Mike, I agree, but don’t think abandoning critical discussion of it’s flawed ideology is the way to go either.
A friend just emailed me an excerpt from a film blogger. I think it echos Blue K’s comment above.
“Because Avatar is a giant budget movie made for the masses, I want to look at it critically, I want to talk about race, I want to talk about displays of power in the film. Because these aren’t just “entertaining,” these are films that come from someone’s worldview and are sold to people around the world. Therefore, if during pre-production the filmmakers did not really think about what their story and plot convey in the sub-text, I want to drag that out. These films are consumed as “just entertaining,” without considering the ideologies being subtly re-instated. If we are not made aware of these ideologies in our films, that’s dangerous. Especially as they become the main means of representation for different classes, races, sexes, sexualities, nationalities, etc. A minority of people control how the images of all these groups are represented and we should all be very interested in that.”
You’re a great guy, even if we have our disagreements.
I love you, too, Blue.
You’re still not getting my Bud Light.
Ug. It’s just a movie! What’s racist is when people analyze movies by racial politics as if every single person is supposed to represent their entire ethnicity. What’s racist is mapping attributes and attitudes to races instead of to individuals. Jake Sully doesn’t become the leader because of a white fantasy to ‘lead from the inside’. He becomes the leader because he’s the main character of the movie and that’s what main characters in movies do. There is an escapist element and obvious allegories, but the enemy is corporate opportunism and cultural entitlement.
I get the point but feel it is important to avoid simply being another part of the machine. If an article came out today about Dances With Wolves or some old forties film and examined it from that angle, or generalized without being specific I would be more interested because it would be based more on what has always been than simply jumping on what’s hot. I feel that it is crucial that these types of issues not be more proof that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
“People seem to be saying, “I’m so sick of this, I don’t want to hear it..” reminded me, once again, that there is a Third Way, regarding any and all racial matters.
It’s easy to forget the Third Way (I do it all the time), because I’m distracted by the other two positions.
One may be in favor of racist acts and ideas.
One may spend energy criticizing racism or doing real things to combat it.
Or one may choose the Third Way, which is common practice on the Island of Not Giving a Damn.
On this island, our cultural pursuits focus on aesthetics as opposed to morality, largely speaking.
Granted, we understand that racism is wrong, just as we grasp that torturing puppies is wrong .
Indeed, we suspect that all evil is, in fact, bad.
This makes us enlightened, but only more enlightened than bigots or sociopaths.
Therefore, rather than exhibit our ethical superiority and sensitivity by railing against any expression that might be inferred as racist, we choose the Third Way.
The movies are better, too.
There is no racism at all, that’s just stupid… In addition, the film is one of the most terrible things i’ve ever seen – also partly because of its ROMANTICIZING of original, not-western nature people. It could be called racist against the white people in the movie. 300 was a racist movie, really.