It seems the entire world is raving about how great James Cameron's new film Avatar is. When I first saw the previews for it I was quite intrigued and was fairly certain I would commit to seeing it in the theaters; however, now that the film has been released, I have lost all desire to see it. Sure, it is the highest grossing film of all time, Cameron won a Golden Globe Award for Best Director and the majority of people who have seen it seem to love it, but after reading an article on CNN.com about some people who "have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora", I want nothing doing with this movie.
Why you ask? Am I scared that I too will become so engrossed in the fantasy land of Avatar that I will sink into a depression because I cannot actually live there? No, not quite. Not unlike Belinda Carlisle, I believe that "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" and am fairly content here. To explain what has me so turned off, I am going to make a comparison to my two most hated musical groups of all time: Dave Matthews Band and Phish. It takes about two notes of either one of these band's music before I tense up, start seething with rage and my brain feels like it is about to explode. Whenever someone asks me why I have such adverse reactions to these two bands and how I could possibly hate them so much, I always have the same explanation: I actually believe that they are both comprised of quite talented musicians who I wish no ill will upon, but I simply cannot stand their hardcore fan bases. If in some bizarro universe Phish was adored by nothing but Slayer fans, then I'd probably be alright with them, but the reality is that they have a bunch of goofy hippies as their bread and butter fan base and I cannot get down with that. Dave Matthews has a similar fan base except with better haircuts and a lot more disposable income. A few years ago I met a girl that I dated for about a month. She was attractive, very nice and pleasant enough company, but Dave Matthews was her favorite band of all time and her extreme love of them and my extreme disdain for them wound up being the deal breaker for both of us. And the one ex-girlfriend of mine that I absolutely cannot stand and wouldn't pee on if she was on fire was coincidentally a huge Phish fan. Now I know what you are thinking..."he hates these two bands because of bad memory association with women from his past", but my hatred of these two bands started well before I met either one and stems from the fact that I went to a college where these two bands were quite popular with the relatively non-culturally diversified student body. These folks were content to sit around in khaki pants and A&F hats and smoke pot and listen to Phish bootlegs and talk about how awesome "Dave" is. If the thought of that doesn't make your skin crawl, then you and I have dramatically different musical tastes and life views.
Anyway, the whole point of the above rambling is to make the point that since there seems to be a fan base for Avatar that is so obsessed with the film that at least one has been brought to the point where they "contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.'", then I want absolutely nothing to do with these people and the object of their adoration. These people are in league (and perhaps beyond) Trekkies and the Stars Wars fans Triumph The Insult Comic Dog pooped on. (And for the record, I love the original Star Wars movies [Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi], but I got into those when I was a little kid and had no awareness of the larger fan base that was taking it a little too seriously.)
I realize that not wanting to see a film because a couple of people are geeking out on it and quite obviously taking it too seriously seems a bit irrational, but I fully admit that I often make snap decisions about films, TV shows, music and books based on this type of rationale and am more than comfortable with it.
So, in closing, I would just like to say to anyone who wants to go live on Pandora: