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  #1  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:44 PM
Taronyu
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Default A Native Americans view of Avatar

Here is a native american review of Avatar (a couple of years old but still interesting):


The war-painted, dragon-riding Smurfs vs. the Indians

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...-indians-81456
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:59 PM
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Here is another reviewer. He critizises American indifference for the opression of indigenous peoples in countries that the US has business treaties with. He also critizise the phenomena that some Avatar fans know and care more about the characters in the movie than about real indigenous people.

Or as he puts it:

Quote:
The languages of indigenous peoples are threatened all over the world, a wealth of cultural information dying along with them – and the world pays no note. Meanwhile, geeks and popcorn-heads throughout the industrial nations are teaching themselves Na’vi – an artificially created language for a movie.
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...e2%80%99-81344

Last edited by redpaintednavi; 05-03-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:36 PM
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I will never take anyone seriously who uses a phrase like "war painted, dragon riding smurfs" in the title of the article.

As far as the learning Na'vi quote, can't say I'm going to disagree with misplaced priorities... but I don't think that should be criticized more than anything else done for fun. No one is pretending (at least I hope not) that learning Na'vi is going to help with that cause. I guess he just thinks that's the most telling/obvious example.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:24 PM
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What an idiot. Using argument from authority where it doesn't even apply, to a film that has zero relation to them yet they act as if it does, and factual errors everywhere.

Classic persecution complex with regards to languages - people learn them because they are interesting.

redpaintednavi, why even post this? With this and your previous concern troll thread, I am starting to see a pattern emerge here...
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post

redpaintednavi, why even post this? With this and your previous concern troll thread, I am starting to see a pattern emerge here...
He posts a genuinely written Avatar related article in Avatar forum without even giving an opinion on it, you don't like what the article says, so you suggest he's trolling. Okay.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
redpaintednavi, why even post this? With this and your previous concern troll thread, I am starting to see a pattern emerge here...
I don't think he's trying to do anything except show us things he's found about Avatar.

I think it's interesting to see other's viewpoints, even (and sometimes, especially) if I disagree with them.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:39 AM
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^^

- Mikko
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2012, 03:36 AM
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Ease up on the Red, bro.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2012, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
What an idiot. Using argument from authority where it doesn't even apply, to a film that has zero relation to them yet they act as if it does, and factual errors everywhere.

Classic persecution complex with regards to languages - people learn them because they are interesting.

redpaintednavi, why even post this? With this and your previous concern troll thread, I am starting to see a pattern emerge here...
You are to sensitive. To read up on and discuss different aspects also of the things we like most broadens our views and perspectives.

Last edited by redpaintednavi; 05-04-2012 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
I don't think he's trying to do anything except show us things he's found about Avatar.

I think it's interesting to see other's viewpoints, even (and sometimes, especially) if I disagree with them.
This.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:17 PM
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Wow... The author of this article is such an idiot. I can't believe they wrote at one point "As a Native person, I have...", this can't be true. This is coming from a person who at the end of the article said real Indians know it takes a lot of time to be a real Indian. I wish I could speak to this person directly. I am Native American. I'm Forest County Potawatomi, check it if you don't believe it, and I'm on the Rez everyday. All the stuff this person says in here is not that of actual Native American life. Being Native doesn't take "time". You're either Native or you're not, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Unless this is one of those white people who are so pro-Native American and try to study the culture all that and try to play the whole "I'm Native American, but not by blood but because of" blah blah blah. Not to sound racist because I'm not, it's just that those kind of people do exist. And if this person really is Native, they should live on or near the Rez, and if they did, I would have a hard time believing they have a local movie theater. But anyway, with all that being said, I'm Native, and I don't think there is anything wrong with Avatar. The author wrote so much about how this isn't a real Indian movie and real Indians aren't like this or like that. Again, you're not a real Indian so don't talk like you are. And that is the point! It is NOT a Native movie, obviously. If it were, it would be set on Earth, probably in set in the 1800's. It wasn't supposed to be a Native movie, so this stupid person is trying to argue something that doesn't exist.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:13 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

It's a classic mark of an idiot when used in such a context, where it doesn't even apply (are they a Na'vi? No...).

