Thursday, January 21, 2010


I'm not surprised the conservatives are affronted by the movie Avatar. As to why, well, I'm quite sure it wasn't exactly the story itself - it's an old story that has been told many times before. I don't think it was special effects, either - a thick, verdant forest, awe-inspiring vistas, and the Na'vi themselves who are lean, fit, and graceful - surely these things didn't provoke the wrath of the right-wingers. Nope, I think what makes them so fired up about this movie is the reflection they see of themselves. Rapacious, black-hearted greed, the arrogance of thinking superior firepower equals higher morality, and the belief that they have a God-given right to take what they want, regardless of the cost in lives. Not a pretty picture - not one I would want to see when I look in the mirror. Of course they aren't happy with this production, and no doubt aghast at the popularity it is enjoying. Yet this image of soulless corporate imperialism is ingrained in the global view of our country.

However, there are many here in the United States who also see this, and despair that our path has led us here. Giving unfeeling corporations the power to ravish and annilate in the name of progress, with no mercy or compassion for those whose lifestyles depend on the land that holds those resources we desire is just another step on the path we chose when our ancestors first laid eyes on this lovely continent.

Is is possible to change our ways? Can we teach ourselves to rein in that urge to possess, to acquire, to destroy in the name of progress? Why is it that our comfort and luxuries seem to rank much higher in the grand scheme of things than cooperation, sharing, and simple respect for ways of life that are different from our own?