The Gospel According To Neo
May 9, 2003 1:26 PM   Subscribe

The Matrix and Religious Undertones? Sci-fi fans, philosophers, Buddhists, and evangelical Christians are finding resonant themes in 'The Matrix.'
posted by turbanhead (77 comments total)
 
You're kidding.
posted by soyjoy at 1:32 PM on May 9, 2003


the other way to look at it is a very violent film filled with garden-variety blasphemy that exploits people's resonance with the Christian narrative to fool people into a story that is fundamentally atheistic

hmmmm.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:34 PM on May 9, 2003


Whoa, it's like, soooo deep man.
posted by Potsy at 1:39 PM on May 9, 2003


Like so many pop works before it -- Star Wars is probably the handiest -- the fact that so many people can apply their personal religio-spiritual interpretations to the film can only mean that it's an empty vessel with no inherent meaning of any weight. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a piano and walks like a refrigerator, it's probably not a duck.
posted by blueshammer at 1:48 PM on May 9, 2003


I agree with monkeyboy.

It's about as deep as a puddle.
posted by mealy-mouthed at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2003


...the fact that so many people can apply their personal religio-spiritual interpretations to the film can only mean that it's an empty vessel with no inherent meaning of any weight.

you could say that of just about any work of art and it doesn't render it meaningless. pop has nothing to do with it.
posted by poopy at 1:52 PM on May 9, 2003


Bah. The Matrix left me cold. It said nothing interesting. The special effects weren't so special. Pleather does not make anyone look hot. And I only love Keanu when he's in a Bill & Ted movie.

The film was about as deep, philosophically and religiously, as a freshman intro to philosophy discussion section.
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:11 PM on May 9, 2003


The Matrix isn't a deep film, but it does raise deep philosophical questions about skepticism, consciousness, and freedom.

Of course a lot of other sci-fi films raise these questions, but The Matrix has the advantage of being particularly well-crafted. It is a very useful film for introducing folks to some very old philosophical puzzles.

On preview, I agree with ursus_comiter about the level of depth, but I don't see why that is necessarily so bad. Films that attempt to be particularly deep usually only succeed in being particularly boring.

(Full disclosure: I edit the philosophy section at the Matrix website.)
posted by chrisgrau at 2:17 PM on May 9, 2003


it's an empty vessel with no inherent meaning of any weight

Oh. I thought blueshammer was talking about religion. Never mind.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:23 PM on May 9, 2003


what a god-damn joke. I bet the same people that think this is an epic film are the ones who's lives were changed by Fight Club.

From what it sounds, it feels like a forced plot. same way I had a hard time with Stephen King's The Stand. I just felt like he should have picked one catalyst for the end of the world, not tying something scientific into something religious into something metaphysical.

Sounds like the Matrix II is trying to be all things to all people. But I'll keep my suspension of disbelief, sit back and watch the special effects... if they're solid enough, I'll be too into it to notice the lack of plot.

But with Keanu Reeves' monotone style, I can't help but think of Point Break

"you're goin down, Bodhi! it's gotta be thaaaat way!"
posted by shadow45 at 2:49 PM on May 9, 2003


duck, sounds like a piano and walks like a refrigerator

Its a Grand Forte-piano ice-dactyl!
posted by Lord Chancellor at 2:49 PM on May 9, 2003


If you dumb down any reasonably interesting philosophical premises enough to sell them largescale to the American movie audience, then of course anyone will be able to take from it what they will and extrapolate from it anything.

Only really hurts the idea that The Matrix is at all genuinely thoughtful.

In other words, whoa.
posted by xmutex at 2:53 PM on May 9, 2003


People see what people want. Tolkien wanted to tell a good story -- wasn't his fault people saw a lot into that story that reflected their views on society.

And so for The Matrix, there are many stories among cultures that resemble the storyline, just as Star Wars is essentially the basic hero tale spun into a new popular space opera genre.
posted by linux at 3:12 PM on May 9, 2003


Yeah, I never really saw Star Wars as some religious metaphor, I always saw it for what it really was- a ripoff of Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:17 PM on May 9, 2003


Well, I for one base a lot of life and my own perspective about what it means to be alive on the Matrix.... BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAH.
posted by xammerboy at 3:21 PM on May 9, 2003


You people are devoid of wonder. I pity you.

I'm usually a pretty scabby, cynical bastard, but sometimes, I just don't know...
posted by majcher at 3:35 PM on May 9, 2003


Majcher-- Then you might also get a lot out of Dude, Where's My Car, full of philosophical quandaries that someone of such wonder could chew on for hours. May I also recommend the Kant-ian brain-bender of Two Weeks Notice starring Hugh Grant.

No doubt you'll be amazed and perplexed.
posted by xmutex at 3:47 PM on May 9, 2003


Wow, since when did being easily amused or awed or entertained become such a bad thing?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:52 PM on May 9, 2003


Ah, I see. Because I like one particular movie, and see slightly below its surface, I must be a slavering fanboy for every single piece of crap out there.

Now I understand the depths of your philosophical acumen. Very well, then.

Maybe others would like to give some examples of the profound and ponderous films that convey their favorite thinkums to the masses, instead of just mindlessly slagging the one put forth?
posted by majcher at 4:02 PM on May 9, 2003


As a mefite, I'm clearly far too intelligent and thoughtful to be challenged or interested by anything in a popular mainstream movie.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:08 PM on May 9, 2003


I also got a lot out of that one movie with the chick that had those tits.
posted by xmutex at 4:10 PM on May 9, 2003


don't let it get you down majcher...xmutex is electro and his brain is bigger than the popular masses...
posted by poopy at 4:20 PM on May 9, 2003


Maybe others would like to give some examples of the profound and ponderous films that convey their favorite thinkums to the masses, instead of just mindlessly slagging the one put forth?

i didn't like The Matrix that much, but i did see some slight Buddhist analogies. it's hard not to look at all the cubicles around me and think that our civilization's attachment to material items has made us all slaves to a grand, exploitative scheme that will eventually destroy the world (then again, i'm a communist).

other films that pushed my philosophical buttons ...

* Henry Fool - Hal Hartley's best, i think, questions the notions of art, artist and qualification
* Star Wars - a universal force that can be used for both good, yet is more powerful in its evil incarnations?
* Donnie Darko - examines ideas of space, time, and free will
* Unforgiven - redemption, honor, equality, and justice are all amorphous ideals

just a few that come to mind. come on ... even thought the CSM article was weak, i like this topic.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:21 PM on May 9, 2003



Wow, since when did being easily amused or awed or entertained become such a bad thing?


