[Milton-L] "Avatar" reviewed by Milton : What can we do?

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 26 16:18:38 EST 2010


"That should about do it, I think."


Just about, but don't you think that those who teach Rousseau should first be flayed alive . . . then burned at the stake?


Jeffery Hodges




________________________________
From: Sanford Blackburn <antinomian2 at hotmail.com>
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Sent: Wed, January 27, 2010 1:34:08 AM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] "Avatar" reviewed by Milton : What can we do?

What can we do?  No . . . really . . . what can we do?  

Well, we should get our historical and political understanding in order.  We should read Melville's _The Confidence Man_ and Hawthorne's _The Scarlet Letter_ to clear our heads of all hippie detritus, and then we should go through our libraries and burn Rousseau, then embrace an open and independent form of Calvinism, seek to live lives of truth-telling and charity, affect humble piety and repent for burning all those copies of Rousseau, but then if anyone tries to teach Rousseau we should burn them at the stake. That should about do it, I think. 

Carter Kaplan

www.carterkaplan.blogspot.com

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Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 16:39:59 +0100
From: dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] "Avatar" reviewed by Milton

Jim-- 

you' re right. I did not actually go to the cinema and see the movie, anyway after reading some reviews I did not consider the things you here point out. 

What can we do?
So sorry, really don't know. These very days I too happened to think a lot about this: all true "events" in history (events that matter, not nice words, I mean) are more or less linked to violence. Looks like, that's the "destiny" of mankind, written in our own DNA. Till one day this very process will lead to self-destruction. 
Something was wrong in the beginning. Isn't that, in fact, Milton's subject?


>Avatar is nothing more -- on the level of plot -- than a variation of
the Pocohontas story. Since it incorporates some Disney Romanticism
about native cultures, perhaps we should say Avatar's plot (and
setting and character to a significant extent) is a cross between
Disney's Pocohontas and the 1992 animated feature Fern Gully.
However, given these narrative sources, I think it's a terrible act of
bad faith to see Avatar as a film about what the US did back then.
It's what we're doing now.

The truly perverse thing about the film is that it encourages this act
of bad faith, supports it, and allows its audience to rest satisfied
in it.  We can feel good that we're not those terrible awful colonists
who raped and murdered Indians only so long as we don't pay attention
to where our gas, food, and textiles come from and what the US
government does for its citizens to keep prices low.  The truth is
that most of the industrial west -- including the authors and readers
of the Guardian -- finances what we see going on in the film on a
daily basis...today.  The film helps us to forget that, as the
direction of audience sympathy toward native culture and against
capitalist intruders creates the illusion within its audience that it
cares for native cultures and would not exploit them, while in fact
every member of the audience is financing capitalist exploitation of
native cultures in the act of paying to watch the film, and in a
hundred other small ways on a daily basis.

James Cameron should get a public service award, a.k.a. Oscar.

Great eye candy, though.

What can we do about this state of affairs?

No...really...what can we do about this state of affairs?

Jim R
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