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Old January 18 2010, 01:21 AM   #181
StarTrek1701
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Dusty Ayres wrote: View Post
Critics have called alien epic Avatar a version of Dances With Wolves because it's about a white guy going native and becoming a great leader. But Avatar is just the latest scifi rehash of an old white guilt fantasy. Spoilers...

Whether Avatar is racist is a matter for debate. Regardless of where you come down on that question, it's undeniable that the film - like alien apartheid flick District 9, released earlier this year - is emphatically a fantasy about race. Specifically, it's a fantasy about race told from the point of view of white people. Avatar and scifi films like it give us the opportunity to answer the question: What do white people fantasize about when they fantasize about racial identity?

Avatar imaginatively revisits the crime scene of white America's foundational act of genocide, in which entire native tribes and civilizations were wiped out by European immigrants to the American continent. In the film, a group of soldiers and scientists have set up shop on the verdant moon Pandora, whose landscapes look like a cross between Northern California's redwood cathedrals and Brazil's tropical rainforest. The moon's inhabitants, the Na'vi, are blue, catlike versions of native people: They wear feathers in their hair, worship nature gods, paint their faces for war, use bows and arrows, and live in tribes. Watching the movie, there is really no mistake that these are alien versions of stereotypical native peoples that we've seen in Hollywood movies for decades.

And Pandora is clearly supposed to be the rich, beautiful land America could still be if white people hadn't paved it over with concrete and strip malls. In Avatar, our white hero Jake Sully (sully - get it?) explains that Earth is basically a war-torn wasteland with no greenery or natural resources left. The humans started to colonize Pandora in order to mine a mineral called unobtainium that can serve as a mega-energy source. But a few of these humans don't want to crush the natives with tanks and bombs, so they wire their brains into the bodies of Na'vi avatars and try to win the natives' trust. Jake is one of the team of avatar pilots, and he discovers to his surprise that he loves his life as a Na'vi warrior far more than he ever did his life as a human marine.
When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?
When non-white people start making movies like Avatar, I guess. Which is what, in 500 years perhaps?
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Old January 18 2010, 03:44 AM   #182
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

LOL - Indeed!

We are waiting for you, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, and others... You know you want to make such a film!
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Old January 18 2010, 04:36 AM   #183
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

District 9 was the better film


Avatar was all fx, but the story just sucked
too bad they left out the sex scene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzMmmkgQYDo
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Old January 18 2010, 05:07 AM   #184
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

THIS IS A JOKE!

When black people start making good movies.
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Old January 18 2010, 05:15 AM   #185
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
THIS IS A JOKE!

When black people start making good movies.
Your comment is a bad racist joke.

That said, having just finally seen Avatar I have to say that there's nothing particularly different in the politics of it from stuff like Star Trek or Babylon 5 or even Star Wars. These tropes involving colonialism and the exotic "other" are part and parcel of American popular science fiction as it developed in the 20th century and are probably inseparable from the form. You certainly find somewhat less of them in more self-consciously literary sf or in the European tradition (somewhat ironic, as Europeans are essentially responsible for colonialism itself).
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Old January 18 2010, 05:20 AM   #186
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Dennis wrote: View Post
bigdaddy wrote: View Post
THIS IS A JOKE!

When black people start making good movies.
Your comment is a bad racist joke.
And so is this whole topic.
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Old January 18 2010, 07:50 AM   #187
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

bigdaddy wrote: View Post
Dennis wrote: View Post
bigdaddy wrote: View Post
THIS IS A JOKE!

When black people start making good movies.
Your comment is a bad racist joke.
And so is this whole topic.
Agreed. As I said before, there's no such thing as "white people".
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Old January 18 2010, 07:52 AM   #188
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Actually, the article that touched this topic off is well-observed and well written. That white Americans, particularly males, are so thin-skinned as a group that they can make a controversy out of the obvious goes a long way toward making the writer's point.
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Old January 18 2010, 02:50 PM   #189
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

The writer's point is that Avatar is racist. It is not well observed since it did not even note that the supposed white savior did not actually succeed in saving anybody but himself. It also implies this story is often told, which is still untrue no matter who says otherwise.

Since the days when my parents carefully explained to me that the biggest racist in the country was Martin Luther King, I have learned that a favorite racist trick is to find a countercharge of racism.
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Old January 18 2010, 03:14 PM   #190
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

stj wrote: View Post
The writer's point is that Avatar is racist. It is not well observed since it did not even note that the supposed white savior did not actually succeed in saving anybody but himself. It also implies this story is often told, which is still untrue no matter who says otherwise.

Since the days when my parents carefully explained to me that the biggest racist in the country was Martin Luther King, I have learned that a favorite racist trick is to find a countercharge of racism.
Not really, since I haven't suggested that Avatar isn't racist. I have no idea if it is or it isn't since I haven't seen it nor do I have any intention of doing so.

It just gets more than a little tiresome listening to people moan about how everything that is wrong in their lives is down to some phantom white, heterosexual man. Yes, sure, and the CIA invented crack to keep the black man down.

Regardless of the context, the term "white people" is racist because it ignores the huge diversity of "white" cultures, just as terms like "black people" or "Asian people" are ignorant too.
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Old January 18 2010, 03:36 PM   #191
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

I think the author was nitpicking. As has been said here and elsewhere the 'guilt' such as it is, is about wilful destruction of habitat, rather than whitey getting whupped by the coloured people. That said, it's a fantasy movie. Cameron seems to think it's an ecological message, judging from what he said at the Globes; but the ecological message as far as it went was 'don't cut down trees because it's bad', followed up by 'humans aren't worth saving if they don't listen to this message'. Subtle it ain't.
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Old January 18 2010, 04:41 PM   #192
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Deckerd wrote: View Post
but the ecological message as far as it went was 'don't cut down trees because it's bad', followed up by 'humans aren't worth saving if they don't listen to this message'. Subtle it ain't.
I can see the genesis of that first message, but I'm not sure where the second one comes from. Granted, I've only seen the film once.
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Old January 18 2010, 06:12 PM   #193
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Dennis wrote: View Post
Actually, the article that touched this topic off is well-observed and well written. That white Americans, particularly males, are so thin-skinned as a group that they can make a controversy out of the obvious goes a long way toward making the writer's point.
And yet to call a black person thin skinned over something like say The Cleavland Show is considered racist...
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Old January 18 2010, 06:38 PM   #194
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

You realize that we white, heterosexual males have, as a group, have had all the money, power, and influence for quite a while, right? So it seems less justifiable when we whine about how oppressed we are than if it was coming from an ethnic or sexual minority.

It's the difference between speaking truth to power, and kicking someone when they're down.
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Old January 18 2010, 06:39 PM   #195
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Re: When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"?

Gee, I think I can hear the violins now!

The way I see it is this: The group is irrelevant. Do I, personally, have money, power or influence? No. Do I benefit from these things? No. So what's the fucking problem? I do not speak for my race, I get nothing from it, I will not apologize for it. Nor should I be made to do so. This is true for everyone, not just me.

I have not oppressed, nor have I *been* oppressed, so the question is strictly academic.
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Last edited by Mr. Laser Beam; January 18 2010 at 06:58 PM.
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