I see a lot of complaints about the rise of industry in Legend of Korra. Often, these complaints will even transition into how the old days were better, and modernization in the real world is bad. For all of these complaints, I have an honest question. Do you also hate:
Learning about animals, history, economics, religion, or any other subject, be it in a school or through free distribution by the press?
Being able to partake of news from around the world?
Being able to partake of food or other products from around the world?
Not having to farm for your livelihood?
Having the right to vote if you're not a man of the native race who owns property?
Having the right to vote at all?
Knowledge of sterilization against diseases?
Knowledge of how to screen for genetic illnesses?
Surgery with anesthetics and life-preserving equipment such as respirators and dialysis machines?
Having rights as a woman?
Having rights as a person of African descent, a homosexual, or some other minority?
Having the right to choose your own religion?
Having the right to choose your own spouse?
Having the right to pursue your own choice in job?
Being able to read and write?
Having your work possibly be published and read around the world?
Access to advanced preventative medicine, such as cancer screening?
Being able to call someone from virtually anywhere in an emergency?
Being able to quickly cook and prepare food?
Your computer and the internet?
Spellcheck, which has repeatedly saved me from looking like an idiot as I typed this?
While the modern world is by no means perfect, these are all values and conveniences pushed by our modern world. Historically, they either do not exist, or are severely limited in most ancient societies.
Of course, I am quite aware that the civilizations of the past aren't always the dirty festering pits of death they are sometimes stereotyped as. But the point remains, for many people, in many instances, it still sucked.
And more to the point, Avatar has taught us to appreciate ancient tradition, but it has also always had a healthy love of science and industry. Instead of being so critical, even hypocritical, why can we not appreciate this side of it more? It is truly a rare gem in the arts.
Addendum: I just wanted to add an aside to address something vaguely related I keep seeing across this Wiki, but doesn't really deserve its own post. Saying that a Metalbender could "easily stop a bullet" is kind of like saying a nonbender could easily jump out of the way of one. The issue is that they go really, really fast.
Addendum 2: I wanted to see how well this topic was going, so here's a poll on how much you like the modern themes in Legend of Korra. Do note that you should be able to change your vote at any time.