How the Wachowskis Construct Revolution | Big Joel

Bukowski films are all about revolution in the first matrix neo is a militant hero who is opposed to machines and the false world they've created in V for Vendetta V fights against an authoritarian regime and in speed racer speed tries to defeat an enormous capitalist conspiracy but when you look closely at these films you find that they don't only share revolution in common they also share a very particular vision of what revolution means how it acts who it serves to help and who it serves to harm I hate this place and that's what I want to talk about how the Bukowski's construct rebellion and dissent in oppression in these three films so that's this video how the Bukowski's construct revolution there are three main features that define OA Kowski revolution and these three things are at the heart of the movies I'm talking about fundamental to the stories they're trying to tell the first is that the revolutions of these films aren't centred on changing material realities they're not about making the world a more equitable place or on redistributing wealth rather the revolutionaries in these films focus their energy on knowledge and ideas it is the mental projection of your digital self they recognize that the world as it is conceals truth from its people and their goal is to reveal that truth look at the matrix neo here doesn't want to free people from computer control because the matrix treats people badly in fact the worlds of the matrix is the best it possibly could be did you know that the first matrix was designed to be a perfect human world or everyone would be happy it was a disaster really the only reason that neo is opposed to machine rule is that what it produces is artificial it's not the truth and so it must be stopped there's nothing else to it or look at V for Vendetta yes V is opposed to the authoritarian regime because it hurts people but more importantly he fights it because it's founded on lies and it is he's just that target should not be an enemy of the country but rather the country itself but the end result the true genius of the plan was the fear fear became the ultimate tool of this government we might ask why is it necessary within the narrative that this police state be founded on a false terrorist act what an oppressive ruling class that formed because of real safety concerns be any better within wachowski logic the answer seems to be no in this film a government can be bad for a lot of reasons but for it to necessitate revolution it needs to produce a false reality this is true in speed racer' to the society of this film is one totally controlled by capitalist enterprises but it's not like we see how corporate rule has made the world a worse place no one is noticeably oppressed or treated unfairly instead our big problem with business in this movie comes down to they fix racing and take away its beauty that's what racing is about it has nothing to do with cars again it's not material events that make a system bad it's the concealing of truth the second trademark of a wachowski revolution is that no matter what the system of oppression consists of capitalism authoritarianism or machine rule it always feels impenetrable in the matrix of the false reality that computers have built for us is absolute most people go about their lives with no knowledge that they are a cog in a massive machine is a computer-generated dream world in V for Vendetta the ruling class is untouchable the leader is posed as this Big Brother guy larger than life and capable of controlling the truth to match his agenda and in speed racer the capitalists that controlled the world are so all-powerful that they are able to control all racers and fix all races posing powerful groups as impenetrable isn't a feature unique to wachowski films this conceit is actually very common in movies in star wars the Empire feels totally unbreakable in Avatar the fire nation is unbelievably powerful I have even in Rocky we have a sense that winning against Apollo Creed is impossible okay so this isn't exactly the most interesting thing to point out about these movies but it's an important aspect of the Wachowski perspective and it leads me to the third way that all of these film revolutions connect because the oppressive systems that these movies present seems so impenetrable and because they all produce false realities the only way to fight against them and defeat them is to have a guy who knows better and who shows the world a symbol of its own oppression okay so in the matrix the computers can't be defeated by the general population because they have no idea that something needs to be fought against so instead we get Morpheus and neo and friends people who above anything else are aware they know everything how the system lies to us and controls us and so they are the only people who can fight against it and in that pursuit the main weapon in their Arsenal's is that of symbols and ideas neo doesn't escape the meatrix through a bloody conflict he does so by accepting a simple he takes the red pill at the end of the movie neo makes it clear that he's not going to win through force but by showing people the story of their own liberation I'm going to hang up this phone and then I'm going to show these people which you don't want them to see I'm going to show them a world without you beaver vendetta has the same narrative gesture the whole movie is fixated on the power of stories and symbols what you want to lunch II really need is a story the story can be true or false the Guy Fawkes mask the blowing up of parliament the show made by Stephen Fry terrorist has been neutralized they all exists to show us that violence doesn't bring down the system icons do media does this logic is also at the heart of Speed Racer again the movie isn't focused on bringing down capitalism through physical revolt it's about one racer who's aware of how bad the man is and who is able to take him down by refusing to buy into his system he races and he wins and the structure of control comes apart really all three movies come down to one word no I will not accept the fake realities that computers offer me I refuse to abide by the law of a police state no I will not accept the fact that all racing is fixed to promote oil sales I don't think this kind of deals for me saying no is the important part of the revolution everything else is just decoration now that we have an understanding of how the Bukowski's construct revolutionary action I think it's important to ask is this vision disruptive one does it give us a narrative that we can use to better society and reduce oppression a lot of people would say yes I mean what Kowski films have a pretty big role in weird political discourse from anonymous to men's rights activists for some reason and while I can see why somebody would think that the directors are disruptive I don't agree in fact I think that the Wachowski revolution narrative is sort of artificial and toxic all these movies subscribe to the idea that the difference between the oppressed and the revolutionary is the Lucid autonomous figure who knows better than the rest of us that we the general population are just a bunch of docile sheeple who live in darkness and are waiting for our saviour to hand us the red pill this is not true we are constantly surrounded by information we can see clearly the way our society is inequitable how it produces suffering and any change to that society can't come from some dude who just knows better and says no to power it has to come from you know regular people who want things to change the Bukowski's have made a pleasant story here one that lumps us neatly into one of three categories the oppressed the oppressor and the one who knows and it's fun to watch because it's simple and gratifying but it doesn't match up well to the world we live in I think that more than anything else the Wachowski vision of revolution serves to impress upon its audience just how important their films are the Bukowski's are neo they are V and they are Speed Racer they and maybe only they can show us the symbols and stories that can set us free I don't think they're right about that if you didn't like this video then go ahead and take the blue pill forget you ever saw this video and go back to living your normal everyday life naughty you won't even know what you're missing but if you did like the video go ahead and click that subscribe button right now that's the red pill and you're gonna it's your you don't know right now everything you don't know it's gonna

