"Matrix" movie

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Mon Apr 5 19:28:59 PDT 1999

Never seen the miscegenation taboo so hard at work though. The one heroic woman in and out of the matrix lives with a couple of rather good looking black men on some desolate spaceship. Always elegant in tight leather, she has to wait for Keanu to fall in love and experience her first deep kiss. None of the black men had expressed sexual interest in her and she not in them. Which makes her especially pure, I guess. Fishburne has to sacrifice his life to keep the genuis-savior Keanu, often referred to as The One, alive so she can finally fall in love and humanity keep its chance for freedom through exit from the matrix. And then there's the old black woman Prophet who not only gives the movie a creepy supernatural side but also reinvents the Aunt Jememiah role for cyberspace--she gets to predict Fishburne taking a fall for Keanu and leather lady falling in love with The One too. At times, the movie also seemed to be strewn will allusions to the video games that pock faced teenage boys play; cyber warrior gets leather chick at the end and all that. There's a real dearth of Asians in the future too, and that gets on my nerves.

All this said, the movie was fascinating to think through as we begin to anticipate and guide the massive changes in human life, including of course virtual reality, that are coming and will come from the electronic storage and transmission of information. In his latest book, Maynard Smith attempts to understand evolution in terms of great transitions in the way information has been stored and transmitted: the appearance of the first replicating molecules--the origin of life itself, the origin of cells; reproduction by sexual means; the appearance of multicellular plants and animals; the emergence of cooperation and of animal societies; and the unique language ability of humans. There the biological analysis culminates, but Maynard Smith suggests that the electronic storage and transmission of information may prove to be another great transition. So movies on the topic are quite interesting especially for us cyber geeks.

yours, rakesh

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