Monday, January 18, 2010

Life on the Moon Pandora

I did something that I'm a little ashamed of on Friday. I was sitting in the barber chair getting my hair cut. I've gotten my hair cut by Mike several times. He's younger than I and seems to be a nice guy. Today we were talking about our holidays. I hadn't seen him since before Thanksgiving so we had a lot to talk about. At one point, the conversation veered off in a direction I didn't see coming. Mike asked me if I was married. No. He asked me if I had a girlfriend. No. Did I want a girlfriend? No. He laughed and said, "Good for you." The silence that came after sent my mind scrambling for something to say. I didn't physically sink into the seat, but those questions made me feel like the me in the mirror was shrinking. Why didn't I just tell him I'm gay after the girlfriend question? What was I afraid of? Was it that I thought our rapport would change? That he would treat me differently? I'm not ashamed of being gay. I assumed he knew. His questions threw me off balance. It's been a long time since someone asked me about women. All I could think of to fill the silence was to ask if he had seen "Avatar." He hadn't.

I can answer that question in the affirmative having seen it that night. In 3-D,"Avatar" was a technologically stunning love story with the requisite epic battle thrown in. It was one of the most exciting experiences I've ever had at the movies. By the end my heart was racing, I was sweating, and my nerves were shot.

I had heard it was a rip off of "Pocahontas." I had heard it was a rip off of "Dances With Wolves." Who cares! It was so worth seeing. If for nothing else than to see how nearly 15 years of technological advancement in film making visually changed a story you already know. Don't be a hater. I have to admit, right now, after that statement, that I did not want to see "Avatar." Just didn't have a desire to see the blue people fight for their turf. Boy am I glad that I changed my mind and don't have to remain an idiot.

SPOILER ALERT

All for a mineral (let's say oil), the armed forces invade the moon Pandora and destroy to get what they want. They have no care for the Na'vi, the indigenous people of Pandora. They have no concern whatsoever about destroying the tree where the Na'vi live called, Hometree, or destroying the tree that represents their deity. The powers that be would rather sit in power and laugh at The People than hear from scientists the truth of the situation. The root of the destruction: money.

I will go into no more detail about the story of this film. What I want to say is this. When will we be able to live in peace. Without fear of someone trying to take what is ours away. Without fear that they might actually succeed. When will I not be fearful to say I'm gay or to say I believe in God or I like redheads? Why is it so impossible to ask for what we want? Even as children we are taught to share and not to take something away from a child who had it first. Why do we feel we have to go in with guns blasting, destroy, kill, and take? Why can't we, humans, people, talk to each other? Why can't we believe in our God and love who we love? Who, in any country or on any planet, has the right to tell us those answers? What if the Sky Walkers had just tried to communicate with the Na'vi instead of treating them like they were less than. Aren't we supposed to be educated now?

Referencing "Pocahontas," these lyrics from "Colors of the Wind" seem to fit this film:

You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew


One day we will not take, but ask. One day we will all be equal. One day we will treat each other the way we want to be treated. One day...