The Thirteenth Thing about The Matrix
Can I get distracted or what? When I started writing my review Twelve Things about The Matrix, I had no plans to get really philosophical about the blaue Kapsel and the rote Kapsel. But these two really do take over every discussion of the film (especially in deutsch? =P), and I hadn't realised that I totally failed to say what I had actually set out to say until, well, just now.
I'm not the only one who isn't too impressed by those pills. The Oracle, magic mirror and lovely lady, shows us the truth about the red pill very clearly: it's nothing but a glorified oatmeal cookie . . . not very different from a glorified steak. If the condition for your happiness is a red pill that you think is being kept from you, how is that any different from the condition for the same being a blue pill that is also being kept from you? Accordingly, my defense of blue pill existence is not a defense of unconsciousness, but a defense of personal accountability. The idea of the red pill has unfortunately become a way for people to blame others for their own self-inflicted problems. Yet as true as this is, it does sidestep the essential question of whether or not the Matrix truly exists.
So let's go in the other direction now and see what happens when we have some hard evidence that the Matrix is real . . .
Hard Evidence That the Matrix Is Real
Alone is even harder on Twilight than he is on The Matrix. But neither of these got anything close to the bloody beating he gave over a series of posts (Start here) to The Hunger Games, our third modern Snow White variant. I think it's clear what our resident psychiatrist's least favourite faerie tale ever is. =P Though in fairness to him, he has a point that you can't be a superhero entirely on credit . . . though you just might manage it if you have Peeta for your sugar daddy.
And again, now--yes, just now--it hits me that Peeta really does do everything for Katniss, including taking the poison and enduring the symbolic death and rebirth. And just when I thought nothing could ever induce me to read Mockingjay again . . . #TeamPeeta
Anyway, I bring up Twilight once more because the original reason I wanted to write about The Matrix was to wonder aloud why the latter is such a beloved allegory of reality while the former is such a hated spawner of memes, when they are essentially the same story. Is the culture that anti-girl?
One of the strongest criticisms of the love story in Twilight is that real boys don't act like Edward Cullen--indeed, that real boys who act like Edward Cullen should be avoided as if they were, well, vampires. I totally agree with this point. But am I also the only one who sees that it misses a whole other point? Which is that Edward Cullen isn't a normal boy; he's a real vampire. The Matrix exists. If you don't like that it also sparkles, well, take it up with reality, not with me.
Something I had to concede at the end of our previous discussion was that morality changes when you get out of the Matrix. Some things that were right turn out to be wrong; some things that were wrong turn out to be right. If massacring innocent people who just happen to be between you and someone you are determined to rescue is actually okay, then why isn't sacrificing your entire life as a normal girl so that so that you can be with an immortal lover forever also okay? (Note that the latter results in fewer deaths.) I've seen a million justifications for "taking the red pill" and living your life in the light of the truth, even if it genuinely hurts the people you love. Hey, guess what, haters? Taking the red pill is exactly what Bella Swan does.
I totally called it years ago when I said St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, is the patroness of Twilight fans. No one gets the rote Kapsel better than the virgin martyrs.
Image Source: The Oracle's kitchen