Sunday, January 31, 2010

Avatar Review (spoilers; sort of!)

So, I saw Avatar today. In 3D. It was beautiful. It was touching. It was thrilling. It was a lot of things. As an English major, an academic, whatever it is that I am; I can't just watch a movie, enjoy it and let it go at that. Analysis is part of the deal, when you deal with me, so like it or not here I go. First off, I did enjoy the movie and completely lost myself for three hours (and it doesn't really seem like it is three hours, just like everyone says) in the beauty of the work and the story itself. But I firmly believe that art is here for many more reasons than just escapism. It defines culture, it creates culture. The fact that Disney has finally created an African American princess is important! Yes Avatar is the same old story, that story that has been told and will be told as long as human beings are in existence. The story of creation, of one true love, of evil v. good, the hero gets the girl, the bad guys lose etc, etc, etc. How we are represented in this oft told tale says a lot about who we are at the time of creation and who we will be in the future. Avatar does a wonderful job of telling this story but does a pretty simplistic representation of the conquerors and the indigenous peoples. In the past, and unfortunately to this day, the hero in this story is usually white, able bodied, heterosexual and male. Oh sure, we got Sigourney Weaver in Alien. Or Denzel Washington, or Jimmy Smits as president, but more often than not, it's a white male. Avatar's hero is a white male in a wheelchair. Huzzah! But he doesn't stay that way. He becomes an indigenous person, through ways I won't explain. Not only does he become one of them, he no longer needs a wheelchair. He spends the whole movie thrillingly out of the chair or being told his reward will be to get out of his chair. Why? Why does the happy ending have to involve him becoming able bodied? Why does it involve him becoming an indigenous person? Why can't our hero stay a white male in a wheelchair? She loved him. She saw HIM. I'm not sure why this upsets me so much, but it does. Maybe because I see too many people who think that they have to change who they are to make the world a better place. They have to fit some norm to be the hero. It's just not true. Heroes are made of those who take risks, of those who work and of those that aren't necessarily perfect people. We've gotten better. We need to get even better still. Go see Avatar. It's an amazing movie and I'd love to hear what you think

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Got up at six and rode the bike in the garage for about fifteen minutes. Got to figure out if I can bring it in though because Tim has already claimed that space in the morning and inhaling cigarette fumes isn't a good idea while exercising! Pretty proud of myself for doing it though. I am going to go to work and get shit done today! I also have plans to have lunch with a former student who is now attending Mills. She is amazing, has overcome more in her short eighteen years than I will in my lifetime and is going to make the world a better place. I am honored to know her and can't wait to see her. I was just watching a segment from "The Daily Show" that Tim and I had watched the other night and then was just posted by my stepdaughter. They are just brilliant those writers. Not just brilliant, but doing the "real" work of journalists. "Speaking truth to power" as Edward R. Murrow said, something that is just not done enough of in this climate. I need to get the newspaper going this semester. With the kind of kids we have at AR, I can cultivate some real journalists for the planet. It's always a struggle, especially at AR because they are already so busy with college classes and high school. But this is important. What else? I am still technically on vacation until Monday, but have been working either at school or from home all week. It's amazing how unresentful that makes me, must be because I love the work. I really hate this keyboard and need to figure out why it jumps from the line I'm typing on to the lines above when I rest on the touch pad. I tried to adjust it awhile ago, but it's one of those things I need to really understand before I can fix it and that just seems like too much right now. Wow, it's already seven am. I should get in the shower and get going. A little more Facebook trolling and I'll do just that. Au revoir and hasta la proxima!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


If you don't know what Wordle is you should check it out. I keep forgetting to use this in class. I took my previous "New Moon" post and got this:

 Wordle: Blog post
Pretty damn cool. Enjoy. Yes, I am up at two am. Couldn't sleep, first day back working, maybe I am just too excited?

Friday, January 1, 2010

First day of 2010. So far, so good. Saw New Moon last night with a friend. Wow. What a crappy movie. The Twilight saga itself is just so trite and one dimensional, but New Moon just made me laugh. What made it even worse was the middle aged woman in front of us, who not only was making disgusting noises about the young boys on the screen, but was one of those movie watchers that feels like they need to comment on everything. It was obvious she had read the book or even watched the movie already and kept urging characters on etc. Lord, oh well it was fun anyway. Started the morning by getting a Tarot card reading from a friend over the phone. Said a lot of good and positive things. Talked about how I need to take a risk, let go of something comfortable in order to gain something. Yeah, I know, pretty freaking generic right? I need to communicate more and not berate myself. Yadda Yadda. Well, I have a kitty that wants my attention gotta go