Yeah no kidding..There's no shame in enjoying Dude, Where's My Car? I mean, really. At least it doesn't take itself too seriously. :)
posted by puffin at 4:38 PM on May 9, 2003


Friend of a friend a couple weeks ago, in a sorrowful voice after watching a Matrix II preview: "Dude, do you realize that there are people in this world whose favorite movie isn't The Matrix?" 'Course, I'm on the Matrix-bashing side of the camp, but I still thought it was bloody hilarious.

So I think Fight Club is a movie that does a damned good job with its philosophy. On the other hand, when I watch The Matrix, I hear scenes that are like the director jumping up and down and screaming "HEY AUDIENCE!!! LOOK! This is an Alice in Wonderland reference!!" Somehow, the Matrix just comes out feeling really shallow, and I think the reasons for that are twofold: One, it relies on making analogies to the thick books the authors like instead of making any definite statements, and b) it's really scattershot - the way it crams ideas in, it gives none of them any deeper treatment.

Fight Club on the other hand makes no allusions that I can recall, instead setting up the concepts on its own. It also sticks with everything it sets up: Alice in Wonderland dies halfway through the Matrix, but the curse of materialism runs through just about every scene of Fight Club, and is reinterpreted in at least three different lights: The Narrator's attachment to his stuff and the void in his life, the same matierialism viewed from the outside ("I am Jack's Spleen?" Who reads this shit?), and the double-edged sword of the aesceticism at the Paper Street house. The identity theme also runs through the entire film, and is also approached from multiple angles: "You are not your car," "Who is Tyler Durden?" and "How can you know anything about yourself if you've never been in a fight?" And the list goes on from there... One of my friends sees the whole film as an expression of masculinity being suppressed by an increasingly bland, mother-oriented zeitgiest (society of men raised by women, aspects of Marla, vaginal shape of the chlorine burn, and so on). It makes a solid statement on that, even if it may not have been wholly intentional. The Matrix, on the other hand, seems just to be referring to other people's homeworks.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:47 PM on May 9, 2003


They killed off Switch in Matrix Uno, and she was the true unsung hero of the first movie. So y'all can read whatever ya want into Matrix Tuo. For me it's all downhill from here.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:25 PM on May 9, 2003


I don't really see any of the stories in the bible as scintillating craft either. That's not why people tell them, quote them, study them. They contain ideas and symbols which you can turn over more than once in your head, or have a long conversation about. They ask questions worth asking, and leave some interesting mysteries unsolved.

Whether the plot of the story (or the Matrix) does an exhaustive or even particularly tasteful treatment of every theme it invokes isn't really the point. This film franchise has created some powerful images, which people are using to explore and think about old themes. War. Slavery. Awareness of self. Questioning consciousness. Fate vs. freewill. Those themes are very clearly evoked by the film.

The Matrix isn't actually a screwball comedy about a cable installer who falls pathologically in love with a customer. Whatever your feelings about its quality as a story, it is a story about an enslaved race of people at odds with their awareness of self, going to war with at best arguably sentient enemies, led by a messiah figure who transcends normal human boundaires.

It is also a power fantasy for the computer-oriented. Granted. And anyone who hopes to be given some pearl of wisdom by watching it is hoping for too much. But the images are out-of-this world, and many of them light up the surrounding themes admirably enough.

Personally, I never got much out of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
posted by scarabic at 5:46 PM on May 9, 2003


I just got through telling my wife "It's not bad science fiction, for a film, but the supposed spiritual subtext is pretty hamfisted."

The sparring-program part is utterly cool, though.
posted by alumshubby at 6:00 PM on May 9, 2003


Whether the plot of the story (or the Matrix) does an exhaustive or even particularly tasteful treatment of every theme it invokes isn't really the point.

No; I was using this analysis to talk about why the thematics in Fight Club come out tasting a lot better than the allusions in The Matrix. Of course, your average viewer or even myself would not normally sit down and think, "Oh, Fight Club has much better storytelling because of the blah blah blah." I think this level of narrative finesse is something we take for granted, and don't really have to talk about to benefit from. It's like throwing a baseball: you can sit down and plot a trajectory or you can just throw the ball. Most the time, we're quite happy to just throw the thing, but in certain situations it becomes desireable to look at exactly what's going on.

...it is a story about an enslaved race of people at odds with their awareness of self, going to war with at best arguably sentient enemies, led by a messiah figure who transcends normal human boundaires. ... It is also a power fantasy for the computer-oriented.

And maybe this is another reason the film doesn't sit well with a lot of people. messiah + power fantasy = huh? There's a feeling that throwing all of this stuff into one big pot with the $160 million as the setup and the exclamation point is somethow diluting everything inbetween. Are the authors of the film writing this for themselves or for the audience? Are they sitting in their back room, saying "Ok, people like messiah stories, so let's allude to a few and give that slant to the plot, and they also like stories about oppressed people fighting back, so we can turn that into Act II"? Are they setting out to make a nice sociopathic film that is engineered to make people like it?

All of the "Oh, but it's so pretty!" talk makes it look like the fans of the film aren't looking at it critically at all. It's product with the illusion of substance, and I think it cheapens the real substance that it alludes to. Seeing Baudillard in this film sets off a reaction in me that isn't far from seeing a native trying to hock off sacred symbols on tourists.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:21 PM on May 9, 2003


Wow, what a bunch of cynics. Did any of the complainers even study theology or philosophy in undergrad (or at least have the same level of competence)? As someone who actually has a decent background in phil. of sci, epistemology, and phil of religion, I can not think of a movie that presented thesse issues better. And it seems no one else can either. The matrix provided an exciting and applicable narrative to discuss very old philosophical issues. Does anyone really expect it to convey the nuances of Wittgensteinian fideism when people can barely write coherently on it?

More likely, most people think the matrix is bad because it is popular, therefore it must be bad. Most of the philosophy and religion majors I know love the matrix, not only because its an action flick, but it does the best job of conveying old and puzzling issues of any movie in recent time.

Yea it refers to the a lot of different things at once, and in its breadth can appear shallow, but many of the references are very well connected even if they are disparate. For the person who complained about Alice in wonderland refs, read more Carroll. It'll make sense.
posted by nads at 6:31 PM on May 9, 2003


I remember from film classes and various other episodes in my life, when the topic came up, about the most inexplicably successful but cheesy movies of our times, that the key to understanding their appeal, is that they bring up age old questions and fears which have confounded and mystified the whole of humankind for millenia.

