What is the Matrix?
No, and I haven’t seen it, and I probably won’t. Saw No. 1 on TV on a lark once, and it struck me as self-refuting sophomoric gibberish about the world somehow not being “real.” But I’m glad that someone sees the possibility for satire in this pseud claptrap.
Sci-fi films about how the world somehow isn’t real really turn me off. We know the world exists; the only philosophers who’ve tried to deny it did so by assuming it was (i.e. by typing or writing thoughts onto paper or cyberfiles that remained the same the next day, and the next year when the work was published). That is, refuting themselves. Even if, applied to the world, it is “true,” we could never know it and we couldn’t have any effect over even if we could know. I mean, who could possibly walk around day-to-day, *seriously* entertaining the hypothesis that the world isn’t real or is a trick by some evil demon or machine or whatever?
And by “seriously,” I mean acting on the assumption that the hypothesis is true; not engaging in intellectual wankery (anybody can do that; probably I better than most people). And yes, I know the “evil demon” hypothesis was entertained by Descartes during his MEDITATIONS; it was wankery then too. On an analogous point, I stopped listening to Jacques Derrida about textuality and the author’s death when he tried to stop the publication of an interview, claiming copyright protection — the ultimate appeal to “The Author-God.”
As I’ve written about ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA and MEMENTO (I could also mention 8 WOMEN), I have no problem at all with films that hypothesize about (or even argue in favor of) living a noble lie as being better than an ugly truth. But that’s essentially a psychological-moral view. Not a metaphysical one. I check out when “unreality” gets undermined as applying to the world itself — I can never quite be sure about whether the opening sequence of SLACKER is a joke or not.
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