Post-Avatar depression

We're blue, too.Several news outlets this past week, including CNN and a local NYC paper, reported a worldwide phenomenon: Many people who have seen the James Cameron film Avatar are experiencing depression.

They’re depressed because they’ve seen a world that is beautiful, in which every living thing is connected and in harmony, and they’ve been reminded how far they are from living that way.

I went to avatar-forums.com and had a look at the discussion there for myself. And you know what?

I like those people. They’re sweet, and they give me hope. Most of them have realized why they’re sad, why they’re going to see this movie over and over, and it’s not because it’s a beautiful dream. It’s because we have that reality right here on Earth, and we’re fucking it up.

We do live in a beautiful world in which everything is connected. Unfortunately, much of it has been thrown way out of balance by greed. In the film, the Na’vi fight off corporate mining interests with the help of the main character, but our own planet lost that fight a long time ago. If you haven’t noticed lately how much that sucks, it’s because you’re purposefully repressing it. Probably because it’s too depressing to think about.

If you’re suffering from post-Avatar depression, here are some things you can do:

  • Get informed. Learn as much as you can about ecology, climate change, water resources, and even chemistry and physics if you can do it. Talk to people about it.
  • Vote for ecologically sustainable practices, and vote against unsustainable practices. Act locally – pay attention to what’s going on in your community, and speak up. Call or write to your government representatives.
  • Buy local food and products whenever possible. Do what you can in your own life to reduce your energy consumption.
  • If you can, consider getting an energy audit for your home, and even installing solar panels or a wind turbine.
  • Be kind. Live more simply. Continue to question your values.

“All I ever wanted was a single thing worth fighting for.”
– Jake Sully in Avatar

This isn’t about just installing curly lightbulbs and figuring we’ve saved the world. Part of the problem is the lack of ideas, or more accurately, the lack of people talking about the ideas. Look around for more, and come up with some of your own.

We are part of our environment. This isn’t my opinion, it isn’t some hippy-dippy bullshit, it’s reality. If you think it’s not true, please, try living in a vacuum. Be my guest.

Living as if we aren’t part of our environment means that we’re making it so – we’re exiling ourselves right out of existence. Either we do something about it, or we wait to die. And as much as you might hate the sound of it, “doing something about it” means realizing that we are our environment, we are all connected, and the way we live now does not work. Our one hope is to balance the earth in an equation that includes us and everything else.

And that we learn to do this before we get off the planet, and go ruin the rest of the universe.

Writers of articles on post-Avatar depression, and of course most of the comment-section peanut gallery, sneer at these people. It’s a movie, they say. It’s not real. Get over it.

I think it’s the cynics and sneerers that have something they need to get over. They’re so far removed from reality, they can’t even feel what’s missing.

4 Responses to “Post-Avatar depression”

  1. Seriegubben Says:

    You are so right. In my petty efforts to try and change the world, after I’ve seen Avatar (which completely blew me away) I’ve decided to become a vegetarian (cannot begin as of today since I can’t get my hands on the cooking book about vegetarianism i want until thuseday). I’ve also tried t become more aware of how and what I’m consuming, as well as starting to train more seriously and try to live a more sound life. I try not to consume so much energy, and I would like to start reading about the topic at hand, about what’s really happening to Earth and how we can make a change for real. If you have any tips on any good book on the topic, please let me know.

    Peace out! 🙂

  2. soundofrain Says:

    Yay! None of us can change the world by ourselves, but we all can do it together. As for vegetarian recipes and general advice, there are some great web sites out there – I’ll put together a post on that, that’s a good idea.

    Here’s a good book to get started:

    http://www.amazon.com/Its-Easy-Being-Green-Earth-Friendly/dp/158685772X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264988271&sr=1-2

    But again, all of this info is on the web – try http://www.treehugger.com, or this one:

    http://www.globalstewards.org/ecotips.htm

    Good luck!

  3. Jake Says:

    Like the two commenters before me, I do everything I can to reduce my negative impact on the world and live a wholesome life. However, doing this does nearly nothing to change the status quo of the current world situation: that is, governments are effectively controlled by corporations, which is bad for everyone except the upper class, and especially for the environment.

    There is a grassroots movement which aims to address the issues of corruption which are causing us and our planet to suffer at the hands of corporate greed.. this organization is called the Zeitgeist movement. The message of this group is that the monetary system is the root cause of all corruption and that we cannot evolve as a race into something more like the world of Avatar until we abolish the system that promotes corruption, and is an enemy to ecological and social sustainability.

    Connected to this movement is the Venus project, which offers a proposed solution: a resource based economy in which cities are a result of our true, unhindered potential of technological achievement in terms of sustainability and livability, bureaucracy has been made redundant and resources are allocated to where they are needed instead of hoarded by those at the top, and hence, poverty is a thing of the past. It is a vision of the future as it should be, where human freedom is at a height never seen before.

    Those that are interested in the movement should check out the official websites:

    http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/
    http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    I think anyone who has seen the Avatar film and has been hit hard by just how screwed up the world is right now should support this movement. It is the closest thing humanity has to a solution so far. I don’t want anyone to take my word for it though, check out the site, watch the youtube clips and decide for yourself.

    Soundofrain is right, we can change the world, but we have to do it together! 🙂
    Jake

  4. soundofrain Says:

    Interesting sites, thank you!

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