Video of the Day


Alex Carnevale

Features Editor
Mia Nguyen

Reviews Editor
Ethan Peterson

This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

Live and Active Affiliates
This area does not yet contain any content.

« In Which We Teach James Cameron A Thing Or Two »

The Unsubtle



dir. James Cameron

161 minutes

There are still things Hollywood has yet to learn in this brave new age of cinema. Maybe most importantly —  no matter how good the CGI or whatever brand new visual technology they’re flashing before our eyeholes may be, nothing trumps a believable story and good acting. 2012 may have realistically wreaked destruction upon the Christ the Redeemer statue, but the fact remains someone cast Lloyd Dobler as the one American who can outdrive the crumbling earth in a limo. Oops.

James Cameron’s Avatar is saddled with this same problem. The 3D experience is incredible. It’s stunningly immersive and immaculately executed. The camerawork is exciting without any overly graphic scenes (a surprise stabbing in 3D could really spur a heart attack).

It’s like spending 3 hours in a Lisa Frank folder on acid. You might as well invest in 3D Lasik now — it will only save you money in the long run. The visual revolution is here. The only thing that could possibly be more entertaining than watching Avatar in 3D would be some sort of Avatar 4D screening, wherein James Cameron stands behind your seat yelling, “Watching you watch my movie is like watching two monkeys fuck a football.”

As an allegory, Avatar is a hit-you-over-the-head cautionary against American imperialism set on a moon called Pandora. There live a hot blue-bodied humanoid species, the Na’vi, and they inhabit a tree parked right over the mineral we grabby earthlings came for. It’s called UNOBTAINIUM. (Close runner up in the unsubtle naming pool: Nevergonnagetitium.)

For all you worrywarts out there, rest assured, despite all current signs to the contrary, America is still the number #1 world power in James Cameron’s future. The foreigners on base in Pandora can easily be divided into the good science-y Americans who just want to better understand the Na’vi people and the bad overly-militaristic ones who see the Na’vi as savages in the way of a precious resource.

Jake Sully, a paraplegic jarhead straddles the line between these two extremes, and he’s sent into the forest as a “dreamwalker”—a human embodying a genetically-forged, controllable Na’vi avatar. Jake lies in a pod, a scientist presses a red button, and poof he’s in the forest running around with a ten-inch electric blue cock.

Of course, when Jake’s journey begins his only goal is to spy on the Na’vi people. But as he learns more about them and is trained in the Na’vi way, he grows to like the Na’vi and see them as the benevolent, advanced society that they are. This of course is made easy because Cameron endows the blue people with English-speaking abilities, hot bodies, classically beautiful features, and the exact same family structure and benevolent rule as the greats of Western civ. It’s just so natural to love ‘em. They’re not ugly and they’re totally like us!

There are important lessons to be learned from these easily swallowed anthropomorphic creatures. For one, the Na’vi are super attuned to their environment. In fact, they can just plug their ponytails into trees and horse-like creatures and immediately become in synch with their surroundings.  Which is a good lesson for us—we Americans SHOULD be more plugged into the world, more in tune with our delicate ecosystem or whatever. When I got home from the theater I plugged my ponytail into my iPod receptor and immediately had the greatest synchgasm of my life.

But the more blatant lesson of Avatar is not that American imperialism is bad, but that in fact it’s necessary. Sure there are some bad Americans—the ones with tanks ready to mercilessly kill the Na’vi population, but Jake is set up as the real embodiment of the American spirit. He learns Na’vi fighting tactics better than the Na’vi themselves, he takes the King’s daughter for his own, he becomes the only Na’vi warrior in centuries to tame this wild dragon bird thing. Even in someone else’s society the American is the chosen one. He’s going to come in, lead your army, fuck your princesses, and just generally save the day for you. Got it? This is how we do it.

Lauren Bans is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Brooklyn. She blogs here. She twitters here. She last wrote in these pages on our robotic future.

"Dandelion" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (mp3)

"Greenwich Mean Time" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (mp3)

"Trick Pony" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (mp3)

"Time of the Assassins" - Charlotte Gainsbourg (mp3)