One has to imagine that the adherents to these stale religions sense excitement when they see it. Thus, they eagerly pounce upon it. What else is there to be excited about anymore when one's dreams are cauterized by fundamentalist boredom?

When we see sci-fi fans, philosophers, Buddhists, and evangelical Christians propping up the anaemic Left Behind movie sequels with voluntary treatises and exploratory stream-of-consciousness prose, I think we'll know that our time on Earth's about up. Absolutely no pun intended either.
posted by crasspastor at 7:25 PM on May 9, 2003


Yeah, I never really saw Star Wars as some religious metaphor, I always saw it for what it really was- a ripoff of Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.

Have you actually seen 'The Hidden Fortress'?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 7:29 PM on May 9, 2003


"...Is that they bring up age old questions and fears which have confounded and mystified the whole of humankind for millennia.
One has to imagine that the adherents to these stale religions sense excitement when they see it..."

How do these two thoughts go together? A movie bringing up age old questions in an appealing modern setting is bad? By stale religion you mean age old questions are stale and so bringing them up again is bad? Doesn't matter if they are brought up in modern clothes? Doesn't matter that people still care about them?

If Descartes was alive today, he would have used the matrix, not an evil demon as a device to represent his concerns over his epistemological equipment.
posted by nads at 7:52 PM on May 9, 2003


it's ok crasspastor.... there is nothing to fear from these barbaric heathens.... i have faith that reasonable minds and those brave souls who lead the charge (aka the 'enlightened' ones) will eventually save us. in the meantime, you can always pat yourself on the back for knowing that you were right.
posted by poopy at 7:56 PM on May 9, 2003


Maybe others would like to give some examples of the profound and ponderous films that convey their favorite thinkums to the masses

Well, it's not about religion or cosmology, but since the scope has expanded to include Fight Club, I'll gladly throw in one that is rich in ideas about identity as a form of differentiation vs. connection, and which crafts them to such a fine point that by movie's end, every new line or gesture sparks multidirectional vectors of meaning, and that's Housekeeping.
posted by soyjoy at 7:58 PM on May 9, 2003


Wow, what a bunch of cynics. Did any of the complainers even study theology or philosophy in undergrad (or at least have the same level of competence)? As someone who actually has a decent background in phil. of sci, epistemology, and phil of religion, I can not think of a movie that presented thesse issues better.

Gotta agree with you there. If fact, it is exactly the qualities everyone seems to look so down on that gives it it's punch. There's a reason why immensely more people have read the Bible than have read Kant. Why the Mahabharata has influenced an order of magnitude more human beings than Baudillard. They do convey spiritual and philosophical thought, but they do it - very delibrately - with engaging stories.

The philosophy sections of libraries are largely filled with long tomes of minutae, whose thought, language, and vocabulary is fully accessible only to extremely small groups of scholars. In fact, most don't attempt to do anything other than that. Creating a work that is accessible by, and resonates with, large numbers of people while still posing - in a fresh form - some of the ageless questions ... is exceedingly difficult. In many ways much more difficult than writing a complex, convoluted work of rarified philosophy that can only be understood by other philosophers.

Simply because thought is complex does not imply that it is somehow "deeper", or more correct. I certainly appreciate the works of pure philosophy. (Am currently in the middle of Merleau-Ponty's The Visible and the Invisible). Wonderful for sharpening the brain. But I'll certainly fully enjoy the Matrix II as well ... it does different, but somehow similar things.

That fact that something is part of what (in this century) is called "pop" culture is certainly not a reason to dismiss it - indeed, the story-telling aspect of some of the world's greatest works were themselves intended by the authors themselves to introduce ideas into widespread circulation.

Ultimately (in my opinion) the true test of whether a work of philosophy (popular or obscure) is successful has to do with the transformative effects it has on people. No book, or movie, or anything else can state the fundamental truths of human existance - but they can cause changes inside of human beings that open their lives to other possibilities, or alter their perspective in new and unforseen ways. I'm not saying the Matrix or Star Wars are in the same league as some of the ancient classics - but for more than a few people alive right now, they may open doors, and cause them to come into contact with ideas that do contribute to their lives.

I like the crazy Persian:

"My self, when young, did eagerly frequent,
Doctor and saint, and heard great argument,
About it and about, but evermore,
Came out by the same door as in I went ..."

As intense, and deep, as works of pure philosophy can be, at the end of the day it's readers are still simply people sitting in chairs reading. The Matrix, and other movies in the genre, may themselves be superficial, but they are superficial in ways that may induce more than a little depth in the audiences that enjoy them.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:59 PM on May 9, 2003


Schuchardt, who was mentioned in the article, has an interpretation of the Matrix at metaphilm, and it appears that the site is ready to jump at the second movie as soon as possible.
posted by footballrabi at 8:35 PM on May 9, 2003


The Matrix is simply a movie, and as such, is meant for entertainment-and it did a good job at that. If it made us think about the nature of reality, cool-but not required.

Now on the other hand, I can analyse O Brother Where Art Thou for days and never be bored.
posted by konolia at 8:52 PM on May 9, 2003


ursus_comiter: The film was about as deep, philosophically and religiously, as a freshman intro to philosophy discussion section.

I think a good freshman Intro to Philosophy class can be one hell of a deep and interesting experience. For the well-initiated some of the themes in The Matrix might have seemed a bit trite, but I think the kung fu makes up for it.

What I found interesting about The Matrix wasn't the perception / reality stuff, or the Christian or Buddhist themes, because there's nothing terribly new or interesting being said there. What I find compelling about the movie (besides all the fun special effects and ass-kicking) is the exploration of a group of characters that live in a world where everyone around them lives in a reality that they know is a fiction.

What a great metaphor this movie is in that sense. Most people I know walk around believing that God exists and that Jesus is going to save them, that U.S. foreign policy is structured around something other than political and financial gain, that marriage is something other than an arbitrary religious or cultural construct projected onto human relationships, that it matters in some way whether a given person likes having such relationships with someone of the same sex, that a person's desirability has something to do with how fat or thin they are, or that any of the other random values they happen to have inherited from their culture are unquestionably the correct values to hold.

