Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sci-Fi Wisdom of the Week

"The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."

- The Matrix (1999)
(to be reviewed here tomorrow) 


  1. I've been looking forward to this.

  2. Anonymous2:38 PM

    Hey John,
    As you know I have been using this film in my classes for about 10 years now to demonstrate concepts like alienation, ideology, hegemony, false consciousness, and the use of critical theory in general. If interested, I can send you a copy of a paper I wrote in my doctoral program entitled: Escaping the Matrix: Making room for critical theory in a commodified culture. It suggests the use of critical theory in higher education as a way to rethink the system.

    On a more surreal note, I notice that you did not mention Jean Baudrillard in the post. His book Simulacra and Simulation is used in the film by Neo to hide his software stash. He retrieves it when the group, including the woman with the white rabbit on her arm, shows up at his door. The software is hidden in the last chapter: On Nihilism.

    Here is an excerpt:
    “Melancholia is the brutal disaffection that characterizes our saturated systems. Once the hope of balancing good and evil, true and false, indeed of confronting some values of the same order, once the more general hope of a relation of forces and a stake has vanished. Everywhere, always, the system is too strong: hegemonic. Against this hegemony of the system, one can exalt the ruses of desire, practice revolutionary micrology of the quotidian, exalt the molecular drift or even defend cooking. This does not resolve the imperious necessity of checking the system in broad daylight. This, only terrorism can do.” (163)

    Go back and freeze frame the scene when the agents are interrogating Neo and asking for his passport. If you have a large enough TV set take a look at the expiration date -Month, day, and year.

    Baudrillard continues: “ If being a nihilist is carrying, to the unbearable limit of hegemonic systems, this radical trait of derision and of violence, this challenge that the system is summoned to answer through its own death, then I am a terrorist and nihilist in theory as the others are with their weapons. Theoretical violence, not truth, is the only resource left us.” (163)

    Interesting huh?