• Wait, HOW Much?

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    Part II of WBN intern Brett Fowler’s rant against Avatar. Catch up on Part I before you read.


    If you asked me who the more advanced civilization in Avatar is, I would tell you the earthlings. If you were a blue person, you would call me out on being ethnocentric, racist and then proceed to write about it on your Facebook status (Neytiri is OMG. Sooooo pissed that Brett is such a racist biotch). Progress, at least to me and Richard Dawkins, is the genetic and evolutionary development of a species into the fittest individual for survival. It is the ability of a species to adapt to its environment. Yeah sure, you could technically argue that the Smurfs were the fittest species because their dragons and arrows somehow managed to overtake an entire army (seriously?) … but realistically, don’t you think that the military has reinforcements, and you know, hydrogen bombs which could blast Papa Smurf and his harem of Smurfettes to hell? Not to mention that this is taking place like what, two hundred years in the future?

    But honestly, we have no idea how long these Smurfs have been around or how far their species has evolved in the grand scheme of things (side note: how did they just happen to grow/evolve with opposable thumbs and giant breasts?). They don’t seem to have much knowledge in the way of science. Instead they just use religion to explain everything, lack any type of medicine, are entirely dependent upon the grace of mother nature (if a rapid climate shift or natural disaster occurred, let’s face it–they’d be more screwed than Tiger Woods in a strip club) and are apparently really vulnerable to outside invaders. They don’t have any type of written language and their women are basically nothing more than property (which shouldn‘t come as much of a surprise considering Cameron has been married like seven times).

    You can argue that this is a purely ethnocentric view on my behalf–that progress is all subjective to one’s own experiences and point of view. True. But if I responded to your criticism (I take it very personal) by shooting you in the chest, would you rather belong to a civilization which uses scientific knowledge or a giant inanimate tree (news flash: worst idea ever, next to a series finale that fades to black during a Journey song) to heal you? Self-preservation is a very real part of our genetic code, and to believe that these Smurfs are somehow so spiritually enlightened as to be above any pursuit of the prolongation of life (assuming they have health care) … okay, whatever James Cameron. A technologically and scientifically advanced civilization will always conquer a less technologically and scientifically advanced society, unless of course they are zombies. A society’s true progress is ultimately determined by their ability to survive and reproduce in a given environment, to pass down their genetic material. In other words, if Cameron wanted to maintain an ounce of realism, the Smurfs would have had their asses handed to them on a silver platter by the humans–it just wouldn’t have made for a feel-good Disney ending.

    Avatar really isn’t that great of a movie, though for some reason it has enough worldwide appeal to make James Cameron an even bigger douchebag than he already is. That’s noteworthy because apparently the rest of the world hasn’t complained much about the blatant stereotypes rampant in the film (though I’m guessing most indigenous people aren’t frequenting the movie theater these days), nor do they seem to mind that it’s essentially a very American story told under the guise of an I-can-relate-to-other-races-too(!) tale.

    Whatever. Avatar just proves to me that there are a lot of writers from movies and shows  that can pen a much more complex, original script about the tropes and inherent ethnocentricity involved in the constructs of an “us” versus “the primitive other” subtext. This movie was screenwriting 101. Instead of creating character depth it sold its soul for some hella expensive special effects. Save yourself the time America and skip out on this flick, please I beg of you.

    And P.S., suck on that, James Cameron.


    As a contributing member of both The New Movement Improv Theater and the Austin Screenwriters Group, an immense fondness for and love of pop culture starting from an unhealthy age has equipped Brett Fowler with the skills necessary to avoid facing reality. One day she hopes to finally end her six-year-long “journey of self-discovery” at the University of Texas at Ausin and funnel her liberal arts degree into a screenwriting career, or at the very least, gainful unemployment.

    In her spare time (when not making preparations for the inevitable zombie apocalypse), Brett enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter, watching marathons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica, and, of course, writing.

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