Have you asked yourself What year is this? How is this happening? Its impossible. You struggle to make sense of it all and the more you see how the sausage gets made in America, the less appetite you have for it.
Im gonna go out on a limb.
Im a geek so I see metaphors in popular culture.
A majority of Americans for the first time, are starting to realize the truth. Born into bondage in a prison you cant see or touch until rudely awakened by the perfect storm of the global pandemic, economic tailspin, and abuse of power overseen by an inept despot who let the cat out of the bag.
The predicament we find ourselves in today in the grip of a fatal error that threatens to crash the entire system unless something intervenes to stop it is much like the predicament of the films.
And, that film holds the key to a better future.
The premise that the real world was actually a future dystopian nightmare where human beings were merely replaceable batteries to support a system that they were totally dependent upon. While 95% of humanity lived oblivious to their servitude within an artificial construct of the titular Matrix.
Today, we all support and are totally dependent upon a hyper-capitalist system, fueled by rampant consumerism, for-profit prisons and war, governed by an elite that holds the very people that support their unchecked hedonism in utter disdain.
Very few knew the truth. Those were Morpheus and the Zionists waring against the machine system. But, those freedom fighters were themselves also duped into thinking their actions were outside the system. When in fact, the resistance was only another layer of control for humanity.
I see a stark parallel.
The sleeping masses, the resistance all operating by design as the 1% continue to pull everyones strings.
Much like the machine overlords within the fictional world of The Matrix. Imwary of all these victories because they are all cosmetic changes.
Another MLK boulevard in an over-policed black community does nothing to address Kings Poor Peoples March that was to kick off the economic changes that his nonviolent marches did to usher in the political changes he championed before King was silenced by an assassins bullet.
I ask you, how does retiring Aunt Jemima or Uncle Bens troubling archaic black stereotypical imaging address the MASSIVE systemic headwinds of White Supremacy black and brown Americans face on a daily basis?
Its VERY easy for the corporate lobby to pat itself on the back for meager acquiescence.
-Painting Black Lives Matter on Fifth Ave. outside Trump Tower.
-Pulling down Confederate statuary.
-Changing the racist names of Football teams that should have been erased years ago.
For example. When Vanity Fair can trumpet they have the first Black Photographer in their history?
Folks can applaud, and representation does indeed mater.
What about the CEO?
The Editorial Staff?
Is their ANY black woman on their masthead?
It feels like wining without an actual prize. These are distractions, light without heat.
Only providing the illusion of progress without the cost of tangible progressive movement to dismantle The System.
Neo meets Morpheus, who offers him a choice between two pills; red to reveal the truth about the Matrix, and blue to return him to his former life.- This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill: the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill: you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
After Neo swallows the red pill, his reality falls apart, and he awakens in a liquid-filled pod among countless others attached to an elaborate electrical system.
He is retrieved and brought aboard Morpheuss hovercraft, the Nebuchadnezzar. In a former iteration of the Matrix, the machines wished to impose a perfect world on humans in an attempt to keep people content, so that they would remain completely submissive to machines, both consciously and subconsciously, but humans were not easy to make content.
As in the Matrix, most people are so dependent upon the current system, they will fight to defend it. And depending upon your political views, both left and right claim they are the truth-tellers.
In the film as in life, people are their own agents of deceit, and so in order for them to know the truth, they must choose to openly pursue truth. Complicated by the fact that bias is rampant among media and most consumers dont take the time to source what they intake or repeat.
Red pill has become a popular phrase among cyberculture and signifies a free-thinking attitude, and a waking up from a normal life of sloth and ignorance.
Red pills prefer the truth, no matter how gritty and painful it may be.
A decade ago, truthiness and fact-checker ratings like Four Pinocchios and Pants on Fire werent part of the political vernacular.
Disagreements over policy have always existedbut disagreements over basic facts have not.
Cognitive ease actually plays a huge role in our everyday lives.
The more you hear it, the easier it is for your brain to accept. This echo chamber is self-perpetuating.
It explains why the partisan divide about basic science is a chasm.
Because Trump wants it this way. He works the refs and reaps the reward of the doubt.
If 1% drop in GDP is a recession.6.5% drop in GDP The Great Recession and a15% drop in GDP in 1929 The Great Depression. Whats 33% drop in GDP if not a Fatal Error?
