See? I proved my own point…

Ethics Alarms stalwart Glenn Logan alerted me to the fact that I carelessly mispelled science fiction great Poul Anderson’s name badly in my previous post. My ignorance regarding his correct name, however, also shows how unjustly the passing years have eroded the science fiction writer’s fame. (My spelling and proof reading eroded long ago.) One more reason why James Cameron needs to give him some credit for inspiring “Avatar” : I would have probably gotten his name right if I had seen it on the Imax screen in 3-D.

Or if I could read…my apologies to the late, great Poul Anderson, his fans, and anyone who was confused by the reference to “Pual” Anderson, who is a collector of souvenir ash trays and resides in New Rochelle.

James Cameron, Poul Anderson, and Posterity’s Loss

James Cameron, whose ground-breaking film “Avatar” will soon be the top-grossing movie of all time, is currently being bashed in some of the more obscure corners of the blogosphere for plagiarism. This time the criticism is not based on his blatant borrowing from Russian science fiction, but for his lifting of ideas from an American master of the genre, Poul Anderson. Anderson wrote a novella in 1957 entitled “Call Me Joe” that chronicled the adventures of a paraplegic who becomes telepathically merged with a manufactured alien life form created to explore a planet. He is exhilarated by the sensations and power of his artificially-created body, and eventually is seduced into abandoning his humanity completely to become a significant figure in the development of a new civilization. Along the way, he battles vicious alien creatures. Sound familiar? Yes, these are major components of “Avatar” as well. Continue reading

On Hoaxes, Avatar, and More Late Night Ethics

Hoax Update

  • Singer, model, television personality and inexplicable celebrity Tia Tequila announced in December that she was engaged to the heiress to the Johnson and Johnson fortune, Casey Johnson. The troubled Johnson turned up dead in squalid circumstances in January, prompting a grief-stricken online statement from Tia in which she spelled her beloved’s name wrong. Shortly after this, it was revealed that the engagement was a publicity stunt by Tequila, who barely knew Johnson. Fake romances for publicity purposes are as old as the Tudors, but this sort of thing further trivializes truth for an entire generation. Continue reading