Episode 760: The Everything Movie

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we tackle “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the big sequel that got bigger by lowering the stakes.

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On the 15th anniversary of Overthinking It, Matthew Belinkie and Mark Lee overthink Avatar: The Way of Water with passion and sincere awe, while host Pete Fenzel harnesses active listening techniques to resist making fun of a 3+ hour movie he hasn’t seen about child aliens holding their breath. Cultural and psychological integration, Bruce Lee, anti-colonial/anti-capitalist resistance, models of personal, teleological, and ecological immortality, and the oversexed but sexless man-camp of Duke Nukem all play into the earnest, patient consideration of a sequel to a movie we panned on this site before it came out. (And after.)

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Further Reading

Further reading:

Abrahams’ and Groysberg’s nine tips for active listening:

  1. Repeat people’s last few words back to them.
  2. Don’t “put it in your own words” unless you need to.
  3. Offer nonverbal cues that you’re listening — but only if it comes naturally to you.
  4. Pay attention to nonverbal cues.
  5. Ask more questions than you think you need to.
  6. Minimize distractions as much as possible.
  7. Acknowledge shortcomings.
  8. Don’t rehearse your response while the other person is talking.
  9. Monitor your emotions.

Abrahams’ and Groysberg’s seven behaviors for active listening:

  1. Hearing
  2. Auditory processing
  3. Reading body language, tone of voice, or social cues accurately
  4. Maintaining attention
  5. Regulating your emotional response
  6. Integrating multiple sources of information.
  7. “Performing” active listening (e.g., eye contact, nodding, appropriate facial expressions)

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