What the American elite and ruling class fears more than an end to deficit spending and a return to the gold standard, is that the United States return to an isolationist foreign policy.
Although the “globalist” precedent-setting and poll boosting that is the underlying purpose of Obama’s Libyan action has been mentioned elsewhere by the likes of Limbaugh and Mark Levin, the legal aspects of his action bear analysis because Obama has said some extraordinary things which suggest he feels he has no need couch the globalist nature of U.S. military action in the language of national defense nor “national interest.”
As he said in a speech given in El Salvador, “we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally. ”
But despite the protestations of his conservative critics, the use of the American military for international, United Nations sanctioned warfare has been the law of the land since 1949. In that year Congress passed the United Nations Participation Act, which grants the President the authority to send American forces into combat merely in support of peacemaking missions approved by the United Nations. The UNPA allows the President to do this without obtaining the authority of Congress beforehand.
Section 6 of the UNPA states: “The President shall not be deemed to require the authorization of the Congress to make available to the Security Council on its call in order to take action under article 42 of said Charter (UN Charter).” To date, the courts have upheld this under the dictates of customary treaty law, where treaties supersede domestic law-yes, even the U.S. Constitution.
In light of this old law and the decades-long globalist orientation of the U.S. military, the question of constitutional war powers appears to be moot. The more important and poignant question should be “When were we asked to make it so?”
Perhaps the answer to that was given by the court historian of the liberal regime, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., in a 1995 symposium on American isolationism (for them a chronic problem). Notice in what he says that the isolationists tendencies of the people were suspect, so it is implied the question never would be directly put to the people. It would be engineered out of them. Do you expect anything less my dear readers? He said:
For President Roosevelt the great objective in 1943–1945, besides winning the war, was to tie the United States into a postwar structure of peace. The memory, still so vivid, of the repudiation of the League two short decades before was not encouraging. Isolationism had been the American norm for a century and a half; internationalism was only a two-year Wilsonian aberration. No one could assume that isolationism would simply wither away. It had, Roosevelt felt, to be brought to a definite end by binding American commitments to an international order. And he felt additionally that as many of these commitments as possible should be made while the war was still on, before peace could return the nation to its old isolationist habits. F.D.R. said privately, “Anybody who thinks that isolationism is dead in this country is crazy. As soon as this war is over, it may well be stronger than ever.”
So, while the war was still on, Roosevelt organized international meetings at Bretton Woods, Dumbarton Oaks, San Francisco and elsewhere to involve the United States in the international machinery that would deal with postwar questions. In particular, in the words of the diplomat Charles E. Bohlen, who served as White House liaison to the State Department, F.D.R. saw the United Nations as “the only device that could keep the United States from slipping back into isolationism.” And, as Winston Churchill said on his return from the Yalta Conference, this new international organization must “not shrink from establishing its will against the evildoer or evil planner in good time and by force of arms.” Once again, the ultimate guarantee of peace, the ultimate test of collective security and world law lay in military enforcement.
That the American people do not understand that their military is the spearhead of global governance and the United Nations is nothing new.
That they believe their law is purely derived from the U.S. Constitution and not from international legal institutions is nothing new either.
In a country that continues to celebrate a war (WW2) that had as its most important outcomes the enslavement of 1/3 of humanity under the iron heel of International Communism and the establishment of global governance by its “most popular” president, is it any wonder?
When the American people wake up and begin to understand that their corrupt elite has been using their blood, labor and treasure to subvert America and end its sovereignty in the name of the New World Order, I certainly hope there will be hell to pay.
I would not expect anything less.
(Hold on, it’s coming. Hold on, it’s almost here.)
A lot was made about the pro-life ad that ran during the Superbowl sponsored by Focus on the Family and featuring college QB Tim Tebow and his mother. Feminist and pro-choice groups came out against the ad and a lot of ink was spilled in an attempt to counter what some groups said was its “dangerous” message.
Of course, the message wasn’t “dangerous” at all, it was simply pro-life.
But, I was personally struck by the imagery of the ad. Why was it necessary to show Tebow tackling his mother?
Not that I was offended by the ad and I certainly understood that the intent was supposed to show the “toughness” of his mother, but why was it necessary that the ad show him taking her down in a full tackle? I don’t get it?
If you ask me, the ad failed on its own, because without the outside controversy, I wouldn’t have really known what it was about. In the context of the ad, I would have been forced to ask, “Does Tebow have a form of Turet’s Syndrome where he compulsively tackles his mother without warning from time to time?” Remember, in the text of the ad, she does say “I still worry about his health” just before he rams into her.
