Last night I had my weirdest TF2 related dream yet. I dreamed I was looking at the Valve TF2 blog, and they had posted something just like the Halloween update (which had a number of seemingly unrelated-to-TF2 pages featuring hats and with links to even more TF2-unrelated pages which eventually gave you a hat). Except instead of being the memoirs of an unfortunate 19th century industrialist on the quest for Gravel, it was a set of medieval-themed fantasy things, in a TF2-esque style (a king that looked like Saxton Hale, various knights being manly, along with over-the-top Ye Olde drivel) but (again) seemingly unrelated. And it was massive. I went through a dozen pages, finding man hidden links and opening them in new tabs (I dream in Firefox 3, with adblock).
They were much more weirdly specific, intelligence-report styled medieval/fantasy things. A diagram of a crown. An autopsy report on a dragon. All interesting, all with loads of finicky detail, all in a very TF2 style and with a TF2 logo at the top, but I still couldn’t see what the hell they had to do with my FPS of choice. I opened what I saw was the last tab.
It was the Runescape world map, accompanied by a giant trollface.jpg superimposed over it. Then I woke up.
Apparently I’m being trolled by my own subconscious?
Then we all went to see Avatar. I liked it, despite hating individual aspects. Fuck your Noble Savage cliches. You need the Indians to be boringly perfect lithe blue catpeople with ever-perky boobs (oh-so-coincidentally covered by beads and feathers for the moral guardians) and big anime eyes whose closeness to nature is backed up with standard SF Treknobabble nonsense (not in itself a bad thing) for them to be sympathetic; you need them not to be regular people whose “closeness to nature” is baseless superstitious tribal gibberish tinged with psychotic savagery. They’re boring and perfect and completely unsympathetic. If there were blue people who wanted guns and booze and acted like flawed disgusting humans, if you ever saw them dying of curable diseases, or suffering beneath hereditary leaders and repressive misogynistic society (at least hinted at) rather than being universally smugly convinced that their way is flawlessly perfect and being portrayed as being right… maybe some of them would have a bit of bloody character and the actual humans wouldn’t have to be laughable caricatures of military-industrial complex evil living in a laughable caricature of a military/industrial complex to even be the villains. Sod holier-than-thou noble savages, sod guilty revisionist lies. I’d wade through a sea of dead blue babies to get my hands on unlimited room-temperature superconductors.
But Avatar is a good film, even though it’s based on a stereotype that never existed and nothing about it ever really soars. In the same way as the LOTR films, despite having the Generic Fantasy setting, board-flat characters, black/white racist morality and generally predictable plot, were utterly fantastic, Avatar is good entertainment.
It was in the execution. Not the effects, because any retard can blow the GDP of Zimbabwe on CG and their film will still suck – but the execution, the whole damn film, every scene was done well, with a consistently high quality of… everything. Flat and boring as the characters were, there was no point at which they weren’t reasonable as the parts they played; terribly long as the film was, there was no scene that was wasted and useless (except the second Tame the Critter scene, that can go to hell.) Nothing broke suspension of disbelief (oh, apart from armour-piercing arrows and birds bringing down cargo-lifting helicopters with dead weight, but that’s sheer nitpicking). At its best it was good concepts done gorgeously; at its worst it was bad cliches done well. But still, screw noble savages forever.
inb4 Avatar 2, in which blue people come to earth and realise that they are Not So Different, and Avatar 3 in which blue people and pink people unite against a common, faceless and thus completely evil foe.
But the question is – bugs or robots?