One of the best examples of cognitive ease exploitation is Trumps propaganda surrounding masks.
Its well documented how blatantly misleading The President was about the severity and or response to containing the epidemic while we had the chance.
The politicization of basic science has made many conservatives resistant to new thinking about the current severity of the pandemic.
Having been told its like the flu reinforced by the phenomenon of cognitive ease and political polarization of masks, has many ignoring basic science and medical recommendations to wear masks and social distance.
As you read this, that COVID burns throughout 33 states unchecked is a direct consequence of Trumps failure.
MAGA purists who repeatedly emphasize Trumps views about our current dilemma, like FOX NEWS helped morphed his dwindling followers from right-wing Trump apologists into by all intents and purposes a militant death cult.
Determined to thwart any common sense methods just to own the libs.
In the end,The Matrix is rebooted, and the Architect encounters the Oracle in a park.
They agree that the peace will last as long as it can and that those humans who so desire it will be offered the opportunity to leave the Matrix.
When questioned about Neos fate, the Oracle tells Sati that she thinks they will see Neo again as Sati reveals she created a beautiful sunrise over the horizon in Neos honor.
Seraph, the Oracles Guardian, asks the Oracle if she knew this would happen. She replies that she did not know, but she believed.
Real systemic change will be traumatic for the oppressed, more so for the oppressors.
Since its apparent even the smallest act of self-preservation and stopping the spread of disease masks and social distancing cause the privileged to lash out in irrational public displays.
Meanwhile, most people at the bottom and the middle are hungry for REAL change.
No more so than the essential workers or disposable batteries depending on if you are among the elite.
A total of 25 states have statutes preempting local minimum wage laws. To date, 12 cities and counties in six states (Alabama, Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin) have approved local minimum wage laws only to see them invalidated by state statute, harming hundreds of thousands of workers in the process, many of whom face high levels of poverty.
If you get paid $15 dollars an hour 40 hours a week thats $600 before taxes. I hear complaints about folks staying on unemployment. Perhaps if folks were paid a living wage theyd go back to work?
Remember, these are the people who are now seen as #essentialworkers the heroes who cannot work from home like you or I can.
Many of these heroes cant afford to shop at the shops and businesses they work for and dont have health insurance in a pandemic? Thats a travesty of the highest order. The wheels come off if they dont show up.
Its attainable clearly today when so much we thought were essentials turn out to be luxuries, and whats essential is invisible to the eye.
When the federal government allows a deadly virus to burn through the country unchecked but can mobilize secret police to terrorize the populace to protect buildings? We clearly see the agenda of those who weve trusted to ensure our safety.
The Elite are empty, corrupt, without wisdom, leadership, compassion, or self-sacrifice for the greater good. The least of us, everyday people are our societal lifelines.
So why do we need the Elites?
Throughout the first film, Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne) is trying to change Neos (Keanu Reeves) limiting beliefs about the Matrix and himself being The One The Oracle told Neo Being The One is like being in love, no one can tell you youre in love, youve got to feel it .Balls to Bones.
There will be plenty who will scoff at the idea that there is even a problem to be solved furthermore creating a better America by telling the truth about history and scraping the lies we tell ourselves about The American Dream.
Dismantling White Supremacy and employing new ideas for systemic change.
Apologizing for Slavery (we never officially have as a nation) and paying reparations to the descendants of American Slavery.
Admitting the truth about entrenched class inequities and the impediment poverty places on real economic growth for the majority of people inAmerican society.
Theres no shortage of Good Trouble we can get into this instant.
Rep. John Lewis called for beyond the grave on his New York Times Op-Ed published the day of his funeral.
I reckon John Lewis was our Morpheus.
The demands of The Movement For Black Lives isnt outrageous by any means. These demands help everyone, not only Black people. I dare say its the way toward a more perfect union.
The Elites are visibly shaken, increasingly desperate and will never be more vulnerable.
Take a look at an Axios HBO interview with Trump. A new low. Frost/Nixon mixed with This Is Spinal Tap. We must act to benefit everyday people. All of us, the disposables. I believe now that we find ourselves with our collective backs against the wall, we can work together to make real, societal change this time around instead of just talking about it.
Most will say, Nobodys ever done this before! My answer- Thats why itll work coppertop!
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