But, worse, the ad was one of many that were overtly violent, and dare I say, one of a number that were openly misogynist. I know, as conservatives we’re not supposed to get all uptight about such things lest we wander into the land of political correctness, but my concerns are not what you think; I am concerned here about the state of the culture.
Now, I know that Super Bowl ads do not make up the whole of the cultural output of contemporary Western civilization. I am constantly reassured that there is plenty of great art being produced today, and any “end is nigh” hysteria about the state of cultural production does not take into account the quantities of what is being produced these days.
However, I personally believe that these commercials are saying something and that something is an ominous sign of a failing civilization. With all due respect to “A Clockwork Orange”, when “ultra-violence”provides us with humor and fun, and open hostility to women is tolerated within a culture, something wicked this way comes.
Someone has put together a montage of the violent ads in the Super Bowl and it is below.
This video led Joe Carter at First Thoughts to comment:
Apparently, advertisers get their ideas about how to market to us from watching the Ain’t-It-Funny-When-Someone-Gets-Hurt clips on America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Which got me to thinking about the movie the Idiocracy. Released in 2006, to a very limited run in movie theatres, Idiocracy is a not-so-concealed commentary on contemporary American culture. Despite it being set in the “distant” future, the director, Mike Judge, was no doubt aiming his sights on a dumbed-down, overly consumeristic American culture, which he obviously believes (using poetic license and not a little hyperbole to make the point) is producing a population that within the span of a few generations will become so incompetent that even the most basic knowledge necessary for survival will be lost to it. In the movie, for instance, the fact that water, and not Gatorade, is needed to grow crops is high science even to the country’s political leaders.
In this idiotic America of the future, the most popular television program is a show called “Ow, My Balls!”It features a guy who finds various ways to abuse his own testicles and films the self-injury in real time.
So, I wonder: Are we there yet? I mean, if this kind of stuff is being used to sell products and TV shows and movies now (think Jackass), where will the culture be in a few years? And what does it mean for society and politics in general? I think history shows that societies in such a state of decline are neither predisposed nor capable of self-governance. But, we’ll leave that discussion for a a later post.
Along with the violence exhibited in this year’s Super Bowl ads, most of it aimed at men, there was a concomitant and equally disturbing theme running through some of the ads during the game: There seemed to be a hint of hostility towards women. The best ad that exemplifies this is below:
This one too:
Both ads express an appeal to power for men, and sort of frustration with women and domestic life.If marketers have determined that this is the experience of a good number of men in modern society, and they can use the experience in order to sell more stuff, what is it saying about the state of male/female relationships and the traditional family altogether? What does it mean for the American dream-at least for men?
The answer to that question may take a lot more posts, but in brief, it is my opinion that these ads express a kind of pre-Fascist consciousness. According to historian Edward Veith, Fascism arose out of a cultural milieu of Europe which included an alienation from the 19th century positivistic and materialist worldview. The reaction to this alienation bred a form of romanticism or, a sort modern pantheistic paganism that reasserted the value of the natural world and insisted that it be experienced not through reason, but through experience and emotion.
According to Veith and other historians, this renewal of paganism led to a very open hostility to the established order which expressed itself primarily by violence and ugliness through art. And as eith has written, the aesthetic of pre-Fascist and Fascist art is visible in the culture today:
In the 1930s, avant-garde artists shocked the bourgeoisie with their aesthetic theories that glorified violence and the release of primitive emotions. Today, if you like examples of early fascist aesthetics, simply go to the latest Hollywood blockbuster, turn on MTV, or go to a Heavy Metal concert.
Here you will see realized the fascists’ artistic ideals: pleasure from violence; the thrill of moral rebellion; the cult of the Aryan body. The grisly blood-letting of a slasher movie; the body-builder who takes the law into his own hands by machine-gunning his enemies; the masses of teenagers slam-dancing as Metallica sings `Scream, as I’m killing you!’–such art is the quintessence of the fascist aesthetic.
Well, I could go on. But it is also important to mention that culture and politics are inexorably intertwined. If our culture exhibits the “quintessence of the fascist aesthetic” I think we need to truly examine that culture and the state of our political life as it relates to human liberty. And I believe that phenomena like the personality cult that surrounds Barack Obama, is a part of something that is very wrong with Western civilization, but let’s leave that for future posts.
