Essays in Honour of Dr. Norman H. Young
Edited By Kayle B. de Waal and Robert K. McIver
John’s Apocalyptic Matrix: Violence and Virtual Reality Ancient and Modern
Loma Linda University
“The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us, … It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth… Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.”1 “What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer-generated dreamworld built to keep us under control…”2
Morpheus, in The Matrix
Violence, ultimately, is about power and control. It is the last resort when negotiation, manipulation and other means fail to keep things “under control.” It is a tool by which the powerful control the weak. It is a tool by which the weak manipulate the powerful.3 But violence has an evil twin, deception.4 Communism and Naziism, for example, exerted authority with force, the governmental use of violence. But their propaganda machines also used deception to blind their people to the oppression they were suffering.
Violence and Deception in The Matrix
The Matrix movies portray a similar mixture of violence and deception.5 These movies connected powerfully with the first post-modern generation.6 According to Adam Gopnik, “The first film struck so deep not because it showed us a new world, but because it reminded us of this one.”7 Read Mercer Schuchardt called it “a new testament for a new millennium.”8 The subplot of the movies is a war between...
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