Readers' Submissions

Welcome to Pandora

Gentlemen,

In 2009 the movie Avatar by James Cameron was released that tells the story of Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine who travels to a planet called Pandora as part of a mining operation whose goal is to mine for a mineral known as unobtanium that is worth $20 million a kilo back on earth. Pandora, whose atmosphere is poisonous to humans, is inhabited by the Na’vi, a species of 10-foot tall, blue-skinned, sapient humanoids that live in harmony with nature and worship a mother goddess named Eywa.

To explore Pandora’s biosphere, scientists use Na’vi-human hybrids called “avatars,” operated by genetically matched humans; Jake replaces his deceased identical twin brother as an operator of one. While protecting the avatars of Grace and fellow scientist Dr. Norm Spellman as they collect biological data, Jake’s avatar is attacked by a thanator and flees into the forest, where he is rescued by Neytiri, a female Na’vi. Witnessing an auspicious sign, she takes him to her clan, whereupon Neytiri’s mother Mo’at, the clan’s spiritual leader, orders her daughter to initiate Jake into their society.

Colonel Miles Quaritch, head of RDA’s private security force, promises Jake that the company will restore his legs if he gathers information about the Na’vi and the clan’s gathering place, a giant tree called Hometree on grounds that it stands above the richest deposit of unobtanium in the area. When Grace learns of this, she transfers herself, Jake, and Norm to an outpost. Over the following three months, Jake grows to sympathize with the natives. After Jake is initiated into the tribe, he and Neytiri choose each other as mates, and soon afterward, Jake reveals his change of allegiance when he attempts to disable a bulldozer that threatens to destroy a sacred Na’vi site. When Quaritch shows a video recording of Jake’s attack on the bulldozer to Administrator Parker Selfridge, and another in which Jake admits that the Na’vi will never abandon Hometree, Selfridge orders Hometree destroyed.

There’s some key themes in the movie Avatar that one can draw analogies to what’s happening to us western men when we board a plane to Thailand. In the opening scenes of Avatar we see Jake downing shots at a bar and despite being a wheelchair bound paraplegic we see him white-knighting for a woman who has just been hit by her boyfriend. She doesn’t give a shit about his white-knighting though and she attempts to pull him off her boyfriend. Jake then gets thrown out of the bar and into the gutter by a bouncer along with his wheelchair. As he lies in the gutter feeling rejected he is approached by two men representing the mining company his brother worked for offering him an opportunity to take over his deceased brother’s contract.

In many ways, gentlemen, we’re all Jake Sully. Each and every one of us that boards a plane to Thailand are doing so because of what’s happened to us in the western world. It may not be a physical disability that we’re dealing with but a handicap is something we all share in common. What’s happened in the West is our society has reached such a high level of economic and technological development that western women do not really need us men anymore. Competition for the women we all want – young, beautiful, respectful, appreciative and easy-going is incredibly fierce and these women get to choose the victors. The supply and demand ratio favours women heavily when they’re young and beautiful and the majority of us men get left out in the cold in our teens, 20’s to mid 30’s as these women naturally do what’s in their best self-interest and go for the top 20% of men that meet their laundry list of criteria leaving each of us average men either without companionship or with the companionship of a below average woman who has been responsible in some or in many ways for causing us misery and ruining our lives. If you didn’t have a home, a good job, a nice car and abundant resources you were passed over for those men that did have these things every time. As women always marry up, by that very definition the only women interested in us are those who have not been able to snare a guy higher up the food chain. As an average man our only option is a below average woman and for many of us including myself this is unacceptable. We’ve visited that world before. We know the limitations of that world and we know that’s not the world we want to inhabit. We want something better. We want a better world. A world light years away that holds much promise.

