links for 2010-01-07

  • But the more blatant lesson of Avatar is not that American imperialism is bad, but that in fact it’s necessary. Sure there are some bad Americans—the ones with tanks ready to mercilessly kill the Na’vi population, but Jake is set up as the real embodiment of the American spirit. He learns Na’vi fighting tactics better than the Na’vi themselves, he takes the King’s daughter for his own, he becomes the only Na’vi warrior in centuries to tame this wild dragon bird thing. Even in someone else’s society the American is the chosen one. He’s going to come in, lead your army, fuck your princesses, and just generally save the day for you. Got it? This is how we do it.
  • The Census Bureau wants to change that in the 2010 count as it tallies immigrant indigenous groups for the first time ever, hoping to get a more complete snapshot of a growing segment of the immigrant population.

    In the 2010 Census, the bureau will tabulate handwritten entries specifying that the respondent belongs to a Central American indigenous group such Maya, Nahua, Mixtec, or Purepecha.

  • The Olympic torch trucks whizzed along the Trans-Canada Highway into Manitoba yesterday, but as they crossed over the Whitemouth River and flew past a remote junction, a slower and more sombre procession took place.

    Horses. Seven of them, carrying leaders from native communities as nearby as Roseau River and as far away as the Canupawakpa Dakota Nation near the Saskatchewan border. Those who didn’t ride walked along the shoulder. They came to this stretch almost 100 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, in cars and vans and buses, to draw attention to the plight of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

  • Another on-line commentator, Jack Shepherd of BuzzFeed, asks: "What's a white guy to do when he finds himself in a crowd full of black folks? KFC has the answer."

    KFC Australia has come out fighting, saying that the commercial was a "light-hearted reference to the West Indian cricket team" that had been "misinterpreted by a segment of people in the US."

  • "One of the things most immediately apparent to me is the racism. It’s one thing to condemn the whalers for sinking [an animal rights protest] ship. It’s quite another to use language like “dirty Jap bastards” (offensive on two counts, how efficient!) repeatedly — as you can see on Facebook & other places."