References (19)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    "The more blatant lesson of Avatar is not that American imperialism is bad, but that in fact it's necessary. Sure there are some bad Americans--the ones with tanks ready to mercilessly kill the Na'vi population, but Jake is set up as the real embodiment of the American spirit. He learns Na'vi ...
  • Response
    Response: Canningvale deal
    find Canningvale deals, Canningvale reviews at http://www.dealsextra.com.au/business/Canningvale.php
  • Response
    Fabiola Falcon nude,replica Michael Kors Crossbody 6 replica Michael Kors Crossbody Jan 2011 Format: wmv File Size: 3.1 MB Run Time: 00:00:38.03 min Down replica Michael Kors Hamilton load Video: http: www. Mr Skin has 1 nude clip and 3 nude pics of Fabiola Falc Join Mr Skin ...
  • Response
    Into Every 12 months Robb Report publishes its have Replica Mulberry Messenger guideline of the most attractive gifts which you can perform (and why not ... g Replica Mulberry Holdall et) at Xmas. previous manual which is presented currently, 21 are presented remarkable presents of the overall wort ...
  • Response
    Response: Fake Oakley
    3 Things You Probably Don't Know But Should Of course, there Fake Oakley Asian Fit Sunglasses are actually always going to some exceptions to th Fake Oakley Oil Rig Sunglasses e present rule,Fake Oakley Asian Fit Sunglasses, but for probably the most part, you can be pretty sure ...
  • Response
    Response: Justin Peatling
    In Which We Teach James Cameron A Thing Or Two - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    压瓦机|折弯机|剪板机|角驰Ⅲ|c型钢机|840 压瓦机 压瓦机|860压瓦机|900压瓦机|彩钢瓦设备|双层压瓦机|天槽地沟机|三维扣板机|泡沫切割机|复合板流水线_金利压瓦机械厂www.btc 折弯机 xyw.com 压瓦机|折弯机|剪板机|角驰Ⅲ|c型钢机|840压瓦机|860压瓦机|900压瓦机|彩钢瓦设备|双层压瓦机|天槽地沟机|三维扣板机|泡沫切割机|复合板流水线_金利压瓦机械厂http://www. 剪板机 66vx.com 压瓦机|折弯机|剪板
  • Response
    Response: vitamin otak
    In Which We Teach James Cameron A Thing Or Two - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    Response: Rebelmouse.com
    In Which We Teach James Cameron A Thing Or Two - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    Response: Top 10 Car
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Response: 台南援交
    改了8個錯別字 期間,只給客戶發過兩份郵件,一封是產品參數,報價。另一封是關于運輸方面的事情。只不過是晚上加班與客戶在線聊天,效果還是挺明顯 外送茶 的 外送茶。 此話的深意在于:生命是有限的,世人應把重點放在現世努力上 桃�外送茶。其隱含的重現世、輕來生的思想 桃�外送茶 ,搭建了我國后世實用主義的基石,也和現代無神論的思想有著隱遁但千絲萬縷的聯系 桃�援交。 我們趕緊趕慢到達集合地點是二點鐘正,導游拉上隊伍登上觀光車直赴新的景區:潭瀑峽(小寨溝)和獼猴谷地處云臺山北部的潭瀑峽,是子房河的一個源頭 桃�援交 。
  • Response
    Response: dmit fraud
  • Response
    Response: Lindsey Zicker
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Response: Wary Of Russia
    Good night
  • Response
    In Which We Teach James Cameron A Thing Or Two - Home - This Recording
  • Response
    Response: 折弯机模具
    压瓦机检测部分有:检测彩色钢瓦长度的脉冲编码器,压型的上下行程开关,切刀的上下行程开关,压型的上下操作按钮,切刀的上下行程按钮,急停开关,液压启停开关等等。 C型钢机 压瓦机执行部分有变频器驱动电机,液压站 压瓦机 电机,压型的两个液压电磁阀,切刀的两个液压电磁阀。 压瓦机一定要用高数脉冲输入功能,KDN-K306-24AR高数输入性能优良,选AB相抗干扰能力强。并用定值中断 功能,保证精度。 压瓦机成型由放料、成型、后成 网站关键词 型
  • Response
    Response: Top binoculars
  • Response
    http://www.brindwe网站首页关于我们产品中心企业文化公司新闻技术文档销售网络在线留言联 http://www.brindwe 系我们复合板系列店面压瓦机百叶窗成型设备常用压瓦机系列角驰压瓦机系列止水槽设 网站首页 备系列三维扣板机系列广告牌成型压瓦机隐藏式屋面板成型机其它辅助设备系列俄罗斯压型设备系列波纹屋面成型机梯形屋面板成型机卷帘门压瓦机系列彩钢拱形压瓦机系列高速护栏压瓦机系列C、Z型钢压瓦机系列冷弯成型压瓦机系列全自动闭口楼承板机屋面,墙面板成型系列楼承板成型压瓦机系列琉璃瓦成型压瓦机系列剪 关于我们 板机,折弯压瓦机系列数控全自动地槽
  • Response
    locate amazing clock movements that are available and now in stock and at the best price get it now only!

Reader Comments (20)

What's Ripley doing in drag in this gently jingoistic film? Penance?

December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteven Augustine

Terrific. A $300 million version of Thomas Friedman telling the infidels to "suck. on. this." I haven't seen Avatar yet but your review reminded me of perhaps this film's polar opposite: The Limits of Control. ”He who thinks he’s so great should visit the cemetary. There he’ll see the world for what it is: a handful of dirt.” When they're both ghosts, Jim Jarmusch's autobot will stomp on Jim Cameron's decepticon.

