In an editorial bashing conservatives, U.S. Marines and businessmen on Jan. 19, the Los Angeles Times admits that James Cameron’s “Avatar” has a radical leftist agenda. But, either out of disingenuousness, deception or stupidity, they then contend, what does it matter?
“We’ll stipulate,” the Editorial Board of the Times wrote, “that ‘Avatar’ promotes a liberal worldview. The question is, why does anyone care?”
The editorial goes on to say, “People are smart enough to separate fictional morality tales from reality.”
If it doesn’t matter what people communicate, then the L.A. Times should stop writing editorials and endorsing candidates, every student should be allowed to read the Bible aloud in class, Christian business men and women should be able to use Bible references in their product serial numbers and “Triumph of the Will” by Adolf Hitler’s favorite filmmaker should be lauded along with “Birth of a Nation.”
Ironically, on the same day as the editorial in the Times, it was reported by the Associated Press that a Korean man had died after seeing “Avatar.”
Of course, the physical consequences of watching Hollywood movies like “Avatar,” although sometimes acute like the shootings after “Natural Born Killers,” are not nearly as influential as the social and psychological consequences of watching them.
Hundreds of thousands of studies have shown that the mass media of entertainment has an influence. If it didn’t, advertisers would not pay millions of dollars to advertise or place their products into movies.
That said, not everybody will be influenced in the same way. Different people are susceptible to different influences. Studies show that one part of the audience for a TV program or movie will adopt and act on the message (whether violence or sex or consumerism), one part will ignore the message and one part will abhor the message. The blog postings on “Avatar” show that this research is completely accurate.
Hitler used the mass media to galvanize a nation to buy into the Holocaust. Lenin used the media to psychologically conquer Russia.
Obviously, the L.A. Times is merely dissembling because they like the message of “Avatar.” If it was Mel Gibson with a sequel to “The Passion of the Christ,” they would be screaming foul and calling for the movie to be banned before it could be watched by susceptible youths.
In the interest of honesty, perhaps the best thing that could happen would be for the L.A. Times to take the values expressed in this editorial at face value, and stop publishing altogether.
The problem with “Avatar” is not just that it has a “liberal,” if not radical leftist, worldview. The problem is that it promotes an anti-American, neo-Marxist worldview that is anti-capitalist and that romanticizes primitive pagan societies at the expense of Western Civilization, the Christian civilization that gave Hollywood folk like Mr. Cameron the liberty to bite the hand that feeds them.
For years, European-style leftists have been trashing America’s history and American values, including the American dream and American exceptionalism, in the mass media, the government schools and the public universities.
Movies like “Avatar” are more than just “escapist fantasy,” as the Times Editorial Board puts it so disdainfully – and falsely. They are public myths that can galvanize a generation, in the same way that Hitler’s propaganda machine galvanized intellectuals and young people among what was, at the time, perhaps the most educated populace in the world, the German people.
That’s why people should care. That’s why people should be alarmed.