Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Movie Avatar as a Allegory: The Health Reform Debate and Good Versus Evil

The Disease Management Care Blog and the DMCB spouse saw the film 'Avatar' last night. About every decade or so, we can agree on a movie. It likes the cinematic eye candy of explosions, silly techno-fiction and lithe ferocious warrior babes, while she likes romance, romance and romance. While the DMCB almost spoiled things in the theater by pointing out the implausibility of the interspecies coupling that was rather virtual and was accomplished without the presence of any apparent.... er, equipment, both parties were not disappointed and pronounced the evening a dating success.

The plot was an intergalactic remake of Dances With Wolves: nice guy (Jake Sully) from an evil race (humans, a.k.a Sky People) that is attacking nature (the Planet Pandora) discovers the truth (an abiding reverence for all living things), attains innocence (thanks to communion with Eywa) and, (with the benefit of an uplink to a genetically engineered avatar), wins a woman, in this case a very blue ten foot woman (Neytiri).

Such is a classic theme of redemption that the DMCB thinks it can be extended to the health reform debate. All that remains is to take sides:

Jake Sully is a...

a) naive progressivist activist, or

b) soon to be former health insurance executive, who...

takes on the task of...

a) bringing a predatory corporate insurer to heel, or

b) is assigned the job of recissions for pregnant women who have just lost their job, because....

of 'unobtainium,' a substance...

a) that renders unparalled social justicium from the governmentium, or

b) can be turned into free marketium.

Jake's soul discovers the price of unobtanium is too high, thanks to mind-melding with Eywa,

a) a diety that uses the Tree of Blogs to help us discern the wonderful limitless goodness of all living things, or

b) a diety that uses the Tree of Blogs to help us discern the miserly selfishness of humans and, by the way, who cares about other living things?

Jake's evil people....

a) post provocative health reform videos on YouTube or

b) hold secret meetings in sumptuous hotels that are closed to the public, which causes great vexation and consternation of the...

Na'vi, an underdog group of ....

a) Republican leaning health insurance workers with families who go to Church, take out their neighbor lady's garbage and work hard to keep premiums down and pay providers fairly but as little as possible, or

b) politically agnostic and uninsured persons who never voted until President Obama came along.

Tens of thousands of Na'vi die, hundreds of thousands declare bankruptcy. Jake's guilt helps him to see The Truth because of a woman, because

a) according to the DMCB spouse, when they are heeded, great insights occur, or

b) according to the DMCB spouse, when they are heeded, great insights occur.

As a result, Jake leads a David vs. Goliath counterattack of the Na'vi by

a) appearing on Fox News with rabid denunciations of infringements on our liberty, or

b) appearing on MSNBC with breathless insider exposés.

As a result the Evil Ones

a) face loss of Federal funding support or

b) are brought before Congress for some uncomfortable questioning

leading to righteousness for all. Play inspirational music. Fade to credits. Leave theater knowing that there will be health reform sequel after sequel after sequel.

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