McFee's Musings

July 29, 2012

London Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 12:54 am

“There is no such thing as society.”
Margaret Thatcher

I cried. The great human hymn Abide By Thee closing the Culture/Entertainment portion of the Opening Ceremonies. The Celebration of the National Health System with magical beds of monsters, nurses and Mary Poppins integrated with the vast trove of British Isles children’s literature as the core of the ceremonies. I cried! This ceremony, befitting old Britain had Bond, the Bard and a Beatle and a Queen.
All the modern iconography of Britain. But the National Health Care System???

I was stunned when Brian Williams on the broadcast conveyed what was transpiring before my very eyes: before the capitalist world Britain was thumbing their collective fingers and saying that the collective health and welfare of the citizenry is worth celebrating, indeed is an Olympic ideal, a centerpiece of British life, highly valued in the new age of austerity, or conversely, the New Gilded Age of financial thievery.

If it wasn’t so heart sickeningly funny, it was illuminating watching the coverage in Canada on CTV vs TSN vs American TV coverage. The word ‘weird’ kept coming up, particularly on the sports channels.

They couldn’t comprehend that a nation might be proud of a project that serves the needs of the individual through the Commons. That major stars would subvert their ego for the British narrative. All the participants for that segment were volunteers from the Health Service! How could they be so proud of a socialist, nay, Commy plot! was the implication on Fox and Friends. National Health Service=Obamacare. In Canada the coverage was more akin to embarrassed silence that the director Doyle (Slumdog Millionaire) would be so gauche as to display passion for universal Health Care when we are so diligently trying to turn our system over to American Insurance Inc. Embarrassed Silence. Weird?

The British, excluding the Welch, Irish and Scots, have a lot to answer for in the preceding five centuries. The Imperial Empire Mind lives on in financial services and America, witness the latest LIBOR (London InterBank Offered Rate) scandal, fixing international interest rates on 400 TRILLION dollars of mortgages, loans and derivatives, conservatively.

The Olympic Movement at it’s heart is a great clan gathering still. That mass marketing, crony capitalism and assorted deviants of the sports and finance nexus allowed fifteen minutes to celebrate a government ( public ) service had to have been fought for. I would love to have been at that content planning meeting!

These 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremonies offered the notion that the Gold lies within us as a global community to come to terms with our pressing global issues through the Commons for All.

To champion a collective accomplishment like a National Health System is courageous in the face of modern Plantation Capitalism.

Big shout out to Director Doyle and the opening ceremony creative brain trust. A modern history lesson with entertainment!

Chimo Margaret

Dwight McFee

July 15, 2012

Back Down The Road

Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 2:08 am

The Directors Guild of Canada, DGC Awards were announced this week of July 9, 2012, and Back Down The Road was nominated for Best Picture. Congratulations to Union Pictures, Don Shebib, Jane Eastwood, Doug McGrath and everyone who made possible this film.

Back Down The Road is a brave look at what time and life does to hope, it’s consequences and reconciliations, loyalties and love fourty years later. Fourty years later the same cast from Don Shebib’s 1969 original Going Down The Road sans one, which the narrative revolves around. Quite remarkable to see what happened to Pete, Betty and Solange.

Warning: real acting
Highly recommended

Conflict of Interest: wonderful wife Cayle Chernin/Solange

June 17, 2012


Filed under: Culture & Entertainment,Politics — dwightmcfee @ 5:22 am

MM press: The former Canadian now Harpadian government has announced the formal change through a cabinet order press release.

The press release goes on to say the Prime Minister, while at his retail mall dominionist church service on Sunday received a ‘communication’ via God from Bondholders implying they had more confidence in Prime Minister Harper than the country of Canada and thusly for confidence sake and the economy the PM should change the name of Canada to Harpanada or suffer the consequences.

Foreign Minister Big John ‘the hammerhead’ Baird and Defense Minister Peter ‘loser’ McKay immediately announced the IPO for Alberta on the New York Stock exchange as an investment in America’s future and the stability of Harpanada.

