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  #1  
Old 06-29-2010, 12:38 AM
Hapxtu
joeylovesgaia wants to get out to the real forest
 
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Default Mighty Whitey

I love Avatar, I think the messages are very progressive and enlightened, and of course Eywa's world is stunningly beautiful. BUT.

There is something that seems just a little insulting to natives in the old "mighty whitey" storyline. Not to mention ludicrous. How can a foreigner show up as a grown man, and in an insanely short time learn the native way of life better than the natives themselves?

Putting oneself in the shoes of the peoples depicted in movies like Avatar and Dances with Wolves, it would seem a little unfair, and ridiculous.

Mighty Whitey - Television Tropes & Idioms

The only saving grace is, Jake's transformation feels so positive, so uplifting. A non-white dude might identify with Tsu'tey and feel just the opposite, though. Maybe JC should have cast the Native American in the lead role?

Last edited by joeylovesgaia; 06-29-2010 at 12:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2010, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
The only saving grace is
Was that an intentional pun?
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2010, 12:45 AM
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Reverse racism is still racism.

Why do we need to keep dividing things by race?

((well, besides the navi human thing... but those are two radically different species))
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2010, 11:20 PM
Hapxtu
joeylovesgaia wants to get out to the real forest
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter of the Glade View Post
Was that an intentional pun?
Um...no. I could lie and say I did it on purpose, but being funny wasn't the point of the piece.
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2010, 05:16 AM
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What ever happened to "spirit is all that matters."?
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2010, 06:01 AM
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It's a load of crap. I used to edit Tvtropes quite a lot, but I got very disillusioned, because so much of the site is just thinly veiled Complaining About Shows You Don't Like - Television Tropes & Idioms (or not at all disguised)... the entire point is it wasn't just any random person, and he really didn't do anything so differently.

Tsyal Makto, EXACTLY.
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
better than the natives themselves?
what..?
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2010, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeylovesgaia View Post
The only saving grace is, Jake's transformation feels so positive, so uplifting. A non-white dude might identify with Tsu'tey and feel just the opposite, though. Maybe JC should have cast the Native American in the lead role?
Then people would have said it was unrealistic.

Unpleasable Fanbase - Television Tropes & Idioms
(Well, not fans in this case, but still applies...)

also, Accentuate The Negative - Television Tropes & Idioms
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2010, 05:29 PM
Hapxtu
joeylovesgaia wants to get out to the real forest
 
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Don't get lost in tvtropes. Trust me it's addictive.
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2010, 06:02 PM
Hapxtu
joeylovesgaia wants to get out to the real forest
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsyal Makto View Post
What ever happened to "spirit is all that matters."?
Thank you, my friend. Irayo.

What I thought many reviewers missed is that, as he becomes competent he loses his human self, or you might say regains it. Anyone can see the Na'vi are thinly disguised original humanity, set in contrast to the near cyborg-hood of modern life. Jake loses his Sky Person-ness as he grows in the ways of the Nature People.

Few modern people understand shape-shifting, rebirth, and the mutability of spirit. Those who even try, in this culture, are derided as New Age crazies. Their efforts are often clumsy and awkward from lack of knowledge. The Old World shamans and medicine women were killed as witches, with them went knowledge more ancient than that in the Library of Alexandria.
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2010, 02:54 AM
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I wouldn't necessarily say that he learned their ways better than they already knew. In no parts of the movie was he depicted as better than any particular Na'vi- Maybe just a little luckier, or more of a risk-taker, but if he wasn't than the 'hero' of Avatar would seem fairly boring, no? I mean, it's more of an action-fantasy type movie, so this sort of thing has to be expected.

As for the 'Mighty-Whitey' bit, can't argue much against that. However, I also feel that if this sort of thing weren't adopted, the main market for the movie (North America) would probably have a harder time digesting it as they do with many other forms of media/entertainment that break the norm. At least, this might be the case politically.


[Edit] On second thought it could be argued that Jake was a better fighter because he beat Tsu'tey in their little sparring match (not true by the original script I believe), however as a marine Jake would have had extensive training in both armed and unarmed hand-to-hand.
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Last edited by Boomachucka; 07-03-2010 at 03:09 AM.
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