Your decision to board that plane to Thailand to travel to the promised world – the land of smiles didn’t happen over night. It happened only after years of resentment and frustration dealing with the opposite sex. Years of being on the back foot, years of feeling like a second class citizen in your own society. Years of being used as cheap labour, as a tool – a utility by your employer and by every woman in your life. Being an average man in the western world and coming over here to Thailand your sexual market value increases substantially. For this is Pandora, gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day. Unlike the Pandora of Avatar however – every living thing that crawls, flies or squats in the mud doesn’t want to kill you and eat your eyes for jujubees. No. You’re a white skinned wealthy westerner. A farang. Here in Thailand you represent an earning and status opportunity for the indigenous population known as the Thais. Many are poor. You’re rich. Advantage you. Instead of being looked up to and over by the western women back home your looked up to and appreciated by the Thai women and ladyboys. You have opportunities to be with younger, hotter, more respectful partners than you could ever dream of being with back home in the western world. The bitchy attitudes of western women – gone. The bullshit, drama, hostility towards you – not present. Over here in Thailand you’re wanted. You’re needed. You bring much-needed wealth and resources and you get to live the life you want as a free man. A life on your terms, not under the control of anyone but instead self-guided and self-determined. The life you deserve as a hard-working, hard saving and hard investing westerner. You’re no longer the peasant you were as an average man back in the western world. No – over here you’re a member of the top 20% and you get to experience every incoming opportunity and offer you were denied back home as an average middle class man. Every pitch you saw western women make to a higher status man – you’re now that man. That pitch is now directed at you and you get to choose whether to swing at it or let it go through to the keeper. Feels great doesn’t it? Batter up!

What you’re used to back in the western world is egalitarianism and feminism. A potent mix.

What was it again that Ferris Bueller said about isms?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ep6YVqc6Ks

Egalitarianism is a school of thought that prioritizes equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status. A nice thought. Everyone is equal but some are just more equal than others. Isn’t that right given what you’ve seen and experienced in the western world? Isn’t that what you have felt living under the regime of institutionalised feminism? Now that you’re on Pandora you’re free from all that. In this brave new world you have your bar girls as your guides. Whether they be female or ladyboys they treat you like gold and in return you treat them like gold even though you’re used to being treated like dirt back home. You’re a man – you’re the true romantic gender and you’re at the height of your sexual market value. For every incoming romantic interest you get over here in Thailand that you’re not interested in you very politely, respectfully and with a smile decline the offer. You don’t crush the hearts of the Thai people the way your heart was crushed by many a western woman when they were at the height of their sexual market value.

Like the relationship that develops between Jake and Neytiri, your bar girl is teaching you all about this strange new world, the dangers and the opportunities for you as a white skinned wealthy farang. She guides and teaches and you listen and learn. Just like Jake you’re a disillusioned marine from your home world but unlike Jake you have been drawn to Thailand not for the monetary wealth and resources that exist in the ground but for the beauty that exists in the hearts of the Thai people. The friendliness, the smiles, the courtesy and respect you’re accorded is a world away from what you’re used to experiencing back home. For after all – that’s why you’re here in Thailand. For the incredible relationships you can have with the Thais in comparison to those you have had to tolerate with your own kind and that’s why we will give up everything back home – as we have found in the hearts of the Thais – and perhaps with that one special Thai love in particular – that which we have not been able to find despite years of searching in a western woman’s heart. Whilst the weather, scenery, nightlife and tourists attractions are indeed draw-cards – It’s the Thai people at the end of the day that make this new world so special. It’s what’s in the hearts of the Thai people.

After Parker gives the order to his troops to destroy Home Tree, Grace storms the control room, confronts him and says “You need to wake up Parker. The wealth of this world isn’t in the ground – it’s all around us. The Na’vi know that, and they’re fighting to defend it. If you want to share this world with them, you need to understand them.”

As a refugee from the western world you do understand the Thais and your own people Gentlemen. Only too well. For you didn’t set out on this journey to Pandora for wealth and resources of the monetary kind. You don’t need a lecture to wake up because you’re already wide awake with both eyes open. It’s because you were so awake that you took that first step and boarded that flight to Thailand. It’s because you’re awake that you traveled here to the land of smiles that first time. You were intuitive enough to take your anger, your disappointments, your bitterness and resentment and turn those negative emotions into positive ones. You’re currently straddling two very different worlds but just like Jake Sully your allegiance has changed. The more time you spend with the Thais the deeper the impact they will leave on your hearts and minds.

And there will come a time when you will need to make a decision….

The Pretender

Video version of this submission.