Avatar unpatriotic?

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Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Elite_Stormtrooper on Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:35 pm

Avatar, a great movie, but I cant help but see it as an anti-American film. I know it draws more comparisons to the US army of old fighting Native Americans but with our troops fighting in two foreign battlefields, I cant help but imagine some watching this movie and cheering as mercenary troops that greatly resemble US forces utilizing state of the art weaponry getting killed by a less sophisticated force. This movie is set far into the future, I feel Cameron could have visualized the mercenaries differently, especially with so many of our people in harm's way. I remember after 9/11, Palestinians were shown celebrating in the streets and one boy of about ten years was asked why and he named off propaganda points such as slavery and the massacre of Native Americans in US history. Has Cameron created another film to justify strikes against the US? Cameron has been weird in his approach to heavy issues like world peace and nuclear proliferation, offering a mixed message. Abyss and Terminator both have anti-nuclear weapons themes. In the alternate ending of the Abyss, the aliens use massive tidal waves to warn humanity to end its warlike ways or face mass extinction. Essentially, the aliens entered the mass weapons of destruction race with a bigger bomb and won since they control all the water on the planet.

Anyway, sorry for such a depressing rant on this great day.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Darko on Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:47 am

I haven't seen Avatar, first off, so I can't really talk to the specific content. However, I don't think we should be afraid of speaking our minds about the policies of our country (no matter what the opinion) on the basis that it might be used as 'reasons' for terrorists to attack us or even dislike us. First off, we DO have a fairly warty history (as do most countries), and trying to deny that or justify all of our actions is dishonest. Second, one of the best parts about this country is that we have freedom of speech. If we curtail that right out of fear of outsiders attacking us, well, isn't that kinda giving them what they want? Third, I highly doubt they're screening Avatar in the caves of Afghanistan. I doubt there are many people in the world, even the significantly unhinged ones, who would be driven not just to hate an entire country but hate it enough to inflict violence upon its people by a sci-fi movie.
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Elite_Stormtrooper on Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:36 am

I dont believe I called for censorship. I believe responsibility was my focus. And our country's enemies are not cavemen. They are using cellphones, the internet, etc to cause us harm. I think seeing a publicly displayed movie wont be a stretch.
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby camper on Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:14 am

Elite_Stormtrooper wrote:I dont believe I called for censorship. I believe responsibility was my focus. And our country's enemies are not cavemen. They are using cellphones, the internet, etc to cause us harm. I think seeing a publicly displayed movie wont be a stretch.


Responsibility in and of itself requires censorship--self or otherwise.

But to add to the comment regarding the possibility that the movie won't be seen by those who hate us, I can walk into a haji shop here and walk out with a bootleg of the movie...within minutes. Or any movie, most of which have arabic subtitles. So to say it won't be seen over here is simply untrue and the bad guys are FAR more sophisticated than most would want to believe, and the media portrays.

That said, we can't be afraid to speak our approval or disapproval of our govenrment or its past/present/future actions...ever. Otherwise, we could ALL wind up rooting for the mercenaries, because they might end up the 'good guys'--which is why our forefathers had the sense to build a 'reset' switch into the constitution called the 2nd amendment.

Cameron is a director who is appalled by the idea of war or nuclear destruction, but he's made a fortune on showing it in graphic--and glorifying--detail.

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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Elite_Stormtrooper on Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:15 pm

Yes, responsibility is censorship, though to equate it to an attack on freedom is over the top. One may as well say looking both ways before crossing a street is self-tyranny. The questioning of an irresponsible act is I believe not a form of fascism or a threat to free speech. If anything, its free speech which allows me to do so. If you were to read what I posted correctly and without a preset hostile view, you would see censorship was never called for. A censorship post as opposed to mine, from a common sense outlook, not a technical one, would be "Avatar is unpatriotic filth! Dont go see it!" I merely saw the movie as being irresponsible showing what appears to be Americans being defeated by an indigenous race, which can be considered an analogy of America's presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially by those who view it as criminal. In my post, I stated "I feel Cameron could have visualized the mercenaries differently", is that censorship at work? I could have said "should have". As for unhinged people causing harm due to a sci-fi movie, thats the thing about unhinged people, they dont need much to tip them over, any level of justification can be enough. And I never said anyone would become violent from viewing the movie. I dont think the movie will cause violence but rather that it could foster sympathy for and provide credibility to our enemy's propaganda claims. My point is during a time our soldiers are under fire from an enemy using vastly inferior technology, is it irresponsible to show a movie that could be interpreted as the US engaging in an invasion and being defeated by an inferior force? Is it Cameron's right as an free man to produce such a movie? Absolutely. Do I believe it was irresponsible of him during these troubled times? Absolutely.
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Darko on Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:41 pm

