Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hero Saves Day; Audience Flabbergasted

Please stop saying that Avatar ripped off some children's cartoon or whatever Wikipedia thought was important enough for a front-page item today. You can't avoid copying something that simplistic. Avatar was a moronic hack job of an excuse for a plot meant only as a vehicle for special effects. "Hero saves pretty flowers from ugly smoke" is no more or less than a constant refrain of industrialized societies' escapist literature. It's the steamworks beat to which Ents tromp through Middle-earth and sends the wabbits of Watership Down scurrying for cover and you can probably find plenty of Romantic-age references to prove that this routine is as old as the industrial exploitation which prompts it.

Allow Avatar the innocence of simple-mindedness. It's much too vapid to have bothered copying anything specifically. Also, just to nip this in the bud, Jurassic Park isn't a copycat of Frankenstein just because there's mad science but oh wait "something goes terribly wrong!" (tm) and neither is Terminator a total rip-off of Rossum's Universal Robots just because the robots will rise against their masters. Get a fucking grip. Sometimes, simplistic, shallow ditties chanting a classic refrain will also wind up being similar in other details. There's only so much lowest common denominator to go around.

The issue isn't the copying. It's the wheel-spinning.

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