The Matrix

Okay, being the consumer geek that I am I went out last night and bought the Matrix DVD. I’m suprised I hadn’t bought it before but really wanted to watch it again before going to see part 2 which is, of course, out this week.

Am I the only one who sees just a hint of serious societal critique in the Matrix? Of course what’s stated in the movie is fairly surface level. We’re not talking a deep analysis here. If you want that in a movie check out Mind Walk which is really amazing. But what is implied in the Matrix could be the stuff of many late night discussions. Specifically, when Morpheus is defining the Matrix for Neo. He describes it as being the big fat lie that is our lives. Not just any lie but the fundamental deception which has been carefully created to keep us sedated so that we will serve as an energy source for others that will profit from us. This is easily applied to the current “system” in which the corporate media is owned by (or own) other multinational corporations. This system, or matrix, surrounds us from birth to death. It seeks total control over the minds of supposedly “free” people and does so without being seen. It is the air that we breathe. It is most developed in the United States where the media seems to be the most invasive and where televisions have been the most consumed for the longest period of time.

What is the truth which is obscurred by the matrix? At it’s most basic it is that we are not free as we are told we are. The matrix is designed to hide the ways in which we are merely tools which are used by those in power to increase the power that they have. It is a never ending struggle. They have control but not complete control. As long as there are people who protest, who write words such as these they will lack complete control. Perhaps the internet is helping in the breakdown of their control. It seems that it’s almost certainly true. But their control is not just measured in what people are thinking, it’s what they are doing. Resistance against the matrix is about the mental activity as well as physical activity: protesting, building community-based counter-institutions, and direct action which takes many different forms.

Of course, in the end the movie itself is just a thread in the matrix it is describing.

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