Re: [Foucault-L] Zizek & Koenigsberg on The Matrix, Human Batteries & the Symbolic Order

The thing that I find discouraging is the fact that it's obvious that Zizek's analysis is reducing it to a demonstration of Lacanian theory. Even if that were so - and personally a million demonstrations of Zizek's type would fail to convince me, as they always seem to "read into" what they analyze - surely it leaves out anything interesting and singular in the themes of The Matrix. He could just as well find these themes in Popeye cartoons, and I'm sure he probably already has!

On 22/01/2008, at 10:30 AM, Andrew Cady wrote:

On Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 12:43:44PM -0500, Orion Anderson wrote:
The Matrix, Human Batteries and the Symbolic Order
By Richard A. Koenigsberg

The Matrix, Slavoj Zizek concludes in his analysis of the 1999 film
<> , represents the "big Other;"
the virtual symbolic order that structures reality for us. The central
image of the movie is that of millions of human beings leading a
claustrophobic life in water-filled cradles. Each human being is a
fetus-like organism immersed in pre-natal fluid, kept alive in order
to generate electricity for The Matrix.

Beneath the delusion of vibrant existence lays the reality of utter
passivity. The human being is connected to The Matrix by what amounts
to an umbilical cord. The Matrix feeds human beings with illusions,
but it is human energy that feeds the matrix. Zizek suggests that
human beings are the "ultimate instruments of the Other's (Matrix's)

The film depicts human-beings as batteries whose purpose is to sustain
the matrix. As the matrix or symbolic order provides us with the
illusion of reality, so does it suck our life-substance. The Matrix
requires a "constant influx of jouissance of those who constitute it."
Bah. The Matrix has humans permanently demobilized in compactly
arranged apartments, connected to one another only through a computer
network, which serves as the totality of their environment. Since the
process of matrixification is clearly occurring in concrete reality,
since as a simple matter of fact we are more and more physically
demobilized and more and more of our lived environment constitutes
"connections of the light kind," these fanciful interpretations strike
me as pure distractions, although I suppose I should not be so negative.
Still, I'll not be clicking that link.

Anyway, know that the "battery" function of the humans in the matrix
movie, so stupidly contradictory of elementary physics, was not part
of the original script, which had the humans providing a computational
function for the machines (as is, in fact, the case for the real
humans, who more and more devote themselves in their productive
capacity to processing information in whatever ways computers cannot).
Apparently the producers of the movie thought this too complicated for
Foucault-L mailing list

[Foucault-L] Zizek & Koenigsberg on The Matrix, Human Batteries & the Symbolic Order, Orion Anderson
Re: [Foucault-L] Zizek & Koenigsberg on The Matrix, Human Batteries & the Symbolic Order, Andrew Cady
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