Nothing new under the sun

Cover of "Avatar (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Co...

Cover via Amazon

I tend to be a contrarian, avoiding what others flock to.  This is especially true for Hollywood blockbusters, so it was just this week that I first saw the movie Avatar.  It was better than I expected, applying the contrarian rule that the more hyped a movie is the less value it has.  In the midst of all the glitz and drama, there were, however, many familiar touchstones that I recognized.  For example, the movie score and seemingly futile battle scenes at the end were reminiscent of the movie Glory.  The story line of a primitive alien race rising against their oppressive human overlords–complete with well-meaning scientists and over-the-top, testostorone-crazed militaristic destruction–could have been lifted whole cloth from Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Word for World is Forest.  The idea of a Gaia-like world-wide intelligence that musters all its inhabitants in its defense was featured in Deathworld by Harry Harrison.  And the idea of blessing/thanking the animals you kill is familiar from the American Indians and, I suspect, other hunter cultures.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Genius is evident in how we express the familiar.

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One Response to Nothing new under the sun

  1. marchee5d says:

    In all I hope you enjoyed the meaningful bits 🙂 Agreed – the size of destruction will not leave you wondering if the humans ‘meant hostile’. And the usual slant – they must be primitive beings if dwell in forests.. Glynn, like the look of your functional and interesting blog. Me: a ‘blog student’ from Australia. Namaste – keep writing – much joy reading it – Cheers’ _/\_

    Like

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