October 18, 2010


Filed under: Culture & Entertainment,Politics — dwightmcfee @ 10:19 am

LEWIS LAPHAM, the former editor for 25 years of the 160 year old Harper’s Magazine, now editor of Lapham’s Quarterly and a national correspondent of Harper’s informed his avid readership in the November issue, 2010 that the Notebook section that leads off every issue, “departs this month from the table of contents, it’s purpose served and it’s license expired after a term of twenty-six years in office.”

My heart and head sank. But then, after a pause, I remembered the hundreds of wonderful moments that the notebook provided. The brilliant half column one sentence paragraph to be read over and over for it’s sheer resonance, craft, meaning and perspicacity. I have marveled for years at the vast knowledge and readings of this teacher. Mr.Lapham is a motivation, a dynamo of words. As well as the Notebook, Lapham’s Harper’s has been a leading magazine for the investigation of the issues of the day, criticism, essay’s, photo journalism, literature, review’s, the Harper’s Index and the Findings. A treat to find in the mailbox every month and a template for magazines such as The Walrus.

Mr. Lapham in the final notebook reveals to us how the notebook came about, how he had to learn to write an essay, the resources at his disposal. Using the “ notion of the essay borrowed from Michel de Montaigne, the sixteen century French auto biographer, a contemporary of Shakespeare and Cervantes, derived the approach to his topics from the meaning of the word essai from essayer ( to try, to embark upon, to attempt ), asking himself at the outset of his reflections, whether on cannibals or the custom of wearing clothes, “ What do I know?” The question distinguishes the essay from the less adventurous forms of expository prose– the dissertation, the polemic, the article, the campaign speech, the tract, the op-ed, the arrest warrant, the hotel bill.” What a card!

Mr. Lapham goes on to tell us that the essay seemed appropriate for the American experience and that the essayist becomes as the poet Archbald MacLeish stated, “ the dissenter [who] is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.”

“ The monthly Notebook called for remarks somehow related to something visible in the news…”

Mr. Lapham is the author of several books as well, including, 30 Satires, Money and Class in America, Imperial Masquerade, The Wish of Kings, Hotel America, Waiting for the Barbarians and Theatre of War.

The following are excerpts from the last Notebook entitled ‘Figures of Speech’. The Notebook always lead off with a quote:

“Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.” Gustave Flaubert

Mr. Lapham writes: “ My object was to learn, not preach, which prevented my induction into the national college of pundits but encouraged my reading of history.”

“ The reading of history damps down the impulse to slander the trend and tenor of the times, instills a sense of humour, lessens our fear about what might happen tomorrow.”

“ On being informed by the propaganda ministries of the Republican right that money is a synonym for peace on earth and good will toward men, that the capitalist free market is virtue incarnate, I resist the call for a standing ovation by remembering that Hugo Boss dressed Hitler’s troops, that the Ford Motor Company in the 30’s outfitted the Wehrmacht with it’s armoured trucks, that the Rockefeller Foundation financed the prewar medical research meant to confirm Nazi theories of racial degeneration.”

“ What preserves the voices of the great authors from one century to the next is not the recording device ( the clay tablet, the scroll, the codex, the book, the computer, the iPad ) but the force of imagination and the power of expression. It is the strength of the words themselves, not their product placement, that invites the play of mind and induces a change of heart. Acknowledgment of the fact lightens the burden of mournful prophecy currently making the rounds of the media trade fairs.”

