It is but agony of desire.
Tamerlane: Edgar Allan Poe, 1827
The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters.... You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
Morpheus, The Matrix
In the brilliant movie, The Matrix, reality is not as it seems. The reality that people think they are living is only an illusion, a dream. Keanu Reeves plays the main protagonist and when he becomes unplugged from the Matrix (humans are used as organic energy to perpetuate the Matrix), he becomes the super-hero, Matrix-resister, Neo.
The American matrix is the fantasy that claims that war criminals like Colin Powell and John McCain are "war heroes." You know the matrix I am talking about---the one where leaders of the USA can literally get away with murder and live comfortable lives of peace, instead of being held accountable. Yes, this is the same matrix that is telling you that a tax evader like Timothy Geithner can effectively lead our Treasury and robber barons that contributed to the current economic collapse, like Lawrence Summers, Paul Volcker, Ben Bernanke and Robert Rubin, can cure the crisis. Where war supporters like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Rahm Emanuel can be trusted with the delicate balance of foreign relations. Where we "hope" that lobbyists (turned federal employees) for war and robbery are going to serve our interests and not the interests of the matrix. This American matrix relies on the sad fact that info-tainment passes for unbiased-hard news these days.
While I am at it: it's the same matrix that says killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people from the poor brown communities here in America to the poorer brown communities in Gaza, Baghdad and Kabul is "self defense," or justified by another big matrix con-game: GOD. The US has a matrix where millions of people live (barely) on the streets when millions of housing units stand vacant. This is a matrix where health care and quality education are not rights, but only readily and easily available to the robber-class. The matrix tells us: "Thou shalt not kill," then hypocritically goes about the business of committing "State Sanctioned" murder.
Since Barack Obama emerged as the candidate for the Democratic ½ of the USA's matrix of the grand delusion of democracy and choice, I have been feeling so frustrated because some of my friends and colleagues have plugged back into this matrix. Barack Obama is only the product of millions of dollars of research and slick mass marketing and he was hawked to us as a "New and Improved" version of the same crappy product. The same old soap was just put into a new box and when our clothes come out of the washing machine looking the same, we will be convinced they are brighter and have a fresh new fragrance because our TVs told us that's what we should believe. Could we have been set up, yet again?
Some of our fellow Americans are fortunate enough to be born into aware families and were never plugged into the matrix. Some people unplug themselves due to many factors, like being misused in a war for the matrix, economic hardship, or other social oppression. Some people voluntarily plug themselves in because it is easier than having to think.I think more people are rejecting the audacity of hype, though.
I cannot, as much as I would like to, take the easy way out with mass hypnosis and plug back in. On April 4th, 2004, my umbilical-like connection to the matrix was irrevocably smashed to smithereens when I fell on the floor screaming in agony over the murder, by the matrix, of my oldest child, Casey. My connection to the matrix cannot be spliced back together because there is no cord left. Casey is dead because we were plugged-in. So many others are dead, or in danger of dying, for the same reason.
I am not saying that Barack Obama is not a more articulate and intelligent matrix functionary than George Bush was, but that's exactly what the matrix desires. It wants us to foolishly plug-in and tune out.
I am confident that the Bush error has left a bad taste in almost everyone's mouth for this disordered matrix and the people who have once unplugged themselves, will find it easier to do so again when Obama finally demonstrates to them that he is also a servant of the matrix.
To those of us who are permanently detached from the matrix, there is no "giving Obama a chance" because he is "better" than George Bush. We know delay means more people will die, be impoverished or violently suppressed/oppressed.
To blindly trust any system is inherently dangerous. It is healthy to step back from the matrix and always level a critical eye and if necessary rise up in rebellion.
Thank goodness, the US matrix has always had true humanists who refused to conform and plug-in: Thomas Paine, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, Sequoyah, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Eugene V. Debs, Jeannette Rankin, Dorothy Day, Emma Goldman, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Nader, and many, many other sung and unsung heroes who have stood up to the matrix not only for their own rights, but for your rights, too!
Un-plug, un-plug, un-plug!
Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Casey Sheehan who was KIA in Iraq on April 04, 2004. She has published three books, been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was an independent Candidate for Congress in San Francisco, is currently the host of Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox and Grandma to Jonah.