I look at all of this and I think, "That's just a big heap of bullshit", but it's 100% real to these people, and there's no unplugging most of them from it. It's not that I imagine some link between my own subjectivity and The Way Things Really Are; in some cases the values I hold are just really different from those held by most people I know, but that's still a deeply alienating experience sometimes. And in other cases I could easily demonstrate to people that they're buying into a fiction, but for most of them the blue pill looks so much more appealing. And who knows what fictions I'm caught up in myself.

So if you'll pardon me for getting all Holden Caufield on you, sometimes I can really relate to the depressing situation these characters are in. An interesting sequel for me would be one in which Neo et al. get plugged back into the matrix with no way of getting unplugged, so they have to live out their lives in that world, knowing it's all made-up but having no choice but to deal with it.

That said, I haven't read much about the actual sequel, but I expect it to be lighter on the philosophy and heavier on the action and special effects, and probably one hell of a good time.

Also: What Nads said.
posted by boredomjockey at 9:03 PM on May 9, 2003


konolia: Now on the other hand, I can analyse O Brother Where Art Thou for days and never be bored.

I feel like that about the movie Crash. Most people I know hated it, but I think it's fascinating.
posted by boredomjockey at 9:07 PM on May 9, 2003


What about The Matrix and blaxploitation films? That 70s Matrix reads more into both the last century and this one than any religious zealot. The results are about as hollow, but much more amusing.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:30 PM on May 9, 2003


I think a good freshman Intro to Philosophy class can be one hell of a deep and interesting experience. For the well-initiated some of the themes in The Matrix might have seemed a bit trite, but I think the kung fu makes up for it.

Well, I actually know kung fu a LOT better than I know philosophy and the kung fu was pretty weak.

But really, the only thing about this film that REALLY got under my skin was the whole humans as battery thing. Dropped me right out of the movie and I never got back into it. How hard would it have been to say they were using human brains as a supercomputing cluster instead?

If it weren't for that I wouldn't have the hate on for the film like I do. I'd just be indifferent.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:44 PM on May 9, 2003


I never do this, but:

Metafilter: a bit trite, but the kung fu makes up for it.
posted by dhartung at 9:50 PM on May 9, 2003


Last time this came up, I left the thread feeling less critical about The Matrix than I had been. The references to simulacra are really well developed; an example of an understanding of a subject.

The fact that "the Wachowski brothers assigned Keanu Reeves to read this book before filming began" is also hilarious.

I had, on first viewing, thought The Matrix was genius. Then I realized how stupid some of the references are, and noticed that in interviews the worst references always come up. I started to wonder if they even knew what they were talking about.

This whole debate is moot, though, until the sequel comes out. If it's crap, then the so-called genius of the Wachowski brothers can be attributed to some aesthetic similarities to cyberpunk and anime.

inpHilltr8r:
Yeah, I never really saw Star Wars as some religious metaphor, I always saw it for what it really was- a ripoff of Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.

Have you actually seen 'The Hidden Fortress'?
I hope that XQUZYPHYR responds to this question. It's possible he's young and hadn't seen Star Wars a dozen times before anyone made the connection. Or, he could be really old and Japanese?

This ripping-off of foreign movies is hopefully done. I'm not completely against remakes, but I do think it will be really hard to keep foreign films secret, with the Internet and whatnot. I personally saw Reservoir Dogs and did not realize it was a rip-off of City on Fire until years later; but I did see the parallels myself, firsthand. I don't think I'll have the opportunity to experience that realization again.

Also, about shadow45's comment:

what a god-damn joke. I bet the same people that think this is an epic film are the ones who's lives were changed by Fight Club.

I believe Fight Club would have changed my life. Like The Matrix, it's derivative. It's also very personalized, drawing from some obscure sources. It is the ultimate modern Catcher in the Rye, just as The Matrix is "almost" the perfect live-action cyberpunk anime.

I think Falling Down was the first Fight Club-type movie I saw. (Rebel Without a Cause, etc. are not to be forgotten.) Then, of course, there was S.F.W.; and that one was completely botched from book-to-film. When the copyright expires, or somebody fiends for cash, I really hope they do a good job with The Catcher in the Rye, the movie.

(On preview.)
boredomjockey:

Please don't let this be a thread derailer, but I don't think fat-versus-thin judgements are an artifact of the Matrix. Thin women really are more attractive. Not "more valuable," maybe; but certainly easier on the eyes, and fingers, etc. Relating to The Matrix, though; it is interesting how attractive women are bred--and conditioned--these days. There is a surplus of extremely hot women, and I do believe it hurts relationships.
posted by son_of_minya at 9:56 PM on May 9, 2003


So. The idea of human beings being used like Duracell batteries just broke that spell of disbelief for ya, eh? I guess you couldn't enjoy movies based on a character like Superman either, what with some crazy idea about an alien looking just like human beings but being able to fly and stuff. Yeah that's pretty far fetched.

It's a movie! It's supposed to be far fetched. If I wanted something that took itself too seriously, I'd watch a documentary about Woodstock. If you watched Matrix again after turning off that part of your brain that expects movies to actually depict reality... I mean what did you do when you watched Blade Runner and figured out that the entire plot is based on the idea that a company made humanoid constructs with built in obscolescence but didn't install an on/off button?
posted by ZachsMind at 10:04 PM on May 9, 2003


Soyjoy: me too. But then, I'd loved the book for years. It was a great adaptation.
posted by divrsional at 10:35 PM on May 9, 2003


Metafilter: Much too intelligent for film.
posted by Wingy at 12:05 AM on May 10, 2003


Yeah, I never really saw Star Wars as some religious metaphor, I always saw it for what it really was- a ripoff of Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress.

That's only true if you think the main characters from SW are C3P0 and R2D2 :D

By that same rip off token I never liked the first Matrix movie much because it seemed like a rip of Dark City, which I thought did a better job of raising the issues of freedom and consciousness. All in a much more stylish package, with far better actors. Keanu means well I'm sure, but give me a break with the total inability to emote.
posted by zarah at 1:01 AM on May 10, 2003


I realize some people are imputing a twinge of pompousness in my prior post. Allz I was saying was that "age old questions" tend to be the locus of most every sucessfully told fable or tale. If one simply wanted special effects, one could buy an Apple G4 and have at it. I'm neither for or against the Matrix as a vessel introducing existentialism to the general populous. The fact is, is that is does exactly that, which some here say the Matrix trilogy is too stupid to do. It's obviously gripping enough to engage at least certain vast swaths of some demographic or another.

