Constructing a new mythology

America’s Judeo-Christian traditions darken into the shadows of history. The resultant void sucks unto itself whatever  religious relics are strewn across our wasteland of secularity, and appropriates them into a new pseudo-spiritual infrastructure.
And so It appears that James Cameron and his comic book predecessors are constructing a new mythology to replace the old Greco-Roman obsolete one.
Apollo, Venus, Prometheus and that Olympian crowd are a little too primitive to suit our enlightened 21st-century purposes, so the storybook priesthood now anoints a new pantheon. Their divine commission is to  set the agenda for all that we hold dear in the future.
The new collection of immortals originated some seventy or eighty years ago with Superman and Wonder Woman, and later expanded to include Batman, Spiderman and others who you’ve no doubt heard of.
Then, just a half-century ago or so, the blocky old comic-book superheroes made a temporary exit stage left to accommodate a new crop of superhumans  whose fanciful incarnations were revealed through movies and tv.
This late-20th-century god-crop takes on a relatively cerebral character, compared to the old superhuman crowd;  Mr. Spock and Luke Skywalker, for instance, manifest their superiority in aptitudes that appear far more human than the earlier crowd of legendary giants. And smarter too–that’s a big part of the new wave. Since there are far more educated people on the planet now than ever before, especially in the USA where so much of the Oz mythmaking began. The new appointment of emulants includes some very smart entities.  Back in the old days, the first requirement  for virtual godhood was physical strength. Now that has taken a back seat to intelligence, especially with the discovery of DNA and the mapping of the human genome placing new parameters on this whole god-making process.
Now a light-year leap in datastream technology enables the advent of the most potent demigod of all–the blue avatar. This Cameron-conceived character releases, from your local multiplex movie palace, a Pandoran plethora of  highly fortified planet-saving personae. The blue avatar is very special, though, because along with his digital incarnation comes the virtual announcement of the gods’ agenda for our age: save the planet. And this is an agenda of much greater significance than just the old crime-stopping checklist.
James Cameron and his legion of avatar-makers have done a very impressive job of setting that agenda in the context of the old good vs evil drama. They’ve cooked up a pretty convincing crop of bad guys whose resource-devouring rapacity outperforms even the baddest villainry of the old military-industrial complex. Their maiden-voyage launch of the blue Pandoran debacle makes you wish you could just leave this drudgy world behind and become one of those noble blue savages. And that is, in fact, what the avatar does–becomes one of them.
More on this later. Have a nice day.


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