James Cameron's AVATAR

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William
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 06:16 pm
I haven't been to a movie since 1997. Coincidentally that movie was also a James Cameron flick, TITANIC. After observing AVATAR one can't help but notice a reoccurring theme that has been depicted in other movies in seeking to understand the perfection of an untouched natural ecosystem.

Like The Emerald Forest, A Play in the Field of the Lord, Dances With Wolves and so forth. This theme can also be likened to the turmoil in the middle east and upsetting that ecosystem in our quest for energy sources and the oil that is so plentiful there.

In each of these movies each of those "ecosystems" have different resources; one was land, one was gold, one was water, and in Avatar the resource was UNOBTANIUM. It doesn't matter what "it" was it seems our individual cultures possess "something" the other cultures need or are missing? Of course in these depictions something material had to be the focal point because in reality we all are guilty of committing those offensive measures of devising unique and deceptive ways of usurping that "value" each have that they consider "theirs". Both sides are guilty of creating the conflict in reality. One for thinking what they have materially is theirs; and the other for thinking they have the right to take it. Final result the loss of the most important resource that is important to all of us.............life itself. Much blood has been spilled because of this very conflict. Have we learn from it? Obviously not! Why?

Ownership, that's why! If we can't buy it we take in the most diplomatic or divisive ways. Both are wrong. Diplomacy is nothing more than the art of lying with finesse. Hell we do that to each other and why we assume it okay in any other scenario! Cameron just took his depiction to another planet. Gene Roddenberry did that in many of his STAR TREK tales. One in particular that was depicted in a movie Jonathan Frakes directed is INSURRECTION also on another planet. The "natives" of this planet lived extraordinarily long lives and that which was responsible for that was being stolen from them giving erroneous reason to any means to justify any end that we can conceive. Even the federation itself was involved in that one not realizing the real meaning behind it all; a family feud involving the natives alone.

In all synopses of all movies the buying and selling of assets is always an understood as it has always been a part of our reality as we know it. Never has any mention of a mutual sharing ever been a part of those offerings. Never!!!!

In Avatar it was ingenious how Cameron depicted it. Even technology creating duplicate "moles" to infiltrate the native culture; the Navi an animal/human hybrid that exists in complete harmony with the planet they "lived" with. Notice I didn't say "survived on". Actually they had no use that they knew of for the "unobtanium" and in all probability it would have been freely given had a mutual trust been established first. The sad part of all this is we don't trust. We are trapped beneath the facade of our egos afraid to trust creating a paranoia stemming from thinking that there be ulterior selfish motives attached. The even sadder part is that paranoia is justified because there are in many cases agendas we don't know about involved in why one would be offering such a trust?

In the movie Cameron went a step farther in the visualization of a link between the people and the environment that was the planet. It allowed the Navi to connect in a more intense sense when Cameron, in his creation of these people, gave them tendrils emerging from the ends of their long hair that could be meshed with all fauna and flora if need be the case.

Granted it is fictionalizing what we must do in the adapting to the resources that is our environment harmonically in such a way all of that collectively when used in conjunction with everything else would be that "heaven" we talk so much about. That is what, in Cameron's depiction. Is what Pandora was; A PERFECT WORLD tainted by OUR greed.

I know some of what he offered will be misinterpreted, no doubt. Especially the connecting with animals. The PETA crowd will surely do that to reinforce their beliefs. In truth the animal is here to help us survive in that nouishment they are until we do understand what we need to do to live. They are one of our survivalistic structures provided for us by that god we talk, again, so much about. They do provide protein we need to maintain strength and in that respect we use that sinew in them to sustain us. Whether that will always be is not known, but there are animals that cannot be domesticated in any way and it is those who we use as that nourishment. Those that we can domesticate offer a purpose also, in that in their unrequited love for us provides us with comfort we cannot find in the species that is us.

