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The Matrix Defense

Yo BaBay What’s Up?  Miles in the House!

I bet you guys thought you was rid of me for a minute.  Well remember I’m still out here trying to find a j-o-b so I got a lot of time on my hands.  Besides I saw Ten’s remark about me being “1 foot- none” and it ain’t funny.  I ain’t said nothing about him being old enough to remember listening to Buck Rogers and the Lone Ranger on one of them big ass floor model Motorola radios.  You know the ones, the one’s that had them big old filament tubes inside and looked like a mini pipe organ!Well anyway, I’ve been trying to get some Christmas shopping done but I gotta admit it’s getting a little crazy out there.  You can’t go to the Mall, to church or be standing at the bus stop without somebody rollin’ up on ya.  I mean I ain’t no punk or nuthin,  I’m just saying …..

Speaking of punks, he’s my boy and all but a sprung finger woulda never had Dr. J or Mike on the bench.

Anyway, I was checking out this book, “More Matrix and Philosophy – Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded.” edited by William Irwin, and in the book they were talking about popular  culture and philosophy and how movies like The Matrix trilogy relate to today.  They also talk about the recent wave of homicides that might have been inspired by movies like The Matrix or at least how the culprits used the movie as an excuse for what they did.

What the book said was since 1999, when the first Matrix flick was released, “a lot of criminal defendants have offered a novel plea: not guilty by reason of The Matrix. ”  They claimed that at the time they committed their crime  they were so sprung on The Matrix that they were “legally insane or not fully responsible for what they did.” Lee Boyd Malvo, the eighteen-year-old shooter in the 2002 Washington D. C. – area sniper killings, used this plea to beat the death penalty (he was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.) In February 2003, nineteen-year-old Josh Cooke, of Oakton, Virginia, who they say played violent video games for 6 hours a day and claimed to sometimes believe he lived inside The Matrix, used a twelve-gauge shotgun to blow away his mom and pop.  An expert on media violence testified at his trial about the effects of violent movies on some folks who are not wrapped to tight and the cat received the relatively light sentence of forty  years in the big house. In May 2000, Vadim Mieseges, a twenty-seven-year-old Swiss exchange student, confessed to hackin’ up the rent lady and puttin’  her body in a dumpster in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  He did it, he said, because she was givin’ off “evil vibes” and he was scared he was gonna to get “sucked into the Matrix.”   And then there’s that chick from Hamilton Ohio, Tonda Lynn Ansley who also used  The Matrix defense after shooting her rent lady in the head.  They both plead not guilty by reason of insanity and got a way with it! Damn, I heard of skippin’ out on the landlord when rent came due and you didn’t have no money, but hack em’ up in little pieces or shootin’ em in the head is a tad bit extreme.  Anyway…

Those Columbine dudes, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed up all them folks only weeks after The Matrix hit the theaters’  These two were big fans of the flicks and would dress up in long black trench coats like Neo wore. Not to be out done, in July 2003, eighteen-year-old Matthew Lovett was busted before he and two of his homies could follow through with their plans to waste 3 high school “enemies,” and then go out a shoot up everybody else in their hometown of Oaklyn, New Jersey.  When the poe-poe picked em’ up after a botched carjacking, they were packin’  “rifles and shotguns strapped to their back and handguns tucked into their waistbands, and carried 3-foot-long swords, knives, and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition.”  Lovett liked to call himself Neo and after watching The Matrix Reloaded, wrote in his diary, “I have a whole new reason for to do this now.” I know, I know… “Like guns, The Matrix doesn’t kill people, people kill people!”  And I’m sure the executive types at Warner Brothers would agree.  In fact, in May 2003, they put out a press release denying any connection between the flick and any killings, saying “any attempt to link these crimes with a motion picture …. is disturbing and irresponsible.”

But hold up!… it seems to me that there just might be a connection.  As Merovingian would say, “Causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect.” It’s what those philosopher types call “but-for” causality.  It’s a little deep for me but let me try to explain it.  It’s like – but for the sun’s energy, there would be no life on the planet.  Or, but for 9/11 George “W” would have not bum rushed Iraq.   But for the movie The Matrix, maybe some of these dudes might not have had the gonads to kill up all these folks.

I ain’t saying that what these whack jobs did can be justified by a movie.   That’s like me sayin’ because I’m a little “vertically challenged”  (1 foot – none my @##!) – it’s okay if I go around shootin’ folk in the knee caps!   Or because I lost my gig to a couple a fat, greasy, sweaty, loin cloth wearin’ , butt smellin’ sumo wrestlers I could….. My bad I’m gettin’ all worked up again.

But it does raise an interesting question.  The writers said that movies like The Matrix “can have an exceptionally powerful effect on people’s lives, some of whom unfortunately, are not very stable.”  Again, the question at the barbershop is do folks who make these kinds of shoot em’ up movies bear some moral responsibility for stuff a crazy person might do?  And if so, to what extent are they responsible? On the other hand, what if these cats are right?  What if we are living in The Matrix?  What if everything we thought was real was an illusion?  What if all we had to do was “take the blue pill”  like Morpheus said so that we could then see the world like Alice through the looking glass it really is? Nah, not a chance right?   RIGHT? Anyway – it’s time for me to bounce, in the meantime, in-between time … Miles Out! Hey Bron, you ready to go see Santa? What crack?  You heard that? Man I wasn’t talking about you!  You know you ain’t no punk! You my boy, come on Bron…..Bron where you goin’? Bron wait up…… !!!!!!

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