“ The questions in hand have to do with where the profit, not the meaning, is to be found, who collects what tolls from which streams of revenue or consciousness. The same questions accompanied the loss of the typewriter and the linotype machine, underwrote the digging of the Erie Canal and the building of Commodore Vanderbuilt’s railroads, the rigging of the nation’s television networks and telephone poles, and I expect them to be answered by one or more corporate facilitators with both wit and the bankroll to float the pretense that monopoly is an upgraded synonym for a free press, “prioritized” and “context-sensitive,” offering “quicker access to valued customers.””
“How do we know what we think we know? Why is it that the more information we collect the less likely we are to grasp what it means? Possibly because a montage is not a narrative, the ear is not the eye, a pattern recognition is not a figure or a form of speech. The surfeit of new and newer news comes so quickly to hand that within the wind tunnels of the “innovative delivery strategies” the data blow away and shred. The time is always now, and what gets lost is all thought of what happened yesterday, last week, three months or three years ago. Unlike moths and fruit flies, human beings bereft of memory, even as poor a memory as Montaigne’s, or my own, tend to become disoriented and confused. I know no other way out of what is both the maze of eternal present and the prison of the self except with a string of words.”

I remember several years ago, on a crisp early winter late morning, hastily running out the door for some engagement or other and there in the mailbox was my Harper’s. Stepping onto the Gerard streetcar, sliding into a sun drenched single seat and expectantly opening my Harper’s to the Notebook like a child at Christmas. The words trilling off the page, my heart bright as the snowy sun, images of words searing my soul.

I wrote Mr. Lapham about that day on the streetcar, the joy it had brought me in an early winter funk and how I had been compiling his articles and reading his books in hope of some day mounting a one man show in the tradition of Will Rogers or Mark Twain.
Weeks later I received a personal reply, humbly thanking me for the encouragement and that if I wished to embark on such a project then he would be amenable.

I have never achieved the goal. The essay is a difficult form to translate to the stage. Reading Laphams words resonate in the skull as an intimate cathartic experience. It’s Action of the Mind. And laziness wins the day.

I encourage all to read Lewis Lapham. His essays compiled in book form are in the library. I encourage all to get subscriptions to Harper’s and to Lapham’s Quarterly. The Quarterly takes on single issues per quarterly with essays and articles from different approaches.

Lewis Lapham has been of great public service to America. Would that there were more of his integrity, honesty, humility and intelligence. Long Live Lapham!


Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 10:16 am

A comedy and a drama: two fabulous films that deal with taking control of your life. For Jay Baruchel as Trotsky amidst the apathy, boredom and ‘oppression’ of school and a ‘Fascist’ father. For Colin Firth the apathy, numbness of the college professor after the loss of his 13 year relationship with his lover in a car crash.

Both films ask the question: What do I do, can I, and is it worth it to affect any change? Trotsky to effect social change, A Single Man personal, intimate change to continue to live.

THE TROTSKY is a brash wonderful look at the efforts of an idealistic young man who thinks he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. His efforts to unionize his father’s business and later to unionize the student body at the public high school he has been sent to after private school has been denied him are outrageous, funny and heart felt.

When the author was in high school, I shant reveal when, students of the city went out on ‘strike’ as a result of the school board locking out the teacher’s. I was also on the picket line when local 2251 Steelworker’s went out on strike at the steel plant the same year. To watch Jay Barushel and a wonderful Canadian cast execute this polemic against apathy and boredom rekindled the reason’s social justice and caring are not irrelevent and misplaced. We live in an age were communal aspirations and the fight against total domination by authorities, whether a Texas school board against sex education or a giant corporation privatizing profit and socializing debt, must be dealt with.

The Trotsky accomplishes this with humour, wit, charm and principle. The added bonus is that it is a Canadian film. Kudos to Jay Baruchel, Domini Blyth, Genevive Bujold, Anne Marie Cadeaux, Jesse Camacho, Colm Feore, Emily Hampshire, David Julian Hersh, Tiio Horn, Ricky Mabe, Michael Murphy, Jessica Pare, Tommy Amber Pire, and the incomparable Saul Rubinek. Written and directed with love by Jacob Tierney.

