While the status quotients take pot shots from specialized perches, an entire generation of still absorbent intellects “get” the big picture being painted in glorious praise of symbiosis with that without which we cannot live. In making his latest, greatest attempt to effect the paradigm of man’s meaning in the scheme of things, John Cameron has synthesized so many disparate fields into this movie, Avatar, that it represents the epitome of the term gestalt: the total that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Like the beautifully depicted symbiosis of the Na'vi with the other beings native to Pandora by the twining of opened nerve endings in a gesture of surrendering individuality for the benefit of both, the fields of technical expertise brought together for this production and the very real problems caused by civilization’s attitude toward the body from which it arises encompassed by the story is an entwining resulting in the benefit of all.
The grumblers remind me of the railroad fireman’s lament, diesel putting their stoking shovel out of work, as each of their fields are being drug kicking and screaming into the next generation. Another reenactment of Robert Persig’s Metaphysics of Quality explaining the mechanistic ratcheting effect civilization’s artificial establishmentarianism puts on the otherwise natural evolution of man’s understanding of the living universe in which we are a dependent part.
My love for movies is of a piece with my love of all expressions intended to be of benefit. I am interested in expressions of what I perceive to be intended harm as an opportunity to examine my desire to protect the oxen I’ve made so sacred I fear their goring in the alternative light of as yet considered viewpoints. Movies are a way to put a subject on the table.
When asked his take on Avatar, an author whose book I praised for his insight into the ecstasy of symbiosis with nature replied, exemplifying the blindness of pride in his initialed authority, “I have no answer, because I do not watch movies of this ilk.”
I called him on it with, “Wow, Kultur, you really are a snob aren't you? Or do all of your ilk go around calling out others' ilk just to fit in? How do you maintain ecstasy so far removed from its source — the oneness of us all? “
Confirming his condescending hubris he answered, “BTW. Ilk means type, sort, kind. Sorry about your hypersensitivity.”
An acquaintance asked with whom I’d gone to the movie I mentioned just having seen. When I said I’d gone alone, he replied. “That’s the saddest thing I ever heard.” Hyperbole aside, was this guy implying friendlessness being the only reason for solitude? Or perhaps movies were, for him, just part and parcel of the more tedious dining, dancing, drinking ploy for which rohypnol is the latest keystroke shortcut means to an end? Who knows? In this day when dating means fucking and fucking means something being destroyed, who knows?
Well, I certainly got off on a tangent there, but it may emphasize how deeply I feel the movie, Avatar, can and may effect our possibilities of becoming symbiotic with the body upon which we now act like cancer cells. As all cures for rigid resistance to change in the aged, the natural regeneration of new know-nothing cells keep the possibilities for such a return perpetually open.