The 40 Word Debate: Avatar Edition

You know what’s fun?  Debates about things.  You know what the problem is with debates in real life?  Someone is always willing to be more long-winded, more pedantic, and more obscure than everyone else.  Because of that, most debates usually end up being won by the nerdiest and most determined blowhard, rather than by the person who is right.  Debates are great, blowhards are sooo not.  (Unless you happen to be the biggest blowhard in the room yourself, in which case blowhards are mostly just skilled and victorious debaters).

To solve this problem, DDDT presents 40 Word Debates.  We want to have a safe place to work out the world’s pressing issues, without the threat that someone’s going to go off about how the whole thing may be resolved by resort to Kantian ethics and Darwin’s pre-Galapagos discoveries.  You won’t find that here.  That’s because all of the antagonists are limited to 40 words per statement.  (So are the commenters, by the way.)  With just 40 words, you can’t  blather on and on about what you learned in your awesome college poli-sci class or how some of your best friends happen to be red-heads or whatever.  Get to the point and win or walk away.  With this revolutionary new format for truth-finding, we expect to resolve most of the Big Questions probably by mid-Spring.   Just one more way DDDT endeavors to improve your life.  And protect you from the nerds.

Edition I

Antagonists: Davis (in black); Ryan (in Na’vi blue)

Proposition: Avatar is awesome.


avatar lady


Davis: Avatar is now the highest grossing movie of all time. This is the sign that our new dolphin overlords have been waiting for, indicating that human stupidity is at an all time high and we are ripe for the conquering.

Ryan: I’m not here to defend Avatar’s receipts. I’m here to say it is a very entertaining movie. Are there better movies? Sure. But do I walk through my gloomy earth life dreaming of a better existence on Pandora? EVERY DAY.

navi makeup

(See? This lady gets it)

Davis: Our dolphin overlords will recognize your enjoyment of Avatar as a sign of imbecility and sentence you to labor in the salt pits. The plot was laughable, the themes were hackneyed, and the vaunted effects were reminiscent of Roger Rabbit.

Ryan: Because dolphins don’t enjoy amazing action scenes and pervasive bioluminescence. Humans do. Rather, humans who don’t take their Professor Smartpants hats into blockbuster movies with them. Cliches aren’t cliches when they end up in aerial battles with huge flying dragons.

Davis:  I like an action blockbuster as much as the next guy. Iron Man, Star Trek, Batman – sign me up. The problem wasn’t that Avatar was a sci-fi shoot-em-up, it was that it was a sci-fi shoot-em-up done very, very poorly.

Ryan:  Suspending your disbelief is like hooking your pony tail fibers to a dragon’s antenna thing. It’s scary and hard to do. But once you’ve done it, the payoff is huge. Maybe you just didn’t dare to hook into the PandoraMatrix.

Davis:  If by “hook into the PandoraMatrix” you mean, “sniff paint thinner until you’re so stupid that you enjoy a $500 million dollar episode of the Smurfs” then I guess I didn’t dare.

Ryan:  Seriously, you didn’t enjoy that last battle?  That was epic.  No smurf antagonist ever climbed into a giant humanoid robot suit while his shoulder was actually on fire.  Can’t we enjoy something even while we’re kind of laughing at it?

Davis:  Can I enjoy something while I’m laughing at it?  Yes.  See here, or my relationship with you.  I’m all about appreciating something for what it’s meant to be, including mindless entertainment.  I’d just prefer that it be, you know, entertaining.

Ryan:  You wouldn’t know entertaining if it stampeded across an impossibly lush jungle at you.  Could it be that your own long affiliation with evil planet-killing corporations biased you against the good guys?  The tree of souls weeps for you.

Let us know who won, or add your own arguments.  The 40 word rule remains in effect in the comments, blowhards.

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22 Responses to “The 40 Word Debate: Avatar Edition”

  1. Shane says:

    Great Film, Important Film. Highest grossing film all time. Revolutionary technology. Single-handedly put both motion-capture and 3D on the map– technologies which are expected to save the movie industry. Sure, probably won’t win the Palm D’Or, but undeniably entertaining.