A SINGLE MAN is a beautiful, delicate walk through grief and the appreciation of now. Through the memory of the relationship of his deceased partner and the compassion of a student in the professor’s class that brings him to the appreciation of the moments lived and to be lived in the here in now, Colin Firth’s performance is luminous.
I don’t want to give away the plot of the film for it is essential to the catharsis of the audience member. There are moments in this film that are so intimate that I felt like I should turn away so that I wouldn’t intrude on the delicacy of the interchange for fear of ruining the completion of the understanding of the moment.
The Music in A Single Man is haunting, captivating and mesmerizing. A small but big film, A Single Man.

Both these films have learning as a central theme. The student body learning that the past can help them in the here and now with the institution that leaves them apathetic and bored. The institutional man shaken out of torpor by accident and learning to live in the present through seeing the individual student.

Effective and affective, THE TROTSKY and THE SINGLE MAN.

Dwight McFee

August 1, 2010

CONRAD BLACK: Going to Hell

Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 7:01 pm

Our lord and saviour, Conrad Black, or as we like to refer to his lordship, ‘Lordy’, is temporarily out of the clink and cutting a swath through the pages and columns of Canadian society, or as his lordy likes to characterize our confederation, a “ Third World dump run by raving socialists”: and now His Lordy wants to come ‘home’.

Conrad the Incorrigible says, “ Toronto is pleasant this time of year,” and Babs of the Bounteous Beautiful Breasts isn’t feeling well in the Palm Beach air so they would like to come ‘home’. Translated: Conny hasn’t been in Toronto in July in a humid wave in a long time and ‘ I’m broke and Babs needs the Socialized Medicare System’.

If Lord and Lady Black of Crosswhatever wish to step back on the soil of Canada they will need a Ministerial Directive as Lordy is presently a convicted felon. Lordy has renounced his citizenship, soiling the good name of the country in the process and this observer says that Lordy has to give up the title and pay for health care like any other Alien or as we more politely say in Canuckistan, foreigner. As Lordy’s English passport has expired he is a displaced person with no documentation. Therefore he has to go through the immigration process. As Canada has signed on to an another integration agreement with the United States that all undocumented aliens must apply for immigrant status from the other country, His Lordy will have to apply from the U.S. Of course given that his passport has expired he therefore should be sent back to prison. But of course we at McFee’s Musing’s can anticipate the Harper Government genuflecting to the Lord’s wishes.

On a more serious note: All of the above is subject to a libel law suit irrespective of it’s satirical truth. One of the great truths of Conrad Black and admired in chattering classes is that Blacky has been able to use libel and the Canadian Judicial System to technically get away with myriade immoral, unethical but legal manipulations in business and to keep his detractors at bay. Therefore Lord Black has been able to flout the system in your face while walking away with union pension funds and shareholder value. What used to be criminal is now legal. That is one of the legacies of the last 30 years. Conrad Black has been one of the leading lights in that onslaught of the far right corporate agenda. And now that the United States Supreme Court is 8/9ths composed of corporate lawyer’s, Blacky has been saved from the completion of his sentence. As will Jeffrey Skilling, Goldman Sachs and the like who destroyed billions of dollars in pension, shareholder value and lives. The decisions of the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court of the last two years have resulted in an unleashing of corporate rights at the expense of civil rights. In essence a reaffirmation of the 30 year take over of democracy by reworking the laws to the benefit of transnational capital under assorted ‘free trade’ regimes.

Irrespective of Lordy teaching his fellow inmates to read, his feigned softening up and the panderers and compadors that are attempting to rehabilitate his Lordship, the facts are that in the Age of Economics, Lord Black used his vast knowledge of history to subvert and destroy democracy, supplanting the freedom of peoples with the corporatism of the few. Like the spoiled selfish child he is, Lordy’s needs came first to the detriment of the commons. For Mr. Black, in fact they were synonymous with Himself. Because the hubristic Lord Black had the ability and brains and wherewithal to contribute to the good of humanity is a double strike. If there is a God and He has been accurately quoted then Conrad Black will be going to hell.

