There has been so much discussion about the movie Avatar and people’s reaction to it. I saw the movie a few weeks ago and thought it was great. Yes, it cost a ton of money to make and yes it is visually stunning with all its SFX. But…it also has a great story too. I think good Sci-Fi can take a theme, write it into a new setting and more strongly illustrate its point.
I have to say I was disappointed to read an article on CNN.com about people being depressed after seeing the movie. Here is a link to the story:
I went to the forum mentioned in the article and read through many of the posts. I have some strong feelings about what is being said. It concerns me that people are feeling despair after seeing this movie. Part of me has red flags go up when Hollywood or the media tries to stir up emotion in the public. I have too many bad flashbacks to propaganda films from the 40’s…
Another feeling I have is the fact that this movie is being used as escapism by some. Escapism is only a way to continue not dealing with issues or themes in one’s life. I spent too much of my life running from things and distracting myself so I didn’t have to deal with my life challenges. There are many things in life that can be a way to escape like drugs, sexual activity, internet, fantasy stories. Once you face the issues that have been latent or avoided, brilliant changes can happen in your life.
I will say though that there is something to be said about this desire for escapism. If you look at it, maybe these feelings of despair are making people look at their life. Maybe these feelings are indicative of something. There is nothing wrong with indicators or flags that go up. I think it’s important to do something about it though. But to do this you have to look around at your life and then take an active part in it.
Here are a few ways to do this. First off, the digital effects that create the world in Avatar are stunning. But I think also stunning are the shades of green when the leaves blow in the trees during a summer wind. How many shades of green are there? You really have to look to see this but when you can, it’s amazing. For those in the northern climates, I’ve found snow to be very intriguing. When it gets very cold (below 0 degrees F) the snow isn’t as compact as when it gets closer to freeing point. But you can see the individual snowflakes when you look at them closely. If you’re lucky and have some light there is a brilliant array of colors that dances off of them.
Another amazing thing you can do in life is to study martial arts. I took classes in Shaolin Kung Fu and was in awe of some of the advanced students that had superior leg strength and agility. I knew guys that could effortlessly leap up onto those yellow cement poles in front of buildings. And the flying kicks too! I even remember getting good at windmill kicks and being able to whirl across the studio once I got better. Need something more subtle? Tai Chi classes really get you to feel the internal energy within the self. Try some QiQong breathing to ease some stress. There are many benefits to these martial arts techniques and can be quite balancing.
My point is that there are amazing things to do and get involved in. At the time I write this I am still in between jobs and have taken up volunteering. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to help some people out. A lady asked me to help her learn how to use the computer because she’s older and finds it frustrating. I’m happy to help her learn so she can type word documents or applications! I’ve learned that there is a whole world of people that need help (me included) but there are ways to connect to people and lend your abilities.
So pay attention to those feelings of uncertainty or despair! They’re telling you something! But more importantly take action. Sure, the world of Pandora from Avatar is fictional but James Cameron’s imagination is very much influenced by the cultures of this big blue marble we live on and there is so much here if you look around and jump into life. Don’t sell yourself short!!! Take control of your life and begin living! You have gifts and perspectives that nobody else has earned in life because no one has gone through the same events that you have. That is special, own it.