December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHugh

Can I publish this tomorrow again as a review of Pocahontas?

December 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBans

or Ferngully.

December 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter32feet

I agree with most of what you say but I enjoyed every minute of this. I saw it on an IMAX screen in 3D and I pretty much just sat there losing my shit for three hours. It's not particularly less enlightened than most Hollywood fare, but it looks so much better.

Though why that robot at the end had a knife I'll never understand. What kind of robot carries a knife?

December 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

Lisa Frank on acid! Yes!
I blog about this article and others here:

December 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisette/Rogue Femme Art

Actually, 'unobtanium' *is* clever. It's a longstanding geek term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unobtainium .

Complaining about that is like going to a Quentin Tarantino movie and complaining you saw it all a few decades ago back home in Tokyo.

January 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergwern

I re-watched “The Crucible” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115988/) these days, when it was on TV. And it is such an awesome movie imo - the text is brilliant and *all* actors give a show.

Just mentioned because it remembered me how it is much more a metaphor about America than a Superman or Avatar movie, as one would like to think. “This is how we do it” (points John Proctor hanging) :-D.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrodrigo moraes

anyone who said any part of this movie was clever deserves a demerit

January 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralex

Folks, this just in. THE UNIVERSE IS RACIST! It has just been confirmed in an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. I think this stands for a toast, black can bitch forever now! There is literally no limit! The economy is racist! My computer is racist, my dog is racist, my car's radiator is a motherfccking racist!

January 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeter lauryl

On target if you replace "American", every where you see it, with "Racist/ White Supremacist."

The few earthlings thrown in this movie that are not white, are there, I suspect, for the same reason that "American" is used in THIS review instead of the most accurate term, "racist/ white supremacist." As the author of the review points out, deceit is the most valuable weapon of those who systemically mistreat people of color. Violence is the back-up tool of last resort...The word "people" IS used in this movie to describe the Na'vi blue (the darkest people on earth are called 'blue-black" and many of them are very tall and thin in build like the Na'vi...(Alek Wek supermodel, Manute Bol former NBA basketball player) And, c'mon, cornrows????

Jake Sully, the film's main character does not speak English with an "American" accent. He has a clear Australian accent as that is where the actor who portrays him, Sam Worthington, is from.

If you have the will to establish for the first time a condition in the known universe that there is no record of ever existing, justice, you will be faced with eliminating the most powerful obstacle to it. Say it. Slowly, loud, and with emphasis: "WHITE Su-prem(e)-acy"

This movie should be rated "X." Do not, if you can help it, let your black offspring watch this film until they have a firm understanding of racism/white supremacy---why it is, what it is, and how it works--- Recommended reading for black attempted mothers and fathers: The United Independent Compensatory Code: A Textbook/ Workbook for Thought, Speech, and/or Action for Victims of Racsim (White Supremacy).

January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCree7

Cree7, you make me sick. Stop projecting your own insecurities and prejiduces upon the world around you and you may be a happier person in life.

January 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMickey
Always good to see, this was a brilliant post. In theory I would like to write like this too. You need time to creat that interesting and additionally real effort to make such a good article.
It's useful!
Thanks a lot for sharing this post with us.
Fantastic website
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDance Music Chart
It's useful!Thanks a lot for sharing this post with us.
Fantastic website.
April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDance Uniform
A pair of suede pounding shoes on the contrary would offer you the best with regards to comfort, free of actually decreasing on functionality features for your racers in existence. With details such as Oakley, Saucing, Aviator and Puma producing the beauty products, you know that they are unable to go wrong concerning style and gratification in addition to the opportunity to provide the utmost degree of comfort. This binocular would match your perfectly, in addition to the synthetic suede used to manufacture it may well guarantee you're comfortable some people choose to race, no matter the road conditions.
April 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercheap oakleys
And these are mesh off road racing shoes, this sort of racing footwear has always been favorite among the racing population, and continues to be now despite battle from other categories of race-shoes. The main reason thus to their popularity will be comfort level that may be offered by way of their plans, especially in order to mesh which the feet to be able to breathe and even perspiration to help you evaporate out from the shoes. biao001shenaf0409,Related to the theme articles:
April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFake Oakley Sunglasses
Dress up fashion has become an indispensable part of it.fake oakley sunglasses Then choose to sunglasses,sunglass choice also have certain,want to choose the cultured without hurting eyes sunglasses.
However,these art genres often only limited to the observation methods and the picture of form,and to explore the visual art creation Oakley Sunglass of another important element to a lack of focus on material.
May 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteroakley vault coupon
On www.ahhhermesbags.com ,I have bought hermes birkin,hermes kelly,the top quality is so amazing and the price so cheap,I love it very much,I think you can shopping on it,They have Hermès Birkin Bag Online,Let's go!
June 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterahhhermesbags

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.