As for the culture, conservative philosopher and writer Roger Scruton has the cure:
“I think we are losing beauty, and there’s a danger that with it, we will lose the meaning of life!”
I just wonder if we aren’t too far gone for Beauty ever to have meaning in our lives again.
…Well that’s not his quote, but I can’t wait to see if people pick up my post to try to discredit him.
I have been watching the Tea Party Convention on Pajamas TV, and Andrew just completed the best speech of the convention thus far.
OK, I’m really stupid because I didn’t take notes, but I watched the entire thing and it was not only inspiring, but a call to arms to the Tea Party Nation. In the speech, Breitbart described how the LAME distorts the news through an ideological agenda. He explained how the LAME intentionally looked the other way at the ACORN story that was broken by his colleagues, James O’keefe and Hannah Giles, and how they further rushed in to distort O’Keefe’s recent arrest in Louisiana, publishing a number of false stories before O’Keefe himself was even given an attorney.
Breitbart’s speech was a frontal asssault on the LAME’s posturing and its elitism. Because I don’t have exact quotes, let me paraphrase and say that Breitbart’s speech was filled with references to the LAME’s mischaracterization of the Tea Party Movement and the condescension it has shown for it. He also repeatedly referred to their skewed world-view and the type of perspective that makes them see the world the way they do.
For instance, Breitbart said that the media has two templates that are wearing thin on the American people: racism and Watergate.
Near the end of his speech, Breitbart threatened (half-jokingly) that if the New York-based media continued to discredit the Tea Party and conservative ideas in general, he will lead a protest that will so snarl Manhattan traffic, that it will deprive them of “their weekend in the Hamptons.”
I have no doubt that Breitbart will be attacked by the LAME for this speech. He will probably be met with charges that he exhibits what the Left calls the politics of “ressentiment,” the fancy philosophical concept originated by Kirkegaard and modified by Nietzsche, that they now use to explain the resistance of “faux” (conservative) intellectuals to Marxism, leftist reform, and global governance.
But they never actually credit conservative intellectuals or political figures for creating a viable politcal movement based on intelligent criticism and organized resistance to the Left. Rather, they prefer to to see the rebellion of non-leftist elements of society as some irrational, amorphous uprising of people, misdirected by opportunistic agitators or shadowy cabals of powerful interests. In an essay by Daniel Yankelovich from 1975,the main themes of this approach to conservative resistance to leftist politics is explained. He wrote:
The seriousness of the rising tide of disaffection in America suggests as a point of reference the concept of ressentiment as derived from Max Scheler. In Scheler’s usage, ressentiment refers not only to an intensity of negative feelings in relationship to authority but—and this is of the essence—feelings that are bottled up, suppressed, prevented from overt expression. It is precisely this latter characteristic that makes ressentiment a dangerous political emotion.
The individual possessed by ressentiment silently nurses his grievances against authority, building up in himself an evermounting intensity of rage and resentment that serves as fodder for the demagogue. According to Scheler, ressentiment is never reformist in any constructive sense. An explosion of ressentiment will maim or destroy institutions without creating fundamental ideological changes.
In contrast to reform, rebellion, or revolution, ressentiment does not create new values or directions for the society. Because it is generated by frustration and resentment, it merely signals waste and destructive rage. European experience teaches us that social instability is most often caused by defeat in war, by the presence of some insoluble problem such as severe and continuing inflation, or by scandals that challenge institutional legitimacy—or by some combination of all three. In the United States in the mid-seventies, we find elements of all these precipitating factors of instability,plus a decline in public support of institutions unprecedented in its scope.
So, there you go. If they manage to define the Tea Party Movement and conservative resistance to Obama’s “reform” as ressentiment, then they have an intellectual template that allows them to discredit and ignore them altogther. According to the Left, conservative resistance is neither reform or even revolution- events of popular violence which somehow lead to positive historical outcomes (“the right side of history “)- it is irrational rage that will only “maim or destroy” institutions. Thus, the logic goes, it is the LAME’s job to suppress such a phenomenon and target the dangerous “demagogues” that lead it for destruction.
So, Breitbart, you have been warned. In this template you are the “demagogue,” and have no doubt, you now have a target on your back.
However, I have no doubt that Breitbart’s speech will resonate as a call to arms for conservatives and the Tea Party Movement. If you haven’t seen it, hopefully it will be put up on one of his sites, like Big Journalism.com and eventually make its way to you tube.