It's also full of bull**** mistakes - 'mammal-free' is contradicted in the same sentence by correctly stating that the Na'vi are there.

Going on and on about how Jake is white, is, IMHO, racist. Why should filmamkers be FORCED to engage in tokenism to make a tiny minority happy? Not to mention that if the protagonist WAS non-white, the same idiots would be complaining about THAT.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Layzie View Post
Wow... The author of this article is such an idiot. I can't believe they wrote at one point "As a Native person, I have...", this can't be true. This is coming from a person who at the end of the article said real Indians know it takes a lot of time to be a real Indian. I wish I could speak to this person directly. I am Native American. I'm Forest County Potawatomi, check it if you don't believe it, and I'm on the Rez everyday. All the stuff this person says in here is not that of actual Native American life. Being Native doesn't take "time". You're either Native or you're not, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Unless this is one of those white people who are so pro-Native American and try to study the culture all that and try to play the whole "I'm Native American, but not by blood but because of" blah blah blah. Not to sound racist because I'm not, it's just that those kind of people do exist. And if this person really is Native, they should live on or near the Rez, and if they did, I would have a hard time believing they have a local movie theater. But anyway, with all that being said, I'm Native, and I don't think there is anything wrong with Avatar. The author wrote so much about how this isn't a real Indian movie and real Indians aren't like this or like that. Again, you're not a real Indian so don't talk like you are. And that is the point! It is NOT a Native movie, obviously. If it were, it would be set on Earth, probably in set in the 1800's. It wasn't supposed to be a Native movie, so this stupid person is trying to argue something that doesn't exist.
I think you want to check the context, because you seem to be actually agreeing with the author. The very next clause is, "...that cultural traditions don’t come via simulation modules." IOW, you can't be Native part-time, or as a hobby; it's more fundamental than that.

AFAICT, The author's point in that section, which I hope you'll agree with, is that it's wrong to portray a culture as so simplistic that it can be learned in 3 months, Native, Western, or otherwise. Even with sci-fi-esque memory extensions, I could hardly pass myself off as a Native American with 90 days of practice, and neither could you pass yourself off as a purebred Scot. (Ignoring the fact that both our skin-tones are probably completely wrong.) The "protocols" we have to act by are simply too complicated.

Yet Jake does exactly that. He not only does that, but he does it so well he can be the equivalent of e.g. Genghis Khan. With 90 days of experience.

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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

It's a classic mark of an idiot when used in such a context, where it doesn't even apply (are they a Na'vi? No...).
The associations and connotations in Avatar are fairly easy to spot, especially if you have knowledge of Colonialism efforts by various countries. (My knowledge is perhaps a bit biased; I was studying a book on colonialism when I saw Avatar. It was tricky taking the book seriously afterwards. )

Cameron even distorts the story's logic occasionally to fit that association in. When Quaritch tells the war room (near the end), "We will fight terror with terror," this is pretty effective; after all, we're familiar with that phrase... because it's from 9/11 propaganda. However, it doesn't make sense at this point in the story; the Na'vi haven't been trying to terrify the humans at all, except by fighting back openly and, (up till then), ineffectually. The phrase only makes sense in the context of groups who use underhanded, asymmetrical techniques, like setting traps, hit-and-run, etc. that would make one fear for their own security; the Na'vi are never shown to do that on-screen.

If you can't see those associations, then IMO you should really learn about them. Art doesn't happen in a vacuum, and it's important to realize that if we want to eliminate discrimination/unfairness. (If you won't see the associations, please say so. )

Quote:
It's also full of bull**** mistakes - 'mammal-free' is contradicted in the same sentence by correctly stating that the Na'vi are there.
...The Na'vi are mammals?

Quote:
Going on and on about how Jake is white, is, IMHO, racist. Why should filmamkers be FORCED to engage in tokenism to make a tiny minority happy?
Technically, the majority of people are Chinese. Therefore, all non-Chinese protagonists are keeping a minority happy, albeit a non-tiny one.

Obviously, I am being ridiculous here, but I hope you can see the point. The world is not WASP, so why not have the cast of (applicable) movies reflect that? It certainly wouldn't have detracted from the movie for Jake to be Chinese, or Indian, or German. [I'm picking nationalities off the top of my head. Do not take the examples as definitive. ] The fact that he is white, male, American, i.e. the same demographic as Cameron, isn't an isolated thing; JC is following a trend, whether intentionally or not. That trend is pretty marginalizing: if you're not WASP, you don't exist in most of Hollywood.

