Fjordman just sent us this brief note:
If somebody thought that my critical comments regarding the hidden messages in the movie Avatar or other Hollywood movies were caused by paranoia, read this from Courtland Milloy in The Washington Post:
‘Avatar’ is part of important discussion about race
If you thought James Cameron’s “Avatar” was just a 3-D fantasy flick about nice cat people vs. mechanized mad men, think again. There’s a fourth dimension, a shadowy back story about race that has the sci-fi blogosphere engaged in its own war of the worlds.
Annalee Newitz, writing last week on her science blog io9, criticized “Avatar” for depicting yet another white man as a hero in the liberation struggles of oppressed people of color.
As happens in movies such as “District 9,” “Dances With Wolves” and “The Last Samurai,” Newitz wrote, “a white guy manages to get himself accepted into a closed society of people of color and eventually becomes its most awesome member.”
Eric Ribellarsi, writing on the anti-imperialist blog Fire Collective, fired back at the critics:
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“This is not a story about a white man who goes to lead native peoples as their condescending savior…. It’s a story about a backward white man who is transformed and takes up armed struggle against imperialism alongside them.”
Personally, I prefer my sci-fi movies to be mindless escapism. But when it comes to a national discussion about race — to the extent that there is one at all — I accept the reality that Hollywood is the moderator and the Internet is the forum.
“Avatar” certainly keeps the discussion going.