Again, all I'm saying is that there are formulas for a good tale. The Matrix appears to be just that, a good tale, in and of it's eye candy to boot. The story fascinates many, I believe at least, because it illuminates many of the dark recesses in the just-so justifications for most every facet of life we take for granted. I am merely positing that this is due to a great many who don't take much time out of their life for pondering deeper unanswerables. It's fascinating. And as I say, "If it's fascinating, there must be at least something timeless about its appeal.
posted by crasspastor at 2:33 AM on May 10, 2003


For the love of all that is holy! (on re-reading the thread)

I actually see eye to eye with MidasMulligan. Crazy.

How do these two thoughts go together? A movie bringing up age old questions in an appealing modern setting is bad? By stale religion you mean age old questions are stale and so bringing them up again is bad? Doesn't matter if they are brought up in modern clothes? Doesn't matter that people still care about them?

I just realized I want to address this directly.

A stale religion or philosophy is one that is no longer on the cutting edge. And by not being on the cutting edge I mean, it's become a code to live by, not an inspiration, no matter how pedestrian, to dream by. These questions The Matrix so sophomorically raises, like it or not, have been touched on, lampooned, lives been dedicated to solving and driven many to do themselves in throughout the history of civilization. But even still, it's exciting to uncover something new. Even if it be via a commercial blockbuster epic starring Keanu Reeves. And here, I think, is what value The Matrix holds:

Can Keanu Reeves possibly have a future once the Matrix has been solved on the silver screen? Perhaps we can look for a Keanu/Tarantino comeback summer 2018. Fourteen years -- No Keanu.
posted by crasspastor at 2:58 AM on May 10, 2003


Alright. I think I just realized nads and I have been talking past one another.

crasspastor, nads.

nads, crasspastor.

pleased to meet you.
posted by crasspastor at 3:08 AM on May 10, 2003


Yeah. A lot of talking past one another going on here.

I'm not saying that philosophy in a film is a bad thing; Fight Club is, in my opinion, an excellent example of a film that carries a good deal of intellectual baggage quite successfully. I'm saying that the Matrix fails to carry its philosophy well. Naming a character Trinity does not make her a valid interpretation of Christian mythos; the allusions are there, but these ideas don't seem to carry much actual weight in the narrative structure of the film. Conversely, there's obvious resonances with Plato's Cave, but I don't remember hearing any allusions to this in the course of the film. The narrative content is, in many places, disconnected from the ideological content. There are Christian elements, but, as messiahs go, I'd have to say that Neo has a lot more in common with a Final Fantasy character than Christ.

And, yes, I've read Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and The Hunting of the Snark and enjoyed them immensely. And I still think the use of Alice is pretty hamfisted in the film. Yeah, Neo accepts a call to adventure which takes him into a fantasy-like world. But so do about 3 in 5 characters in mythic narratives. 'Alice' is suitable in this film only because Wonderland is so completely fantastic. I'd be cool with its use if we didn't just ditch the theme after the first half hour of the film. There's no effort at all to make the messiah story talk to the Alice theme. None. It is this communication between thematic elements that can create real depth in a film so dense with allusions.

As for being a cranky cynic, well, yeah. Kind of. I like watching the film, but I think it falls way the hell short of the ongoing wankable status its been given. I'm kinda cranky about listening to people talk about how deep this film is for the last four years. If it were less popular, I'd certainly have less reason to be cranky, since fewer people would be harping on it all the time, but I seriously doubt that a lack of popularity would make it any better in my eyes. I probably would have forgotten the title by now. Hell, Fight Club was popular as hell, and I liked that. And Waking Life sucked balls despite being underground. So let's bury that line of reasoning.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:50 AM on May 10, 2003


If you have problems with the "Duracell-people" story, imagine this alternate beginning.
posted by MzB at 7:45 AM on May 10, 2003


imagine this alternate beginning.

I did, actually, as my post above said. That's not what's in the film though, is it?

And I can enjoy Superman, because while it's a crazy idea on the face of it, it's part of an initial assumption when you go see it. There also isn't much of an attempt to explain things in depth.

The duracell thing is one of the linchpins of the setting and was like a slap in the face to me because it was so damn stupid and at the same time in your face. The issues raised about Blade Runner were elided in the film.

If The Matrix weren't trying so hard to give itself a heaping helping of gravitas, it might have gotten away with it. I loved Spiderman last year and it was goofy as all get out. Made it much easier to forgive it for its lapses.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:43 AM on May 10, 2003


Also, keep in mind that if the Duracell thing had not been there I would have still been indifferent to this film at best. It did nothing to blow up my skirt. I was therefore that much less willing to forgive.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:45 AM on May 10, 2003


I think the Alice in Wonderland reference was more inspired by Jefferson Airplane than the actual book. They do make direct reference with the mirror and whatnot, but I think that's just a carrier or a bridge. It's a very hip reference.

Also, the crucifixion imagery is a really common element of science fiction. Remember Omega Man? I haven't come up with a good idea yet, but I think that concept is ripe for parody. I just wonder if the regular film-going public would understand that it's pop culture reference and not blasphemy.
posted by son_of_minya at 10:31 AM on May 10, 2003


Thin women really are more attractive. Not "more valuable," maybe; but certainly easier on the eyes, and fingers, etc.

son_of_minya, politely, you're fulla shit. They are more attractive in - and ONLY in - terms of the current popular conception of what "beauty" is. At differing times and places, there were very different standards of attractiveness. Just yesterday I came across these (NSFW) pictures from the turn of the century. See a difference from the current ideal?

Two other quick points:

1. Is there something wrong with just relaxing and enjoying a good adrenaline rush action film? Must EVERY cinematic experience be suffused with deep meaning? For god's sake, shuddup and eat your popcorn.

2. Pleather doesn't make anyone look hot? I will NEVER understand you, ursus. Carrie Anne Moss was smoking hot. Each time I see that movie I am just a thread of stern self-control away from becoming a Tex Avery wolf, just stamping and howling.
posted by John Smallberries at 9:21 PM on May 10, 2003


Just yesterday I came across these (NSFW) pictures from the turn of the century. See a difference from the current ideal?

Yes. They're not as attractive.
posted by son_of_minya at 12:03 AM on May 11, 2003


ZachsMind:

It's a movie! It's supposed to be far fetched. If I wanted something that took itself too seriously, I'd watch a documentary about Woodstock. If you watched Matrix again after turning off that part of your brain that expects movies to actually depict reality... I mean what did you do when you watched Blade Runner and figured out that the entire plot is based on the idea that a company made humanoid constructs with built in obscolescence but didn't install an on/off button?

