When I first heard that we got to write about the connection between The Matrix and Jean Baudrillard’s theory I was really excited. I knew that the connection between the two was there, and I thought it would be both fun and interesting to write about them. Unfortunately, this really wasn’t the case for me. It felt like a lot of what I wanted to write was too obvious, so I ran out of things to say. I kept looking back at the assignment but that didn’t help either: it also made everything seem too obvious to write about.
So I kept looking back at the readings and my notes. I watched a couple of scenes a few more times. I stared at my computer screen and surfed the internet. I wrote, rearranged, changed my mind and put things back, then rearranged some more. In the end I was left with something that seems to work. Yes, lots of it still seems obvious (I mean, the Matrix is obviously a simulacrum with no basis in reality), but I have a pretty good blend of Baudrillard and examples from the film to make a coherent essay. I might not be saying anything ground breaking, but at least I’m happy with what I am saying.
While sitting in class on Tuesday, Dr. Pound said that news is often now reported before it happens. He gave the example of the Toyota recall, where news channels were reporting what the CEO would say during a press release due to happen the following day. This reminded me of the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies.
In it, Elliot Carver (played by Jonathan Pryce), a media baron, wants to start a war between Britain and China mainly for the headlines. There is a scene near the beginning of the movie where Elliot Carver is composing the headline for an attack which he has orchestrated. I found the clip on Youtube:
This clip shows Elliot making tomorrow’s news today. At about three minutes in, Elliot is conspiring with his media cronies to make headlines. He halts his meeting to receive a call from the people orchestrating the war, and then informs his media cronies “Hold the presses! This, just in. By a curious quirk of fate, we have the perfect story with which to launch our satellite news network tonight.” And then at about 7 minutes in, Bond walks into the middle of a meeting between his superiors with the newspaper. The paper has the same headlines Elliot was playing with at the beginning of the clip; when asked if the general knew about it, he replies “No. It’s the first I heard of it.”