision to make. Don’t just say “fuck it”.
That’s the resources issue. The other issue is racial and cultural understanding. Most of the people who see Avatar will not be White Americans. But we get it, its supposed to be a character you can relate to.
I saw Avatar on it’s opening night here in New York. At first I wasn’t going to write about it, but in retrospect I should have, for reasons Dan Visel mentions here, referencing the Economist piece I upped yesterday, emphasis mine:
A lot of people wanted to talk about Avatar, and there’s a fair amount to discuss there: how pretty it is, how it works as mass spectacle, the film’s deeply muddled politics, how ecology and religion are connected. What stands out to me is how rarely this happens any more. .. The sheer ubiquity of Avatar changed how it could be discussed: something so big can cut across our individual interest groups, enabling broader conversations.
But the inevitable question arises: what does it mean if the only cultural object that everyone can talk about costs $300 million?