Saturday, October 15, 2016
The Matrix Revisited
I don't spend much time wondering what the hell is wrong with some people. I just think of Cypher.
If you remember the movie The Matrix, Cypher is the rebel character played by Joe Pantoliano. The Matrix was all about dystopian future, special effects, and ridiculous Kung Fu, but it was also a quick 'n dirty rumination on the illusory natures of free will and self-determination.
Cypher has always been, to my mind, the central character of The Matrix... not the Jesus surrogate Neo, not the saintly acolyte Trinity, not the devout prophet Morpheus. Cypher is the weak link. The disillusioned seeker. The human.
To recap - in a distant future machines are intelligent and control the planet earth. Having defeated mankind and destroying the environment in the process, the machines now use humans as living batteries to power everything. Humans are kept alive in stasis, grown in tubes, and given an imaginary reality to live that is just a program or construct in their minds. Only a few humans are able to free themselves from the system and live outside "The Matrix" in the real world, battling desperately for survival.
And Cypher's tired of it, man.
The rebel crew knows the price of freedom, and Cypher's tired of paying it. Tired of being hungry, and cold, and scared. Back inside the matrix he can eat fine food, wear fine clothes, drive a nice car and have a safe job to go to. So he betrays Morpheus, Neo and the crew, giving their whereabouts to the machines, with only one request... put him back in the matrix, back in his tube, and - very pointedly - make sure he never remembers anything.
There's another election coming up, in the country neighbouring mine. Things are happening that have never been seen before in their elections. And one of the most surprising ongoing dynamics that I can observe in that country is, as it has always been, how those people who profess to be the proudest of the fact - FACT! - that they invented democracy and liberty seem to be those who hate those things the most.
When you vote... when you see how someone else is voting... if you ever wonder how they could possibly...
Think of Cypher.
I'm done now.