Last night I had this horrible dream about tsunamis. I was in Los fucking Angeles with my family, and every evening the sky would turn purple and huge tsunamis would hit the west coast. SO SCARY. I KNOW! I have no idea how this relates to 1999’s The Matrix, other than the skies being super scary-looking, but I had this sudden urge to look up one of my favorite scenes from the movie to remind myself that my dream wasn’t real, only a perception. I have major anxiety issues.
Watch the scene here:
This time, however, I got an entirely different meaning from it. In this exchange, Cypher tells Agent Smith that he knows that the food he is eating is fake, but that his brain is trained to think that it’s delicious and juicy… Last night I really wanted a $1 Hot ‘n Spicy chicken sandwich from McDonald’s. It was 3:00 am. I know that those sandwiches don’t have real chicken in it, but my brain tells me that I like its taste nonetheless. Why? Is it because my mind is trained to do so? Have you ever seen Food, Inc. on Netflix? I know better than this! Why did I want a Hot ‘n Spicy chicken sandwich so badly at 3:00 am last night?! Gross.
I watched The Matrix for the first time in ’09 for one of my intro film classes. I was a dumb child then. A dozen documentaries later, and more conspiracy theories than I can count, I have decided that we might actually live in a bloody Matrix. It comes down to three simple reasons:
1. We are trained to think bad stuff is good. Jersey Shore, fast-food and alcohol have one thing in common: they don’t enhance humanity. When was the last time you were proud of yourself for eating an entire greasy meal from McDonald’s? Did you ever think Snooki’s behavior was appropriate and needed to be praised? Have you made the best decisions of your life while you were drunk? Think about it. There is a reason these behaviors are widely accepted and given little significance: they are glorified by the media.
2. We are trained to think that nothing is wrong. There is always plenty. When you go to a supermarket, the shelves are always replenished. Everywhere we look, everything is saturated. How could we ever “run out” of this abundance? Everything always seems available and accessible. All the time. Nothing is wrong. How many times do you think: Where does this stuff come from? Where does it all go after it’s no longer useful? How can we possibly throw away so much food when there are people starving to death? How can we take raw materials from third-world countries when their citizens are left to die hungry? Where does all our trash go? What happens to the plastic? We never see any of this. We never think about any of this. All we see is AMERICA, the land of plenty. Nothing is wrong.
3. We depend on technology for everything. Our race is no longer self-sufficient. The average citizen doesn’t know how to hunt, fish or find water in the wilderness, how to start a fire, or how to even keep themselves safe. We have electronic devices for everything: to toast bread, make calls, type blogs, watch media, store media, shave, cook, clean, pay, masturbate, control the room temperature… you get the point. What CAN we do? When did we become so dependent? Why is that widely accepted and glorified?
If all of this was extremely confusing to you, I recommend that you watch a few documentaries on Films for Action. With the recent Chick-Fil-A controversy, don’t you start thinking… How much do I know about corporations and what do they do with my money? You give them money all the time. Think about it.