I went to watch Avatar in 3D last night. It’s a pretty long movie, and the sensory experience is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It had my brain working so intensely that I couldn’t fall asleep until 3am this morning. The 3D affects are brilliant, and I can’t wait for the day ordinary television is transmitted in such a way. I felt the story line was a bit standard-issue though. Brash Americans want a commodity – they want to use force – some guy has a track on the inside for the troopers – a love story unfolds – things get nasty. Epic fight – key characters die; happiness returns; the end.
What worries me though, is the underlying story of escapism that our youth are subjected to, and play out in the imaginary world, because they can’t have normal lives – in the real world today. The story takes place on Pandora, an earth like planet with huge forests, floating islands and inhabited by freaky wildlife. Glow in the dark plants, pet pterdactyls and six legged horses, to name a few. Its very symbolic of the worlds kids (and adults) immerse themselves in through computer games. They can design how attractive they look, what they wear, what they say, and how they choose to behave. All in an effort to juxtapose the set backs of the real world. Either because they cant or wont go outside and ride a bike, or climb a tree or chat up a girl or be brave enough to be who they feel comfortable being.
Consumerism breeds consumer sadness. No matter how much “stuff” you’ve got – it’s not going to make you happy. But at the same time, neither is escaping the facts that you’re overweight and unpleasant because you binge eat KFC – by living in a superficial computer-based world. There are far more good people out there than bad. Far more friendly and insightful than sinful and useless. But all these good people have an unwarranted fear of violence, or hate speech, or public humiliation – or something, and then don’t just go be happy.
I recommend you watch Avatar. But then while your mind tries to bend its way around the technological sensory overload you will suffer, think about your real world – the one you wake up to each day. Start putting things from your imaginary world in the real one, and share them with your buddy.