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Author Topic: Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?  (Read 8003 times)

Edsan

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #60 on: December 31, 2009, 10:49:04 AM »
Quote from: Machinegun Blue;352048
I had to read that post again. It really was that stupid.


Yes, I guess since you are really stupid you needed to read it twice to understand. :rolleyes:

Quote from: RPGPundit;352075
And philosophically, Edsan has it right, the thing is a 3-hour propaganda piece.


Thanks Pundit. I'm glad for not being the sole soul to thinks this movie isn't the best thing since slice bread + Jesus. :p
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Machinegun Blue

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #61 on: December 31, 2009, 10:58:43 AM »
Quote from: Edsan;352140
Yes, I guess since you are really stupid you needed to read it twice to understand. :rolleyes:


I do admit that your post made my IQ drop a few points.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #62 on: December 31, 2009, 11:08:06 AM »
I have no idea about the movie, haven't seen it yet. But Pundit amazed me again with his "wishy washy" use of evolutionary concepts applied to any thesis and its contrary...

Quote from: RPGPundit;352075
The truth of the Savage, and the truth of the "Nature" that the wishy-washy Hollywood pantheists always wax romantic about is that Nature is a First-Class Bitch, and that it is Survival of the Fittest. Rooting for nature means rooting for the power of the strong over the weak, the hunter over the hunted, and that being weak means that you'll be dead.


(emphasis mine)
Social pseudo-Darwinism isn't equivalent to scientific theories about evolution. I know you love this alpha male bullshit, which can be transposed as "I got big balls so I'll perpetuate in the end, thus I'm right" and you love to present it as some demonstrable concept which it isn't. The "fittest" isn't always the strongest, or the predator, or some ubermensch autoerotic Crowleyan wet dream. It's just shitty oversimplification. Demonstrable scientific theories don't dissolve in esoteric half baked kitchen psychology, hardly better than GNS, models. The biggest/meanest predator species are fossils nowadays, how come? Depending on the angle you look at, Neandertal seemed superior to Sapiens Sapiens, including brain size, how come?

It's because "the fittest" isn't the solution to some fucktard political program that can be reduced to "the ends justify the means". The "fittest" is difficult to express in any general way. Because it's something that's observed a posteriori and it's often difficult to reckon which ingredients in the environmental soup actually contributed to select this or that species. Intelligence isn't an absolute winner of the evolutionary game, neither massive muscles or aggressiveness. Pundit, please stop using intellectual tools you hardly understand.

Werekoala

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #63 on: December 31, 2009, 11:15:08 AM »
I'm willing to posit that the Na'vi were DIFFERENT, but not necessarily BETTER or WORSE than humans. Unfortunately, it seems that the first large-scale expedition to another world was hand-picked to include the biggest assholes that Mankind could find.

American assholes.

Almost exclusively white, corporate, male, American assholes.

That's the story we were told. It would have been far better to have some kind of Abyss-like moment of clarity and understanding where we started to understand each other and work together in peace and harmony. That's not the story that Cameron wanted to tell. About the only "bright" spot that the AmerAngloCorporFascists had was when the Suit reluctantly gave Jake one last chance at a diplomatic solution, and it happened so fast most people probably missed it. One tiny bit of humanity in an otherwise cardboard-cutout Evil Guy character.

So, yeah, this is clearly an opinion piece wrapped up in a pretty package. I've read similar screeds ad nauseum in blogs and newspapers and magazines for years.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 11:18:02 AM by Werekoala »
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JongWK

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #64 on: December 31, 2009, 12:04:44 PM »
Quote from: Werekoala;352145
Unfortunately, it seems that the first large-scale expedition to another world was hand-picked to include the biggest assholes that Mankind could find.


Pandora isn't the first alien world visited by humans, nor the only place with unobtanium. It just happens to have huge amounts of it (hence the Hallelujah Mountains). It also explain why the base is run by a corp rather than a government, and makes me wonder if the sequels will involve the government rather than a corporation.
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Werekoala

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« Reply #65 on: December 31, 2009, 12:12:13 PM »
The movie doesn't really make either of your points clear. You have to go digging on-line for "background" material to fill out the story (some of it quite good), but it's not on the screen. For 95% of the people watching this movie, if its not on the screen, they'll never know about it.

Also, it does not negate my point that, to a man, the expedition seems to be staffed with assholes, top to bottom.

Regarding a return to Pandora; an interstellar mission with 6-year one-way travel times is going to be hideously expensive. Unless they got a lot of the mineral before leaving, they may well have bankrupted the company. On the plus side, the hardware is already built. They just need to find people willing to go back. Depending on how desperate the situation on Earth is, I imagine it'll either be nukes or (since they have enough of a knowledge of Na'vi genetics to make passable clones) a bio-weapon to wipe out the natives and/or all life on the planet. I would imagine it'll be an automated ship on the genocide leg of the next mission, with a manned mission as follow-on to start the strip-mining again.