Now the cat is a different story. It is a true predator and it to will become extinct when the vermin/varmints that thrive on waste are no more. The parasites that they are, the vermin, will go when we finally stop wasting so much. That is what they feed on. The only reason the cat seems domesticated is because the food we give them is easy to get offering a much more precise definition to what "fat cat" means. Ha! There are humans also that are predatory fat cats that don't feed on waste but do find there nourishment in the weak and innocent. Pornography, drugs and gambling comes to mind. Humph! Talk about the buying and selling of potential assets. Damn!!

If we no longer need that nourishment of the animal, then as in all things they will become come extinct. Another thing that will, hopefully become extinct is our idol worship meaning if this technology perfects itself any farther, the day of the flesh and blood "idols or stars" will be no more. If there is one possible aspect of technology I agree with, it is that. Of course I am also grateful that same technology is keeping my heart pumping in a way that it has never pumped before.

Thanks for reading and as always your thoughts welcome.:bigsmile:

William
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 10:30 pm
@William,
William;145349 wrote:
In Avatar it was ingenious how Cameron depicted it. Even technology creating duplicate "moles" to infiltrate the native culture; the Navi an animal/human hybrid that exists in complete harmony with the planet they "lived" with. Notice I didn't say "survived on". Actually they had no use that they knew of for the "unobtanium" and in all probability it would have been freely given had a mutual trust been established first.


That's the great thing about fiction you can ignore reality. Nature doesn't work like that. I am reminded of this quote by David Attenborough.

Quote:
They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs.


Worms burrowing through eyeballs, that's the reality of nature. Harmony is something that only exists in the movies.
 
William
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 02:53 am
@William,
William;145349 wrote:
In Avatar it was ingenious how Cameron depicted it. Even technology creating duplicate "moles" to infiltrate the native culture; the Navi an animal/human hybrid that exists in complete harmony with the planet they "lived" with. Notice I didn't say "survived on". Actually they had no use that they knew of for the "unobtanium" and in all probability it would have been freely given had a mutual trust been established first.


Night Ripper;145408 wrote:
That's the great thing about fiction you can ignore reality. Nature doesn't work like that. I am reminded of this quote by David Attenborough.


[CENTER]"They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs".
[/CENTER]

Hello Night Ripper. The negative overtones of your response are quite evident and that is understandable as most atheistic offerings are, gathered from the quote you offered. I am familiar with the inappropriate Attenborough quote. It is a common ploy of some to cite such erroneous analogies when one speaks of a god they know nothing about. Attenborough and Dawkin's are probably best friends, ha!

Night Ripper;145408 wrote:
Worms burrowing through eyeballs, that's the reality of nature. Harmony is something that only exists in the movies.


It seems a bit on the depressed side to espouse that is all that nature is, don't you think? Have you seen the movie? Ha, my eyeballs didn't have worms burrowing through them when I saw it.

I have come to recognize some truth in all that the mind of man represents in this reality even if he who is offering it doesn't recognize that truth themselves. Observing life through different lenses than most, is perhaps a more subtle way of describing it? Of course they are my lenses and I am not asking you to wear my glasses. Hopefully someone out there will draw the same correlations I did. :a-ok:

William
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 04:20 am
@William,
William;145485 wrote:
It seems a bit on the depressed side to espouse that is all that nature is, don't you think?

Well, it's isn't necessarily espousing all that nature is, not in Attenborough's case anyway.

The point is when extolling nature's beauty we shouldn't romanticise it to the point that we forget it's harsher side. If you're preteneding butterflies and hummingbirds are all there is you're in a state of denial.
 
William
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 05:25 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;145509 wrote:
Well, it's isn't necessarily espousing all that nature is, not in Attenborough's case anyway.

The point is when extolling nature's beauty we shouldn't romanticize it to the point that we forget it's harsher side. If you're pretending butterflies and hummingbirds are all there is you're in a state of denial.


Hello Dave, long time no quarrel, ha! I will admit you are a formidable adversary, ha! You expertise at derailing threads precedes you. You will not do it here.

