by which I mean I WANT TO KNOW MORE
I mean the worldbuilding— the WORLDBUILDING— it’s so amazing but so far it’s only hinting at this much deeper socioeconomic current and I need to know everything right now oh my god
like, first of all, the existence of the Equalists - what are they actually protesting? At first I was watching today’s episode and being like, “this concept of the ‘bending elite’ is bullshit, because if benders are so ‘elite’ then why are Mako and Bolin dirt-poor-working-class being shamelessly exploited by the pro-bending institution, why is Mako working in a factory to make ends meet, how can anyone be elite when they are engaging in GLADIATORIAL COMBAT for a fucking living? and if the benders are so ~elite~ then WHY ARE THEY ALL IN GANGS”
but then I realized— holy shit, this is a world that has INDUSTRIALIZED bending. Mako works in a factory, in a power plant, doing assembly line work— but it’s assembly line work that only a firebender could do. How many other jobs keeping Republic City running are bender-only? How much better do those pay than jobs not specific to benders? Do they at all? Or is the Equalists’ protest simply a frustrated attempt to pin the blame for a deeper-running employment problem on a class that’s really easy to blame?
And, well, benders ARE really easy to blame— I mean, IRL people will tell you “get a college degree because no matter what job you’re looking for, if it comes down to a guy with a degree and a guy without they’ll take the guy with the degree”
Now imagine that a fourth of the population (or whatever, I wish I knew how bender genetics worked) IS BORN WITH A FUCKING COLLEGE DEGREE
and you can start to see the Equalists’ point
BUT it’s not clear yet the extent to which that’s actually a problem, as being the ~bending elite~ doesn’t seem to have helped out Our Heroes much at this point and there’s not a wide enough picture yet of the world or the differences between classes (outside of the existence of bender-specific jobs, the secluded Airbenders, and the Equalists’ general pissiness) to determine whether non-benders are actually facing real economic oppression in comparison to benders
BASICALLY I JUST WANT GRAPHS
GIVE ME A GRAPH OF THE BENDER VS. NON-BENDER LABOR MARKET
GIVE ME PILES OF STATISTICS ON THE FUNCTION OF REPUBLIC CITY’S INDUSTRIAL SECTOR
GIVE ME DATA ON PER CAPITA INCOME FOR BENDERS VS. NON-BENDERS
I WANT TO KNOW
BLESS THIS ENTIRE POST.