The movie's impact isn't as heavy the second time around, but the special effects and the action scenes are just as delicious to watch. Today, I went with Mr. Lake to see it. He was really sick of me ranting about how good it was and wanted to see it for himself. This was all part of the "let's make it up to Mike 'cause I had to have him pick me up in NYC" Mike-weekend.
"What do you want to do this weekend, sweetie?"
"Dinner and a movie."
"Okay. What do you want to eat?"
"Italian. I want something with tomato sauce."
He looked at me with a gleam in his eye. "Do I have a choice?"
I giggled as I snuggled up to him. "Of course you do, silly man."
He held me tightly. "Well, since you can't stop talking about it, I figured it would be an apt choice."
I asked him how did he feel about an afternoon showing, since the evening screenings would probably be packed. He seemed to pause but accepted my reason and we booked it over to the Secaucus Loews theaters for an afternoon watch.
After the movie was over, Mike shrugged and thought it was 'okay', but he doesn't understand what made it so exciting for me. After a few hours of post-movie discussion and a long walk, he came to the conclusion that I like things in the movie for things not on the screen. My love for Trinity's character and style and outfit colors my image of the actresses performance in her role. "It's like Stephen King. You like his writing, so you immediately think that he's good looking even though objectively, you do admit that he's not good-looking at all."
I can't help but agree. I want to be Trinity, with short-cropped hair and vinyl skirts. I want to know Kung Fu and Ju Jitsu and (heh) Drunken Boxing. There's something appealing about meeting someone that will say to me: "Eileene, I am going to set you free." even when I think I'm not in slavery. I've had people tell me that about drugs,,, Eileene, smoke some weed with us... free your mind, babe. but that's not the same thing. Whenever someone offers me the truth or understanding, I find it tempting. It's the scientist in me. It longs to see.
In The Matrix, there is a Judas-like character, an informer that betrays the rebellion. The informer offers the machines Morpheus in exchange for returning him into the Matrix. He wants to be removed from his miserable existance in the real world. He wanted the illusion and lies.
I'm a natural hedonist with a scientist's heart. I've asked myself the question of whether I would want the truth (in all of her harshness) or the illusion (with all of its pleasures and securities) many different times in my life. I think my first real exploration of this was in context of religion. There was a point in my life when religion offered me security and assurances. I was given an instant family in religion. A path that I was to walk on. A context and safe haven. An almost predestined future in the church. But then I remember a conversation I had with the (quite liberal) minister of the church. I was nearing the end of my indoctrination.
"Brother Felix, is it okay to ask questions?" I asked. Every lesson we had together, I always brought a handful or so of questions trying to question the teachings and I had become self-concious that I was the only student asking questions.
"Eileene, it says in the Bible (I have forgotten where, Constant Reader. Somewhere in the New Testament.) to never stop looking for the truth."
"But, how far can I question?"
"Someone who has seen other beliefs and have chosen this one is strong in their faith because they have seen other things and have found more truth in their faith."
He left our church less than a year later... and at that time I left the church too. He was replaced by a far less liberal minister. One that seemed to spout belief without really believing in it. But I was scared to leave the church. I was afraid of what I would find out there... afraid of the search for the truth because I had gotten used to the security the church afforded. Then I thought about what Brother Felix said.. about wanting the truth. And I wanted to look for it. I guess, Brother Felix was the truth for me. He lived his life believing and loving, the epitome of Christ's teachings. When he was gone, I saw how empty the church became and I left looking for other truths.
I have never looked back.
I broached the subject of "ignorance brings bliss" again in late high school when reading Thomas Moore's Utopia. But the book made me see that in ignorance you might find happiness, but it's happiness founded on the principle that you know nothing better. Did I want that? Objectively, no. I don't. I want the truth. And I'll suffer for it.
It's like the question about your friends. Would you much rather know the harsh truth from a friend even though it would make you unhappy or would you rather be told a lie and remain ignorant and happy? I've had both happen to me with different friends (which I found out later the truth) and I'd much rather be told the truth. The hurt of not being told the truth is, in the long run, so much more painful than the truth now. Time and time again, I experience this.
I might regret taking the red pill. For a few fleeting seconds. Then I think about how not being told the truth would eat away at me. And how unhappy that would make me. I might be unhappy with the truth, but it's one that I would be able to live with. Not knowing is the worst for me.
I hate surprises. I hate not knowing.
Border graphics from The Matrix Screensaver from The Matrix website
© Copyright 1999, Eileene Coscolluela