...okay, whoa there, take a big ol' deep breath. I did not "come in with a preset hostile view" and at no point did I ever accuse you of calling for censorship, being a fascist, or anything even remotely like that. Nor did Camper. This is a discussion board. We're discussing. Presenting opposite views is part of that. We can continue the discussion if you will calm down a bit.
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Elite_Stormtrooper on Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:22 pm

You're right, the fascist comment was going way overboard. Im not angry, just have the tendency to rant. A forum environment isnt the best place to read one's mood. Maybe thats what those smiley faces are for. I should start using them. I apologize for being rude. As I said, Avatar is a great movie and I do look forward to any sequels. However, this new Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel has me worried...
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Darko on Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:34 am

camper wrote:
Elite_Stormtrooper wrote:I dont believe I called for censorship. I believe responsibility was my focus. And our country's enemies are not cavemen. They are using cellphones, the internet, etc to cause us harm. I think seeing a publicly displayed movie wont be a stretch.


Responsibility in and of itself requires censorship--self or otherwise.

But to add to the comment regarding the possibility that the movie won't be seen by those who hate us, I can walk into a haji shop here and walk out with a bootleg of the movie...within minutes. Or any movie, most of which have arabic subtitles. So to say it won't be seen over here is simply untrue and the bad guys are FAR more sophisticated than most would want to believe, and the media portrays.


My point more is that movies don't make these people kill or even hate us. Al-Qaeda isn't anti-America because they all watched Dances with Wolves or Apocalypse Now. And they don't need Avatar or any other movie to rile their anger. They, frankly, have more horrible things to do that. We could make nothing but movies portraying Americans as noble-hearted bringers of freedom and liberty, and it doesn't make a difference if news footage (or just the view out their front door) shows civilians being killed as collateral damage from American cruise missile and predator drones. Honestly, I can't imagine they really care about America's portrayal in works of fiction. They're shooting at our soldiers because our soldiers are the invading army. They believe that they can win not because of movies portraying underdog forces toppling mighty empires (which, really, covers just about every action/scifi movie ever made), but because they believe that God is on their side, because they've done it before (Russia, Great Britain, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great...they refer to Afghanistan as the graveyard of empires for a reason), and because they believe that giving up will be an end to their entire culture and way of life (and, really, if America was facing a a similar situation, where a vastly superior army was occupying our country, would it take movies to keep us from laying down in surrender?). What I'm saying is that if we worry about how everything our culture produces in light of what our enemies will think, we play into their goals, and without real purpose. It's the same as when people worry about a movie that has Middle Eastern terrorist characters making everyone think that all Middle Easterners are terrorists. Most people are too intelligent to believe that, and those who aren't don't think that because of movies.
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Elite_Stormtrooper on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:46 am

"I dont think the movie will cause violence but rather that it could foster sympathy for and provide credibility to our enemy's propaganda claims" is what I said. I completely agree with you that terrorists are not concerned with our entertainment nor will they grab their suicide vests after seeing it. Right now, there is waning interest in the fight against terrorism. A movie that could lean people, especially those on the fence, to believe America's presence abroad is wrong and could lead to politicians abandoning what is right for what is politically expedient. During World War II, every war movie was universal in support for our troops. It lifted the morale of a nation at war while many movies during the 60's did the opposite. Im not saying this movie will cause America to lose, just that our troops deserve our support and making movies that could lead people to believe their mission is wrong is counterproductive. As I said, its a great movie and I enjoyed it. I am not condemning it. Merely saying that its irresponsible in light of current events. I know Im making a mountain out of a mole hill, I dont believe Avatar will hurt our troops. And I agree with its message of the harm that privatization of military forces can lead. Having said that, I need to swim back to safer waters with GI Joe posts.
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Re: Avatar unpatriotic?

Postby Matthew on Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:29 pm

A can see Avatar being based on our treatment of the Native Americans, but I don't think I can agree with the parallel to Afghanistan. When our ancestors came from Europe, they took land from the natives. The natives, like Avatar, were being encroached on. They didn't bring the fight to earth as terrorist brought the fight to the United States.

I think we are in Afghanistan and the middle east in order to protect our freedom and to protect the United States. In Avatar, they were taking the land and resources from the natives for personal gain without regards to their cultures and beliefs.

That being said, I'm not sure it is our place to force democracy on everyone either. Reminds me of what Marcus Aurelius talks about in Gladiator. He talks about Rome taking civilization to the barbarians. On his death bed he wonders if the barbarians needed civilization.

So, I guess what I am saying, we need to defend ourselves, but we don't need everyone to be like us :D.
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