Cardinal Richeleau

May 17, 2010


Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 7:26 pm

I Love Hockey! The fastest game in the world. As you may know I have been a goaltender (goalie) all my life, have even had a few shutouts. When your sitting or laying in the net after a big save and you watch the defenceman make a pretty pass up to the forwards flying off the wings and down the ice the beauty, grace and sheer exuberance of the motion is as the appreciation of great ballet or dance. Exhilarating.
The Canadiens vs The Flyers:
This will be a brutal series as the Bullies of Broad Street take on the Flying Smurfs of St. Catherine St.
The Flyers will try to slow down the Le Blu. If the Canadiens can keep the cycle going around the boards and Camlleri can find the slot then away the Habitant go. But the defense has to continue the shot blocking and Gill has to be able to rough up Hartnell in front of the net. Of course the key is the hero of the first two series Halak. If Halak can continue his stellar goaltending bordering on the magnificent then goaltending wins you cups.
The Flyers are a rough and tumble bunch. After all they are only the third team in history to back back and win a series after being down 0-3. They have faith! They need to be crushed, starting in goal. Leighton will have only played 3 playoff games. He lacks lateral movement. But Philly is good at stopping the cross ice pass. A test for the Habs.
Philly are big and bangers. They hurt. If they can bang up the Habs then sionara.
Look forward to a great series.
Habs in seven.


Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 7:24 pm

Evangelical and Catholics in Canada have the right to protest at Parliament Hill. It is their right as citizens. It is my right to take them to task for their narrow minded self-righteousness.
The protest/rally was to support the Prime Minister’s policy of no abortion in Canada’s foreign aid and to encourage the conservative government to make the same policy nationwide.
The Prime Minister has iterated many times that the abortion issue is not on the table. That is for our general consumption. Meanwhile he allows private member’s bills on the issue and again allows member’s of his caucus to talk up the issue in their constituencies. For a Prime Minister famous for keeping a tight reign on his caucus, the only conclusion a normal person can deduce is that it is the policy of the Prime Minister to turn back the clock with the old “I’m only responding to what the people want” routine.
The Prime Minister has also been attacking progressive womens groups by DE-funding their project’s worldwide and diverting those money’s to christian charities. Attack dogs like James McVity of the Canadian version of the late James Dobson’s Family Research Council, a hard christian right institute in the United States that advocates women in the kitchen, no government, men are the head and such nonsense, lead the charge along with MP’s like Jason Kenny and Stockwell Day who still believes that the world is only five thousand years old.
Amazingly the corp. press treated the rally with relatively kid gloves. Editorials only lightly scolded the Prime Minister for instigation. But holy cow! The Evangelical/Catholic leadership howled that anyone would criticize them. They pleaded victim hood. You just hate Christians! They particularly went after that great Satan, the CBC.
So, finally, they have come out of the woodwork. The christian right, which the Prime Minister is part of, after all he does attend a small mall christian Dominionist sect in Ottawa that believes all the worst of the Calvinist dogma, had their coming out party.
A faith that believes it is the true interpretation of their Bible and rejects all others unless of course in furtherance of Armageddon: therefore the courting of the Jews as all this will happen on the temple mount….Dada, yada, Dada.
What scares me about all this is the certainty with which it is espoused. There is no doubt. No doubt what so ever. Doubt is the door to your humanity.
Having no doubt gives permission for unethical and devious elites to play to the worst.
Immigrants are taking your jobs, liberals are immoral and have ruined your daughters, guns are a right, bureaucrats are bad but corporations are our lifeblood, Muslims are terrorists, Jews run the banks, feminists are hedonists, gays are a sin against God and on and on. If you think I am being petty and generalized-look south and see what their politics have turned into. Intrenched polarities.
If a religion has no doubt then I have proof were that will lead. Hate, murder, bloodshed.
Look outside to see God’s work. All three great religion’s are about justice. Not rape and pillage of humanity and the earth. Christo-fascism!

April 8, 2010


Filed under: Culture & Entertainment,Politics — dwightmcfee @ 8:46 am

“No small country can depend for it’s existence on the loyalty of its capitalists”.
George Grant, “Lament for a Nation”

“Jesus Lloyd (Axworthy), I’ve just come back from Collingwood. They don’t believe in Canada … anymore”.
John Turner after a meeting with Canadian corporate business CEO’s

“Indeed the integration is inevitable”.
Sherry Cooper V/P and chief economist of BMO Nesbitt Burns

“We are heading toward some kind of greater North American Union”
Michael Bliss Historian

It comes as no surprize, my fellow Canadians, that our Corporate leaders have been zealously pushing with varying degrees of success greater integration with the United States of America; particularly economic integration but foreign, military, customs, security, energy, health and monetary policies as well, to name a few of the obvious. We also know that a good many of our political leaders have bought into the ‘inevitability’ ideology that has issued from the think tanks of the Fraser Institute, the C.D.Howe Institute and the Canadian Conference of Chief Executives, The Heritage Institute etc.

This inevitable integration campaign for the last thirty years has been successful beyond their wildest dreams. Against citizen opinion this onslaught of propaganda (all great propaganda contains kernels of truth: we do need to trade with the U.S.) has led the Canadian citizen into a learned helplessness, an inability to make their values, ethics and common sense heard. Citizens know it. They throw their arms up in disgust and resignation. Our Media does not reflect our concerns other than punditing the latest gun death, stolen baby or successful Canadian comic living in LA. Other than the odd rebuttal on CBC (which as we speak, April 7, 2010 is receiving another funding cut and threatening to cut back prime time canadian content) do we ever see an analyses of the American capitalist/globalist corporate economic model. Never and certainly not in the major newspapers’ business pages with one exception: David Olive in the Toronto Star.

Is it possible to restore some sanity to and perspective of this ‘inevitable integration’ into the American Empire.? I would venture that there may only be one solution to keeping the Empire running for another hundred years.

Have them BUY Canada. I think we can civilize, take the edges off their brand of Darwinian corporate capitalism.

Conversely our elites have already sold or work for the machine and essentially function as courtier’s at the court of mammon. Our politician’s, CEO’s, lawyer’s etc. are all in agreement (that in itself is dangerous) and have spent hundred’s of million’s of dollars convincing us that there are no choices. Integrate or die.!!!

Well, let’s take them at their word! Sell before they evict us or we find out we have no choices. Hate to tell you’all this but our hands are tied behind our back already. FTA, NFTA etc.

So here’s what I propose:

Canada has mineral wealth, water, clean and dirty energy, modern infrastruture, educated and docile population etc. well worth trillions. Therefore:

1) Thirty to fifty million each, tax free. Half if you’re a dual citizen. Pro-rated for the number of years in the country if you’re an immigrant. Zero for CEO’s of foreign corporations, financial speculators and bank presidents.
2) We get to keep our health care until we die. Free.
3) We get to vote in the american election immediately. At least we’ll have a say in who’s running the big show. This includes senators and congressmen. No person holding previous political office can run.
4) All agreements with the aboriginal soverign cultures to be grandfathered. According to John Ralston Saul in ‘A Fair Country’ we’re all Metis anyway. Trick negotiating point.
5) NABC (formerly the CBC) to be funded for twenty years at three billion a year.

There you have it. Thirty three million former canadian, now multi millionaires let loose on the american public. Think of how we could change the centre of the world, with apologies to Toronto!

I urge you all to spread the proposal!!!

Of course our elites will be disgusted. Will try to vilify and yell treasonous! Don’t listen. They are only trying to save their own priveledged middle man position in the North American hierarchy. They have, like a biopsy, cut small piece after bigger piece from our collective soul.

