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The Meaning of Avatar

[1]600 words

To a certain degree a book, a poem, or a movie can mean what we want them to mean. That is, in addition to the objective thing, there is our subjective reception of it. If a poem, particularly, means something to me, then I am satisfied with that meaning even if the poet had no intention of conveying such a meaning, or would be appalled that anyone would interpret it that way.

This may in part account for the differing interpretations here of Avatar, a movie I have not seen and do not intend to see unless, perhaps, it is broadcast free on TV one day.

That being said, mainstream media reports suggest that Avatar is intended as a relatively straightforward Leftist (and therefore anti-white) production. In “Does ‘Avatar’ Contain Hidden Messages?” Brett Michael Dykes writes:

Are you beginning to get a sense of why some viewers noticed what they believe are underlying messages in the film?

Some prominent members of the media who screened the film certainly took note. In a glowing review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert noted that Avatar “has a flat-out Green and anti-war message” that is “predestined to launch a cult.” Meanwhile Ben Hoyle, writing in the Times of London, noted that the film “contains heavy implicit criticism of America’s conduct in the War on Terror.” Further, Will Heaven of the Daily Telegraph said that the plot line involving people of color who wear “tribal” jewelry while sporting dreadlocked hair, being saved by a noble white man gave the film a “racist subtext” that he found “nauseatingly patronising.

But are these hidden messages really all that hidden? James Cameron himself hasn’t been shy in publicly proclaiming the fact that he’s an environmental activist who believes that humans and “industrial society” are “causing a global climate change” and “destroying species faster than we can classify them.” In a recent interview with PBS’ Tavis Smiley, Cameron admitted that he made “obvious” references in the film to Iraq, Vietnam and the American colonial period to emphasize the fact that humans have a “terrible history” of “entitlement” in which we “take what we need” from nature and indigenous peoples and don’t give back.’” http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/hmg-avatar-hidden-messages.html [2]

What I do with any production I’m interested in is trace its racial and ideological genealogy.

The major force behind Avatar is filmmaker James Cameron, who is evidently white (a Canadian of Scottish or at least part-Scottish ancestry). His studio made the movie, and he wrote, co-produced, directed, and co-edited it. It therefore largely reflects his views as mediated by the Hollywood Establishment which would break any white man with an independent point of view.

Cameron, while multi-talented, is like any white politician, journalist, or academic. He is successful because the rigid socialization process characteristic of his profession is congenial to him.

A cursory examination of published information about his views suggests that he is a conventional Leftist and therefore anti-white. The two go together nearly 100% of the time. (When they do not, the Leftist in question usually is not conventional.)

I remember that the depiction of the Irish and other non-British passengers in Titanic, an earlier Cameron film, and particularly the malevolent portrayal of the ship’s English captain and crew, represented simpleminded, indeed childish (anti-Brit) racist stereotypes.

Other significant contributors to Avatar are co-producer Jon Landau and co-editor Stephen E. Rivkin, who are Jewish, and the film’s distributor, 20th Century Fox Film Corp., a subsidiary of neocon media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

However, due to his pivotal role in the film’s production, Avatar’s views are essentially Cameron’s.

TOQ Online, December 23, 2009