Bingeing The Matrix

By Tracy Karol

I’m a binger. I binge on books. I binge Netflix. I binge movies. I’d binge Starbucks every day if I could (besides my favorite drink, those almond croissants are to die for — possibly for real since I’m sure they pack a load of calories I willfully neglect to discover). So deciding to finally watch the new Matrix movie, The Matrix Resurrections, I first had to rewatch the original three. It’s been 20-odd years since I’ve seen them, and my memory sucks banana balls.

I watched all four (almost)within about 24 hours. Around 1 a.m. last night, my husband came to bed, gave me the look and, not wanting to ruin the end of the movie for him anyway (I’m nice like that), I turned it off with about 25 minutes to go. 

Now I can’t get the damn thing out of my head and I’m debating whether to restart it or just finish the ending. It’s definitely a movie I’ll have to watch again (likely several times) to catch all the bits I didn’t pick up on the first time. I mean, I can’t even remember exactly how Yellowstone ended and that was two weeks ago. Having epilepsy for 20 years diminishes your cognitive skills somewhat, and a more recent diagnosis with young-onset Parkinson’s isn’t helping. Not looking for pity, just explaining. That’s why I can binge so much. Or rather, repeatedly. I easily forget details, or even misremember them.

But while The Matrix Resurrections (minus the ending) is fresh in my mind, I’m wondering what others think. Is it pertinent to what’s happening in society today? To what degree has the government stripped away our choices, our ability to exercise free will? 

To some extent, I don’t believe anyone can do that. We were created with free will. I don’t believe in fate or destiny. I believe we make choices, and those choices are what affect our lives and those around us. People choose to do good or bad things. Those decisions have a ripple effect, often on hundreds of others. I’ve been on the receiving end of bad decisions by people who don’t know I exist. Now, we obviously don’t choose to get cancer (usually; we can decide to increase or decrease our odds by how we live sometimes, such as smoking). With my own health struggles, I can only choose how I respond to them, the treatment I seek or don’t, the outlook I have, and most important to me personally, my spiritual connection with God. I still have that free will.

But back to The Matrix. Governments do have the power to limit our ability to exercise free will as easily as we might wish. Especially if you live in, say, Afghanistan. Or California. 

I’m signing off to finish actually watching the movie, and maybe I’ll have different thoughts once I do. Perhaps some of you readers (if this reaches anyone, since my site is new) will argue that I’m off base and give me a fresh perspective. I’m open to that, to other ideas. Please express them respectfully. 

Thank you for visiting. I have some reviews planned for my next posts. If there’s anything you’d like to discuss, please drop a comment. You can see more of my writing on Quora now, on a wide variety of topics, and soon on Medium.

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