Monday, May 7, 2012

Twitter Essay on Avatar: the Last Airbender

Sorry, not a Sol Bulletin! I find something about tweets - literally the format of 140-character messages - oddly soothing, and sometimes I fire off an impromptu little essay about whatever's on my mind in 5-10 tweets. It's probably not the best way to use twitter, but I like it. Anyway, they tend to disappear in twitter, so I thought I might try capturing them here from time to time. Here's one now!

Since one of the appeals is that this format combats my native loquaciousness, I'm going to resist the urge to edit at all, even where something is unclear or could be explored further in a blog format.

One thing that's great about A:tLA is that the characters' nation has a profound influence on then. But this is rarely said explictly.

Aang's silliness comes straight out of being an Air Nomad. Katara's passion and Sokka's sense of duty are Water Tribe attributes.

Ditto Zuko's penchant for decisive action, rash mistakes and all. Ditto Toph's stubborn persistence.

But you just meet them as people. Sure, Katara's from the Water Tribe but nobody ever goes "Oh, those bleeding heart Water Tribe types."

You meet them as people, and then when you learn more about the history and culture of their nation, the pieces fall into place.

It makes the four elements seem like an underlying truth of the world, rather than a template applied to a cast by a trope-savvy creator.

Here endeth the lesson.

Yeah, and isn't Katara just great? She's super-great. But I have to admit Sokka is my favorite.

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