43 thoughts on “How the Wachowskis Construct Revolution | Big Joel

  1. Basically, Baudrillard. You fight the oppression of a code with a code. Real violence against code is pointless.

  2. Seems like a very liberal, very bourgeois concept of revolution. Oppression is all in your head, and freedom is an individual act. I mean, not to say that I think they had ill intentions there, I imagine that they were mostly trying (and generally succeeding) to make entertaining films, but there is some kind of insidious messaging built into how they frame oppression and liberation in their worlds.

  3. As a fan of the Wachowskis I feel the need to say that I feel like they utilize ideas like the messiah to represent you, the viewer. It's really best exemplified in The Matrix and the fact that the Oracle supposedly says he's not the One. Personally, and I could be wrong, I believe the implication of that scene and the rest of the series was that the woke individual isn't an actual person. It's just you, whenever you decide to wake up and resist. That's why she's says that Morpheus is the best hope they have right now, because nothing can shake his belief that Neo is the One. I do see what you mean and how their narrative has been misconstrued by what I can only call individualists, but I think their original intent was to make it more of a personal call to revolution than a manifesto.

  4. I remember liking the recent Blade Runner sequel exactly because it seemed to subvert this "guy who knows leads the revolution" trope, but It's been a while since I watched it, I may be remembering incorrectly. Also Sorry To Bother You, but that's too easy.

  5. It’s watching this now realizing they stole this whole idea from a Black Woman named Sophia Stewart

  6. I think you may have misunderstood Neo. Not in the Matrix but the last of the trilogy Neo learns he is a part of the Matrix which means the machines are using messianic beliefs against the revolutionaries in order to actual maintain the Matrix itself. As far as what the Wachowskis are perhaps trying to tell us about our current world, it may be that Neo is not intended to be regarded as one messiah that will bring about revolution, but that they are speaking to all of us as humans to wake up to our own power to stop the Matrix like Neo.

  7. These are good points. In many of these ways, I find that when talking about the concept of political revolution there is an important part people often miss, you need to create something new.

    Neo, V, Speed, they all are detached and made above the masses. This is alienation, and to be a symbol for the masses, as Neo says in his closing monologue, you need to show them how to create as well, for themselves. We can agree on various ways to build these things, but revealing a truth is only half of that battle, what happens afterward is the revolution.

    In that way, perhaps that's why the Matrix sequels felt so muddled and meandering. We have the spur for a revolution, but the creation of something new takes us to a cyclic place. Nothing fundamentally new is made, and perhaps that's the problem with sequels. Maybe the better story to tell would have been the process of revolution, not just the gratuitous battles and cryptic dialog.

    We can root for Neo, but I think the promise given at the end of the first Matrix film goes very much unfulfilled. No one saw what the machines didn't want them to see.

  8. This could very well be me assuming authorial intent where there is none, but ever since seeing the red pill scene, the Wachowski's view of revolution felt more satirical in nature than actual commentary. Like, I came away from The Matrix chuckling to myself thinking "if only". I don't… really remember much of V, not gonna lie, and Speed Racer felt like a big overblown parody of everything while somehow being something of a nostalgic love letter to when the world at the very least FELT that simple. At least that's how it struck me. Though admittedly, the fact that there are people like MRA's and Anonymous that have adopted the motifs of V and the red pill are evidence that it may not have been really GOOD satire, but that's how it felt to me.