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Not to mention that if the protagonist WAS non-white, the same idiots would be complaining about THAT.
I don't believe you, sorry. If you can cite a previous situation where that happened, please do so.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:22 AM
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Yeah, they have to be.

Otherwise there would be no point to having mammary glands.

They may not be placental mammals, but they're mammals by our standards.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Clarke View Post
AFAICT, The author's point in that section, which I hope you'll agree with, is that it's wrong to portray a culture as so simplistic that it can be learned in 3 months, Native, Western, or otherwise. Even with sci-fi-esque memory extensions, I could hardly pass myself off as a Native American with 90 days of practice, and neither could you pass yourself off as a purebred Scot. (Ignoring the fact that both our skin-tones are probably completely wrong.) The "protocols" we have to act by are simply too complicated.
Jake is still average to bad at the vast majority of things. It's an explicit point that any random Na'vi is likely better than him at specific skills. Jake couldn't pass himself off as a real Na'vi either; yet in 90 days someone CAN learn basics.

Quote:
Cameron even distorts the story's logic occasionally to fit that association in. When Quaritch tells the war room (near the end), "We will fight terror with terror," this is pretty effective; after all, we're familiar with that phrase... because it's from 9/11 propaganda. However, it doesn't make sense at this point in the story; the Na'vi haven't been trying to terrify the humans at all, except by fighting back openly and, (up till then), ineffectually. The phrase only makes sense in the context of groups who use underhanded, asymmetrical techniques, like setting traps, hit-and-run, etc. that would make one fear for their own security; the Na'vi are never shown to do that on-screen.
You're kind of proving my own point here... - Quaritch is an idiot. He's deliberately choosing language that is actually wrong for his own point.

Quote:
If you can't see those associations, then IMO you should really learn about them. Art doesn't happen in a vacuum, and it's important to realize that if we want to eliminate discrimination/unfairness. (If you won't see the associations, please say so. )
Discriminating against a majority for no good reason is racism. Use who is actually good for the part. People shouldn't be obligated to have quotas or whatever.

Quote:
...The Na'vi are mammals?
YES. Watch the film; look at some images; watch or read about the deleted scenes.

Quote:
Technically, the majority of people are Chinese. Therefore, all non-Chinese protagonists are keeping a minority happy, albeit a non-tiny one
~15% is a majority now? Nope.

Quote:
Obviously, I am being ridiculous here, but I hope you can see the point. The world is not WASP, so why not have the cast of (applicable) movies reflect that?
Because it's made in the US, primarily released in and most successful in the US, UK, and Europe. Because many actors of other races fit VERY specific roles. 'Affirmative action' and political correctness are what's actually racist IMHO.
The composition, including background, is as would be expected - mostly but not exclusively white (and presumably US, British and European; predominantly the former). Don't complain because a film is realistic.

Quote:
It certainly wouldn't have detracted from the movie for Jake to be Chinese, or Indian, or German. [I'm picking nationalities off the top of my head. Do not take the examples as definitive. ]
It would also make less sense as to why he's in the US, and you'd complain about that. I know you too well, and you are unpleasable with regards to Avatar when you get onto this bandwagon. I don't really understand it, as at other times you're fine and someone I can actually get on with.

Anyway, he has a slight Australian accent. Enough for you?

Quote:
I don't believe you, sorry. If you can cite a previous situation where that happened, please do so.
So you're saying that if Jake was black, idiots wouldn't complain? It's a no-win situation with people that stupid who will complain either way. Go read that worthless morass called tvtropes and look at all the pages there (I forgot the specific names for some, but I'm sure you know which I mean) such as 'magical native american'. Avatar avoided them ALL, and if you say you wouldn't complain if it didn't then you are a blatant liar.
If you can't see why an explicitly non-white protagonist would have idiots complaining then I don't have any words left. The reaons are obvious. Covering your ears and going "LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" is not effective.
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Last edited by Human No More; 05-05-2012 at 07:17 PM. Reason: I went too far :(
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