[Milton-L] "Avatar" reviewed by Milton

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 25 15:28:10 EST 2010


"Neither had any expectations that the film would or should become a 'preacher' for any social, religious, or environmental agendum."


Strictly speaking, this may indeed be correct, for they might have had no "expectations" . . . but I'd bet that they aren't disappointed that what they obviously put into the plot, dialogue, and imagery has gotten people's attention and prompted discussion of the film's social, religious, and environmental themes.


Jeffery Hodges



________________________________
From: Tony Demarest <tonydemarest at hotmail.com>
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Sent: Tue, January 26, 2010 1:40:19 AM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] "Avatar" reviewed by Milton

My son worked as a digital compositor at WETA on the film, Avatar. Explained to me that both Peter Jackson (owner of WETA) and Cameron both take the movie business seriously, and Avatar especially because of its cutting-edge technology, cgi, and overall dedication to the creation ofa digital world. Neither had any expectations that the film would or should become a "preacher" for any social, religious, or environmental agendum. Each age seems to need to interpret its own created artifacts into either a glorification or condemnation of its own past. But it is a pity that entertainment cannot be allowed to be without having also to mean.
 
Tony
 
> Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 08:50:54 -0600
> From: cbcox at ilstu.edu
> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "Avatar" reviewed by Milton
> 
> Milton here had in mind what Samir Amin calls "tributary societies," in
> which appropriation of surplus is carried out by coercion. (Western
> european feudalism is an example). This was not quite the way in which
> the genocide of the original inhabitants of North America was carried
> out. Ellen Wood and Neal Wood, _A Trumpet of Sedition_, analyze John
> Locke's rationale for the expulsion from the land of those who do not
> use it "productively," i.e. for production of commodities. For example,
> an Indian village raises corn on their land, which they then consume
> themselves. That is against nature, a waste of a useful resource. They
> are driven off the land or massacred and the conquerers then (with hired
> albor or slaves) plants tobacco, which he sells for a profit. _That_ is
> productive use of the land rather than the unproductive use to which the
> former inhabitants put it, merely for their own subsistence. The Planter
> has, unlike the Indians, increased the wealth of society and the value
> of the land.
> 
> Locke would have disapproved _also_ of the form of appropriations
> describedby Milton:
> 
> 
> > ... and subdue
> > Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
> > Manslaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
> > Of human glory,
> 
> The Virginia Planter praised by Locke is unitrested in either glory or
> direct plunder of the inhabitants; that also is unproductve and does not
> increase the welath of society. The Spanish Conquistadors, however, do
> exhibit the destroyers Milton describes.
> 
> Carrol 
> 
> Dario Rivarossa wrote:
> > 
> > In reviewing the movie "Avatar" for The Guardian the British
> > journalist George Monbiot wrote a shocking article about the genocide
> > of natives in America; see
> > http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/01/11/the-holocaust-we-will-not-see/
> > 
> > Milton had already described it in PL 11.691-697:
> > 
> > ... and subdue
> > Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
> > Manslaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
> > Of human glory, and for glory done
> > Of triumph, to be styled great Conquerors,
> > Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods,
> > Destroyers rightlier called and plagues of men.
> > 
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------
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