Just to Be Really Clear: Why I Hate Avatar

Jonathan Haidt asks on his blog:

“Can anyone understand Avatar who lacks all intuitions of purity/sanctity?”

He’s talking about the sanctity of nature, and of spirituality, as against corporate, consumerist, and militarist values.

My answer is “Yes.”

I (a devoted liberal with a “Liberal Purity” score of 1.0–compared to Libs’ 2.7 and Cons’ 2.1) understand it as a brilliantly Machiavellian corporate vehicle to extract cash from those souls who embrace that purist intuition — and from the other groups that are so successfully, simultaneously, pandered to:

1. America haters worldwide who love watching military/corporate America get its ass kicked;

2. Uneducated militarists (who nevertheless love their mommies), and who want to believe that only their like can save the world;

3. Those with contempt for pointy-headed academics who can’t get anything done on their own (at least they’re not depicted as bad — just ineffectual); and

4. Teenage boys who think they’re going to be the next Luke Skywalker, Neo, or Jake Sully: The One.

There’s something for everyone! (Except, yes, Mr. Burns and Colonel Killgore.)

And while extracting that cash, insidiously propagandizing all those groups for the superiority of #2.

Yes, it’s beautifully produced. But re-read The Republic (and The Prince) — that’s the whole point.