?

Log in

No account? Create an account
homesick alien blues - blue dog blog™
links

my professional page :: my linkedin page :: my facebook page

ipblogs :: jape :: patently-o :: phosita
photoblogs :: chromasia :: topleftpixel
comics and fun :: pennyarcade :: sinfest :: onion :: drunkmen
LJ :: read :: write
March 2012
 
 
 
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 11:06 am
homesick alien blues

This CNN article reports that people are depressed after seeing "Avatar," essentially because being immersed in a fantasy alien world makes them discouraged and even repulsed by what we, as humans, have done to ours.

I don't like the article or what it reports, because it focuses only on a perceived problem, rather than a solution. For example, there are a lot of quotes about feeling sad, but none about what these sad people intend to do about it, like perhaps make a change.

It's quite possible the article just decided not to include quotes such as "This film made me sad, but it also made me realize that I can live my life to exemplify values important to those aliens."

Well, probably because that sounds pretty ridiculous. But why not? It's just as valid a sentiment as "The pretend world in the movie made me sad."

Nothing wrong with being bummed out, of course, but what irks me about the article's focus - and the idea that audience depression is a widespread enough phenomenon that it's deemed newsworthy - is that it hints that people might doubt their own ability to effect positive change in their surroundings or lives. Then I get irked at myself for having such a dismissive, kneejerk reaction, but when the article quotes a person who confesses to be contemplating suicide as a form of escape from this world to a rebirth, hopefully, in a better one, it's difficult for me not to criticize the perspective that death is preferable to sticking around and trying to solve some problems.

Our ability to adapt is incredible, and it's sometimes a liability. It allows us to acclimatize to our circumstances, sometimes to the extent that we fail to notice how things might be headed in an unhealthy direction. Also, even while adapting, the ability to adapt allows us to forget that we have it, tricking us into thinking that living in a different way would be too difficult. In most cases, it's not.

Maybe this is one of those things that everyone has to learn individually. And if it comes from a pretty movie about beautiful, peaceful aliens, so be it. One of the most important life lessons I ever learned came from listening to Howard Stern, of all places.

39CommentReply

fozz47
fozz47
needs better respect for your superiors
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)

Wow, a lot of people liked this movie way more than I did. It was good, but the mythos of the stoic warrior living in peace with nature is as old as storytelling. And really living in tune with nature involves a lot of death from colds and not making it past your 23rd birthday. The rate of falling out of trees alone would be astronomical!


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)

True, but skeletons reinforced with naturally occurring carbon fiber!


ReplyThread Parent Expand

yoopie
yoopie
Hi
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)

I would not be surprised if James Camerson paid CNN to write/run the article.

I have not seen the movie and don't care to. It looks like recycled storyline in CGI.....wow, big whoop de damn do. =)


ReplyThread
yoopie
yoopie
Hi
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)

Casmerson = Cameron....yes I can type...sometimes. bleh


ReplyThread Parent





circumambulate
circumambulate
Circumambulate
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)

While I agree, unfortunately, I think there's a fairly significant percentage of people who fully buy into imaginary worlds, or external influences, to the detriment of their life in reality, be it Avatar, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, or the Grateful Dead.

Avatar's just the story of the week.


ReplyThread

littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)

The actual full article is ... about the intensity of the fantasy world, the power of imagination, and how such a powerful Immersion Trip has weird psychological after-effects.

Yes, this is my point, and also that I believe people hold themselves captive to those aftereffects.


ReplyThread Parent
cienna74
cienna74
cienna74
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)

but what irks me about the article's focus - and the idea that audience depression is a widespread enough phenomenon that it's deemed newsworthy - is that it hints that people might doubt their own ability to effect positive change in their surroundings or lives.

Amen, brotha. I could not agree more. These people have the time and energy to whine on the internets about a so-called "depressing" movie or contemplate suicide, but they don't have the time/energy to focus on actually doing something to make the world or their world a better place??? Not to mention there are A LOT more depressing movies than Avatar. Puhleeze.


ReplyThread
sinndar
sinndar
Tracy
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)

Personally, it gave me a lot of hope - that I live in a world capable of creating a movie like that. :)


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)

No doubt, right? Even if it cost upwards of $200 mil!

Have you seen it?


ReplyThread Parent Expand

peculia
peculia
bête noire
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)

Hah. I read this article yesterday.

Depression is a pretty serious thing, but it seems to me that people are far more willing to mope about what they can't have in a fictional world (Twilight is also, I think, a good example) than they used to be.

There is nothing wrong with making an emotional connection with fiction. But I think there's a lot wrong with putting a fictional world on a pedestal and looking down your nose at the real world because it doesn't measure up.

If these people refuse to go out and change their circumstances purely because they think this world is not worth their bother, then hell ... maybe they don't deserve to live here.


ReplyThread
remix79
remix79
remix
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)

If people don't feel empowered, like they can actually change things, then THAT is what leads to hopelessness. It's not really fair to automatically say they are at fault. They just don't see (and yes, in some cases refuse to see) how they can make things better.

Thus it's up to us to help them out and show them, yes, we can change things for the better. :)

Edited at 2010-01-12 11:38 pm (UTC)


ReplyThread Parent Expand















remix79
remix79
remix
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)

Wasn't there something similar to this when The Matrix came out?


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)

Maybe similar in terms of a longing for a different reality, but the world in The Matrix is about as dystopian as you can get!


ReplyThread Parent Expand

dryad271
dryad271
nitemare hippie girl
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)

I was depressed only because I WANNA GO TO THE AWESOME GLOW-IN-THE-DARK FOREST RULED BY TREE-GOD and it doesn't exist :( :( :(


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)

I wonder if you could find this stuff around here.


ReplyThread Parent