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Friday, January 8, 2010

Avatar: The White Messiah Myth

Columnist David Brooks sees the dark underside of the current film mega-hit:

...would it be totally annoying to point out that the whole White Messiah fable, especially as Cameron applies it, is kind of offensive? It rests on the stereotype that white people are rationalist and technocratic while colonial victims are spiritual and athletic. It rests on the assumption that nonwhites need the White Messiah to lead their crusades. It rests on the assumption that illiteracy is the path to grace. It also creates a sort of two-edged cultural imperialism. Natives can either have their history shaped by cruel imperialists or benevolent ones, but either way, they are going to be supporting actors in our journey to self-admiration.


I guess I should see the film to see what he's talking about.

1 comment:

autodidact said...

Someone else already wrote Brooks' column. He just changed a few words.
http://tellmeeverything.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/01/media-watch-the-david-brooks.html