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Avatar Is Heaven for America Haters

James Cameron's depiction of Americans as vile oppressors practically invites terrorists to take up arms against the U.S.

by
Carol Gould

Bio

January 28, 2010 - 12:00 am

Much has been written about the movie Avatar, but I think I have a unique perspective, inasmuch as I write from the region of the world Bat Ye’or calls “Eurabia” and the city Melanie Phillips has dubbed “Londonistan.”

I have seen the film twice now and can categorically report that it is a vicious polemic against the United States and a blatant hate-fest against the brave men and women who serve in the United States Marine Corps. It is also an invitation to worldwide terrorists — not just Muslim radicals but anyone and everyone who hates that “Great Satan,” the USA — to take up arms and defeat America at all costs.

Am I overreacting? Well, here is why I have come to this conclusion: Right from the start the figure of the commander is a stereotype of the ruthless Marine who will eat his grandmother for breakfast. He has no regard for the Na’vi people depicted in the movie and cares not a jot if they are annihilated and their habitat is destroyed. What I find objectionable about this scenario is that it generates an atmosphere throughout the film of bias: that the graceful, simple Na’vi are the victims of a brutal American assault and that they ought to try to kill every last one of the Marines. You may say, “Well, can you blame them if their habitat is being napalmed?” Many will say they cannot be blamed. But what disturbs me about James Cameron’s scenario is that his depictions of most Americans are of a species of humanity so extreme and so vile that other nations and peoples should take up arms against them.

Evidently Canadian Cameron is a liberal who does not wish to take into account the good the United States does in the world. He wants only to see the worst of the nation. He reminds me of the British journalist Polly Toynbee, who on a recent BBC television broadcast condemned the American Constitution as a “disaster.” She portrayed the current American Congress and Senate as a kind of mass dictatorship, which was bizarre coming from her, as she is such a left-winger. Getting back to Cameron: he sees the United States as an agent of pure evil, and except for the characters of the scientist (Sigourney Weaver) and the Marine (Sam Worthington) who falls in love with a Na’vi lady, they are all despicable murderers.

Screen International noted in its December 18 issue the banal dialogue and storyline, reminding readers that the plot involves an effort in the year 2154 by humans to mine a rare mineral on far-off planet Pandora in order to save the world from death by global warming. (Natch.) I am grateful to Screen International for this explanation because, despite twice viewing the film in comfortable and well-projected circumstances, I had no idea what the story was about. That is the sign of a mediocre screenplay. I do know that I watched lots of brave Marines being slaughtered in the stereotypical, liberal cant that tells young audiences that America is the Great Satan.

Some will feel my interpretation of this film borders on the paranoid, but as I was committing these thoughts to paper I received a telephone call from a neighbor who related a significant anecdote. He told me that a couple of his acquaintance — educated young professionals — had just returned from a visit to the cinema to see Avatar and that the film had upset them so much that they had fallen to the floor to pray. I asked him why and he said they felt they had just seen the work of the Devil and that the message of hatred of America is so sinister that they felt they had to say a prayer for the health and long life of the United States. My neighbor also reported that he had been following the demographics of Avatar and that it is apparent that cinemagoers from emerging countries in the remotest corners of the earth are flocking to this motion picture.

Is it possible that the spike in terror attacks and attempted ones — the Danish cartoonist, the CIA assassinations in Afghanistan, the Detroit bomber — is at least partially a result of a passion inspired by the worldwide Avatar mania? I would venture to say that the message of the film is so overwhelming — that America can and should be quashed for good — that it cannot but powerfully influence impressionable minds, most particularly in the Muslim and third world. At the second screening I attended there was applause near the end of the film and, from snippets of conversation I clocked on the way out of the cinema, I heard comments about the way white Americans treated the Native Americans, slaves, Vietnamese, and Iraqis. It is rare to see observant followers of Islam at concerts, opera, musicals, theater, or movies (I do not mean this in a disparaging way — it is not de rigeur, as my veiled Pakistani neighbor tells me, to attend such events when I invited her to My Fair Lady), so I did register that there were groups of young Muslims (I know because the females wore head coverings) who seemed to be having an enormously joyous time at Avatar.

This motion picture is a disturbing epic that in my view instills in audiences a deep hatred of America. As I finish this piece the United Kingdom has raised its terror alert level. Is Jim Cameron the reason? How long is a piece of string? My view? His childish polemic against the U.S. is dangerous and I truly believe the rise in worldwide incidents may be in direct correlation with the wide proliferation of this film. It will be loved by many but I still think it is pure evil.

Carol Gould is the Philadelphia-born author of Don’t Tread on Me: Anti-Americanism Abroad, Spitfire Girls, and A Room at Camp Pickett, a play about her mother’s experiences as a WAC in World War II; she has just completed a film about black GI babies. Carol has been a panelist on BBC's Any Questions?, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby, on Jenni Murray's Woman's Hour, and on Andrew Gilligan's Forum, as well as being a commentator on Sky News, Press TV, and BBC Five Live.
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