The Matrix is in all places – you’ll be able to really feel it if you go to work, if you go to church, if you pay your taxes, or when controversial figures fully misunderstand it on the web. The Wachowski sisters’ Matrix trilogy not solely left a groundbreaking cinematic legacy, the mix of trendy motion and thought-provoking philosophy had an enduring affect upon the consciousness of popular culture, immortalizing ideas such because the pink tablet, glitches within the Matrix, and look good in a floor-length leather-based coat. The Matrix tapped into an innate psychological worry that each one society is a lie, and people themes stay related over 20 years later.
Weirdly, The Matrix has additionally been dragged kicking and screaming right into a tradition warfare. The movie and its ideas have been referenced by a slew of public figures occupying the extra divisive finish of the social spectrum, most just lately trending because of YouTube star Logan Paul, and every of them twists The Matrix in a method that both runs counter to its meant that means, or has little foundation in actuality. Somehow, The Matrix has develop into a go-to buzzword for personalities who fully misunderstand the movie, whether or not by chance or by willful ignorance.
While The Matrix‘s vernacular had already been adopted by fringe teams and on-line activists, the movie’s unusual new placement in trendy society first grew to become headline information because of Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump in 2020, with Musk tweeting, “Take the red pill,” and Ivanka replying, “Taken.” Sadly extra than simply two movie buffs quoting from their favourite sci-fi basic, the “red pill” remark marked a shift wherein a time period beforehand hijacked by controversial males’s rights actions was taken mainstream by the president’s daughter and one of many world’s richest businessmen. Immediately, this shock rebranding of the Matrix pink tablet concept felt disconnected from what the movie was really about.
Exactly what Musk and Ivanka meant by “take the red pill” was by no means clear, nevertheless it is similar to the fashion of pro-conspiracy rhetoric seen all through Donald Trump’s political profession, within the aftermath of Joe Biden’s election, and elsewhere. In an astounding flip of occasions, a Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne scene from a 1999 sci-fi film had develop into a rallying cry for the political hard-right – an insinuation that society should get up to “the truth” that “they” had been making an attempt to hide. Co-director Lilly Wachowski’s reply to Musk and Ivanka – “F**k both of you” – left little doubt this interpretation of The Matrix mythology was an inaccurate distortion.
Unfortunately, Lilly’s clear-cut response to the that means of The Matrix being contorted in such a method has completed little to cease the misinterpretation spreading. In January 2023, self-proclaimed misogynist and social media persona Andrew Tate was arrested in Romania on disturbing fees of human trafficking and rape. Tate rapidly posted “The Matrix has attacked me” – the newest instance of him blaming the elusive “Matrix” prefer it had been some intangible, invisible enemy. Continuing that development, Logan Paul later tweeted “the matrix is real. pray you never become its target” as he grew to become embroiled in a cryptocurrency scandal.