Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are you Blue over Avatar?

Experiencing the Avatar Blues? Hah!

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm obsessed with the movie Avatar. We saw the movie three times in one week. I have the sound track and the actual script on my computer. I’ve even watched just about every YouTube video productions having anything to do with the movie. I even joined the Pandoran World Updates. Silly. Right?

Now I read silliness from articles from the likes of this New York Post story and from a (CNN) news story that people are experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the movie because "they long for the beauty of the alien world Pandora." What's up with that? There's even an "Avatar Forums" thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible." They can’t be serious. I hope they can't see me while I'm laughing out loud. IT'S A MOVIE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! People get a grip!

I have to say I was fascinated and mesmerized by the movie. I was completely taken in and I loved it. Tim and I saw it in 3D at the local IMAX. Who wouldn't have been sucked into the flux vortex of the movie? It felt like you were right in the action along with Jake Sully, his Avatar host body and his girl friend Neytiri. But that doesn't mean I want to live there. Come on, blue is my favorite color, but for skin? Yikes!One man wrote: "It's so hard [after seeing Avatar] I can't force myself to think that it's just a movie, and to get over it, that living like the Na'vi will never happen." Does the term "insanity" mean anything to this person? Does this person like indoor plumbing and the Internet? Fast food and driving a car? Not something the Na'vi have at Hometree on Pandora.

Another fan wrote" Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them....I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and then everything is the same as in 'Avatar.'" Like Selfridge said to Grace, “What the hell have you people been smoking out there?”Come on people! Grow up and smell the bioluminescent plants! THERE'S NO SUCH PLACE AS PANDORA! THERE ARE NO AVATARS! Just as there is no Munchkin Land. No Tatutine. No Klingon Homeworld. No Never-Never Land. And believe it or not, Mr. Obama, No Camelot! These are just the imagings of talented, genius people who offer us a couple of hours escape from our normal, hum-drum lives. These are not real places, not destinations on any map and we can't get there if we die. I can pretty much guarantee that.

I wrote about this phenomenon when Twilight came out and people ranted that teenaged girls were throwing away their lives over loving Edward.Is that even possible? Are there vampires around for girls to throw their lives away on? As I commented then, these stories are fairy tales, phony stories, and imaginations. Something that looks good on paper; sells well and makes a wonderful story for a movie that sells tickets and makes the producers tons of money.

But we as a society put way too much emphasis on what we perceive as the “realities” of the fantasy world of movies. It’s very sad really, to see people take Avatar seriously as if it’s a real place, a real people with a real society. It struck me as particularly funny when I heard someone say they weren't going to watch the apocalyptic "2012" until 2013, because then they would know we survived the end of the world.It might be pretty on the imaginary planet moon Pandora; a beautiful untouched, unspoiled place. But James Cameron described it as a "primeval landscape, vast and forbidding" or "the most hostile environment known to man". It's a place where if you don't wear your "Exopack" to breathe, you're going to be "unconscious in 20 seconds and dead in four minutes". And the animals; I can't say I'd be delighted to run up against the likes of a Thanator or Viperwolves or that flying dragon-bird thingy, the Leonopteryx. Not a place I'd like to visit anytime soon. Of course the glowing phantasmagorical forest is kinda neat. And the Polyphemus-light of the waterfalls is something special. And I wouldn't mind if the Woodsprites (pure spirits) landed on me. But hey folks, let's face it. IT'S NOT REAL! THERE'S NO SUCH PLACE!! The notion that one can kill themselves to obtain said Pandora is as silly as the name of the mineral the earthlings are stripping from the planet--unobtainum. .Does Cameron have an environmental agenda? Maybe. Probably. But who cares? So did the creators of "Fern Gully", "Medicine Man", "Wall-E", "Happy Feet" and "Happy Gilmore" (don't throw your life away on golf **hint, hint** Tiger Woods **hint, hint**). It's the in-thing to do. If you’ve got some cause or other that you worship and have the ability and the money, to offer your cause up in the form of entertainment in the hopes that people will change their wicked and evil ways and do what you want. It's done all the time. Just check out all the latest Disney movies; environmental wacko stuff to the max. But does the world stop turning because someone puts their skewed views of the world on film? No. Or in this case, digital media? We just watch and love the movie. Then maybe for the next few weeks we recycle all our plastic and walk to work. (Not in California though.)When we went the third time to see Avatar, Tim sat next to a gentleman from Israel and his wife. When the movie was over and he was visibly touched, he asked Tim if he thought watching this movie would change the social conscience of the world so we'd quit destroying the planet. I tried really hard not to laugh, but this guy was serious. Does he really think the world is being destroyed like the one Cameron described in 2154? Ridiculous! Not only can't we destroy the world as small, insignificant human beings, but the Lord wouldn't allow it. But then most environmental proponents don't believe in God, just their own puny reckoning, the arm of flesh, so to speak.

