A friend of mine recently shook his fist at the big, mean humans in Avatar. In case you haven’t seen it, Avatar is a hot, lush cinematic playground of blue-purple hippies versus a fiery, heartless, mechanized USDA Grade A war machine. It is directed by James Cameron.
The plot: evil human beings plunder resources from happy, peaceful natives, the Na’vi. You can imagine plenty of innocent blue-skins are killed in the process.
He was visibly upset over his fellow man’s treatment of the wild, care-free denizens of Pandora. He believes it is wrong of the humans to steal rare ore and murder innocent beings (especially the ones with sex appeal, I imagine). He cried out when the precious tree of the Na’vi was attacked.
The caustic, selfish, remorseless invaders disgusted him. “There’s no reason, certainly no need, to attack the Na’vi,” he told me. “We could find other ores. We did just fine without the ore. It’s not necessary.”
The imaginary Na’vi are granted his empathy and compassion. However, these feelings cower, disappear and shit themselves faster than rabbits in an earthquake when he is asked to speak on behalf of his fellow earthlings; outside of the film, he has no trouble drinking milk, a liquid resource you already know is stolen by force from helpless, captive, four-legged natives of this planet.
If only he had the courage to open his eyes to the exploitation and murder boiling around him in real life. He willingly participates in ruthless systems of rape and torture for his own convenience and pleasure.
And yet he deeply opposes these very same systems! Despite this, and his visible rage at the flickering silver screen, he proudly pays money to and even lionizes his own enemies at meal time.
He would surely fight on behalf of our brothers and sisters, the pig, fish, cow, chicken, goose and others, if only he were in the fantasy world, riding dragons and heroically throwing javelins at bad guys.
Would he ever eat Na’vi flesh? Kill two families and enslave the young women for a few buckets of ore? Of course not.
What if the Na’vi walked on four legs?
My friend has very clear, sane, natural feelings of outrage at the treatment of imaginary creatures. Maybe in the future, he can transfer these feelings to the treatment of real creatures, as well.