Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Captain Underpants is my Avatar

Following in the footsteps of Gwen, I will now attempt to blog in the New Year.

Attempt #1. Discuss the movie "Avatar." As usual, I can't discuss the actual contents of the movie because I haven't seen it. I only see movies related to music, musical events, or George Clooney. But a commentary in the Trib today caught my eye. Apparently "Avatar" is being criticized in conservative circles for being "pro-environment." "Cameron's giddy embrace of a primitive people who live in harmony with their land is the kind of anti-technology, pro-environment dramaturgy that sets off alarms."

Smell the gears grinding in my lazy brain? This is all about global warming. Global warming equals pro-environment/anti-technology equals bad to the conservative right. Labels are so freaking reductive and ultimately useless. How can it be bad to be concerned about and want to support the environment?

Living in a Twitter-led, headline-informed world makes me tired. Does that make me anti-technology, too? Nah. I want more, and I want everyone else to want more, too. Let's stop reducing every issue to sound bites that obfuscate and have meaningful discussion. No, we won't sound as cool as my favorite politicians did on "The West Wing." But we might make some progress toward agreement to actually accomplish something positive for this little orb we inhabit.

Attempt #2. Has Bush left the building yet? I thought he had. But our response to terrorism continues to be placating our fear by appearing to keep us safer through further reductions of civil liberties rather than fixing what went wrong: using the intelligence we have to stop terrorist before they get near planes with exploding shoes or underwear.

Human ingenuity will continue to be stretched by such efforts. Why not focus on better methods of intelligence sharing and implementing rather than challenging terrorist to find new ways to blow things up that will not be detected by our most advanced machines and technology? I am disappointed that the current administration is, while definitely trying to upgrade intelligence methods, still stooping to easy crowd-placating answers that bring us no closer to ending our manipulation by terrorists.

Do you suppose terrorists were inspired to use underwear as a weapon by the children's books starring superhero Captain Underpants? Perhaps we should ban those books . . . .