By Ray Pride

Mark Harris

“Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus lays it all out. ‘The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us,’ he explains to Neo. ‘It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth… that you are a slave, born into bondage… in a prison that you cannot touch… Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the story goes.’

“And there you have it: For all the ways in which it is subsequently elaborated on, that’s really all you need to know to ‘get’ The Matrix and to get everything, both benign and insidious, that it has spawned. In those brief screenwriting gestures, the Wachowskis concocted the perfect one-size-fits-all combination of flattery, paranoia, anti-corporate wokeness, libertarian belief in the primacy of the individual, and ideologically nonspecific anger at the system: a ‘Wake up, sheeple!’ for its era and, even more, for ours. The film has spawned only one piece of durable slang — ‘Take the red pill’ (the uses of which range from the jokey to the horrific) — but its attitudes have worked themselves into and, arguably, toxified much of our discourse. We live, today, in the anti-reality world The Matrix built.”
~ Mark Harris

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