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January 30, 2010

Avatar Nominated For 'Propaganda of the Year - 2010'

I went to see Avatar today and, I have to say, I was blown away. Not by the computer generated special effects, although they were impressive. But more by the bold strides our komrades in Kalifornia have made in putting forth the doctrine of political correctness. I would honestly say that this movie should be considered more for it's value toward the Dimocratic Party's ideals than as a form of entertainment. It is appreciated much more for it's propagation of the hidden agenda, than as a form of entertainment. As a work of propaganda, however, it excels. But don't take my word for it. This site says:

"Avatar has been thoroughly analyzed as a cliched story about white guilt/reverse racism, cheesy noble-savage mythologizing, cheap anti-capitalist fantasizing, pantheism, environmentalism, anti-militarism, and so forth."

Basically, it must have started out with a bunch of liberal white-guilt apologists sitting around a table in Westwood with some energetic liberal at a white board sniffing a marker for too long. It must have gone something like this:

"OK. Let's see if we can't cover all the talking points with this one, people. The studio has said to pull out all the stops. We want to make "The Birth of a Nation" look like a comedy. We want Joseph Goebbels to sit up in his grave and take notice. We want to go all the way on this one."

"OK...what if we do this...let's have a black female warrior as the lead role....she'll fall in love with a white guy...and they all live happily after."

"No...no...they fall in love and mate...they have to have sex...you know...to get rid of the races...the big melting pot so we're all the same and there can be no discrimination."

"And he's handicapped...a quadraplegic."

"OK...Hang on...let me write this down...so a black female warrior falls in love with a crippled white guy...and they mate...but this is not a R rated movie...how can we show them having sex?"

"We'll come out and tell everyone they mated...make a big deal out of it."

"Oh. I love it...keep going..."

"OK. Then, we'll have a stone-age culture that lives in harmony with nature....and ...uh...we'll have evil white greedy males come in to rape their planet...they'll strip mine a rain forest."

"Awesome. Beautiful. Keep it coming..."

"Wait...I got...the natives live inside a giant tree, and we'll have the military come in and gas, napalm, strafe, and bomb the natives and destroy the tree they live in... White guys, of course....evil white males in the military murdering innocent natives...."

"Brilliant. Perfect. We all know that greedy white males and the military are to blame for all of our problems....bombing trees...napalming natives...love that...that will be a huge hit...what else?"

"Have we covered everything? Let's see...neo-colonialism, white guilt, reverse racism, misandry, eco-terrorism, communism, ADA, pantheism, environmentalism, anti-militarism...I feel like we're missing something here....anyone?"

"What about natural herbal remedies? I know, it's not much, but it's something. Let's push that too. I mean, hey, if we can't shove free healthcare down the throats of the Amerikans, why not pretend western medicine was worthless anyway? The ole Sour Grapes schtick. Screw the hospitals. We'll really play up the herbal remedies."

"Perfect. I knew we were missing one."

"We'll have a tree that literally saves people that western medicine can't begin to help."


"Of course...we'd all like to get some digs in about Global Warming, but after Copenhagen, Climate Gate, and those sea turtles freezing to death in the gulf of Mexico, it looks like we'll have to hold off on that one for now. Let's call it a wrap and go with what we have."

I can tell you this...I'm not taking my daughter to another movie without reading a review to see how much propaganda is in it. This is despicable.

Posted by Rob Kiser on January 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM


Hmm. I thought the acting was pretty good, and I liked the worldbuilding. The 3-D version was excellent visually.

The movie was, well, a movie. There are about three things you can do with a plot where a techno society meets a primitive one, and it went with the cliche feel-good option. (The other two being "The natives get completely destroyed" and "The two snap and growl at each other, then set up some boundary and do their own thing on either side of it." An additional option, negotiation followed by gradual mutual acceptance, is possible but I don't think Hollywood knows how to do this well.)

I had seen the interconnected-biology before, in Jerry Pournelle's book "Starswarm," so I saw the eywa-god-thing as less a pantheist political bid and more a case of "our biology is different here."

The movie came off as anti-military. I do think the director and scriptwriters showed pretty well that this was a case of the guy in charge being trigger-happy, and it annoyed me that they tried to do some weird digging at President Bush during one of the trigger-happy guy's speeches.

Every guy in Hollywood has his own axe to grind, it seems, but while the movie was annoying in spots I do think that it did an admirable job in building a world you could step into.

The natives were certainly shown to have faults and flaws; they were way to ready to go to war, too ready to attack, not terribly willing to negotiate. They tended to assume humans were evil instead of saying, "look, you want the ore under our home tree. Why don't you set up camp a short distance away, and dig diagonally." Although I suppose the scientists should have come up with this idea first. (I presume this is because the scriptwriters had a particular plot in mind from the beginning, and weren't interested in looking for a reasonable solution to the problem.)

If you look for things to caricature and mock, you'll find them, sure. Wherever you look. I don't know that this movie is any more objectionable than most, and it took the time to develop a neat world.

Obviously, it's your choice whether you'll let your kids see this or other movies. But I suspect seeing it with your kids, then discussing it afterward -- pointing out the one-dimensional villains, the lack of reasonable alternatives to war being discussed despite the fact that there are many alternatives available, and the weird anti-military, anti-corporate bits -- may be an easier path toward your goal of having kids who can not only think for themselves, but who will notice the subtle codswallop Hollywood sticks in its movies, and be able to appreciate the art in those movies anyway. Otherwise they might see the movie later at a friend's house (or whatever, you can think of your own scenario) and say, "Huh, I wonder what dad was annoyed at? This was fine."

I'm exaggerating somewhat but it has been my own experience that controversial or codswallop-laden movies are fun to talk about with family, and they give me a chance to work out just what I didn't like about the propaganda I saw in the film.

In particular, it's neat to see how everyone notices different things. I tend to get my hackles up at anything anti-Christian, anti-atheist, anti-conservative, or anti-science. Some of my friends pick up on the anti-military crap or the weird wishy washy "all religions should be tolerated equally" stuff. Others of my friends will absolutely stomp on math and science errors, especially in the areas of thermodynamics, biology, physics and astronomy, because many screenwriters know jack diddly about them and try to pull one over the viewers' eyes instead of doing research.

Posted by: Susan on February 1, 2010 at 4:19 AM

Just for clarification, I didn't say I wouldn't let my kid see it. That's up to her. She's 12, and she's free to watch whatever [age-appropriate movie] she wants to. I was saying that I wasn't interested in some liberal propaganda drivel. They're doing this on purpose, and I don't appreciate it. They're free to make whatever movies they want to, and I'm free to stay away from their trash.

Posted by: Rob Kiser on February 2, 2010 at 1:47 AM

You should watch RedLetterMedia's review of Avatar.

"If I wanted a message, I'd go listen to my answering machine."

Posted by: Robert on February 13, 2010 at 8:42 AM

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