And speaking of You Tube, here is a classic exposition of the logic we’re all up against-it’s really funny:
A very good article about Obama’s real power base. Notice how this constituency, which includes financial services, academia, and public employee unions, has been the most important beneficiary of government largesse in the past year. I have never understood why there has never been a comprehensive and popular analysis of the “power elite” of the Democratic Party. It makes a mockery out of the idea that they are the party of “the little guy,” which somehow remains a fairly popular stereotype in American politics.
By Joel Kotkin
Looking back at President Obama’s first year in office, this much is clear: Obama first enraged the right wing by seeming to veer far left, then turned off the left by seeming to abandon them. Even as Fox News fundamentalists rail against “socialism,” self-styled progressives like Naomi Klein scream about a “blown” opportunity to lead the nation from the swamp of darkest capitalism.
Both right- and left-wing critics fail to consider the fundamental nature of the Obama regime. This presidency represents not a traditional ideology but a new politics that mirrors the rise of a new, and potentially hegemonic class, one for which Obama is a near-perfect representative.
Every president and political movement, of course, brings to power an often-hoary group of grasping interest groups. Under the conservatives and George W. Bush, the favored classes included standbys like the fossil-fuel energy companies, Big Agriculture, suburban homebuilders, and the defense industry.
Rather than the “good old boys,” Obama’s core group hails from what may be best described as the “creative class” – the cognitive elite, or, to borrow from Daniel Bell’s The Coming of Postindustrial Society, the “hierophants of the new society.” They come not from traditional productive industry, but the self-conscious “knowledge” sectors – such as financial services, the software industry, and academia.
From early on, Barack Obama attracted big-money people like George Soros, Warren Buffett, and JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon far more effectively than his opponents in either party. As The New York Times’ Andrew Sorkin put it back in April, “Mr. Obama might be struggling with the blue-collar vote in Pennsylvania, but he has nailed the hedge-fund vote.”
Other bastions of support could be found in Silicon Valley, where Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and venture capitalist John Doerr were all early backers. Obama, the former law school professor, also did exceedingly well with academics, and many of his pivotal wins in the Midwest rested heavily on both votes and volunteers from college constituencies.
Finally Obama gained the early support of public-sector unions, now arguably the dominant power within the Democratic Party. Together, these groups now enjoy the lion’s share of influence inside the administration.
In contrast, the representatives of traditional Democratic sectors such as industrial labor unions, Latinos, or even many African Americans were slow to join the Obama bandwagon. Even after they joined his electoral coalition, they have received little in the way of succor from the president and the administration.
Indeed, for most of these voters, the past year has been an awful one. Unemployment for Latinos, blacks, and blue-collar workers has skyrocketed, particularly among males. For them, Obama’s economic plan has done very little – unsurprising given its primary focus on sustaining public-sector employment and large financial institutions.
In contrast, the core Obama constituencies appear to have ridden out the recession in fine shape. Mega-patron George Soros, for example, has boasted openly about how he was having “a very good crisis.” Much the same can be said of the largely pro-Obama hedge funds and investment bankers, for whom Paulson to Bernanke to Geithner has provided a double-play combination for the ages.
Academia has also emerged as a big winner. This administration is crammed with professors from Science Adviser John Holdren and Energy Secretary Steven Chu to former Harvard President Larry Summers, the director of the National Economic Council. More broadly, academics have reaped massive windfalls from the stimulus, both in terms of direct support for universities and funding for research projects.
One place where the priorities and class interests of the cognitive elite coalesce most has been on “climate change.” In contrast to manufacturers, farmers, or fossil-fuel firms, investment bankers, software companies, and university professors have little to fear from the rash of “green” policy initiatives.
In fact, for these groups, “climate change” often means a once-in-a-lifetime bonanza. Wall Street sees the administration’s “cap and trade” proposals as opening a whole new frontier to enjoy yet more profit. University researchers – particularly those with the right spin on the climate issue – have been big winners in the tens of billions of dollars being handed out by the Chu-led Energy Department and other federal agencies.
Overall, subsidized “alternative energy” – largely excluding both nuclear power and natural gas – also provides Silicon Valley with federal backing for ventures in everything from luxury electric cars and dodgy geothermal developments to “smart” energy grids. And, of course, all this increased federal spending also plays into the public-sector unions, for whom an ever-expanding government represents the ultimate growth industry.
