This week's dumb thing to be angry about is Avatar, and how even though it's set in the future all of its characters are heterosexual, which is sooo last century. We learn this from the cleverly titled blog Stop Avatar Movie, written by an anonymous person described in his or her profile as "a young transgender person living near America in the Bay Area." (Near America in the Bay Area? What, like out in the ocean?) Since we don't know his or her real name, we'll call him or her SAM, for Stop Avatar Movie.
SAM writes in the blog's first post, from Nov. 22, that Avatar has three major things wrong with it:
SAM does a lot of things wrong here, not least of which is giving gay-rights activists who are not idiots a bad name. SAM misspells heterosexual ("hetrosexual") consistently, a sobering reminder that even if you are opposed to something, you should still know how to spell it. SAM also misstates the facts of evolution. Evolution doesn't show that humans are evolving to be transgender. Evolution still shows that for reproduction, you need a male doo-dad and a female hoo-ha. Even if we were evolving to become less rigidly defined as "male" and "female" and to instead be somewhere in the middle, we won't have arrived there by 2154, when Avatar is set. Give us a few thousand more years, at least.1) Avatar assumes that the hetrosexual, "male" and "female" attraction will still be the primary relationship basis in the future.
2) Avatar ignores the fact of Evolution. Humans are evolving to be being Transgender, NOT hetrosexual.
3) Avatar also assumes that intelligent beings on other worlds would be hetrosexual.
That is SAM's central argument, though. It's the blog's subtitle: "The future is Transgender NOT straight." SAM repeats the idea in other posts. For example:
But even if homosexuality and transgenderism are more widely accepted in 2154 than they are now (which they surely will be), there's no evolutionary reason to think they will be any more common. Even gay-rights activists -- the sane ones, anyway -- don't believe gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered is how everyone is supposed to be, just that that's how some people are and that there's nothing wrong with it. SAM's idea that there's something wrong with being heterosexual, or that it's on its way out evolution-wise, is goofy, and liable to give anti-gay bigots more ammunition. ("See??! They HATE heterosexuals!! They can't even spell the word!!") Luckily, most of the comments posted on the blog show that SAM's fellow gay and transgendered people think SAM's a nut.One has to wonder about the thought process involved in the making of Avatar. Who decided that the Jake Sully character in Avatar had be "hetrosexual" or "straight"? And why have him engaged in a hetro-type relation with someone from another world? Was there anyone who pointed out that this film was taking place in the FUTURE and it would be more likely, given current evolutionary trends that Jake would be gay, bi or transgender?
Since SAM is crazy, and probably mostly harmless (unless World Net Daily learns about the blog, at which point the nation's wingnuts will go ballistic with it), let's just enjoy his or her rantings. I have a pretty fine-tuned satire detector, and I'm unable to find any indication that SAM is less than serious about all this. If the blog is a troll, it's a troll that never breaks character.
SAM argues that Neytiri, the lady alien that Avatar's hero meets up with, could be a lesbian. Why not, right? "Would Jake not then be guilty of imposing his sexual beliefs upon Neytiri?" Sure -- but it would also mean that she wouldn't be attracted to him, which (spoiler alert) she is. It's not like he forces her to like him, unless he's so overwhelmingly handsome and charming that even alien lesbians can't resist him.
Here's SAM's latest post, in which SAM gives these reasons for protesting outside of movie theaters:
On point #1, SAM is correct that diversity and tolerance are human rights, but wrong in thinking this means that filmmakers are obligated to include at least one (1) gay character per movie. On point #2, SAM is correct that there are no gay, bisexual, or transgendered people in Avatar. There are also no blind people, no African people, no dwarfs, no Eskimos, and no Jehovah's Witnesses -- and I, for one, am OUTRAGED!! On point #3, SAM is just plain wrong again. You know, we have a big enough problem with people disbelieving evolution without SAM misleading them on what evolution is.1) To make all people aware that heterosexual [spelled right!] arrogance, assumptions or exclusions of alternative sexualities in movies is no longer acceptable. Diversity and tolerance are human rights.
2) To speak out for all gay, bi-sexual, genderless and transgender people who are not represented by any character in Avatar.
3) To educate people about Evolution and humanity's transition to transgenderism.
SAM ends by giving tips on how to protest at theaters showing Avatar. Among them: "Stand outside of theaters with signs and pamphlets to express your views"; "Stand up during a viewing of Avatar and remain standing"; "Buy tickets to Avatar in bulk but do not attend showings. An empty theater sends a message."
That last one made me think this could all be a joke after all. Buying tickets in bulk and then not showing up only sends one message, and that message is: "Hey! We bought a lot of tickets!" Theater owners don't care if you buy tickets but don't watch the movie. In fact, they'd probably prefer it. I know James Cameron will be happy either way.