Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.
How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.
If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 7th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.
This was originally posted on January 7, 2010 on my old blog.
James Cameron’s blockbuster movie, Avatar, is receiving all kinds of criticism from the right. According to ABC News, “From its portrayal of the corporation that wants to take over the natural resources on the planet Pandora — a not-so-subtle allusion to the likes of Halliburton and defense contractor Blackwater — to its distinct religious, anti-war, and pro-environment themes, the film’s political messaging has rubbed many conservatives the wrong way.”
Conservative movie critic John Nolte wrote, “Avatar is a thinly disguised, heavy-handed and simplistic sci-fi fantasy/allegory critical of America from our founding straight through to the Iraq War. It looks like a big-budget animated film with a garish color palette right off a hippie’s tie dye shirt.”
Really, John? Hippies and tie-dyed shirts? OMG, this guy Nolte is so 20th century.
Christian watchdog site Movieguide warns that the film “contains strong environmentalist content and…a strong Marxist overtone.” Quick, hide the impressionable children!
Weekly Standard movie critic John Podhoretz complained about the clearly, in his opinion, anti-American message of the film. “The conclusion asks the audience to root for the defeat of American soldiers at the hands of an insurgency. So it is a deep expression of anti-Americanism.”
Yeah, that’s exactly what I was doing at the end of the movie…rooting for the Taliban and al-Qaida to crush our American military machine. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Some conservative writers say they are outraged by strong religious undertones in the movie. “Like the holiday season itself, the science fiction epic is a crass embodiment of capitalistic excess wrapped around a deeply felt religious message,” wrote conservative writer and blogger Ross Douthat in an op-ed in the New York Times. “Avatar is Cameron’s long apologia for pantheism — a faith that equates God with Nature, and calls humanity into religious communion with the natural world.”
Can you imagine how awful it would be if humanity and the natural world were in harmony?
Of course, there are those who believe that the overarching “message” of Avatar is racist. The movie is being criticized by a small but vocal group of people (isn’t that always the way…some “small but vocal” group) who allege it contains racist themes — the white hero once again saving the primitive, non-white (and in this case, blue) natives.
Okay, so this time it’s not those with black skins, brown skins, yellow skins, or red skins (not the NFL football team) who are being exploited and abused by those arrogant, white, round-eyed bastards. This time it’s those with blue skins (who also happen to be nine feet tall and have tails that plug into horses, birds, and trees) who are the victims of this racist, white sense of supremacy.
The truth is that Avatar, as spectacular as its graphic effects are, is a rather tired retelling of an oft-told story. Like the narratives behind The Last of the Mohicans, Dances with Wolves, or The Last Samurai, for example, Avatar is merely a futuristic variation on those same, previously historical, themes.
Sure, there is a clear analogy in the movie to the 18th and even 19th century U.S. cavalry and its white soldiers and how they invaded the lands of the Native Americans and almost wiped them out as part of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, but to call the movie racist or anti-American, or to suggest that it’s promoting a liberal political agenda is just silly. It’s a movie. It’s entertainment.
But given how fractured the politics of our society are today, it’s not at all surprising.