Exactly so. It's a fairly solid action movie that rips off a lot of Hong Kong action movie tropes. My main problem is that a lot of people read stuff into it that was never there to begin with and the Titanic sized plot holes irritated me as well. Also, marketing hype always sucks.

The "Joe Keanu software developer that saves the world" meme was waaaaaaaay too fanboy for me to ever believe it or take it seriously.

One name: Carrie-Anne Moss. I'm blissfully happy to watch her in just about anything. She makes me drip sweat like rain.

Damn, that's a bad analogy, but it's the truth!
posted by mark13 at 4:06 PM on May 11, 2003


Yes. They're not as attractive.

wait, really? They seem to fit a generally healthy body type - do you think they're overweight? I didn't think people really believed in the overly skinny ideal...
posted by mdn at 6:50 PM on May 11, 2003


mdn:

wait, really? They seem to fit a generally healthy body type - do you think they're overweight? I didn't think people really believed in the overly skinny ideal...

I really did not intend my original comment to be a thread de-rail. It was made in response to a charged comment, in which the poster wrote that a politically correct worldview is reality; and specifically that using fat/thin comparison to judge desirability is wrong.

boredomjockey wrote that it is an artifact of the Matrix "that a person's desirability has something to do with how fat or thin they are," in his (I assume) tongue-in-cheek analogy between his life and The Matrix.

I saw the comment by John Smallberries as a cheap shot, and so responded in more detail by way of e-mail.

In response to your comment: You have to realize that there were many extremely hot actresses, singers, and dancers in the past. I don't think the ones posing nude were the cream of the crop. And you have to realize that the view of women those days was completely different from what it is now; not just the view of female physical beauty.

I'm basically acussing Smallberries of making a false analogy, but giving him the benefit of the doubt that he was making a qualitative judgement.

The linked photographs were of cheap women, taken at a time when men thought women were just baby making machines, when nude photographs were a taboo. While it is a social construct to demand such high amounts of beauty as we do today (and I said as much in my original comment), the beauty itself is not wrong, and I think it's better to judge a nude photograph on how beautiful it is than to just drool over any bare skin.

If I go any further here, people will be coming out of the woodwork to bash me. Just suffice it to say that I do not believe beauty is completely relative, that there is such a thing as a universal physical idea, and that the ideal is desirable
posted by son_of_minya at 7:35 PM on May 11, 2003


John Smallberries, our disparate aesthetic tastes serve to utterly destroy minya's claims of objective standards of beauty. Carrie Ann Moss leaves me limp. Most of the women in those old time photos were fairly hot. Of all the Matrix cast, I thought Mouse was hot. No one else.

Also, let me reiterate that I did not find the Matrix to be a good action movie. Even if it didn't have a philosophical side I would not have enjoyed it. The kung fu was very weak and the rest of it did nothing for me.
That made it much easier for large plot holes and stupidities to take me out of it. It's a lot easier to be forgiving if you're actually enjoying the movie.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:59 PM on May 11, 2003


son_of_minya: Your tastes and mine are quite different. Personally I tend to dig the bigger girls. Not sure how your Universal Physical Ideal model would account for that.

Brilliant demonstration of my point nonetheless. ;)
posted by boredomjockey at 9:22 PM on May 11, 2003


ursus_comiter: You're comparing two women who were cast in a big budget Hollywood film. Of course they are both attractive, and some may find one more appalling than the other.

I am not talking about individual taste, which can be attributed to childhood experiences or cultural environment.

I am talking about the reality of a physical ideal, which may not even be apparent to mere mortals.

If you can recognize, and state, that there is an ideal kung fu, how can you fail to recognize that there is an ideal physical beauty?

My personal taste in women is also way outside the norm (or the basest level of commonality within any culture), and is only vaguely representative of the ideal. However, I do recognize that such an ideal exists. However they may be distorted by artificial social constructs, there are characteristics which are universally attractive to human beings.

boredomjockey:

It is important to distinguish between "ideal" and "attractive." I think George Clooney is close to ideal, for example, but I don't find him attractive. Similarly, there's a girl at work who is close to ideal, but I don't find her attractive because she looks too much like my sister when she was her age.

The woman I actually think is most attractive -- to me personally -- right now is actually pretty far from the ideal. Most of the common characteristics are there -- as they are in most big-time actresses -- but she has imperfections. Imperfections do not negate true beauty, but only make it possible for personal taste to become a factor, and all human beings are imperfect.

I may be setting myself up for a stalemate by saying this is a complicated subject, but I ask that you think about the deeper issues and not declare victory based on your preference for chub versus my preference for bone.
posted by son_of_minya at 9:52 PM on May 11, 2003


Of course they are both attractive, and some may find one more appalling than the other.

That was not a Freudian slip, and I wish to Hell I had caught it. I meant to write "appealing." If it was me, and I saw that, I would abuse the error as much as possible. Please don't. ^_^
posted by son_of_minya at 10:01 PM on May 11, 2003


ursus_comiter:

Leaves you limp? Bummer for Carrie. . . ; )
posted by crasspastor at 10:55 PM on May 11, 2003


Crasspastor, If it meant that much to her, I guess I could take the blue pill.
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:03 AM on May 12, 2003


son_of, since this thread is effectively derailed now, I gotta point out that you seem to be confusing a global ideal of attractiveness with a global average or mean. In other words, different cultures in different times have had wildly varying "ideals" of beauty. Finding anything close to a common denominator among these doesn't prove the existence of one objective ideal, only that divergent things can ultimately be averaged out.

Also, you don't really help your case with this...

I am talking about the reality of a physical ideal, which may not even be apparent to mere mortals.

Uh huh. But it's apparent to you somehow. I know this may look like a cheap shot, but it's not. In arguing this case, you seem to be retreating to the "It can't be proven, but it's true because God said so" strategy. If not, please explain how this differs.

And since I'm here anyway, let me just say to divrsional: I loved the book, too, but I read it after seeing the movie several times, and came away believing (in the only case I know of) that the adaptation actually improved on the source. In particular, the ambiguity of the train-track ending seems much richer and more satisfying than Robinson's pat epilogue. But the book still rocks.
posted by soyjoy at 7:18 AM on May 12, 2003


The thing about the Matrix that stops me taking it seriously is that its philosophical ideas (what if none of this is real? ho hum) are just plot devices. In that respect it's no different from other 'what if?' sci fi films such as Terminator and Blade Runner. The plot holes prove that it doesn't take its own premise seriously. It's decent enough entertainment but it's not supposed to be anything more.
posted by Summer at 7:51 AM on May 12, 2003


I know this may look like a cheap shot, but it's not. In arguing this case, you seem to be retreating to the "It can't be proven, but it's true because God said so" strategy. If not, please explain how this differs.

