Indigenous Themes in "Avatar"
- Indian Comics Irregular #191
By now everyone knows "Avatar" is the biggest success in cinematic history. That it has a pro-environment, anti-military storyline. That it's basically "Dances with Wolves" or "Pocahontas" in space.
Audiences cheered as the Indian-style Na'vi triumphed over the US-style imperialists. But no one has drawn an obvious conclusion from the film's popularity. By featuring indigenous characters in an indigenous plot, "Avatar" has proved there's a market for Native-themed stories.
Coming on the heels of "Twilight" and "New Moon," the message seems clear. Audiences want more Natives. Right now some exec should be saying, "Let's combine 'Avatar' and 'New Moon'! A wolfish Native soldier fights blue-skinned alien vampires...it's a guaranteed hit!"
Some links on "Avatar" and its indigenous themes:
Minorities = children in "Avatar"
Noble savages in "Avatar"
Monotheism vs. pantheism in "Avatar"
White guilt in "Avatar"
Eytukan toy from "Avatar"
Army vs. Indians in "Avatar"
Evoking Natives in "Avatar"
For more on the subject, see http://www.bluecorncomics.com/avatar.htm .
Burns's "National Parks"
Perhaps the biggest event of the fall TV season was Ken Burns's six-part documentary on America's national parks. Burns did a good job noting the parks' Native roots, a fair job describing how the US ripped off Native territory, and a poor job explaining how the land grabs squared with our democratic principles.
Some links on the subject:
2010's Best of the West
National parks = socialism
Democracy in Burns's "National Parks"
Indians in "The Morning of Creation"
Indians in "Great Nature"
Indians in "Going Home"
Indians in "The Empire of Grandeur"
Indians in "The Last Refuge"
Indians in "The Scripture of Nature"
Review of Burns's "National Parks"
Overview of Burns's "National Parks"
Burns on our national parks
Controversies in the News
Two recent controversies have triggered protests. First, a game developer is coming out with a King Philip's War game. With a lucky roll of the dice, you too can massacre Indians.
Dialog on King Philip's War game
Let's play the fun Rwanda game!
Gamers defend King Philip's War game
Pix of King Philip's War game protest
Train the Holocaust game
Designer defends King Philip's War game
Protesting King Philip's War game
Reactions to King Philip's War game
King Philip's War the game
Next, pop star Kesha performed on "American Idol" wearing a chief's headdress and warpaint. It's hard to say whether people disliked the stereotypes or her singing more.
What's so wrong about Kesha?
Outrage over Kesha's performance
Kesha in headdress and warpaint
Blue Corn Comics