In the short term, Obama’s loyalties have gained him political credit even in hard times. Support from Wall Street and Silicon Valley assures access to big-money sources and influences the upper echelons of the establishment press, particularly in New York. Meanwhile, the academy and the public bureaucracy provide a cadre of political shock troops who may be needed to rouse an increasingly disaffected Democratic base in the 2010 elections.
But Obama’s class strategy also poses considerable longer-term risks. The cognitive elites – clustered in places like Washington, New York, Boston, or Silicon Valley – tend to only talk to and listen to each other. This often makes them slow to recognize shifts in grassroots opinion on such issues as the health plan or global warming.
That risks continued erosion of support from many hard-pressed middle-class voters around the country more concerned with economic growth and holding onto their home than saving the planet. These are precisely the voters, not the tea party activists or their leftist analogues, who likely will determine the political winners in 2010 and beyond.
And you thought the History Channel was going to stick to documentaries about UFOs, Bigfoot, the Hellfire Club. Well…
Tonight the History Channel will be airing the documentary The People Speak starring Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. The film is based on probably the worst history book you’ll ever read, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. The book, which I personally purchased and tried to read some years ago when I was a committed leftist graduate student in history, is pure drek and even back when I was looking for ideological purity and Marxist political guidance, I couldn’t take it seriously.
But, I guess for Hollywood types like Matt Damon-who grew up next door to Zinn in Boston-and Brolin and the rest of the celebutards that have been employed to pitch this drivel, it is considered high scholarship. Unfortunately, A People’s History is one of the best-selling histories of all time and is still taught in high schools and colleges across the country, despite its lack of footnotes and other scholarly apparatus.
To read A People’s History is an act of masochism, for Zinn casts American history in the worst and most cliched Marxist light imaginable. (And did I mention it has very little source material-I did. Just wanted to make that clear.) The book claims to present American history “through the eyes of workers, American Indians, slaves, women, blacks and populists” and Zinn has made no apologies for the overtly left-wing agenda in the book. In the 1995 edition of A People’s History he wrote:
I wanted my writing of history and my teaching of history to be a part of social struggle. I wanted to be a part of history and not just a recorder and teacher of history. So that kind of attitude towards history, history itself as a political act, has always informed my writing and my teaching.
Ok. But that doesn’t make Zinn a historian. In fact, proclaiming to have an overtly political agenda before doing your research should pretty much destroy your credibility as a serious historian and mark your work as a poltical manifesto, not history. Not having sources for your screed should also undermine the notion that your work is “history.” (OK, we’ve been there already. Just making sure you’re awake.)
Oh. I see, Zinn is not a historian, but professor of Political Science.
(Excuse me while I vomit!)
Perhaps it is worth mentioning, as it is the purpose of this blog, that The People’s History was not taken seriously as a definitive work of history about the United States and was lambasted when it first came out in a critical review by Oscar Handlin, the Harvard historian. As the New Criterion explained in a 2008 article, Howard Zinn’s Fairy Tale, Handlin’s criticism should have been enough. A People’s History’s flaws were pointed out [by Handlin] with devastating precision. Handlin’s brief is-or should have been-fatal. Writing in the The American Scholar in 1980, he noted:
It simply is not true that “what Columbus did to the Arawaks of the Bahamas, Cortez did to the Aztecs of Mexico, Pizarro to the Incas of Peru, and the English settlers of Virginia and Massachusetts to the Powhatans and the Pequots.” It simply is not true that the farmers of the Chesapeake colonies in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries avidly desired the importation of black slaves, or that the gap between rich and poor widened in the eighteenth-century colonies. Zinn gulps down as literally true the proven hoax of Polly Baker and the improbable Plough Jogger, and he repeats uncritically the old charge that President Lincoln altered his views to suit his audience. The Geneva assembly of 1954 did not agree on elections in a unified Vietnam; that was simply the hope expressed by the British chairman when the parties concerned could not agree. The United States did not back Batista in 1959; it had ended aid to Cuba and washed its hands of him well before then. “Tet” was not evidence of the unpopularity of the Saigon government, but a resounding rejection of the northern invaders.
