17 May 2010

Avatar the Movie, and Culture and Violence

Dusk on Sunday, May 16, 2010I thought the movie was thought-provoking, and a good lead-in to thinking about culture and media and violence.

Perhaps I am just distrusting, but when I saw the film was produced by FOX, of the News Corporation, I became immediately skeptical. News Corp behaves in an evil manner, infecting peoples' minds with fear and hate and racism.

I believe that the only way we're going to have a world without violence and without exploitation will be to change the culture in a way that society no longer permits certain behaviors, for example - harmful economic activities for the sake of profit. Also, so society no longer produces persons with behavior like that of the crazed addicted to "cheddar" corporate boss, and the uber violent colonel. Those were characters, but those same mentalities exist and even prevail in our own culture.

I think a very similar criticism can be made of the film V for Vendetta. The concept that some heroic act of violence could in an instant halt a culture that has been destructive for thousands and thousands of years is irrational.

Another problem I had with the movie is how the hero, Jake, was not indigenous. There was some message throughout the film that Jake, as a sky-person, was somehow intellectually superior and also more capable physically than the natives.

I believe that the real way to peace is to change our very own culture so that those that are harmful and destructive behaviors, character personalities, and market functions are simply made extinct.

Anyway, it's a good movie for discussion purposes, and very entertaining.

But I think overall the movie sends a harmful message to people watching. That harmful message is this: that violence may be a rational or legitimate path toward saving the world.

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