Monday, June 19, 2006
The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around. What do you see? Business people, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy.Blue pill or red pill?
You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to
be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
My wife and I were talking with some of her friends the other day when the conversation turned to food. Her friends know that I'm a vegetarian and otherwise somewhat strict about what I eat (whole, organic foods, etc.), and asked if it was alright to give my daughter a cookie. I said, "Yes" as I almost always do when we're out (unless it's right before dinner), as I believe it's always polite to take what is offered. They were surprised and asked if I had changed my ways, or come to realize that I was being overly picky and had rejoined the mainstream. Nothing of the sort had taken place, so I proceeded to explain about how food corporations' goals are to sell product and maximize profit, so they make overly sweet and salty processed foods that stimulates our pleasure centers while suppressing our satiation hormones, which prompts us to eat more of the same kinds of foods creating a kind of addiction that leads to obesity. Before I could enlighten them on entrenched agricultural lobbies, factory farming, and the wholesale destruction of the environment worldwide to satiate our desire for such fare, I had lost them. They shrank back, their eyes glazed over, and the atmosphere became uncomfortable. I realized it was pointless to continue. I quickly changed the subject, and the conversation continued as if nothing had happened.
A few weeks before that, I was at a different friend's house. CNN was on and the White House press corps dinner briefly flashed about 3 seconds of Stephen Colbert. I'd seen the whole thing on the Internet and explained to them how he'd totally roasted both the president and press corps to their faces. Of course they asked me why he'd attack the media. Don't they report the truth? I began to explain how the traditional media is now owned by a few large conglomerates which control the content as so not to conflict with either their interests or the interests of their largest corporate customers. Before I could even explain how reporters have traded asking hardball questions for a position in Tony Snow's spotlight, their eyes glazed over. I explained simply and rationally, speaking the truth as I knew it, but I may as well have been speaking about being kidnapped by aliens.
Morpheus : The Matrix is everywhere. It's all around us, even 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 work, when you pay your taxes. The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth.
Neo : What truth?
Morpheus : That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison...for your mind....Unfortunately, no one can be...told what the Matrix is...you have to see it for yourself.
Certainly in the past there were times when the masses have been manipulated, but never has it been easier to do so. With all of the obligations that are foisted upon us (technical work environments, societal pressures to overstructure our own and our children's schedules, complex laws and regulations) and an ever-increasing myriad of technical and involved entertainment options to amuse us, an environment has been created where we are too busy to get enough sleep, never mind think. We want someone to do the critical thinking for us, and we want it spoon-fed.
This is what I face, people so caught up in their own little worlds that they can't see the bigger picture. Consumed with the next certification to get that next promotion, their daughter's soccer, piano, ballet, chess club, and karate practices (all this week), their stock portfolio, the Soprano's, yoga class, making dinner, fixing the computer, downloading some music, taking the car in for service, attending that dinner party, mowing the lawn, and helping Billy with his homework, they have about 15 minutes to get the news, so they turn on CNN or Fox. They take it at face value, and believe that these are the important issues of the day. They believe our sound-bite savvy politicians are doing their best and fighting the good fight. They don't see that corporations are robbing the nation's coffers, or that their rights are being slowly eaten away from the inside out, or that our vaunted military is slowly being stretched on a rack, or that we're mortgaging our children's children's future with outrageous deficits, or that global warming is real and could kill billions of people. It's all hidden from them, and they're too inebriated to go find it.How do I save these people? How do I wake them up? How can I make them see that their future and their children's future is in jeopardy? For without their involvement, down the road lies a corporate oligarchy, fascism, slavery, even starvation.