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And this is why you tell people early in life that Santa Claus is not real...

According to CNN, some hardcore fans of the movie Avatar say the movie has made them suicidal.

Apparently, these fans-to-the-nth-power are so moved by Pandora, the fantastical world of the Na'vi - the 10-foot-tall Smurf cats who "become one (wink, wink!)" with the trees on their planet - that they're questioning whether it's worth living in a world whose mountains don't float, whose reptiles don't wear bridles and fly, and whose population consists of brown, tan, and white-ish meat bags averaging 5'10" in height.

From the CNN.com piece:

A user named Mike wrote on the fan Web site "Naviblue" that he contemplated suicide after seeing the movie:

"Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it," Mike posted. "I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.' "

On the serious tip, obviously Mike needs counseling.

But practically speaking, it's clear that the adults in Mike's life failed to tell him as a child that Santa and the Easter Bunny and Superman aren't real, and that it isn't possible for Bart and Lisa Simpson and Stewie Griffin to not have aged over the past 20 and 11 years, respectively, and that you can't put yourself in a freezer and wake up on Futurama.

And Mike isn't alone. Other Avatar fans on Internet fan forums have expressed feelings of depression over their inability to live in that colorful world.

I'm torn as to whether this is funny, sad or pathetic, or all three.

Rapper Skee-Lo rhymed in 1995 "I wish I was a little bit taller..." It was a funny and bittersweet song, because Skee-Lo's point was work with what you have, not with what you wish you had.

So to all those Avatar fans thinking about the wild blue yonder (literally), leave your mother's attic, go outside, and take a deep breath of fresh air - unless you live in East St. Louis, blink a few times and realize that bright dot in the sky is harmless. It's the Sun. Appreciate it. Then come back down to Earth. It's not such a bad place if you ignore the people.

PS. Follow me, please, at twitter.com/jamesburnett.

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Wavemancali

I'm not mocking you here I'm just chiding you in a good natured way but...

Aren't you a theist?

This isn't a easter bunny/santa/superman thing it's more of a god/afterlife/reincarnation thing.

If you want to stop pushing delusional fantasy, I think we can start with religion first :)

Let's tell people to be nice to each other not because you'll be punished by a fictional omnipotent being if you aren't but instead tell people to be nice to each other because this is the only chance you will have.

James B.

Ah, WavemanCali, I miss your fight-picking;-) But nice try. This isn't about belief in a deity. You can argue (as you often have) that there is or may be no God, and I can continue to disagree with you. But where this movie and fan reactions to it are concerned, the only delusional people are those who so strongly believe in Pandora that they consider it an ideal place to live.

Wavemancali

You contend in the post that the parents are at fault for not teaching their children the difference between real and not real.

When 80% of society bases a large portion of their life on concept that can never be proven as real, I think you are going to always have difficulty teaching the real/not real concept and be believable.

When talking the scale of the universe, and the number of stars and planets that are actually out there, I'll have you know the mathematical odds of a planet like Pandora actually existing of much better than the actual existence of god.

I don't think they actually believe Pandora exists. If you look at the quote you yourself provided, they hope that a place like Pandora exists but it's the underlying crap of rebirth that's the issue here.

Delusional people wouldn't be so easily swayed by fairytale stories of the afterlife and reincarnation if not for the indoctrination into religion and afterlife concepts taught to society as a whole.

I can't believe you're not seeing the link here.

James B.

I hear what you're saying Wavemancali: People who believe in God believe in a deity they can't see. So how are they different?

They're different 'cause the folks who believe in a deity posess faith - hope in something they haven't physically seen, something they feel is evidenced in all the life around 'em. (sorta makes me sound hippy-ish, huh?). You tell me what evidence there is around us, here on Planet Earth, that anyone has a realistic chance of living on a planet far, far away, among tribes of 10-foot tall Smurf cats.

Your logic, my logic: There's a 50/50 chance you're right about there being no God. But if people who believe are correct, then their faith won't have been wasted, no?

Also, you may be 100% correct about the likelihood that there's a planet out there like Pandora - I'm one of those people who likes to wish there's more intelligent life out there than just us. But I'm also 1oo% sure about something related: the eggheads who want to off themselves 'cause they pine for Pandora will never see that planet up close. So better they take my advice and get used to life on Earth.

Wavemancali

I'll make one last comment.

When you flip a coin, the odds of it coming up heads or tails are 50-50.

When you have a person claiming to have seen a pink fluffy unicorn snorting cocaine with a leprechaun, and I am arguing unicorns and leprechauns don't exist are you going to give the same 50-50 odds James?

God is the pink fluffy unicorn snorting coke with the leprechaun. The reason I don't usually argue with the people that see the pink fluffy unicorns is that their delusional dogma usually includes the be nice to one another and help your fellow man. I like this idea since I follow it myself.

Lately however, people have been more a la cart of what dogma in their religion that they want to follow. They're more into the everyone else is going to burn in hell part, and ignoring the judge not least ye be judged part.

The Mormons and Christians in California for example decided that they wanted to screw the gays out of a basic civil right, so I've started to become a little less tolerant of their delusions.

I know this is a tangent from where you started your post, but I think it's an important one. You're horrified by delusional thinking by some whackjobs over a fantasy movie, but you seem ok with 80% of society living with delusional fantasies of an omnipotent being because you're into that fantasy. Go back to your judge not least you be judged part of your delusion and I'll stop calling you on it.

James B.

Wavemancali, you know I respect you. But the major flaw with your argument here hasn't been that you don't believe in a deity or that I do. It's been that your argument is based on the assumption that I'm a denominational wonk, that my belief in God is rooted in the "Religion Wars" we've seen over the 400-year history of the U.S., the wars that have pitted Catholics vs. Baptists vs. 7th Day Adventists vs. Mormons vs. Goat Worshippers vs. Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.

You're blending two separate debates - a belief in God and a belief in an after life based on a particular doctrinal belief. The former belief is not dependent or automatically intertwined with the latter.

Your responses to me in this post have bounced between there is no God to I'm wacky 'cause there are dogmatic people out there who believe in an afterlife.

While I do have a specific set of beliefs, you've never seen me address them in this blog. All I've acknowledged is that I believe in a deity. You've made the leap to lump me in with the people whose more complex religious beliefs you disagree with.

BTW, the only thing "horrifying" to me about the Avatar thing was that people were willing to kill themselves to live in a place that was introduced to them for the first time ever, in a movie less than a month ago. If it makes you feel any better it also horrifies me that some people use religion to justify killing themselves in order to get to a virgin-filled paradise on another world. But in order for the judgments you've passed on this post to stick, you have to believe that every person who simply claims a belief in God shares that sort of extreme philosophy.

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