It no longer needs to be rational, because it no longer measures itself against either an ideal or negative instance. It is no longer anything but operational. This, of course, is the concept behind the matrix as presented in the film. Human beings supply the energy by which highly developed systems of computers and machines rule the earth. He deals with the ramifications of the Watergate scandal, for instance. He proclaims that the crisis of Watergate is not about right or wrong.
Rather, it is about misdirection, blue smoke and mirrors. The truth is that our political and cultural systems are devoured by corruption and murky ethics and these major scandals are nothing more than media events for our leaders and stars and heroes to make a great mythic show, to proclaim that fundamental justice and morality still pervade our society.
But, this is just a simulation. The recent incident wherein a Chinese pilot was killed after a collision with a U.
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Both sides interpret the event differently. Both sides claim the other is responsible for what happened. And how do they prove their respective points? Through computer simulations showing how one craft collided with the other from whichever point of view that needs to be advocated. The media shows us military footage of similar encounters as if somehow this video image is the reality of what happened in this specific case for which we have no video image.
We go shopping just to have something to do. We buy things we do not seek of our own accord. Rather, these commodities have found us through the shopping experience and all the hype and marketing that goes into creating that experience. This is even truer today with the emergence of e-Commerce, where money no longer changes hands and goods are not present at the time of purchase.
Rather, decisions are made over virtual images and electronic encryption. Our hyperreality engulfs us, according to Baudrillard, through economic and political systems, through the media in general and through advertising specifically. One can thus create advertising for work, the joy of finding work, just as one will be able to create advertising for the social.
And, today, true advertising lies therein: in the design of the social, in exaltation of the social in all its forms, in the fierce, obstinate reminder of the social, the need for which makes itself rudely felt. This might seem perplexing until you consider the effects of ads featuring Tiger Woods or Brittany Spears upon the masses or, at the other end of the spectrum, former Senator Bob Dole pushing Viagra.
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Telling us what is cool, what is wrong with us, what is correct, what we should do and wear and how we should be. This is obviously the illusion of a freedom of choice, a simulated freedom of choice. We are free to choose whatever is on the menu, but we do not get to create the menu. Corporations and governments and the media and other social systems do that for us. The menu is matricized. Hyperreality allows our lives to be more readily controlled. Of all the things the matrix is it comes down to the enslavement of the human race to a scheme or simulacra of technological systems.
This symbol can be equated to the way Baudrillard views control in our society today. He has the simulated illusion of control devised by powerful systems that use him even in that moment to their ends. Obviously, Neo is actually enslaved without knowing it when he first encounters Morpheus.
Other than the rebels from Zion, no human being is in control of their life. The matrix, that magnificent computer generated reality supported by vast and purely operational systems, is an absolute tyrant. This is more than good filmmaking. It is a metaphor for our time. Baudrillard writes that large political and cultural issues are, in fact, mechanisms of control.
The most critical issues of the day, like the nuclear arms race back in , are not about what they purport to be at all. The balance of terror is the terror of balance. A more current example would be the rapid advances made in surveillance by our government and certain corporations to gain access to our lives. The matrix is a mechanism for keeping people enslaved and literally plugged in to a system that treats them tyrannically without their awareness.
The chapter about nihilism is especially important to this symbolic scheme within the film. That is, the way he is confused, restless, even melancholy about his life. He is directionless.
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Melancholia is the inherent quality of the mode of the disappearance of meaning, of the mode of volatilization of meaning in operational systems. And we are all melancholic. Melancholia is the brutal disaffection that characterizes our saturated systems. Agent Smith reflects all this when he asks a captured and subdued Morpheus if he has ever marveled at the matrix. Billions of people just living out their lives. They are the agents of vast operational systems, sent to protect and perpetuate those systems, like so many media and power driven forces in our real lives.
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Archived from the original on May 25, The film is a perfect product of its time. It is a very modern conspiracy thriller, a film based, like The Truman Show, on the appealingly terrifying notion of a universal conspiracy - that life itself and everything that we know and take for granted are lies. It's also a film steeped in the traditionals of Japanese anime and megamixed philosophy and semiotics spot the Baudrillard references kids. Retrieved January 9, The Matrix was the third in a cycle of movies to arrive in the late nineties with a strikingly similar theme.
Like its predecessors from the previous year, Dark City and The Truman Show, it tells the story of a seemingly ordinary man who suddenly finds that his whole life is faked: he is trapped in an artificially created environment designed to keep him in submission. Like the heroes of those earlier movies, Keanu Reeves' Neo starts to realise that he is somehow special, and tries to escape the confines of his prison.
The Matrix Unlocked. Retrieved April 1, — via content. Archived from the original on August 7, Retrieved January 3, Eleanor A. Lockhart October 3, Retrieved March 10, The Mary Sue. Retrieved October 16, Los Angeles Times. August 8, The Hollywood Reporter. The Independent. Wins 'Matrix' Idea Theft Lawsuit".
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What Is the Matrix?: Jean Baudrillard and Simulation in the Wachowski Brothers' Matrix Series