  9. Where do you think Cloud Atlas fits in this idea of revolution? Does it break the mold and make clear sightedness and revolution everyone's responsibility? Or does the gimmick of double casting etc. simply reinforce the three groups: oppressor, oppressed and the knowing few?

  10. The name wachowski is great. in german the first part of the name "wach" means awake or "woke". Pretty fitting dont you think?

  11. MRAs weren't the first to use the Red Pill as a symbol, it's been part of Left and Right Wing Conspiracy Theory movements all through this century.

  12. I see the Revolutionary characters in Wachowski to be a call to action more than a literal hero. They are more inspirational symbol than person. Neo and V don't even have real names, just a prefix or letter. They are rendered anonymous because their personal identity is subsumed by the issue they revolt against. V for Vendetta even renders this point explicit.

  13. I get your point, and I don't think you are wrong exactly, but there is a staggering number of people who don't think there's anything to fight against. So I don't think the Wachowskis are wrong exactly, either.

  14. The lack of comment on the rest of the Matrix films kind of says all I need to say.

    And that is, that this wasn't a fully formed thought.

    Shit, if it said all that, I wouldn't have had to write this comment. Fuck! Anyway, Talk about how they're trans next time.

  15. I’m not sure I completely agree. I can see how the justifications being based on truth rather than injustice is quite insidious. But a lot of criticism of the idea of bringing truth (regardless of the patronising nature of it being a few individuals, which is hard to escape when your film needs a protagonist who does stuff) seems to be based on ‘Google is free, everyone is already aware of how society is oppressed and oppressive’. I’m really not sure that’s true, and even if it were I’m really not sure that everyone sees this as a revolution-justifying issue or even as a moral problem at all.

    Surely you aren’t saying that the only thing stopping governments around the world from being immediately toppled and Fully Automated Gay Space Anarchism from being implemented is that police, armies and the rich (but absolutely nobody else) would try to stop it from happening?

    Radicalisation and class consciousness are, you know, things.

  16. I would argue that V for Vendetta is abit different, for in the end do the regime not fall until the masses wake up and V himself dies and show he is replaceable. He isn't the savior he is just a guy following an idea and the idea is contagious and spread to more and more ppl. I would also argue this is because V for Vendetta is written by Alan Moore and not the Wachowski brothers. So in V for Vendetta is V just a distraction and small problem and the real problem dont start until the ppl wake up and rebel them also.

  17. All 3 movies are basically overfunded delivery vehicles for a strawman meme-complex that portrays the self-image of social activists and revolutionaries. This strawman meme-complex sits dormant in a person's mind until activated by a conflict or disagreement with somebody whose ideology or beliefs is perceived to be radically different or even revolutionary. The host to this meme-complex will then treat the entire conversation as if the radical they are interacting with is trying to get them to swallow this one central key idea that will completely invert the universe…either through brute force or subterfuge. Because the strawman meme-complex has framed the debate in absolutist terms, any concession to the opponent will be seen as a step towards the total abandonment of their currently held worldview, which most people reasonably protect since it has been arrived at through their lived experience in the world. In essence, the meme-complex has the effect of increasing the cognitive paranoia of its host to the point where the host will blow up conversations that have the potential for achieving the trust and shared understanding necessary for revolutionary praxis, in the material, non-ideological sense of the word. The metaphysical paranoia of the strawman worldview serves to drastically amplify the emotional intensity of the conflicts in which this meme-complex is designed to operate. By accepting or conceding a point of disagreement to your radical opponent, you are not getting closer to the truth. You are surrendering to the complete inversion of reality by totalitarian good guys who have lost the plot. What's worse is that the totalitarian good guys have now given up on persuasion and are using subterfuge to spread their worldview….AND they look down on me as a sheeple so FUCK YOU TOO!! Conversation ended, coalition aborted.

  18. Given their affinity with Anime, it might be interesting to compare Wachowski Revolution to Ikuhara Revolution, especially in Utena when Revolution is a key word. They're similar in a lot of ways yet in one key way opposite, Utena's role in the narrative isn't about her knowing the truth but actually being the character who knows the least about what's going on.

  19. V for Vendetta is not properly a Wachowski film, they didn't direct it and it shows, ironically Moore's Comic is more Anime like then that crappy film.

  20. Or maybe the Wachowskis just wanted to make money and you are just overthinking a bunch of old blockbuster movies….

    We get it, you're smart, and you think the matrix, V for Vendetta, and speed racer are stupid or as you say "toxic"…

    I still think those movies are awesome.

