SPOILER ALERT: THAT’S NOT NEO

Merry Christmas! Just wanted to say that to everyone, and also to share something I found interesting about the new Matrix movie:

You may or may not know this, but a few years ago, “redpilled” (a Matrix reference) was being used by online misogynists to indicate that they had figured out the “truth” about women.

9/11 truthers were “redpilled” when they decided to believe “inside job” theories, Flat Earthers might consider themselves “redpilled” when they start believing the Earth is flat, etc. And people who don’t believe those things are “bluepilled.”

This refers to a scene in the first Matrix movie, where Neo is told to choose between a red pill and a blue pill. If he takes the blue pill, nothing in his life will change, but if he takes the red pill, he will “wake up” from the simulated reality of the Matrix and see the real world for the first time. Of course, Neo takes the red pill in the first Matrix movie, and that’s where the internet got the “redpilled/bluepilled” thing.

Sorry for explaining what you probably already know, ha ha. But anyway, circa 2016 or so, online misogynists, pick up artists, etc. were using “redpilled” to indicate to each other that they “knew the truth” about women, this “truth” being bullshit like “all women are manipulative,” “Feminism castrates men,” etc.

At least one of the Wachowskis commented on that, I am pretty sure. And that community may have stopped using “redpilled” but who knows. I think the term has migrated back to non-misogynistic conspiracy theorists, but at one point it was being used by misogynists all the time. 

Anyway, getting to the point, early in the new Matrix movie, Keanu Reeves’ character is shown at least a few times as someone other than Keanu Reeves. A white haired bald man is shown as Keanu Reeves’ reflection at least once, when his character leaps off a roof in a flashback, it’s clearly not Keanu Reeves leaping off the roof, etc. 

This is explained away with convoluted nonsense in the film, as one might expect. And this “Keanu Reeves might not actually be Neo in this film” element is never explained or explored beyond showing a different person in the mirror a few times. 

I apologize if you haven’t watched it yet, but as you may have read or otherwise heard already, “rescuing Trinity” is the main plot point of the second half of the film. “Neo” wakes up again about halfway through and is told Trinity has been captured by the machines again, and is in one of those pod things.

I need to back up here: Carrie-Anne Moss appears in the first half of the film. But she isn’t “Trinity,” her name is “Tiffany” and she’s married to “Chad.”

“Chad” has been used on the internet a lot, to refer to some woman’s handsome boyfriend or husband. The same people who said “redpilled” to refer to becoming misogynist pickup artists would use “Chad” as an attempt at an insult, to the husbands, boyfriends, etc. of women they wanted to date. 

It’s often in the context of delusional “if she only knew the real me, she would dump Chad” fantasies.

And I apologize if I am spoiling anything, but in the new Matrix movie, Keanu Reeves’ character (ostensibly Neo, but with a different reflection at times) only knows Carrie-Anne Moss’s character because he has seen her in a coffee shop. 

Keanu Reeves’ character is basically stalking her character in the movie. But it’s presented as if he is “rescuing” her from a delusion where she loves her husband and children, a delusion where she doesn’t fully remember being Trinity. Keanu’s character also knows where she works, and he goes and visits her – uninvited – at her work in the movie. 

There are probably other instances of this sort of thing that I missed, but in short, Keanu Reeves’ character behaves like a “redpilled” misogynist stalker creep in the movie. And as you know, in the first movie, Neo takes the red pill and unwittingly started the whole “redpilled” internet thing. 

What I am saying is this: in the new Matrix movie, Keanu Reeves does not portray “Neo” at all, Keanu Reeves portrays someone else entirely, a “redpilled” stalker who has delusional fantasies about how he is a superhero and the woman he is stalking is secretly in love with him. 

The entire movie (including “Analyst” scenes with Neil Patrick Harris) is a fantasy concocted by Keanu Reeves’ character, a fantasy that internally justifies his stalking of Carrie-Anne Moss’s character in the film. 

“The Analyst” is not actually the entity running the Matrix, “The Analyst” is just an analyst, and when he attempts to break through all of Keanu’s character’s delusions, the character mentally transforms the analyst into a nemesis and incorporates him into the fantasy. Which of course, the fantasy ends with “The Analyst” being defeated and “Trinity” remembering who she is. 

Which would be just another dumb Hollywood ending, were it not for the fact that the “not Keanu” reflection stops appearing (and stops being mentioned) after Keanu’s character starts immersing himself in “Matrix” fantasies more fully.

At the end (SPOILER ALERT), Keanu Reeves’ character can’t fly because he isn’t actually Neo. At the end, he tries to fly, in order to escape police pursuit, but he can’t do it.

Trinity – the focal point of his fantasy, a wholly imaginary version of Tiffany – *can* fly, and she holds his hand and carries him through the sky, away from the police who are pursuing him.

Which Tiffany or Chad (or one of their children) may have called the police on Keanu Reeves’ character when he showed up uninvited at Tiffany’s workplace.

In short: Keanu Reeves’ character (I refuse to call him “Neo” because I don’t think he’s actually Neo) uses his fantasy version of Tiffany to escape from reality.

This angle may have been totally accidental, nonetheless, I find it interesting.

Anyways, just wanted to share that. Merry Christmas!

Sonnet To Myself

‘Twas my own heart that led my mind astray
‘Twas blindness and desire to see the best
In one whose smile recalled a better day
And seemed to shine more brightly than the rest

But lo, my eyes were lying to my heart
And made a fool of me once and again
I do not blame the smile that did depart
For it was not from Hell, but Heaven sent

For I had lost all thoughts of love and such
And given up on matters of the heart
This revelation may not seem like much
But, for me, ‘twas another world apart.