No, I'm retreating to the "it's true because Plato said so" strategy.
posted by son_of_minya at 12:28 PM on May 12, 2003


soyjoy: You do make a valid point, but it is not applicable to the type of logic I am using. Since you asked for an explanation, I'll comment again here.
son_of, since this thread is effectively derailed now, I gotta point out that you seem to be confusing a global ideal of attractiveness with a global average or mean. In other words, different cultures in different times have had wildly varying "ideals" of beauty. Finding anything close to a common denominator among these doesn't prove the existence of one objective ideal, only that divergent things can ultimately be averaged out.
My argument does not rest on the fact that there are common elements in all women considered attractive. That is just one piece of evidence, or an example, that should help in understanding what I mean. Maybe the format of my comment made it appear that I was making a deductive argument, but that is not the case.

To really prove my case would take a lifetime, and in truth it could probably never be done.
Also, you don't really help your case with this...

I am talking about the reality of a physical ideal, which may not even be apparent to mere mortals.

Uh huh. But it's apparent to you somehow. I know this may look like a cheap shot, but it's not. In arguing this case, you seem to be retreating to the "It can't be proven, but it's true because God said so" strategy. If not, please explain how this differs.
It may not be apparent to mere mortals for two reasons. 1) The ideal does not, and has never, existed. There is no perfect example of female beauty, in reality. There is only the perfect concept of female beauty. And, 2) Human beings are blinded by artificial social constructs. Though there is an ideal, that ideal is not always anywhere close to what people promote as the ideal.

Take Playboy magazine, for example. While it does contain images of beautiful women, it presents a very masculine version of female beauty. Breast implants, overly athletic builds, and heavy makeup, IMHO, are not the ideal. What they are is an example of artificial social constructs at work. Because feminists want to blur the lines between genders, Playboy presents androgynous images of both males and females. Because misogynists and/or cynics want to objectify women, only the features of high dollar strippers are exaggerated and prominently displayed.

You can see the same thing at work if you ever go to a ring girl contest. Invariably, the most beautiful woman will not win. The one that will win is either the most white woman, or the most black woman; usually the most white woman. It has nothing to do with an objective comparison between the women and the ideal, but has everything to do with artificial social constructs and neuroses.

It is not apparant to "mere mortals" that there is an ideal. You've proven that by questioning it yourself. Whether philosophers are above mortal, I don't know, and maybe it was a little to snarky to say that; but I do know that the typical person is completely blind to reality. In some areas, I'm sure, I am also blind to reality. If you believe that I am blind to reality, though; then why do you not acknowledge that my point has merit?
posted by son_of_minya at 11:10 PM on May 12, 2003


OK, now I'm just confused. What does that last sentence mean? Why would I acknowledge that a point has merit on the basis of you supposedly being blind to reality? I'm not being rhetorical here - I truly am confused by this.

Also, this line -

It is not apparant to "mere mortals" that there is an ideal. You've proven that by questioning it yourself.

reminds me of the joke "Why do elephants paint themselves green? So they can crawl across a pool table without being noticed. Have you ever seen an elephant crawl across a pool table? See? It works!" and its variants. But that's a joke. The twisting of logic is used for humorous effect. Is that what's going on here? And in the "blind to reality" reference? I guess I don't get it.

I can't say categorically that there is no ideal, just as I can't say categorically that there is no God, or no Ether, or no Matrix, or whatever. As long as we're arguing from within a closed system where access to "the truth" is impossible, such absolute statements are fallacious - but that includes the statement that there is an ideal. Without such access, it seems, you'd need to present some kind of compelling circumstantial evidence, which hasn't happened yet. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

Maybe if I had ever been to a "ring girl contest" I would understand your point. I guess I don't get out much. But I have seen Playboy, er, once or twice, and it seems a pretty comical example. First, how are heavy makeup and breast implants "androgynous"? Was that a sarcastic passage? And while Playboy has certainly played a role in fashioning our concept of desirability, the body types of Playmates, and the way they're presented, has ebbed and flowed over the past 50 years in the magazine just like hemlines. Are they closer to the "ideal" now than they were 20 years ago?

Lastly, as an aside from this whole aside, if you weren't being ironic with the line "feminists want to blur the lines between genders" you should be aware that this is a misunderstanding of feminism, which is about equal rights rather than androgyny. Feminists as a whole find nothing wrong with any individuals expressing their sexuality through whatever roles, games, outfits or social constructs they wish. It's the restriction of roles - the enforced imposition of one game or another onto a particular gender - that feminists have a problem with.

Sorry if I'm getting overly pedantic and misconstrued why the line was used. Chalk it up to my being confused, OK?
posted by soyjoy at 8:25 AM on May 13, 2003


Why would I acknowledge that a point has merit on the basis of you supposedly being blind to reality?

Because at the center of my argument is the concept of people being blind to reality. For ideals to exist, there has to be a higher level of reality, or at least a firm level which is not entirely subjective. For so many people to deny that ideals exist, they must be blind to reality. I am saying that, yes, I am blind to reality, but that you are even more blind than me.

It is not apparant to "mere mortals" that there is an ideal. You've proven that by questioning it yourself.

You have not proven that by questioning the existence of ideals, ideals are not apparant to you? I'm not talking about pink elephents or "the force" here. I'm talking about you denying that ideals exist. As in, "Everything is relative. There is no form of anything that is intrinsically better than other forms."

I can't say categorically that there is no ideal, just as I can't say categorically that there is no God, or no Ether, or no Matrix, or whatever.

You see??? The Matrix is real!

Sorry, but you are being overly pedantic and misconstrued. I give up, and am no longer taking this seriously.

And while Playboy has certainly played a role in fashioning our concept of desirability, the body types of Playmates, and the way they're presented, has ebbed and flowed over the past 50 years in the magazine just like hemlines. Are they closer to the "ideal" now than they were 20 years ago?

I know what you're trying to do: You're trying to drive me crazy with your nonsense so that you can make a fool out of me when I finally snap on you.

