I haven’t yet seen Avatar and it doesn’t seem like it’s worth watching. From all reports it’s an action-packed distraction-fest like any other Hollywood film, and it’s directed by James “True Lies” Cameron, so any political message it claims to have will undoubtedly be as deep as a pancake.

Still, it’s made over one billion dollars thanks to a massive marketing campaign, the 3d gimmick and surprisingly good word of mouth. In fact, some people like the movie so much, they’ve become depressed when it’s over and they have to go back to their real lives.

The recent news about “post-Avatar depression” is pretty funny, in a sad kind of way. That it has actually become something of a news story must be due to one of three reasons:

–       A couple of teenagers claimed on some fan forums to experience this depression, CNN jumped on the story and made it seem far more important than it actually is. More teenagers jumped on board.

–       People were depressed about there lives before seeing the movie, then the visual beauty and the romantic storyline sent them spiraling into a deeper depression, and fan forums have given them an avenue to try to connect with others.

–       Seeing the beauty of the world of Pandora touches somewhere deep within the viewer. Reminding them of their own connection to the natural world, a world that Western civilization has decimated, along with the indigenous cultures that have inhabited it.

Any one of these is a possible answer, but if the third is real, then depression is a completely justifiable response. More >