"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Monday, February 01, 2010


Avatar: Highly recommended (in 3D). The cinematography alone justifies the $14.00 tickets and 2 1/2 hour length, and the drama, action sequences, and love story more than meet what you can expect from Cameron (who, with *Avatar,* has surpassed anything in this kind of genre that we used to expect from Lucas and Spielberg, and has even surpassed what he himself did with *Titanic,* both in spectacle and box office receipts).

However, the message was political and of the kind we got from Roland Emmerich in *10,000 BC.*

Indeed, in theme, it was practically a futuristic, alien take on that racist (i.e. anti-Anglo), anti-Western, and Rousseauan Noble Savage silliness (and crap) that we got in *10,000 BC*--though, unlike Emmerich's movie, the similar political message of *Avatar* was marginalized by the spell-binding cinematography and did not distract from the excellent movie experience.

It came pretty close to doing just that, though, with cheap, gratuitous digs at Operation Iraqi Freedom, like when the mercenary Marine Colonel Quaritch called for a "Shock & Awe" campaign against the luscious moon Pandora's indigenous humanoid culture (for the sake of a natural resource--think oil-- and corporate greed for it--think Halliburton).

Someone should remind Cameron that the Na'vi in no way resemble the brutal, Baathist dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, or the Taliban, for that matter.

However, drawing parallels with Native Americans and the Na'vi and their respective situations with genocidal, alien invasion works and is legitimate.