Friday, May 16, 2003

RELOADED RACIAL STORYTELLING: It's funny--all the programs in the Matrix are gross ethnic stereotypes of one sort or another. Oracle is a refugee from The Color Purple; Seraph expresses himself via martial arts and can't pronounce his l's ("interrocutions" or whatever he said--they made sure he had a terrible accent too.) The Agents are the squarest white guys you've ever heard of. The Merovingian ees as Frahnch as Frahnch can be, mon ami. The Keymaster looks like a Korean immigrant shopkeeper, though he has no accent. Whereas none of the humans have any identifiable cultural origins, besides speaking unaccented English, and many of them--Keanu, Fishburne, that head general guy--are multiracial. Part of it is science-fictiony, probably; just speculation about the people of the post-nationality future would look like. And part of it is probably sly role reversal of Star Trekkish futures with multicultural crews that leave the white people in charge. The rest is your usual shavedy-head sunglass-wearing blather about our posthuman future without any culturally imposed standards or inhibitions blah blah blah blah blah. Not that the Wachowskis are saying that themselves, but it is in there somewhere, I think; Zion is like the whole internal reality of your dark-clothes wearing hipster whose external reality would be the matrix itself and whose viewpoint the Wachowskis are writing large, here, and making substantial. Anyhow, there's your analysis of the racial themes of Matrix 2. I dunno. The Matrix is our empty capitalist society, and people with strong cultural origins only exist as prominent features of the Matrix. What does this add up to?

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