My girlfriend is different. My little nephew (possibly my favorite child I’ve ever met) is different. My adult role models are different. Even my dog is different. I am different and the ones I love are different.
Where I live, there are a lot of creatures who don’t have basic creature rights. If you, dear reader, are from the Philippines, you know what I mean. The most heartbreaking for me was the time when I saw a dog dying on the sidewalk along a busy street. He had open sores on his body. People were walking fast around him. At first I thought he was dead but I saw him breathing shallowly. I bought him food and water and placed it as near as I could without coming within his reach. He didn’t move towards it. I didn’t know what else to do so I just left. I still think about him sometimes. There are plenty of kids who don’t have any clothes. And old people at the end of their usefulness as batteries, who inconveniently refuse to die.
These creatures – it’s likely that there was no crime against them, not one with a name, anyway. No one stabbed that dog and left him to die, he was just neglected. Those kids are naked not because someone stole their clothes, but because they never had any clothes to begin with. Those old people’s pension funds weren’t embezzled, they never had a chance to build one.
All this misery is caused by people just living their lives and going about their business.
It’s like when you’re in a traffic jam complaining about the traffic. You’re part of the traffic. You’re part of the problem, even though you haven’t done anything wrong. Even though you’re obeying all the rules.
All this misery is caused by normal people just trying to live their normal lives.
The paradox – which isn’t really a paradox at all – is that you have to be inside the system to change the system.
The system is the Matrix. People live a dream inside it while their bodies are plugged into a thing that lets them exist without being truly alive. When Neo was unplugged, he found that his real (non-Matrix) body was shriveled and weak. The world outside the Matrix was miserable. The real world was a cold ship (submarine?) All wires and gloom and bad food. Everything that was good and enjoyable was inside the Matrix.
That’s the like the hippies and / or nuts who try to escape society by building communes and starting cults and stuff and give up and go back eventually. Even if they made it work amongst themselves, they don’t change the system at all. They only escaped it as individuals. Which is fine, good for them, but that’s not what I want to do.
What Neo et. al did was step outside the Matrix in order to understand it. To know what was really possible.
And then they went back inside.
Because they know what the Matrix is, they are capable of doing things inside it that other people cannot do. (Backflipping off walls, carrying infinite ammunition and stuff like that.)
The most powerful people know what the system is, so they can defy its laws. They know that the laws are arbitrary, so they do not obey them. (the Matrix gravity does not work on Neo et. al.) Adults aren’t supposed to curse in front of strangers and perform their odd spiritual rituals. G. does it anyway. Middle-aged men aren’t supposed to jump off big rocks and tease their wives like little kids. They’re supposed to be boring and then have secret affairs when they want fun. A. does it anyway, and his life is so full, he is so giving. People my girlfriend’s age aren’t supposed to do anything about social issues besides the usual slacktivism; they’re expected to care about how they look and how much money they make. She doesn’t do any of that, and she’s accomplished much more than most people her age have. Girls like me aren’t supposed to be loners. I am one anyway, and I have been growing exponentially.
Inside the system, things like having cool shoes, looking good, having the right degree, these matter – they have weight. If people understood they system, they would know that these things only have as much weight as other people will let them have.
The worst people are also the ones who understand the system. Having the ability doesn’t make you good or bad – Neo et. al and the alien whatevers have the same abilities inside the Matrix, but one side is bad and the other is good.
I think I need this to be a conversation. Still trying to find my medium.
I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve lived a week in a day.