AVATAR depicted natures harsher side and the Navi lived harmoniously with that as they lived above it. Only to save a stumbling innocent did they have to come down. They were a part of that harsh nature not so much in that they were physically a part of it, only in the respect they had of it and understood it. They could tap into it if need be to defend themselves and adapt to the harshness that would enable them to fight but that was not their nature overall.

I will ask you the same question I did Night Ripper. DID YOU SEE THE MOVIE? That is what this thread is about! Drawing correlations in what it depicted and the reality we live in. I don't appreciate anyone trying to sidetrack that with such an inane statement as "worms in eyeballs" is. That stirs my harsh nature also, ha! If you wish to entertain in the "glass is have empty" mentality, so be it, just don't do it in this thread.

So as to your last comment in accusing me of being in denial; as you now see that is definitely not the case. I am very cognitive of what Cameron was offering even if Cameron didn't realize it himself. Cameron is a gifted individual and I am sure he knew exactly what he was doing.

If you have seen the movie and would like to offer more comprehensive evaluations, please be my guest and offer it. Otherwise please just keep your comments to yourself if you don't mind.

Sorry for the tad bit of fire. I don't like being accused directly or indirectly of being in denial of anything.

Thanks,
William
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 06:46 am
@William,
William;145523 wrote:
That stirs my harsh nature also, ha! If you wish to entertain in the "glass is have empty" mentality, so be it, just don't do it in this thread.

This is a discussion forum - not a blithely agree with William forum. You don't get to tell me to keep my thoughts to myself I'm afraid.

Yeah I saw the movie. I quite liked the fact Hollywood takes on ecological messages from time to time and I think the battle over resources was a decent illusttration of man's rapacity - even if a multi-million dollar movie can only do such things with some degree of double standard.

But it was naive and certainly did not show nature in anything but an romanticised sense.
 
bmcreider
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 04:44 pm
@William,
I saw Avatar - and I have liked James Cameron's work since I was a kid, and saw Terminator 2. His movies have a theme, it seems, at least the good ones. Humans destroy themselves, and deny they do it. At least that is the message I get from Terminator 1 & 2, Aliens (in a way), Titanic, and Avatar. It seems to have metaphorical common ground, although I may be mistaken.

I agree with Dave Allen, it is romanticized, but I am sure you don't disagree. There is a slight hypocrisy to it, using all that money and all the technology, essentially the products of our own molestation of nature, to create a tribute to nature...

I would say it is hypocritical, at the same time, to denounce it completely for that reason alone. For we are all hypocrites, and we all romanticize what corporations and technology do for us. We also are all in some form of denial or another, and as a society, in America, that can afford to make and view that movie (even in 3D), in denial about the externalized costs that business and technology bring with it.
 
William
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:54 pm
@William,
bmcreider;145827 wrote:
I saw Avatar - and I have liked James Cameron's work since I was a kid, and saw Terminator 2. His movies have a theme, it seems, at least the good ones. Humans destroy themselves, and deny they do it. At least that is the message I get from Terminator 1 & 2, Aliens (in a way), Titanic, and Avatar. It seems to have metaphorical common ground, although I may be mistaken.


Hello Bmcreider and thank you for your response and I agree but to be more precise we destroy each other in that we ignore what is the entire human potential in lieu of the technological short cuts we devise. There are most definitely beneficial uses of technology indeed, but in this insane profit structure we have now and have always had, the desire to obtain that which is rare and use that as a bargaining chip to control others is the root problem when the real rarity is the unique individual and not allowing that which each and everyone one of us are to come forth. When we apply that rarity to anything else that can be obtained and place value on it and use that to define an individuals worth, because it is rare and not enough to go around we "strangle ourselves"!

In AVATAR Cameron actually used the word "Pandora", a word that has been around for a while and "her box". In our hubris and curiosity we were destined to discover and to do that we had to invade and in that process we find things that we have no idea of what they are and why they are there. So we apply our own reasons. Sometimes just because they are rare only and we devise ways to create a utility for them without knowing what we have "gotten ourselves into". Once we realize we shouldn't have open "that box", the difficult part is shutting it again. Laparoscopic surgery is our attempt to do just that. When we invade an enclosed ecosystem we "disturb" it and it ceases to be that what n it was before that invasion. If left alone it will return to it "stellar/pristine" condition by itself. The sad part is WE can help this happen, and we don't, not in all constructs where this applies. And there are many. Cameron did an excellent job in encapsulating many of them but not all of them.

What pissed me off is the way some try to avoid the issue of the complexity we have caused by applying erroneous anaglogy's such a "worms in eyes" to divert real thought in addressing all the ways we are culpable and how we can help in those other contructs we have erroneously created in our ignorance as it applies to all those things we have "invaded". Those who have profited the most will be the ones that yell the loudest. No doubt!

Just like all notions of God. Because we apply utility to that we don't know that god is, we find our own reasons. Because we don't know all that god is we create "evil" and fail to understand what "live" is.

bmcreider;145827 wrote:
I agree with Dave Allen, it is romanticized, but I am sure you don't disagree.


If I am not mistaken this statement is not what you intended. I think what you meant to say was "I am sure you don't agree"; and that would have been accurate. The was nothing romantic about AVATAR like there was in TITANIC. If you want to call the paraplegic Marine's natural innate desire to adapt to the purity that was Pandora, undisturbed, then yes it was. He feel in love with "it" and the people that were a part of "it" sacrificing himself in the process and healed himself in the process at the same time. I think that is what we are doing; sacrificing what we have innately seeking what we could have eternally. If you noted in the movie, there were no "old" people. When people are able to be who they innately are and share that with others in the environment both share, a synergy develops and friction subsides and erosion lessens and life is extended free to grow, not rust, age and die.

bmcreider;145827 wrote:
There is a slight hypocrisy to it, using all that money and all the technology, essentially the products of our own molestation of nature, to create a tribute to nature...

I would say it is hypocritical, at the same time, to denounce it completely for that reason alone. For we are all hypocrites, and we all romanticize what corporations and technology do for us. We also are all in some form of denial or another, and as a society, in America, that can afford to make and view that movie (even in 3D), in denial about the externalized costs that business and technology bring with it.


The object BMC is to reach as many people as you can to reiterate an old theme that it seems must be pounded in. The appeal is we know it is the truth, we just have a difficult time admitting it. I think rather than use the term romanticize, rationalize is more appropriate. We have the ability to create excuses to do the damnedest things. In that degree you are absolutely correct. Rationalization is the keystone that we provide that enables us to keep from killing ourselves. The sad part is in those rationalizations we are doing just that. Avoiding issues just prolongs the inevitable and in that the quality of life goes along with it.

I agree the 3-D and the technology used was a come on. But it achieve Cameron's objective. It kept the subject alive in ways that if it didn't have all the bells and whistles it would not have succeeded. Cameron is in a unique situation in that he does not have to bow to the dictates of "hollywood" as to what he can and cannot put out there. Though he does have to consider the backlash in this politically correct venue and to do that as successfully as Cameron does illustrates his awareness of this fact and the expertise of his thinking and overall mind set.

Romanticism was utilized in TITANIC. That was the come on and again it cost unprecedented millions to recreate that event with any measure of authenticity. What he did was clearly illustrate a more important truth of the relationship between the have's and the have nots. Something else that is also rationalized away. TERMINATOR was a prophetic attempt at visualizing the long term affects of what the extreme of trans-humanism could offer. THE MATRIX is a continuation of that theme though that was not a Cameron Project. Here is a portion of an essay I borrowed from another site: (Why we call them "website" is because many of them are full of spiders, ha!) That just means to observe truth you have wade though the ambiguous words we use ambiguously to get at it, ha! The art of using a lot of words that say nothing (Sokal's Hoax).

