The Matrix and the Individualist-Politically-Correct Machine

Alvin Mayorga


There is no mind-body problem. There is no such thing as a brain in a vat. There is no solipsism. No Platonism. No such thing as an autonomous-transcendental “mind” that, a priori, distinctly supplies the final narrative of some-things it calls “objects” and their role in a larger story, i.e., “reality,” which it reads as a reflected image emanating from its “outside.” We do not live in an illusory realm. Metaphysics is a joke. Epistemology is laughable. Cartesian doubt is an outdated bore. It is time we discard this nonsense for good!


Thinking about the film “The Matrix” can be very exciting, fascinating, and illuminating if one does not contaminate it with the mind-body problem or with Cartesian dualism, which unfortunately, is precisely what is done by many philosophers since the film was released. 

The Matrix is not about the mind-body problem, it is rather about the realization that there is in fact a reality that is certain, but one which is being covered up by something or someone. Morpheus himself tells us: “the Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”. This truthof which he speaks is precisely how the World is; it is common sense reality, it is common sense certainty, and it is the social norm which permeates our existence.

The Matrix covers up this reality, this common-sensecertainty, and provides its alternative vision of the world which it passes for “truth”. Yet, this “vision” or “illusion” is merely a blindfold that is only possible precisely because there is in fact a real World in the first place; a real World that is somehow now a threat to it. The Matrix represents control and misinformation. 

Today, I see a Matrix. I see the manipulation and control of the politically-correct machine. I see the exacerbated, sick—anti-norm and anti-common sense—individualism that is a threat to our very existence as the beings that we are: the individualist-politically-correct liberal machine is busy at work! And it never rests. Its “blindfold” is trying to cover up reality; trying to cover up who and how we are.

Being is forsaken. We are meant to see the norm which permeates our Being as a threat. The World is overlooked and obscured. The World: social and biological construction, the norm that structures our Being and which shapes our identity, and the socially meaningful organized referential-whole on the basis of which entities like us make our existence intelligible. The common-sense notion of the World and the importance of the social norm are being covered up.

The individualist-politically-correct machine attempts to make us resent the absurdity of existence and the paradoxically harsh, yet beautiful, reality of our everyday lives. The possibility of authenticity and the aesthetic expression by which we can create our individual essences is blocked from view. Instead, now we have a ridiculous individualist spectacle that somehowhas been presented as being more important than the vital influence of the social norm and more important than our biological construction that together shape our behavior and society itself. The individualist-politically-correct machine tells us: “you can do whatever the f*** you want, you can be whatever the f*** you want… challenge your oppressors!”

It does this while it itself is the very embodiment of control, oppression, misinformation, and ultimately…destruction, i.e. the destruction of Being! 

Nonetheless, the resistance is here! Ready to overcome Cartesian dualism. Ready to fight the individualist-politically-correct machine. Ready to uphold Being and the art of existing as the beings which we are. Ready to defend reality!


We are not minds, we are not subjects, and we do not have a multiple self. Primarily, we are, and subsequently, we think! Cartesianism is flawed! Ontological pluralism is fundamentally wrong! We have a unified self which is unfolding through time: the past is our historical development, our present the undertaking of history, and the future what we cannot help but mutually create. We do not first start as individual subjects set apart from society as if society were somehow alien and a threat to us, but rather, we are society! The individualist-politically-correct machine wants to make us all feel like oppressed victims—but guess what?! We are all both victims and victimizers. We are all the oppressed and the oppressors! We are the norm. We are society. We are reality. Common sense beckons us…and we ought to heed the call.

March 2019

Pop-Princess Fatale: Lana Del Rey & the Art Deco, Los Angeles Style

J. Lucas II. a.k.a. Aesthetarchon


In 2016 James Franco released a small poetry book, Straight James/Gay James, dedicated to Lana Del Rey. The work’s ostensive homosexual theme is illustrated in the cover art: “Lana” is tattooed on his forehead; the image of her face trails down his neck. He stares into a mirror, gazing at himself, allowing his other-self(“Gay James,” perhaps), in turn, to gaze back at him, reflecting the duplicitous identity that ruptures the product— “James Franco.” He rather be Lana Del Rey, but qualifies this longing in an early stanza, “Not because I don’t enjoy my man/Body […/] but because I love yours.[1]” So he is left to lament the tragedy of having to wear a mask; one face, the surface of the mask itself, is “branded,” concealing the “naughty face,” and “A secret devil/Beneath/The slick surface/Of the Gucci smile.[2]” At night both merge in a singularity, “They are but/One: me.[3]” What strange phenomenon is at play that desires to split the actor’s persona? This love for Lana Del Rey, the pop-star, consumes him so completely, reducing the authentic to the sleepy shadows of private-midnight? The answer, I dare entertain, resides in a sinuous captivation of Lana’s two-fold aura. When she alludes to David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, for instance, we feel ourselves collapse into that smoky nightclub, hanging on every word the neo-noir singer electrifies. For the duration, I am the criminal mad-man “Frank,” infatuated and bewitched, while equally assuming the naïve, inquisitively pale, awe-struck role of “Jeffrey.[4]” The latter, an enticed school-boy, out of his element, and the other, a crazed addict, whose only distraction from nefarious cruelty is the antiquarian tune of the velvet singer. We might trace the origin of the fracture Franco speaks of in the dichotomy that is Lana, herself. The faces of Franco are, or so I conjecture, an aesthetic-response to the mid-century Los Angeles aura she embodies, coupled with a contemporary celebrity style, i.e., the art deco, beach-bikini princess. This is what draws us in. A juxtaposition of irregular qualities (e.g., we brush against this same feeling when we consider the psychological appeal of steampunk): we imagine a brunette singer who reads Proust with sexy tattoos—out of place, in a cool-blue, historiographic dream. We rhythm with the base while tuning in to her subtle references, e.g., Nabokov’s Lolita, post-modern filmmakers—all staged in a monochrome mish-mash reminiscent of Los Angeles in 1944. The grasping of both faces, simultaneously, produce an auratic emergence, and an alluring marriage of distinct horizons. The songs of the West-coast siren[5]break us apart on the California shore. There is no one identity to Lana or ourselves when we enter her contemporary noir-pop milieu.  For a small interval, we are taken to the past, but only as a slippery past-presence, summoned by our current-present. Neither can exist on its own. Neither is a hindrance to the other. One opens the other. This is a hermeneutic of iconography.  

End Notes


  • [1]Franco, James. Straight James/Gay James. New Jersey: Hansen Publishing Group, LLC, 2016. 
  • [2]Ibid. MASK, 14. 
  • [3]Ibid. 
  • [4]Frank: Denis Hopper; Jeffrey: Kyle MacLachlan 
  • [5]Ironically enough, “Sirens” is the name of one of her early, pre-chart albums.