Monday, January 11, 2010

The Messiah Complex

Yes,  of course I went to see Avatar in 3-D IMAX.  Loved it. (The picture shows Deric using a chemical depressant to recover from the sensory overload, at a dinner with friends afterwards.) I thought David Brook's column on the movie was a treat,  and have to agree with his critical points:
...would it be totally annoying to point out that the whole White Messiah fable, especially as Cameron applies it, is kind of offensive?...It rests on the stereotype that white people are rationalist and technocratic while colonial victims are spiritual and athletic. It rests on the assumption that nonwhites need the White Messiah to lead their crusades. It rests on the assumption that illiteracy is the path to grace. It also creates a sort of two-edged cultural imperialism. Natives can either have their history shaped by cruel imperialists or benevolent ones, but either way, they are going to be supporting actors in our journey to self-admiration...It’s just escapism, obviously, but benevolent romanticism can be just as condescending as the malevolent kind — even when you surround it with pop-up ferns and floating mountains.


  1. Hello Deric. It's a good thing you posted something lighthearted because I wasn't sure I can comment on your previous articles. Just too heavy for my puny brain to digest, I guess. I found your blog while I was merrily hopping around inside Googlespace searching for mind stuff. The information you have here is pretty intense and I just love it. Hope you don't mind if I become a fan.

    And oh... haven't seen Avatar yet, but I'm sure the plot stinks as usual. Escapism - yeah, you nailed it. The only Hollywood product I truly adored was The Matrix. =)


  2. Brandon5:08 PM

    I went to see it without a clue. One of the few times I have gone without being critical. If you can do that, visually the ride was great enough to ignore the bad dialogue, the 1-D personalities, and the recycled plot. At least it was for a couple of hours. Just don't think about it after you see it. I think the chemical depressant may help with that.