Sunday, January 10, 2010

Avatar: Hogwash in 3D

Hat Tip: the geniuses at

Yesterday AM I was digging through a stack of old and much loved paperbacks and found myself rereading Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, which celebrated human victory in interstellar war against a hive-race of space spiders -- an achievement worthy of celebration because "both races are strong and tough and want the same real estate."

Last night I went to see (front row, 3D, Imax) Avatar.... the anti-Starship Troopers. To say the least.

I emerged with a splitting headache.

Oh, sure, the visuals were awesome. But the story was nothing more than a rehash of the what-happens-when-White-Europeans-encounter-noble-savages nonsense we've all come to know and loathe.

Noble Savages my butt. Sure, 15th Century unbathed Euroes were no prize, but the peoples of the Americas weren't exactly peace-love-dove types either (EVERY human has eaten the apple!).

Just once I'd love for them to make a movie about the fall of the Aztecs that showed the monsters for what they were. Hint: they weren't exactly Christian Bernard wannabees wielding stone knives on their sacrificial altars.

Besides, the premise of the movie is absurd. With PC nazis everywhere now, the chances of our actually REACHING an alien planet are zilch (leaving aside the physical barriers); were we to find one with sentients on the surface, we CERTAINLY wouldn't be down there mining dilithium crystals from under their sacred shrines and apartment complexes. What frakking hogwash.

I want those three hours of my life back so I can spend them on something useful.


Somehow the moral superiority of spear-and-arrow-casting woad warriors over humans is not clearly established. Truly, their only claim to the forest is, "We were here first!". A claim that, alas, history shows that when confronting vastly superior alien tech will, along with a buck and a half, get you a Venti at Starbuck's. (A grande is three and a quarter.)

I DO know that the advantages of living in a forest and shooting deer with blowdarts over ambling over to a grocery store and buying fresh ground beef to make hamburgers out of escapes me; give me light beer and blue jeans any day of the week, thanks.


THIS would have made a much more interesting movie, methinx: the story of Scientist Kenneth Good and his Yanomama wife Yerema, a child when she married him, and her eventual decision to go with him to New Jersey.... and return to the rain forest after deciding that a steady diet of MTV and Mickey Dees wudn't for her.

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Keep it clean for gene.