WHEN: March 22, 2014, 1:45 pm. (Week 12, Mar 16-22.)
WHERE: In my apartment in Portland, ME.
FORMAT: Blu-ray on a Vizio 47″ LCD HDTV.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Tired. Sore throat. Stressed.
NOTABLE BY ITS ABSENCE:
Hey, so I was watching Avatar for the 12th time this year when I realized something. Aside from battle-related deaths, we really don’t see many Na’vi die in this movie. Hell, I think the only non-invasion-slaughter corpse we see is this withered husk that was shown as part of a montage about being one with nature:
I guess the part of nature this guy’s emulating is a shriveled old apple.
Let me explain why I find the lack of deaths odd.
A MILLION WAYS TO DIE ON PANDORA:
The Na’vi are a pre-industrial civilization. They’re a culture of tribal hunter-gatherers, and while that’s all well and good, it really isn’t the safest, healthiest way to live. In a constant struggle with their environment to find food, life would be hard for the Na’vi, and casualties would ensue.
If we were seeing a realistic depiction of the Na’vi life, we’d be seeing deaths from hungry predators…
Nom, nom, nom.
We’d see death from untreated illness, and malnutrition…
“Medicine? Never heard of it.”
Oh, and that’s not even taking into account that the Na’vi actively put themselves into specifically terrifyingly dangerous situations. You cannot, for example, tell me that falling off those ridiculous floating rocks doesn’t happen all the damn time…
It’s floating around in the breeze like a goddamn kite.
Or that those stupid dragon things don’t bite the face off of every third hunter who tries to tame them…
“KEEP YOUR HAIR OUT OF MY WIGGLY BITS!”
Or that, upon taming the stupid dragon things, our fledgling flyers don’t sometimes screw up and fall to their pathetic deaths.
At least he’ll have plenty of time to make his peace with Eywa on the way down.
It would seem that death is faced quite frequently. Hell, the last three dangers I mentioned happen on the same afternoon. Four Na’vi climbed up that mountain to tame the winged air lizards, and they all get out of the situation scot-free? This rings false. At least one of them should be dead by dinnertime.
This is a generous estimation.
WHY DO I GIVE A SHIT?:
Alright, we see fewer dead Na’vi than one might expect, so what? Well, personally, I think it seems like Na’vi culture is being whitewashed, and made to look a little too shiny and pristine. Cameron wants us to sympathize with Pandora’s native residents and that’s totally legitimate, but it’s lousy that he can’t manage to do it without invoking the Noble Savage trope. I suppose I’d rather see a gritty, realistic pre-industrial society than a painfully perfect village that could only exist within a naively idealistic mind. Adding the texture of realism to the Na’vi wouldn’t make what the invaders from Earth are doing on their planet any less offensive. If anything, portraying these people with more depth than a cartoon might induce the audience to think about what they’re watching a little, instead of just passively viewing the damn film.
Oh, shit, yeah. I’m probably not really supposed to be thinking about any of this. Sorry guys, I’ll just go back to enjoying the sweeping immersive visuals.
Holy balls. So cool.
I’m sure no one falls off these things ever.
Flying is the best.
P.S., MORE KNITTING!:
Oh, I also spent this viewing knitting the ever-loving shit out of a scarf. I learned how to knit purl! Woooooo, or whatever.
I should have been focusing on knitting, not nitpicking.
Hahahahaha. I hate everything.