Can we ruin parts of the environment? Undeniably. Think do-do birds, whales and dinosaurs. Well maybe the dinosaurs weren’t our fault. But if Al Gore had lived then it would have been our fault that they're not around anymore. Sometimes I wish I could introduce Al Gore to a t-rex. Chomp! Chomp! Just like the lawyer in Jurassic Park. Yum! Yum!

There’s another thing that bothers me. Does James Cameron want you to "loath" the military just like President Clinton does? Isn't that what happened when you watched "Dances With Wolves"? You hated the Calvary, didn't you? I did. I was furious with them for wanting to kill the Indians and take Lt. Dunbar’s journal. But could I do anything about it? Absolutely not. But you have to remember those military types that Cameron portrayed were mercenaries for hire sent out to Pandora for the money. They weren’t in the military any more. They didn't hold with military thinking. If they did, they'd have all been more like Trudy Chacon and Jake and would have their hearts touched with the injustice of the situation.

Which brings us to the environmental issues of today. Are we really killing our "Mother", the planet earth? Some people, some very powerful people suggest that we are killing our planet by driving cars, spraying hair spray, eating at fast food joints and not recycling. Yet somehow the planet manages to go on without interference from us.Just consider volcanoes for a moment. They erupt, spewing ash into the air and poisonous gases such as sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. That’s a heck of a lot more stuff than you or I or the entire world’s population can produce by living our lives or driving millions of autos around. Yet we’re told that humans are destroying the planet. Just consider the emails from Climategate that suggest Al Gore-type scientists were interfering with legitimate climate research and falsifying research to suggest there is global warming when there isn’t. Interesting stuff.

Another aspect of the movie that I found interesting, however, is if this movie is so accurate to the time and is set in far distant 2154, why are they still using helicopters and machine guns with bullets? Wouldn't we have progressed to Millennium Falcon's or Ti-wing fighters and lasers or something? Then what chance would the flea-bitten savages have against lasers? None! They have elevated trains on earth but no hover crafts in space? That’s just another example of not taking movies at face value.And believe it or not there are still places on "Mother Earth" where you can get bare-butt naked and romp through the verdant green undergrowth of old growth forest and jungle and mingle with flea-bitten savages. You can even hunt down your own food with bows and arrows and use leaves for toilet paper. From Central and South America, the islands of the Pacific, New Zealand to Africa there are still wide open spaces. Heck! Where do you think they filmed some of Pandora? Come on. Guess. You don't have to be blue about not having any green. There are still places on this so-called ravished planet where nature rules and man doesn't set foot often. Haven't you seen "Planet Earth" on the HG Discovery Channel? This wondrous earth still has deep recesses of cyan blue of oceans and rivers, purple majesties of untouched mountains and deep greens of the rain forest. We just have to open our eyes.

Lastly, we should drop all the analysis and the psychological mumbo-jumbo—IT’S JUST A MOVIE PEOPLE! Enjoy Avatar strictly for what it’s supposed to be. An exceptionally fine movie, a sensational discovery into futuristic movie making, a triumph of weak over strong, a change of attitude and purpose and above all else—a tender love story. Don't attach so much psychobabble to what you see in a movie theater. If you do, you probably will turn blue, and then die!

But then if you're as obsessed as I am, enjoy the music video: