Look! Someone talking about the Avatar movie!

Posted on: May 16, 2010

This post was originally released in the tert, and has been republished here for your befuddlement/enjoyment

I find it deeply troubling writing an article about the recent mind bogglingly profitable/expensive/talked about film Avatar, which I won’t introduce given that you have already heard about it (unless you are from the distant future where my every written word is analysed to death due to my incredible fame. If so just “Space-Google” the word avatar). Even more concerning is that not only am I talking about the film, but I am defending it. I’m not defending the visuals, there is a clear consensus that it is a stunningly beautiful film. It is so imaginative and perfect looking that it not only makes us forget about uncomfortable 3D spectacles, make us depressed and suicidal about our own bleak world infested with injustices like holocausts and facebook redesigns. The forum of the films website is filled with sad stories of coping with post avatar depression, and news.com reports a fan claiming that “I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora.”

It’s all a bit silly and simple on consideration, a perfect world where a technology free tribe is also lucky to be free of disease, infighting, bigotry, unhappiness, starvation, and even death except when brought to them by those mean spirited humans. The film itself is not even about the tribe, but instead a white character acting as an avatar for the white audience (see what they did there?). He enjoys the experience of being a white person reborn into a tribe, becoming its greatest warrior and leader in the space of a few months then leading them against white people.

Instead of leaving avatar to mock our war and poor quality processed cheese filled world, religious groups have been offended, all christen expect for a few hindus upset at the films portrayal of the avatar concept which is part of their faith. Despite my search I was not able to find scathing reviews from other groups, but of those concerned none were very relevant to your average Australian christian. The Vatican struck with two holy thumbs down, critical of the film for its pantheistic message replacing religion with the worship of nature.  The center for public christianity implied the films god was an impersonal life force, thus inferior to jesus who provides a more close meaningful relationship. David Outten was more outspoken telling us “You can hug all the trees you want and nothing will do more to help the planet earth than a revival. What God wants for mankind is absolutely glorious. “

It’s this that drove me to the defence of avatar, because like everything else in avatar the religion is perfect. It may have been inspired by the lame real world neo pagan ideas of pantheism, but by simplifying the story James Cameron made a religion that far outstrips anything in our bleak world. Take the afterlife for example, in reality all evidence suggests death involves smelling bad and rotting in the grave as we cease to exist. Religion and mysticism make death a little more palatable by offering infinite numbers of possible afterlives, all having little more than intuition and incompatible claims of divine inspiration to back them up. All afterlives are placed conveniently after we have no way of knowing if it’s right or wrong. The closest to contact we get to the dead are mediums like john Edwards telling us our grandma or possibly some older woman with an e in her name loves us and wants us to be happy. For the avatars tribe the Na’vi they can take a stroll through the forest, say hello to the their physical deity Eywa, plug right into her and say hi to a long dead uncle now part of Eywa and clearly enjoying an eternity of bliss. A connection to your ancestors actually exists, there is indisputable evidence for a clearly understood afterlife free of nothingness or hell. How about miracles? In the real world we get stories from friends about how someone in church had cancer, and after several months of praying (oh and medical treatment) dramatically recovered, even though the doctor told them they would be dead in three months(which is TOTALLY how doctors behave). God is also looking out for you in war, when you win and don’t lose of course (also god is looking out for your enemy so maybe the absence of lightning and pillars of fire are a good thing). Or you can get grilled cheese sandwiches that look kind of like marilyn monroe Mary. In avatar when god is on your side in battle everyone is going to know about it, no faith required the moment it sends an awesome dinosaur army to defeat your enemies. The big thing for me is that the god Eywa is real, yes I know most people believe god is real but I mean real in the sense that we determine everything else is real – no special privilege for god. Eywa physically exists in the world, intervenes and has measurable effects, and when science takes a look at the world they don’t see our reality where investigation reveals a planet and universe devoid of a creator or deity. Scientists are the people in the film that preach the god of Pandora, not pagan rubbish but something real, provable and unambiguous.

Plus if my predictions are correct, Sigourney Weaver will pull a Jesus and become the new face of Eywa in the sequel. Try to top that one Christianity 😛


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  • Zlatan (lay - tan): Hi, My name is Zlatan (lay - tan) Just want to meet up with some like minded folks in the Gong. So can you please let me know when/where you


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