...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.
Monday, January 11, 2010
The Messiah Complex
David Brook's column on the movie was a treat, and have to agree with his critical points: