Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So [James] Cameron missed the point in the movie he made [Avatar] and conservatives were responding to what Cameron actually intended in the movie. And [David] Boaz agrees that the plot is "tired" and the dialogue "merely servicable." And conservatives got it wrong . . . how?
And I wonder: Do I have to see this fucking thing just to keep up with the culture war? Christ in Heaven, I hope not.

We've reached the stage where Goldberg is arguing with David fucking Boaz about property rights in Avatar. Surely this must be some sort of low point in the torture of pop culture in furtherance of useless propaganda -- and brother, let me tell you, I have seen it all.

I have no love for George Will, but once upon a time he was able to write something like "Well, I don't love you, E.T." (of which only fragments are available on the web) in which he was content to divine the evident anti-technological bias of the film and say bah, humbug, without trying to make a countervailing case for Steven Spielberg's conservatism. (Will later considered the film About Schmidt ham-handedly, but with some awareness that its makers and their literary forebears were expressing a point of view that was different from his own.)

This seems to me the way to play the game, if one is so inclined: to discern ideological motive and attack it. It's mostly cheap and stupid, but honest in its way, as it admits that the analyst is speaking from a political prejudice about a work of art.

I haven't seen Avatar and so must reserve judgment on it, but I will say that I have never, ever, seen a political discussion of even a cinematic piece of shit on the order of Goldberg's and Boaz's that proved fruitful once the steaming object was finally presented to me, and don't have high hopes for this one. And I will further state that I mildly resent being drawn into contact with a goddamn James Cameron movie on grounds of its alleged cultural relevance, "culture" being understood here as a political construct having to do with environmentalism, Native American rights, imperialism, and crap like that.

I accept that in a free marketplace of ideas I will be exposed to this stuff, and have the right to ignore it. I was able to do that with Brokeback Mountain, a worthy object of contemplation under any circumstances, and suffered no ill effects. But great God amighty, a 3-D movie about sentient cat-monkeys? Endured just to find out whether some dumbass had anything resembling a case to make about its Ayn Rand component?

I'm beginning to think this game isn't worth the candle.

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