Don't look so shocked. We're talking about asshole American corporations after all. Bottom line, babee! And you know how Americans hate to lose!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 12:16:58 PM by Werekoala »
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Seanchai

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #66 on: December 31, 2009, 12:22:55 PM »
Quote from: RPGPundit;352075
I've now been to see this movie...


Wait. You made a big fuss about how it was anti-human, etc., and you hadn't even seen it? Nevermind, par for the course...

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #67 on: December 31, 2009, 12:36:51 PM »
Y'know... I just want to point out that everyone calling Edsan and the Pundit out about the whole 'anti-human' aspect has yet to offer any counterargument more substantive than 'confirmation bias'.

What? Are you all screeching hairless monkeys that can't mount anything better than parroting some cool phrase you were exposed to on the internetz to defend your point of view?

Show me, the guy sitting on the fence, why you are actually right and the Pundit/Edsan crowd is wrong... 'cause right now? They are getting my vote.
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jibbajibba

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #68 on: December 31, 2009, 01:02:31 PM »
Quote from: Spike;352156
Y'know... I just want to point out that everyone calling Edsan and the Pundit out about the whole 'anti-human' aspect has yet to offer any counterargument more substantive than 'confirmation bias'.

What? Are you all screeching hairless monkeys that can't mount anything better than parroting some cool phrase you were exposed to on the internetz to defend your point of view?

Show me, the guy sitting on the fence, why you are actually right and the Pundit/Edsan crowd is wrong... 'cause right now? They are getting my vote.


Well I would think from a narative perspective it is common to explore other cultures through the eyes of a observer that the viewer is able to identify with. This is perhpas lazy but I it is common and its a given that the audience needs to be able to identify with the hero. So that is why, A Man called Horse, Dances with Wolves, The Emerald Forest, Tarzan and John Carter of Mars all have white male protagonists its a standard trope. So Avatar needs to set up some hero in this model. However, because Cameron wants to make the aliens part of his new world, and here I think he got cautious and I expect it was due to the studio or technical considerations but I expect that the first Na'vi had an extra set of limbs like every other creature on the planet (but I digress). So the avatar concept is used and lets face it its a great concept. If you have that it logically follows that there needs to be funding for said project gives you 2 choices. First a government investigating the Na'vi. Second a corporation who can reap great rewards from the Na'vi.
Now a blockbuster movie is aimed at a core demographic and the typical core demographic for such movies is 14-25 year old men. This group likes action and movies all need conflict of some sort.
So you could have a goverment agent who is investigation the Na'vi and has a range of internal conflicts about the expolitation of a people might be good. Or you have a conflict over resources between a group of natives and the future equivalent of Blackwater. The second option has guns, explosions, some cool mecha shit.
Then you add the Hollywood liberal politics and the fact that 90% of Western Civilisation between the ages of 9 and 30 are tree hugging socialist sympathisers.

I am really not sure how the Film could have turned out any different. Yeah they should have asked Tom Stoppard to cast an eye over the script (I mean you are paying $300M for the film you may as well chuck Sir Tom 100K to sort the dialogue out) but taking the basic premise of movie making I really don't know where else it would have gone.

Please enlighten me as to what film they should have made based on :
Realise entire Alien world
Explore a new Alien Species
Need for Human protagonist
Need for lots of explosions
Need to satisfy political sensibilities of target audience
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Werekoala

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« Reply #69 on: December 31, 2009, 01:50:50 PM »
Again, they could have the "shit blows up real good" (remember there were two battle scenes) and then have some reconciliation between the species, thereby covering all the bases without having to change much of anything up until the ending. But happy endings don't sell in Hollywood.

Unless this WAS a happy ending, of course.
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Spike

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #70 on: December 31, 2009, 02:05:27 PM »
Quote from: jibbajibba;352161
Well I would think from a narative perspective it is common to explore other cultures through the eyes of a observer that the viewer is able to identify with. 8snip for brevity*

I am really not sure how the Film could have turned out any different. Yeah they should have asked Tom Stoppard to cast an eye over the script (I mean you are paying $300M for the film you may as well chuck Sir Tom 100K to sort the dialogue out) but taking the basic premise of movie making I really don't know where else it would have gone.

Please enlighten me as to what film they should have made based on :
Realise entire Alien world
Explore a new Alien Species
Need for Human protagonist
Need for lots of explosions
Need to satisfy political sensibilities of target audience



Wow that was a lot of words to NOT ADRESS MY POST.