  21. What indicates the wachowskis imply "only thru them?" I dont really get that impression. Solid vid tho

  22. Interesting analysis, I agree with much of it, especially how anyone can annoyingly claim to be "awake" and possessing the true truth that "sheeple" won't accept, usually one of the thousands of -isms.

    However, the conclusion that works for The Matrix that he applies broadly doesn't carry over to the other two films: Where Neo and pals want to usher in the true world even if it's objectively worse based solely on the fact that it is the real world, V seeks to empower the population to replace an objectively bad government they are otherwise powerless to stand up to, and Speed Racer wants the races to be genuine because fixing competitions and lying to yourself and others for corporate reasons is viewed by most as bad. More simply, where Neo's version of the truth is all that matters in The Matrix to impose it on all people, the others stand for the truth AND a better outcome for everyone that they already seek.

    This is why at the end of V for Vendetta V doesn't push the lever and trigger the explosion/revolution, instead he realizes it's not his choice or even in his power to do so because blowing up a building doesn't create a revolution. Evey challenges V on this very issue early on because she sees, as he does, that that act won't do it. In the final scene V says the power is in the people to create the better future they want, thus he hands the final decision to blow up parliament to Evey.

    Further evidence that V doesn't care about spreading his truth and forcing it on everyone regardless of the outcome is the fact that he spends no time or effort trying to expose the crimes and lies the government used to seize power or the crimes against him and other innocent people. V could have been trying to tell everyone how the government is bad because they hurt him and killed a woman for being a lesbian, but instead it's the detective character who digs for the truth just for the sake of truth. V is instead focused on a plot to create the circumstances where the many in the population who already understand the lying and oppressive nature of their government are able to stand up against it together unified on the same day. Thus he's not trying to "wake people up with his truthbombs" and force a revolution because he values the truth above all else, instead he crafts a way for the people to do what they want: take back control and have a representative government that doesn't rule by fear, surveillance, and oppression of innocent people. The people in The Matrix arguably don't want Neo's revolution because it doesn't take into consideration their choice and wouldn't want the real world forced on them, but the Wa-CHOW-ski siblings did not keep this exact formula of revolution because the average people in Vendetta and Speed Racer do want for the revolution and genuine better outcome. Neo wants the real world for everyone because he decides it's better because it's real, where V wants vengeance for himself and empowerment of the people to create whatever world they create when they're no longer under the thumb of their oppressor. That's why the end of Vendetta is the people going to the streets and taking back power with V having little part because he's busy exacting his vengeance on those who wronged him personally. Unless Neo gave every person in the Matrix and informed choice before deciding if they want to join the crappy real world, we see Neo as wanting to pull the plug and wake up everyone without consent, whereas V with the mask gave everyone a symbol to say "no more" and an opportunity to rise up together for what they wanted.

  23. It's so nice to hear someone else see the flaw in the matrix's (wacosian) philosophy. They seem to advocate 'experiencing' truth rather than just knowing it. The machines in the matrix actually give the participants an 'unconcious choice' and even the means to escape (the machine made the red pill). I'm not sure that the machines have done very much wrong on that philosophical front

  24. I don't remember watching this video. I'm going to go back to living my life. 🙂
    p.s. great work, consider doing an essay on they live!

  25. I think you are seeing the aspect of a single person incorrectly. I think they represent the catalyst that begins the mass awakening. All ideas have to start somewhere. I think Neo represents the beginning of the original idea thinkers start of spreading their knowledge.

  26. I think the same can be said of the Adam Curtis documentary "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace" – of which "The Matrix" seems to me to basically be a fictional dramatised version of it. But Curtis' documentary is still great – it exposes "The Club of Rome" for what it really is for example. Though I can't say I completely agree with the conculsions of the documentary – but I certainly agree that it could be a source of comfort for many to "choose" to believe, and is I think is what "The Matrix" says.

  27. I disagree with your conclusion. The way I see it is that the revolution is explored through the lens of the story of Prometheus. It's about bringing fire to the people. How do you bring fire to the people? One torch at a time. That's why at the end of the Matrix Neo isn't recruiting hundreds of people. It's just one person, just like Neo was that just one person and how Morpheous was a just one person long before then. The Matrix begins with one man at the center of the Matrix who is aware and rescues others into the culmination that is Zion. Likewise in V for Vendetta V isn't the original revolutionary. That's why that story about the lesbian couple that was thrown thrown into a camp is there, because it's a story that V found personal meaning and inspiration in himself. In a revolution there isn't a "the One" the way the Matrix frames it. The true one person that matters is the first person to bring fire to another.

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