Cameron’s cinematic liberal paradise makes viewers hate reality
Gnosticism begins with an inconsolable dissatisfaction with this world brought about by the desolating experience that the divine has been withdrawn from this world, leading to the belief that this world is false and evil. The various gnostic movements throughout history have consisted of a variety of methods of overcoming this false and evil world and reabsorbing the divine back into oneself so that one may possess the divine completely. Thus: profound alienation from reality leads to the desire to “immanentize the eschaton,” to bring about heaven on earth, often through revolutionary politics.
Now read this, which a reader sent to me under the subject line, “A vision of the gnostic world causes depression and suicidal thoughts”:
Audiences experience ‘Avatar’ blues
This is something new. Hollywood used to present a heightened reality that took one out of the real world but also enhanced the real world and made everything seem more beautiful, meaningful, and enjoyable. This movie with its liberal paradise and its anti-white message makes people hate the real world, hate their own society and people.January 12, 12:45 a.m.
Joseph (from Arimathea) writes:
I sympathize with the poor folks who want to live on Cameron’s imagined eco-utopia. Though I have not seen Avatar (largely because of the discussion on your site), I have often wanted to travel to fictional worlds, and I suppose that such is common. My youth was spent yearning for Tolkien’s Middle Earth, where the exemplars of good and evil—and of virtue and vice—are more striking and obvious. Does not an Ivanhoesque Romantic stirring ever visit your breast, where you long to see the hero conquer the villains and then ride off into the sunset with the princess? Fantasy is full of our projected wishes, and I don’t know if it is gnostic to wish to see the world more clearly alive and wonderful than how we tend to find it. Looking at what the modern West has become makes me more than a little escapist. Of course, such escapism can be debilitating if indulged in too much. Like strong drink, a little bit of fantasy can take the edge off of our despair.LA replies:
Thank you for the great quotation from Augustine.Gintas writes:
January 12“When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning,” Hill wrote on the forum. “It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world.”He does not live in a dying world—he is a dead man in a dying world. In pre-Christian Europe, such an unhappy man would have jumped at the hope of heaven and would have fallen down before a hero-savior Christ. Thus he would have been reanimated. Today? Any heaven but God’s heaven, any savior but God’s savior. How can a man who hates goodness, beauty, and truth not finally hate himself and life itself?
Alan Roebuck writes:
Liberalism disorders society, and then when people hate the disorder and long for something better, it blames anti-liberalism and prescribes more of itself as the cure. In that, liberalism is like a drug pusher, supplying his evil wares to provide temporary relief.Erik M. writes:
This passage from Chesterton springs to mind:LA replies:
I’m not sure I agree with the Chesterton passage. It seems to me that suicide is often committed out of despair and pain, not out of a sneering attitude toward the world.January 13
Lauren W. writes:
We’re on the same page regarding Avatar’s insulting and moronic plot but I’m curious to know what you thought of the art direction. Even the bad reviews I’ve read raved about the beauty of the visual spectacle but I thought the whole thing looked overblown and tacky. Pandora reminded me of one of those unfortunate spray paintings you see being done at every street fair in the country. The look and feel of the movie really cemented my opinion of Cameron’s essential immaturity. I mean, really—white people are evil and dayglo under blacklight is awesome. Dude obviously has all of the sensibilities of a college sophomore.LA replies:
I haven’t seen it, and I have no desire to, though I discussed the possibility earlier this evening.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 11, 2010 03:05 PM | Send