  2. Troy says:

    I was planning on writing my post in Na’vi because I’d get more points across in 40 words (It’s a purer language) but Davis not only wouldn’t appreciate it, but you know, pearls before swine. Ryan wins.

  3. Jon says:

    I was sneaky attracted to Sigorney Weaver’s Avatar, which made me attracted to Sigorney Weaver, which made me hate myself, which made me hate Avatar. Advantage Davis.

  4. Davis says:

    Shane, I was sure that your comment was more than 40 words, so I did a word count in Word and discovered that you came in at 39. Well played. Anyway, I don’t get motion capture and 3D. They’re lame.

  5. Davis says:

    Troy, Avatar was the e’al. Jon, your attraction to Sigourney’s Avatar reminded me of the most laughable scene of the movie: Neytiri picks up Jake’s body and the juxtaposition between his real body and her cartoon one is so obvious.

  6. Bryan H. says:

    My awesome college poli-sci class taught me that it’s easy to be popular: recycle recognizable themes; don’t be a smartypants and make people think; always distract with shiny objects. Unfortunately, that’s not the same recipe for making something good.

    [39 words.]

  7. Braden Bell says:

    Davis won because he’s right. The grown woman in the photo putting on Navii make-up has a Jonas Brothers poster on her wall in the background. I think that says all that needs to be said.

  8. Shane says:

    Davis– any movie that successfully acid drops a Kevin Costner film (Dances w/ Wolves) into something that will undoubtedly spark future offshoots via the AVN community is ….awesome.

  9. cbs says:

    Ahh, what the twitter mentality hath wrought.

  10. Davis says:

    Cody, UR STPD.

  11. Ryan says:

    cbs: The blowhard’s lament.

  12. Ryan says:

    People weren’t laughing at the contrast between his real body and her fake one. They were laughing at the contrast between his tininess and her big-ness. You would known this if you’d kept your 3D glasses on.

  13. Davis says:

    Wrong. They were laughing at the image of the offspring of Smurfette and the Jolly Green Giant holding a real human being. I said it before, but this movie, in terms of special effects, was Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  14. Davis says:

    Digital effects have run amok. Think of Star Wars Episodes 4 – 6 vs. Episodes 1 – 3. Episodes 1 – 3 look real. It’s a fictional universe that looks as real as ours. Episodes 1 – 3 are cartoons, like Avatar.

  15. cbs says:

    All I’m saying is if you put a 40 word limit on debate, I’m out. I can’t even get a good introduction to my brilliant argument finished in 40 words.

  16. Troy says:

    Davis just wait until they start incorporating CGI into Jersey Shore, The Hills, and The Bachelor, and then we’ll see where your loyalties lie. Those are the real shows our Dolphin Overlords are monitoring. See you in the salt pits.

  17. Ben Pratt says:

    Now that it’s been created, it’s only a matter of time until someone takes all this newfangled cinematic technology and uses it makes a decent movie. That’s the movie I’ll see, not Cameron’s giant-blue-people-have-property-rights,-too [that's one word!] movie.

  18. Dave says:

    1/2 point to Ryan – Enjoyed the spectacle of Pocahontas in 3D
    1/2 point to Davis – Not only was the plot predictable, but also dangerous on the weak-minded who live close to the Na’vi people like my sister in Seattle.

    [39 words]

    What can happen if over-exposed to the James Cameron Doctrines: http://sedgwick.wordpress.com/

  19. Davis says:

    Dave, I’ve added Sarah to my prayers. Tell her there’s no reason to worry about the environment – the dolphins will fix things in no time flat.

  20. stef says:

    The reason it is the highest grossing film isn’t because it is a great movie. It is because it cost SO MUCH MONEY to see it in 3D and to see it NOT in 3D is a waste of money. And that, my friends, is WHY it is the highest grossing film.

  21. Wade says:

    Sam Worthington. Is he terminator or Na’vi or marine or murderer needing redemption? You can’t trust him, yet you must trust him or else your world is lost. +1 Avatar for casting the most conflicted guy in Hollywood. [38 words]

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