Weird how Avatar demonized the United States Marine Corps, but what else is new in Hollywood? But they also attacked capitalism as being the responsible force behind the conquest of Eden, or Pandora. Weirder still: the spiritual dimension was reduced to a materialistic phenomenon. Recall the forces measurable by scientific technology, under the lead scientist Prof. Sigourney Weaver. And do not forget the weird tail thing that physically connected with the ridable birdies! This would represent a bizarre, but not unreasonable alternative biological system. The very fact of its objective amenability to physical measurement places the phenomena squarely within science; not Spirituality. If this is spirituality it is one lacking a force or personality that transcends the physical universe. The only supernatural being in Hollywood is Satan, except for comedies in which George Burns or Morgan Freeman play the Creator.
Odd though that the Pandorans, call themselves “the Na’vii”. In Hebrew, Na’vi is a prophet! And the wise woman of the tribe is called what sounds like Tzaddik: the Hebrew for a wise man. And like the pantheism of primitive societies or those in the West deliberately creating a substitute anti-Biblical neo-paganism, they always gravitate to the feminine, the matriarchy, Mother Nature etc. Even the name arbitrarily chosen by Americans to call the planet and its people: “Pandora, Pandorans” of course points to the Greek myth. The highly macho Mycenaean Greek bronze age mythology explains the question of evil in the world and blames it on the woman, Pandora, who just had to open that dern box and let loose all the troubles in the world. So the movie casts us, the US and the entire edifice of Western Civilization as resting on the assumptions of Patriarchy. And the poor oppressed victimized Na’vii, are brutally coldly mowed down by the whitest white man I have ever seen in a movie. Colonel Miles Quaritch even has white hair, and white scars upon his harshly angled saxon face. But who comes to the rescue: Prof. Weever, the “tough” feminist with a warm-heart stereotype. She is constantly exasperated by the bad white man and the mousey white lawyer-banker nerd representing The Corporation. And a Hispanic woman who “didn’t sign up for this!” and of course a physically challenged white paraplegic.
Two Hollywood stereotypes of the white man are often exhibited. One is the ruthless, physically powerful and fearless, but small- minded , homophobic, misogynistic, domineering, suicidally proud type. They frequently wrap themselves in the flag, but the viewer has been led to believe that this is but a disguise, a fig leaf used by him to justify his homicidal rage. Of course this is Colonel Quaritch. Another common “type” is the seemingly good-natured, considerate, team-player. We, the privileged, in the audience are given often aural tip-offs (dissonant sounds) to reveal his true nature. Perhaps a quick micro-expression will pass between him and the camera, unseen by the character. This man is as far from the alpha male as it is possible to be this side of art galleries and wine tastings. Here we find those with that delicate combination of inferiority complex (for having to be submissive to the alpha-male) plus the charming conceit of entitlement. He just wants “his” share. Think of the character who sets off the cascading failure of Jurassic Park, (Newman, in Seinfeld) in order to steal dinosaur embryos. Or Carter Burke (Paul Reiser), who represented the Company in Aliens 2. Treacherous, and cowardly he deviously thinks he’s got the whole thing figured out when he gets his comeuppance. In Avatar Giovanni Ribisi plays the not so subtly named Parker Selfridge. “Parker” of course is one of those last names that fashionable yuppies have taken to naming their future corporate tools. The “self” in “Selfridge” needs no explanation. The “ridge” ending adds a WASPish ring. As we know there is no WASP grievance-group, (except perhaps the GOP at one time). Parker Selfridge is the weaselly Company Man this time. Having been educated in a presumably WASPish Ivy-League school, of which his father doubtlessly is a member of the alumni club, he has learned the core curriculum. At its heart is the art of creating the air of the ethical business man. But underneath, that WASP blood can’t help but grasp for power, prestige and the gold-plated pension plan. He defers appropriately to Professor Grace Augustine, and is faultlessly politically correct. But after having to accept being scolded by Dr. Grace (Sigourney Weaver), he rolls his eyes for the benefit of super male, Quaritch. He wants to project that “he’s-just -one-of -the -boys”; part of that locker-room-bonding that those who haven’t stepped inside a locker room since their last wedgie in high school, believe is real. After a shared man-to- man smirk at the naivety of Grace’s “pretense” of being part of the power structure of the American Base, we get to see Quaritch’s look of loathing for the soft handed pencil pusher.
Dr. Grace Augustine. Yes, she smokes, but in the future presumably safe sex has now been followed by the enjoyable post-sex safe-cig! But the cig gives her “cred” as tough as nails on the outside in order to allow her soft and warm nature the freedom to lovingly explore this new world and its intelligent species. When push comes to shove, the Hispanic woman helicopter pilot, with the moist luscious lips and earthy healthy body joins the “good guys”. From the first appearance I knew she was destined for this martyrdom. After all, what does Hollywood love about brown people? They seem to like becoming martyrs! And the main hero: a white hard ass Marine vet. He is duly impressed by the White General Strangelove character. He is also paraplegic from a battle in some past wog mutiny or another. Later when he is enlightened by the beauty of Pandora, their world, and a certain hotty Na’vi he sees the white American male (presumably Christian) as the true scum of the earth, umm , wait, of the Galaxy. Our “enlightened” intellectuals have perfected the knack of deconstructing our society to unveil the slimy self-centeredness that consumes us, in their eyes. Finally our hero becomes a soft and vulnerable physically challenged, handicapped, veteran with PTSD who wants to now “wage peace!” And I suppose he goes on to find a nice tree in the suburbs with his blue Na’vi bride to raise a brood of psychic tailed gentle tree-dwelling beings. Kind of like evolution in reverse: Human being with free will and knowledge of Right and Wrong back to tree dwelling innocence. At the roots of the New Age Spirituality, and the Marxist materialist approach is one commonality. It is summarized in the Crosby Stills And Nash song, appropriately titled “Woodstock”. The chorus goes: ”
We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
This is not what Genesis says. Au contraire: “And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”
The New Agers and the Marxists whether Red or Green, have the arrogance to demand that they have the right to return to Eden on their own terms, that they got to get themselves back to the Garden. Man can not correct his imperfect nature, not by 12 steps, not by 144 steps. Not by chanting Hari Krishna. Not through the portals of exotic botanicals. Not by redistributive transformation. Not by environmental justice. Not by counting beads, on a string. Not by anything we can do and having done claim entrance! Only by way of partaking in the sacrifice of Yeshua HaMoshiah, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately many are willing to do many bizarre things, undergo severe self-denial, sit in full Lotus position for months. Watch Pat Robertson’s 700 Club. But humbling ourselves to admit we are sinners and that we know who Yeshua is and what he has accomplished is not hard. It is a light yoke. He promised.