From the place where my heart lived
With neither love nor hate to give.

April 13, 2021

MY HOPE FOR THE NEW YEAR

I am not, by nature, optimistic. But I am not entirely pessimistic, either.

You know the old “glass half empty/glass half full” thing? It’s usually understood to mean that if you see the glass as half full, you are an optimist, and if you see it as half empty, you are a pessimist.

I don’t think this is as clear-cut as it appears: if my glass of water is half-empty, and I recognize it as being half-empty, well, that implies that I want to refill it.

And if I want to refill it, that implies that I believe it can be refilled.

It is not pessimistic to want more of something good.

So without further abstract bullshit, here is my hope for the new year:

I hope that you – if you haven’t already – figure out that people that are different than you are not a threat to you just because they are different.

They are just people.

Other than a few superficial details, they are exactly like you.

I hope that you – if you haven’t already – realize this.

This is my hope for the new year.

Am I optimistic about this hope? Well, the way I look at it, if tolerance and empathy for other humans could be described using the “glass half empty/glass half full” metaphor, the glass is half-empty.

Which means, I believe it can be refilled.

Will you help refill it?

I hope so. 🙂

Thank you for reading.

…and how much is the prophet shaping the future to fit the prophecy?

Prediction: within a month of this film (which looks badass) being released, there will be scads of blog posts and articles from people who watch this and then read the book, where they will discover that wherever the word “crusade” was used in this movie, the word “jihad” was used in the book.

The two words mean basically the same thing: “holy war.” It’s just that historically, holy wars associated with Christianity have been called “crusades” and holy wars associated with Islam have been called “jihad”.

I get why this change was made: to avoid association with terrorists who consider themselves jihadists.

But what’s gonna end up happening, I bet, is that there’s gonna be a lot more attention paid to the nomenclature used for holy wars in the Dune universe than there would have been if they’d just kept calling it “jihad.”

Which is probably good for marketing… no such thing as bad publicity and all.

Spoiler Alert (I Guess)

You know that song at the end of “Breaking Bad,” the one that plays while Walt’s lying on the ground at the end?

That’s by a group called Badfinger, and oddly enough, their real-world experience in the music industry was quite similar to what happened to Walt in the Breaking Bad backstory:

Walt was in some chemistry startup called “Gray Matter” with a couple of his friends from college (grad school?), a man and a woman, and it’s never really made clear what happened exactly, but Walt was romantically involved with the woman, who ended up hooking up with the other dude, and Walt accepted a buyout of I think $5k or something like that…

And then Gray Matter took off, and the other 2 became billionaires off of the company Walt helped found, while Walt struggled to make ends meet as a chemistry teacher.

I don’t know if this played into the song choice at the end… but Badfinger had a similar experience in the music industry. Long story short, they had hit records and made millions of dollars for record company crooks, meanwhile they were living on 7 pounds 10 a week (guessing that’s about $25-$30 American nowadays; not much money at all) and having to borrow shoes for gigs.

By the way, I watched that documentary after seeing the episode of Peep Show where Sophie Breaks up with Jeff, and Jeff comes over to get his stuff, and Sophie and Mark see Jeff crying in Sophie’s room, listening to the Badfinger song “Without You” as performed by Harry Nilsson.

This is the song, I couldn’t find a clip of Jeff crying:

…which is a shame, because it’s an hilarious scene. Which might sound strange if you aren’t familiar with Peep Show.

You… aren’t familiar with Peep Show? 😐

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What?

It’s like if you worked at the mall.

I mean you like going to the mall (for the sake of argument, let’s say), and you have fun shopping there, talking with your friends and people you meet…

And you need a job, because honestly lately you’re doing a lot of window shopping (and loitering) and you’re having a good time but you’re not really actually doing much actual shopping…

And so one day you’re at the mall and you bump into a friend of yours who has a job at the mall, and they tell you the place they work at in the mall is hiring, and so you go apply for the job and you get it.

And you like the job, and it pays decently well, and you’re at the mall even more than you were before now… except instead of just spending money or killing time, you’re actually making money at the mall, and not only that you actually like your job, and the people you work with, and you want to keep this job for all those reasons, among others.

And so one day you’re at your job, and it’s a pretty busy day (and I said you like this job, I didn’t say it was an easy job), and you’re handling it pretty well and you and your coworkers are in sync and kicking ass and taking names at your respective jobs…

And then your friend you used to hang out with at the mall and like, I dunno, annoy people who work at the mall for fun, that friend comes up to you at your job while you’re super busy and starts talking to you about how you should totally go beat the crap out of that one doosh who works at Corn Dog 7 because that guy sucks and WHOOPS you’re the doosh he’s talking about and he like, dumps a Coke out on the counter and tells you to clean it up, like just to be a dick, and like knocks over the trash can or something, just causes a big stink there in the place where you work at the mall…

And you ask him to please just leave you alone but he doesn’t, he starts yelling at you that he wants to see your manager, and just yelling and cussing and starting a shitstorm at your job…

And you call mall security and have him removed from your store.

That’s what it’s like.

And after that, you can focus on something that actually adds value to your life, as opposed to bickering with some dude you met at the arcade with anger management issues about God knows what, there in the Corn Dog 7 in front of your boss and everybody.

It’s like that, if you can dig what I am saying to you.

If you can’t, don’t sweat it.

Actually sweat it if you want, just not here.

Thanks!