Why I became an Avatar
At first it seemed as though becoming an Avatar would be a risky professional decision. I was hesitant about transferring my life-force into the body of a Na’vi alien body and moving to the planet Pandora.
Leaving earth would be hard: dying planet though it may be I’d still miss the new season of Big Love. Furthermore I hate using aeroplane toilets at the best of times so I thought holding it in over a five-year long haul spaceship flight would be a challenge.
Of course there are also immediate benefits: I would be taller and bluer beyond my wildest dreams (although to be honest I hadn’t previously fantasised too much about being 10-foot tall and blue). But really what sealed the deal was the lack of competition in the Pandora media market.
There is huge opportunity for The Punch on Pandora with gaping holes in the planet’s breaking news and opinion websites.
Looking closely at the media landscape on Pandora (or should I say media moonscape, little Pandora in-joke there) and you’ll see there is not a single news or opinion website.
This is doubly unacceptable as newspapers are basically banned on the planet. Given that trees possess the souls of dead Na’vis, it can be somewhat disconcerting to be reading a paper with the howls of your dead ancestors emanating from the sports pages.
There is also an incredible ready-made broadband network on the planet that would make Kevin Rudd’s national broadband network seem like a kiddies tin and string phone.
As an Avatar I am now blessed with a queue which now allows me to tap into the collective planetary psionic emanations of Eywa (that’s the hippy Na’vi God, not quite sure where I stand on that one to be honest but don’t tell them ‘cause they take it kinda seriously)
Basically anything plugged into this planet travels around at the speed of light to a potential readership of the entire three tribes of Na’vi. Actually readership is not entirely accurate, it would be beamed directly into their consciousness allowing advertisers to directly cater to needs of individual Na’vi.
Then there’s the journalism itself.
Pandora is very fertile ground (another little Pandora joke there) for a whole range of different news coverage.
Although thus far the most interest I’ve had has been in weather reports and Viperwolf attack hotspots, as a society the Na’vi are yet to ask the hard questions of each other: The Punch Pandora would ask those hard questions.
For instance, body image issues among the Na’vi are not being adequately addressed in the media at the moment. Although by-in-large a beautiful race, the Na’vi have problems with their bodies as well.
Do you think it’s easy for that plain Jane of a Na’vi teenager to be seated next to Princess Neytiri every night at tribal council? Or that teenage male Na’vi having to compete in Mountain Banshee wrestling with the favored (and may I add part human) Jake Sully.
In an effort to relieve insecure Avatar and Na’vi alike I have posed below as my non-airbrushed Avatar journalist self just going about my day (I didn’t go naked, I don’t think the world’s ready for the Na’vi shlong).
Then there is the question of the humans.
Star columnist Na’vi warrior Beyda’amo makes his Punch Pandora debut with the human question that every Na’vi and Avatar is asking: The Humans - Should We Eat Them?
Accompanying this will be a rebuttal piece from fellow Punch Pandora columnist and former Na’vi killer Colonel Miles Quaritch: Please Na’vi, Don’t Eat Me.
Nor would we shy away from the tough God questions.
At one point when looking for salvation from the war that the humans have brought to their planet Princess Neytiri states that Eywa as the divine planetary force cannot take sides. Yet clearly towards the end of the battle against the humans, Eywa takes sides in favor of the Na’vi by bringing its multitude of dangerous creatures out to devour them.
Now either you are a benign and objective spiritual force that merely seeks a balance in the forces of nature on Pandora, or you are a wrathful monotheistic force that brings down rapture upon those who offend its laws.
Being from a human tradition of the latter I understand the Na’vi desire to avoid such scare mongering in religion, but you can’t have it both way my Na’vi brothers and sisters.
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