Oh sure, you say. Handlin was a typical bourgeois historian and besides there is no objectivity anyway, so why is his work better than Zinn’s ? Decide for yourself. In Handlin’s book The Distortion of America (1996) he discusses at length the distortions of history engaged in by Marxist intellectuals and their sympathizers until the fall of the Soviets in 90s:
The dismal record of falsification-sometimes naive, sometimes sinister- reached back to the 1920s. Although honest radical visitors like Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman perceived the repressive nature of the Soviet regime, other Americans launched blindly into a long, tortuous, course of self-deception, eagerly gulping down the fatuous account of the New Soviet civilization by Sidney and Beatrice Webb (1936)… The illusion about the benign Soviets survived after the war’s end and also after the appeasement that began at Yalta and called for the sacrifice of Eastern Europe. Cheerfully in 1971 the officers of the National Education Association concluded a two-week visit by blithely announcing that the Soviet Union had eliminated poverty within its borders.
The hapless sympathizers who ruled the media and the academic and entertainment worlds were not all stupid and ill-informed, but deliberately blinded themselves to the reality…Drawing upon a long tradition of intellectual anti-Americanism, fashionable journalists and academics from Madison Avenue to Hollywood and Ivy League Universities, who had learned to sneer at the Main Street “booboisie” slipped readily into the habit of denouncing their country’s greed, intolerance, racism, and general backwardness that would shortly lead to the total collapse of capitalism. Their distorted vision obscured what actually transpired both within the United States and in the world outside its borders. The tragic outcome-myopia about the Red threats to peace and freedom everywhere, along with failure to understand the underlying strength of the United States and its relevance to the world’s future.
(And he forgot to mention ignorance and/or complicity in the “Red Genocide” of almost 200 million people.)
Do you think Zinn figures into this lot? Yeah. I think so too.
And the people who admire Zinn’s work and A People’s History are part and parcel of the same Left that Handlin so skewers in his The Distortion of America. They are now engaged in a furious attempt to recapture political power and cultural prestige so that they can go on insulating themselves from the utter historical fact that socialism, their God, has failed. This is why there is so much pressure for radical social change and global governance schemes today. Any faith, when its light is about to be extinguished from the world, creates a vacuum amongst its true believers. It would be foolish to underestimate the lengths to which these people will go to hold onto their absurdities.
The best we can do here is quote Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek episode The Apple:
Native Man: But it was Val who put the fruit on the trees; caused the rain to fall. Val, cared for us.
Kirk: You’ll learn to care for yourself! And there’s no trick to putting fruit on trees; you might even enjoy it. You’ll learn to build for yourselves, think for yourselves, work for yourselves-and what you create is yours! That’s what we call freedom.
(the relevant dialogue begins at 7:11)
The reviews for James Cameron’s new $500 million Avatar movie are coming in. They aren’t that great and yes, as a sci-fi fan that disappoints me. However, what disappoints me the most is the apparent intellectual bankruptcy of story-telling in Hollywood which I surmise is fallout from its over-politicization and a general crisis of creativity that has been noticeable for some time.
Essentially, as pointed out wonderfully in this review from Big Hollywood’s John Nolte, Avatar is nothing more than “a thinly disguised, heavy-handed and simplistic sci-fi fantasy/allegory critical of America from our founding straight through to the Iraq War.” The story is tired and the characters are tedious, and Nolte points out that there are so many “liberal tells” in the plot that the result is “a sanctimonious thud of a movie so infested with one-dimensional characters and PC clichés that not a single plot turn – small or large – surprises.”
But what about the thrilling new special effects that Cameron was supposed to using in this movie? Nolte writes:
Visually “Avatar” doesn’t break any new ground. It looks like a big-budget animated film with a garish color palette right off a hippie’s tie dye shirt. Never for a moment did I believe the Na’vi or the world of Pandora was something organic or real. The fairly pointless use of 3-D certainly doesn’t help, but Steven Spielberg’s sixteen year-old dinosaurs (from Jurassic Park) are light years ahead of “Avatar” in the reality department.
So, Nolte concludes, as have most other reviewers, that we should:
Think of Avatar as Death Wish 5 for leftists. A simplistic, revisionist revenge fantasy where if you freakin’ hate the bad guys (America), you’re able to forgive the by-the-numbers predictability of it all and still get off watching them get what they got coming.
This is interesting to me, because it comes on the heels of a long discussion I had this week with a friend who will be pitching a screenplay about the abortion debate. I will not publicly discuss his story on this blog, but I sensed from talking with him that although he has created a very interesting plot with some fantastic twists and turns, in the end it will be the same old liberal morality play.
My position was not that he should write a pro-life script if that was not his intention, but rather that he take this very creative story and make the typical “conservative” villains in it more three-dimensional. I told him that at this point in the debate, America deserves more.
And maybe, the overall work will be a little more interesting.