Let me turn it back around for you.  Please enlighten me on how a film based on:
Realize entire alien world
Explore a new alien species
need for human protagonist
etc...

requires in any way an Anti-human bias.  

For bonus points, you can instead address my original post and explain clearly how the film actually lacks an anti-human bias.

Like I asked.
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jeff37923

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #71 on: December 31, 2009, 02:34:49 PM »
Anti-humanist? No, unless by the same logic you label any movie where the antagonist is human as anti-human as well.

Anti-civilization? No, since the Na'vi also had a civilization and the movie paints that as the "correct" version.

Empty-headed? Yes, it is very pretty to watch, but the script has all the smarts of a ham sandwich.

Avatar would be better described as anti-corporate, anti-exploitation, anti-technology, and pro-environment.

EDIT: And yes, the Hollywood Noble Savage imagery is in full force in the movie.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 02:53:07 PM by jeff37923 »

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #72 on: December 31, 2009, 02:44:10 PM »
Quote from: Spike;352156
Y'know... I just want to point out that everyone calling Edsan and the Pundit out about the whole 'anti-human' aspect has yet to offer any counterargument more substantive than 'confirmation bias'.


I don't have a counterargument - I don't care to. I have no desire to over-intellectualize movies, particularly ones that aren't especially intellectual to begin with, and defend them from the ravings of someone who can't even be bothered to see them before spouting off a bunch of nonsense about them.

Let's say Avatar is anti-humanist, anti-civilization and empty-headed? Who the fuck cares? It's a movie. An action movie.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #73 on: December 31, 2009, 03:09:17 PM »
Quote from: Machinegun Blue;352139
So, let me see if I understand this. Any movie that has humans do bad things is anti-human?


No, but a movie that presents a ridiculous stereotype of our own civilization as hopelessly corrupt and evil, while presenting an equally ridiculous stereotype of the Noble Savage as wonderful and idyllic, is pretty much anti-civilization; and if the reason the latter are presented as being idyllic is because they live without all but the most primitive levels of human technology, then its probably anti-human.

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Avatar: Anti-humanism, Anti-civilization and Empty-headed Holywood Religion?
« Reply #74 on: December 31, 2009, 03:16:27 PM »
Quote from: boulet;352143
I have no idea about the movie, haven't seen it yet. But Pundit amazed me again with his "wishy washy" use of evolutionary concepts applied to any thesis and its contrary...

(emphasis mine)
Social pseudo-Darwinism isn't equivalent to scientific theories about evolution. I know you love this alpha male bullshit, which can be transposed as "I got big balls so I'll perpetuate in the end, thus I'm right" and you love to present it as some demonstrable concept which it isn't. The "fittest" isn't always the strongest, or the predator, or some ubermensch autoerotic Crowleyan wet dream. It's just shitty oversimplification. Demonstrable scientific theories don't dissolve in esoteric half baked kitchen psychology, hardly better than GNS, models. The biggest/meanest predator species are fossils nowadays, how come? Depending on the angle you look at, Neandertal seemed superior to Sapiens Sapiens, including brain size, how come?

It's because "the fittest" isn't the solution to some fucktard political program that can be reduced to "the ends justify the means". The "fittest" is difficult to express in any general way. Because it's something that's observed a posteriori and it's often difficult to reckon which ingredients in the environmental soup actually contributed to select this or that species. Intelligence isn't an absolute winner of the evolutionary game, neither massive muscles or aggressiveness. Pundit, please stop using intellectual tools you hardly understand.

Except that what you are then suggesting is that what is BETTER, both as an option and as a general survival tactic than the "survival of the fittest" mentality of Savagery, is specifically to create CIVILIZATION.

Thank you for arguing in favour of my point. Avatar is anti-human because it suggests that everything we've accomplished is somehow UN-natural ("they killed their motherrrrr!!") and that the closer we can get to living like animals, the purer, better and happier we'd all be. And that's just not true. You seem to realize that.

The Hollywood new-agers don't seem to get it, any more than a michigan militia survivalist or a "crowleyan wet dreamer" would fail to get it; because just like while the latter groups might revel in this fantasy of them being the ubermensch getting to rule by their brute might, the aforementioned hollywooders create this complete nonsense fairy-tale of being "back to nature" being some dreadlock-wearing hippie love-in where everyone is clean, beautiful, healthy and groovy.

Also, work on your reading comprehension, fucktard. I was the one arguing AGAINST "survival of the fittest". The people arguing in support of Avatar are, whether they realize it or not, the ones who are arguing for it; if only by virtue of having Not Thought Things Through.

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