Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The "Avatar" Blues

I haven't seen "Avatar" yet -- honestly, didn't want to; I, in general, hate sci-fi films ("Lord of the Rings" was utterly boring to me), and I hated Cameron's cheesy "Titanic" -- such a powerful story in and of itself, utterly ruined by DiCaprio's being chained to a pipe.) Thus, I didn't trust this movie. (Over Christmas with the family, I, choosing the "Christmas-with-the-family movie," went to see "Up in the Air" instead.)

But earlier this week, I read on CNN that some teenagers who had seen "Avatar" were actually thinking about killing themselves...Because the movie portrayed a world so pleasing that it didn't live up to the teenagers' actual realities... And they missed those good feelings.

Wow. My first knee-jerk conservative reaction, at age 44, was to scoff: "Gawd, I'm so tired of today's melodramatic, idiotic teens." But then I stopped and thought for a second:

Back in the early Summer of 1980, when I was a 14-year-old stuck at home alone out in the country, utterly isolated, pre-Internet, with only books and television for companionship... A local TV station was showing the few Beatles movies... I'd been listening to Beatles albums ("Rubber Soul" and "Revolver") for a few months prior (how did I discover those?? -- I can't remember now), and was starved to actually SEE them... Then "Help!" (1965) came on afternoon TV in Dallas-Fort Worth... I was so utterly miserable in my own actual 14-year-old life, but was so flooded with HAPPINESS after watching the Beatles on TV... It was odd, and scary. And after seeing "Help!" I remember standing underneath the heavy light in my parents' living room and wishing with all my heart that it would fall on my head and KILL me and PREincarnate me back to a time when I could be young and into the Beatles as they were happening.

I longed for that world with all of my heart.

And I've never read of anybody else feeling like that until I just read this about "Avatar."

It breaks my heart for those "Avatar" teens. I thought I was a freak. And I never wanted to hear about anyone ever feeling that intensely about anything again... To learn that that kind of feeling still goes on...

At 44, all I can say to young people is: Be Strong. Hang in there. Your feelings are intense and serious, but, ultimately, fleeting -- you, however sensitive, WILL move past them. When you're older, you'll see... You will not feel this bad forever.

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