...Avatar, according to the Vatican. Both L'Osservatore Romano and Vatacan Radio have passed critical judgement on director James Cameron's futuristic film about human attempts to colonise the fictional planet Pandora, calling it sentimental, bland and facile.
"It has a great deal of enchanting, stunning technology, but few genuine or human emotions," wrote the paper. Vatican Radio accused the film of "being a wink towards the pseudo-doctrines which have made ecology the religion of the millennium."
They're dead right. There's no question that the film, with its universe peopled by ten-feet tall blue humanoids, is visually hugely accomplished. But at its heart it's as dead as a dodo.
Avatar will be loved by those who tend to refer to themselves as Citizens of the World, the kind who take their political and cultural references from old Coca-Cola ads and their mantras about teaching the world to sing. The sort who, no longer believing in God, now believe in almost anything. And there are enough such people around; the film has taken more than a billion dollars at the box office.
You could say that this is harmless enough - that the film is just a silly bit of juvenile fantasy. But it also carries a strong whiff of naive 'anti-imperialism', i.e a good dose of self-hatred dressed up as anti-militarism. Completely predictable in a Hollywood film perhaps, but ultimately damaging to the culture that produced it.
Peter Whittle is director of the New Culture Forum. He is UKIP's culture spokesman.
- Standpoint Presenting Two Debates At HowTheLightGetsIn 2016
- The Compleat Corbyn — a round-up of Standpoint's Corbyn coverage this month
- We Told You So
- Sir Raymond Carr in Standpoint
- Conduct Unbecoming: The Classical Commentaries of Norman Lebrecht in Standpoint
- Chronicling The Crash: A Standpoint Ebook
- Grounds for Hope
- Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? Daniel Johnson at the Oxford Union
- Win Tickets to the Inaugural Standpoint Salon
- Is Hunter's History Bunk?
- Lawson Collects on Climate Change Bet
- The Cabinet meeting that kept Salman Rushdie alive
- Friends of Russia or Friends of Putin?
- Russia's Win-Win Election
- The Kremlin Plays Old Tricks With Pussy Riot
- A Pyrrhic Victory for Georgian Democracy
- Abandoned in Moscow
- Standpoint's New Facebook Page
- No need to pander to the Bear, Mr Obama
- Standpoint Recommends: The Tacitus Lecture 2012
- Goodbye, Vienna
- Friends Indeed — Daniel Johnson on Gertrude Himmelfarb
- New Culture Forum Lecture: Jeremy Hunt
- Kangaroo Courts Arrive Down Under
- The BBC's painful novelties
- Money can't buy you love - Nichi Hodgson