[CENTER] "Connections and contrasts exist between both The Matrix and The Terminator. These texts deal with themes of conspiracy, paranoia, the loss of privacy and the dissolution of human society in favour of a technology that has become supreme in its own right. Characters, settings, conflicts, and allusions are used extensively throughout both The Terminator and The Matrix to shape meaning about one possible dysotopic future. By imagining a dysotopic future we are alerted to the ethical and moral implications that are constantly changing social structures, always under continual sway by developments in technology. Both The Terminator and The Matrix maintain a similar theme, humans have lost out to artificial intelligence, which, soon after having been invented, has quickly become empowered and has taken control of itself at the expense of human society. The implication seems to be that two different sentient, intelligent types of beings cannot possibly share this world together, one has to go, and it is inevitably the carbon-based humans which end up as the inferior life form in both texts. The two worlds however, are inevitably saved by the power of love, between Kyle and Sarah, and Neo and Trinity".
[/CENTER]

In AVATAR, as in DANCES WITH WOLVES, the protagonist elected to adopt the ways of that enclosed ecosystem that was depicted as the "native american". The problem here is there is no such thing as any "race" being perfect and to pick one will just piss off the rest, ha. In AVATAR, Cameron created his own world and called it Pandora with is own indigenous Navi. (Short for native, I would assume) Imagine that, ha! He had to spend millions to create the bells and whistles that would keep the subject alive and illustrate what so many have tried, keeping in mind he had to satisfy so many and not step on any toes and piss any particular people off. That's a tremendous feat in and of it self and to do that, in my opinion was an altruistic expense that had to be utilized. Many will identify that as a double standard but in this case it was necessary. Cameron had the money and in my opinion spent it wisely. It is a shame we have to incur such an expense to identify a truth. I am curious to see what he does with the money he makes on this venture. I am sure a sequel will come out and let's hope it offers more precise solutions on what it is we need to do to "close Pandora's box" rather than just identify the problems we have incurred by opening it. (?)

Thanks for your comments and your discussion, unlike others who only hit and run. That seems the only thing they know how to do. Hummph!!

William
 
bmcreider
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 08:46 am
@William,
William;146278 wrote:
Hello Bmcreider and thank you for your response and I agree but to be more precise we destroy each other in that we ignore what is the entire human potential in lieu of the technological short cuts we devise.


In regards to this, I can see your point. I even watched Insurrection two nights ago. It is a rather simple story, but, it goes along these lines. There are many views out there about technology, aren't there? On one end you have a small number of people who want to live as "natural" as possible, and that would mean no philosophy forum, and there are those who think our own mind can create new technology to solve every problem.

I am caught somewhere in between, like most people if they think about it. I grew up as a computer nerd going to LAN parties, then I got proficient at cars, all of my peers (incl. me) have played/play video games, watch movies, use the internet, etc. Have all of these technological achievements, and the job necessary to afford them, made us all better people, or worse? There are many ways to argue for or against it, it just depends what your objectives are. We live longer, but some might say, what for, when in a pessimistic view of technology - all we do is watch TV and eat processed food, aka twinkies Wink.


Quote:

In AVATAR Cameron actually used the word "Pandora", a word that has been around for a while and "her box". In our hubris and curiosity we were destined to discover and to do that we had to invade and in that process we find things that we have no idea of what they are and why they are there. So we apply our own reasons. Sometimes just because they are rare only and we devise ways to create a utility for them without knowing what we have "gotten ourselves into". Once we realize we shouldn't have open "that box", the difficult part is shutting it again. Laparoscopic surgery is our attempt to do just that. When we invade an enclosed ecosystem we "disturb" it and it ceases to be that what n it was before that invasion.


Many would argue that in the case of surgery alone, the body is better off afterward. Whatever injury is sustained in surgical procedure is apparently worth the benefits for a lot of people. Now, the real problem I see with all technology, is not the technology itself, but the circumstances in which it is applied. C sections are a good example, IMHO. Women, it appears, have far too many voluntary, scheduled c sections just so they know when, exactly, that baby will be born. Of course, avoiding "complications" of natural labor, and in a lot of cases a malpractice suit, and the pain of labor, is a benefit to the woman as well. However, there are many unintended consequences of this. Some even go so far to say that, in general, the mother doesn't form the same bond with her child since she didn't go through the struggle to bring it into the world naturally.

Quote:

What pissed me off is the way some try to avoid the issue of the complexity we have caused by applying erroneous anaglogy's such a "worms in eyes" to divert real thought in addressing all the ways we are culpable and how we can help in those other contructs we have erroneously created in our ignorance as it applies to all those things we have "invaded". Those who have profited the most will be the ones that yell the loudest. No doubt!

Just like all notions of God. Because we apply utility to that we don't know that god is, we find our own reasons. Because we don't know all that god is we create "evil" and fail to understand what "live" is.


Regarding the worms, I think the poster may have just been trying to illustrate that it's not as "black and white" as nature is beautiful perfection, and technology / humanity is evil. But I don't think you meant that, and I see your point. For our technological way of living, others do pay a price. Nature included, but people as well. "E waste" in China is an example, an easy one. The middle east and oil is probably the biggest one.

Quote:

If I am not mistaken this statement is not what you intended. I think what you meant to say was "I am sure you don't agree"; and that would have been accurate. The was nothing romantic about AVATAR like there was in TITANIC. If you want to call the paraplegic Marine's natural innate desire to adapt to the purity that was Pandora, undisturbed, then yes it was. He feel in love with "it" and the people that were a part of "it" sacrificing himself in the process and healed himself in the process at the same time. I think that is what we are doing; sacrificing what we have innately seeking what we could have eternally. If you noted in the movie, there were no "old" people. When people are able to be who they innately are and share that with others in the environment both share, a synergy develops and friction subsides and erosion lessens and life is extended free to grow, not rust, age and die.


Of course the navi, and the movie, are fictional. I know these movies have to make a black and white case such as this to try to get a point across and/or make some money...but...do we really think we are the only conscious beings in the universe that have brought ourselves to near annihilation out of our own volition? I believe this could be a common theme among conscious beings, wherever any others may preside. With a consciousness we have the ability to get bored, and we need something to do, so we invent linear systems of growth in different areas. Those linear systems run into limits of resources, and like, in the movie, and in real life, we will invade a people to get what's under their feet. Surely, this plague of consciousness has to effect other species on other planets, yes?

Quote:

The object BMC is to reach as many people as you can to reiterate an old theme that it seems must be pounded in. The appeal is we know it is the truth, we just have a difficult time admitting it. I think rather than use the term romanticize, rationalize is more appropriate. We have the ability to create excuses to do the damnedest things. In that degree you are absolutely correct. Rationalization is the keystone that we provide that enables us to keep from killing ourselves. The sad part is in those rationalizations we are doing just that. Avoiding issues just prolongs the inevitable and in that the quality of life goes along with it.


Rationalization is true. We do this on an individual level every 5 minutes it seems, and anyone who says they don't rationalize some things are lying. The funny thing is, as you say, we don't seem to think we rationalize as a society or a country or any kind of group setting. We are like sheep, or wolves in some instances, but pack animals none the less. They have proven this peer pressure sort of thing before. Most of us don't want to know the truth, or express it, or seek it, blah blah, we just want to fit in. We are social animals before we are intelligent ones, no doubt about it. And if fitting in means supporting a war or getting a Facebook, or smoking cigarettes, or binge drinking, or whatever, most of us subconsciously comply without any conscious analyzing.

In regards to the last part of your post, I think that is true about those movies. The themes they carry, that is. Love does save the day, in most any story, but also, it seems, in real life. It sounds like hippie BS to many I am sure, but I would like to hear something else you would live or die for more than love. Love of country is BS, love of some political scheme, some stupid war, etc is all BS. But if you truly love a friend, a family member, a child, a significant other - what takes value over that?
 
 

 
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