In any event. I don’t think you can take the canada (meaning village) out of we northern peoples. Our shared collectivism, memory or values. We can share our sensibility with them.

And if truth be known, a healthy proportion of Canadian’s have bought an even bigger myth. The American Myth.

There are a great many virtues to the United States. It is a great aspirational society. But it did not invent liberty. Or democracy. America in it’s present capitalist corporate form is anti democratic. The corporate counter revolution of the last four decades was in response to what they perceived to be an “excess of democracy”.

Canada it is time to look reality in the face. What IS, IS. Let’s have this dialogue.

And for all you ‘cultural workers’ out there join the Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union!

January 29, 2010


Filed under: Culture & Entertainment — dwightmcfee @ 3:59 am

Well I caved. My spouse Cayle Chernin and I succumbed, paid our twelve-fifty and saw the box office boffo of the winter of 2010. To give AVATAR it’s due – it is an achievement technically. At times stunning, beautiful and even magical. CGI comes into adulthood.

Yet through the ‘event’: the bad guy Industrial/Military/Corporate complex, the good guy Indigenous/Nature/Sacred Society, the naive/outsider/ lovers narrative, I was seldom believing in the allegory/parable/fairy tale. At four hundred million dollars I have to ask why?

The theme. Greed, rapaciousness. Respect for the ‘mother’ earth. Acceptance and understanding of the ‘other’. All laudable intentions. Delivered with a technical trick and shallowness that leaves a viewer disturbed that these ethical question’s; greed, treatment of our environment and attitude to our fellow ‘man’, will lose the seriousness that these issues deserve. After all this is 2010 not 1952. Is this a video game or the under twelves Bambi?

Mr. Cameron has thrown just about every myth into the CGI generator from Yahweh to Sinbad, David and Goliath to Jason and the Argonauts, Sin, Redemption, Revenge…to Warcraft.

In fairness, what is Mr. Cameron really trying to say about the world? This movie required a Hurculean effort to bring this off so he must have had cause. Is it that battles have to be fought in this world for truth? That corporate power, in this instance a mining corporation making 20 million dollars a kilo on a mineral or metal with the mother lode under THE TREE, can be stopped? That love conquers all? That wisdom resides in the mystical Shaman or woman of the ‘Tribe’? Or that the atavism of the mercenary ‘tribe’, in this instance a Duvallian colonel relishing factors of force and genocide, is the AVATAR for the corporation? The hanging question at the end of the film is: good on the Blue People for vanquishing the Dream People (dream what? gold, peace, knowledge, genocide) but at 20 million a kilo. you bet they’ll be back dreaming, with more firepower irrespective of how many dragons or prayers to Ewie are made. Sequel anybody?

There seems to be something for everybody. The scene of thousands at the Soul tree, singing and swaying to the drums in unison ( the music is manipulative) called to mind the fifties mega cinescope white Egyptians dancing for the Pharaoh and the Roman General, there are a few Busby Berkley numbers, the requisite flash cutting Top Gun battles and Crouching Tiger knife fights and the Hero taming the giant dragon like animal with a name that sounded like Muqtador. And then the Blue People defeat the U.S. like military. That’s when I turned to my wife and said quietly, “even Osama can use this”. Is this movie about defeating the invaders?

This movie will be seen around the world. What will people take away from this Mega effort?

In surveying some younger people than I, the response varied from “it was just like the Warcraft Game…cool” to ” It has a message”.

It was to facile, calculated and remote for me. I wanted to roll with it but it kept stopping me with a certain technical smugness. A ‘here you want a battle scene. watch this. Here you want a message, well maybe I think this too. This scene is for the corporate boy’s.’

And in the end, I think Mr. Cameron for all his abundant craft, cleverness and skill has conquered form. Mr. Cameron has learned to take heartbreak, loss, tragedy and the human spirit in films like TITANIC and AVATAR and turn great themes into sentimental, hackneyed stories with great inventive CGI and emotion qued music.

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