No, current playmates are not closer to the "ideal" (and I love how you put that in quotation marks, like it's silly to even think there is an ideal) than they were 20 years ago. The peak was some time in the 1970s, and has been distorted ever since. Bettie Page was, IMHO, the first woman to be widely recognized as ideal who actually was close to ideal. That recognition drove her insane, as it drove Marilyn Monroe to commit suicide.

To actually be exceptional is devastating. There's nothing that can make a human being question the meaning of life more. This is why I don't think it's such a bad thing that women with frog lips or freakishly big asses are held up as the ideal in the media.

And about your comment about my misusing the term feminists or not understanding feminists -- I say to you that you do not understand language. There are feminists who blur gender lines, and you said as much yourself. So why the hell are you taking issue with my use of the term? I just couldn't think of what else you would call the misguided women who work at Playboy these days. I think they would call themselves feminists.

The answer: you have personal issues related to something I said, and you have danced around the issue. You probably do not even know why this bothers you so much, and I warn you that opening this can of worms may not be pleasant.
posted by son_of_minya at 2:26 PM on May 13, 2003


To actually be exceptional is devastating. There's nothing that can make a human being question the meaning of life more.

I don't find it at all devastating to be exceptional.
posted by kindall at 4:39 PM on May 13, 2003


Wait, I'm opening a can of worms? You know better, son_of, and admitted as much back at "If I go any further here, people will be coming out of the woodwork to bash me," when your proposal of a universal ideal had already been trashed six ways from Sunday by several different users. Then you did go further and started on this "mere mortals" stuff, and I had to say something - not to bash you, but to offer you the chance to either clarify or step back from what seems to be hyperbolic and confused rhetoric.

So now I'm being "overly pedantic and misconstrued." I'll grant the latter, because I still can't quite get my head around the logic, if there is any, underlying your theory. And "pedantic" is a no-win claim to rebut: If I refute it with logic, that "proves" your point. If I ignore it, that "proves" your point. But I'm afraid it's logic that is sorely needed here, and that's what I'm not getting from you. Don't bother conjecturing about my "personal issues" or trying the age-old "you probably do not even know why this bothers you so much" (another no-win: "Yes I do know why this bothers me so much!"). Just explain your own point logically for once and maybe I'll get it. You seem to think I'm attacking you personally or something, when all I'm doing is questioning your claims and trying to sort out what you mean from what you say.

For ideals to exist, there has to be a higher level of reality, or at least a firm level which is not entirely subjective. For so many people to deny that ideals exist, they must be blind to reality. I am saying that, yes, I am blind to reality, but that you are even more blind than me.

OK, I got that part. But please try to get this: Just because someone - you, me, or anyone else - is blind to reality doesn't mean that ideals do exist. That's the converse error. The logic you're using is exactly the same as that in my elephants-on-a-pool-table example. You need to give us something else here, something that actually does make your case. Every person on the planet being blind to reality doesn't do it.

The next part of your post, beginning with the words "It is not apparent," I'm going to ask you to scroll up and reread. After I quoted your "mere mortals" line back to you, you again put it in italics, quoting it back to me and taking issue with it as though you're arguing with me. I think it indicates a confused, convoluted position when one begins arguing with one's own previous argument.

Then you move on to ascribing a position to me that I've never held or expressed, even spelling it out in words I've never used: I'm talking about you denying that ideals exist. As in, "Everything is relative. There is no form of anything that is intrinsically better than other forms."

But not only have I never said anything of the sort (nor would I), I've never denied ideals exist, nor would I try to. Since the first time I addressed you, I've only been concerned with the fact that you have failed to make a case for an ideal existing, which is only worth talking about because you used the notion to "prove" that several other people were "wrong" about attractiveness. All along I've only been asking you to back that up with something that makes sense, and I'm still waiting.

Then we get to the Playboy thing, where immediately after calling my posts "nonsense," you launch into an even more bizarre passage about when the magazine "peaked" in your opinion, and women who were - in your opinion - closest to ideal. That's great, but I thought we'd already established that everybody has an opinion, and instead we're looking for something more than that.

And I "do not understand language" - that's rich. I won't even go into why, but it was good for a hearty chuckle.

As to "feminists who blur gender lines," I'll confess that I still don't get what the scope of your original comment was - it sounded like a generalization, but now you say it only meant women who work for Playboy. Fine. I don't see how working for Playboy would make a woman a feminist, nor how anything about Playboy seeks to "blur gender lines," but going further into this will just make the larger discussion even more convoluted, so let's drop that whole angle.

Look, I bear you no ill will, son_of. Maybe you think I'm toying with you or adopting a rhetorical pose to mock you; I assure you that I'm not. I have no firm position on whether ideals exist, but you seem to, and maybe you have a very good case to make in support of it, but you haven't made such a case yet.
posted by soyjoy at 7:32 PM on May 14, 2003


soyboy:

The problem with accusing me of making a "converse error" is that you are not distinguishing between deductive and inductive logic. Yelping in pain does not prove that you were kicked, but it would be a perfectly logical possibility.

This is what I meant by saying you are being pedantic. You are taking so-called textbook logic too seriously in a forum where it would be inappropriate to lay out friggin' theses for every comment. If you just wanted to understand my comment, all you had to do is take a step back and think on your own. It is no mistake that my comments have raised more questions than they answered.

As for the nonsense about Playboy and Bettie Page, I was being sarcastic. Some might call it trolling, and you bit.

If you have no issue with what I wrote, and only wanted to understand it better, you failed. I do take some responsibility, but it takes two people to communicate.

You just need to stay outta my Kool-Aid.
posted by son_of_minya at 8:14 PM on May 14, 2003


"Textbook logic," my ass. Just about everybody in this forum understands how to make a point, argue it, prove it or disprove it. It has nothing to do with layin' out friggin' theses. It's just called making sense. You ain't doin' it.

All you've done is noisily take issue with other people's valid points and then dance through a dozen different diversionary tactics when challenged, failing to ever directly answer sincere questions or provide any kind of rationale for having provoked the original argument. If you think it's some kind of achievement to "raise more questions than [you've] answered," you might want to consider that all the questions are variations on "what the hell are you trying to say?"

I'm sorry you felt threatened by having what turns out to be a non-point and/or mere trolling examined as if it was an actual point worthy of consideration. You can bet I won't make that mistake again.

If you have no issue with what I wrote, and only wanted to understand it better, you failed. I do take some responsibility, but it takes two people to communicate.

Yep. It takes two people to lie, one to lie and one to listen.

I'll stay out of your Kool-Aid all right. G'night.
posted by soyjoy at 9:29 PM on May 14, 2003


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