Friday, January 8, 2010


From the Author:
I agree with this review. There is absolutely nothing I would change or even remotely alter.
The author, Gilad Atzmon is a Russian/Israeli Jew who now lives in London. Gilad is one of the coolest and hottest sax players in the world today. He is also a poly-faceted individual.
"Jazz is my jihad," says he.


  1. Buon giorno, Isabella,

    While the review you recommended makes me want to see the film, I would question the following:

    "One of the reasons that America is defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan is the obvious fact that many Iraqis and Afghanis had been educated in American universities and are familiar with the American way, yet, not many within the American elite or military command understand Islam. Not many amongst the American or British leadership are graduates of Kabul or Baghdad universities."

    First of all, the jury is still out regarding winners and losers in South Central Asia. America has not at this point been defeated in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Whether it will be at some future junction remains to be seen; the reviewer's call is premature. Or was that a Freudian slip revealing his prejudice?

    Secondly, Iraquis and Afghanistanis who have been educated at American colleges and universities matriculate at these colleges and universities because of the excellence those institutions of higher learning offer. Iraqui and Afghanistani universities do not equal these standards; therefore, given the choice of studying at the University of Kabul (if such even exists) vs. enrolling at Yale, Princeton or Harvard, the answer is obvious. Not even close. (Of course I recognize that beyond a course of study at Baghdad or Kandahar U, the reviewer means to say that the US and British "experts" don't know enough about the target countries to whom they are attempting to offer "freedom").

    As for the German Leben philosophers, one can wish the reviewer had gone into more detail, to inform readers which particular thinkers he had in mind and how their works relate to "Avatar." Schopenhauer comes to mind, but why didn't the reviewer mention either him or anyone else in this category, to elaborate on parallels to the film?



  2. Atzmon's article is well written and provocative, but I'm not sure that he's consistent in his premises. First he lauds "Avatar" on the ground that it indicates a "victorious return of German philosophical thought", but then he lauds, "Augustine, the professor behind the Avatar project who is genuinely fascinated by the Pandora magic and motivated by true knowledge-seeking, makes up her mind; she says NO to technology."

    But a considerable body of "German philosophical thought" gave rise to the technocracy and reductionist eugenicism of the NSDAP. On the other hand, the English habit of antipathy and/or indifference toward abstract philosophy was part of what inclined them to scorn and to resist the seductively fashionable corruptions of SOME kinds of "German philosophy" which some leaders of the NSDAP attempted to employ to turn all of Europe into a technocratic "Modern" empire in which Man would be reduced to a material thing among things (same as the Communists tried to do) instead of a Spirit among material things.

    But on the other hand, one of my mentor's main influences, the English philosopher Owen Barfield (1898-1998), was influenced considerably by the German philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who in turn was influenced by Goethe, and thereby so am I! :-)

    But I'm ambivalent about Kant, and as for Richard Wagner I agree with an English friend who once told me, "Don't listen to Wagner; he'll do funny things to your brain." ;-) I imagine an ENGLISH version of "Goetterdamerung", in which, when all is going down in flames, an ENGLISH Wotan would say to the audience: "Oh dear, what a mess we've made! Sorry!" ;-)

  3. PS, a bit of a digression, but here's some comic relief, the English comedians Mitchell and Webb doing their impressions of the German SS in a very English way:

  4. I left a comment yesterday but it has not appeared. Was it lost?

  5. By the way, John, Rudolf Steiner wasn't German. He was Austrian.


Isabel Van Fechtmann

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