December 20, 2008

Aztecs in AIR comic

Here's a comic-book series I've heard about but haven't read. Apparently the convoluted plot involves super-scientific Aztecs.

Air"Blythe knew it was a risky time to be an airline stewardess, but the skies might be much more dangerous than anyone imagines. She's just learned of the Etesian Front--vigilantes dedicated to take the skies back from terrorism. They're after a mysterious man she's just met. And whether he's an average frequent flier or a terrorist, finding out will lead Blythe to discover the weird science of hyperpraxis-–an innovation that will change the way we see technology forever."What I bought--17 December 2008I would like to rant a bit as a warm-up to my later rant. My only question is, if the Aztecs possessed technology to fly through the air using the weird “technology as symbolism” thing as explained in the book, wouldn’t they have invented flush toilets along the way? Attributing fantastic technology to groups that were wiped out by evil Europeans always annoys me, because we know that the Aztecs, for all their wonders, weren’t wonderful benevolent scientists inventing environmentally-friendly super-engines, and I always believe authors are taking a subtle shot at the evil Europeans for taking away these glories from us with their smallpox and lust for gold. I would have been happier if the technology in this book had been attributed to Atlanteans. At least we don’t know anything about them, if they happened to exist. We know the Aztecs couldn’t have invented what they are claimed to have invented, and it’s annoying to see it.Comment:  Portraying "lost races" of technologically advanced Indians--such as the Mesoamericans in National Treasure 2 or the South American Indians in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull--isn't a way of disparaging "evil Europeans." It's a way of disparaging real Indians who, for all their accomplishments, didn't create advanced technology such as steam engines, airplanes, or atomic bombs.

These mythical Indians, the thinking goes, were as inventive as the ancient Greeks or Romans. But they died out or disappeared before the Europeans arrived, so we aren't to blame for their loss. The only Indians we killed were the uncivilized, savage ones. While this was tragic, it wasn't that big of a loss to humanity. It's not as if we destroyed the Parthenon or the Coliseum, right?

For more on the subject, see Comic Books Featuring Indians.

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