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Review : More Matrix And Philosophy: Revolutions And Reloaded Decoded Edited by William Irwin

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MORE MATRIX AND PHILOSOPHY: REVOLUTIONS AND RELOADED DECODED.
If like me you worship The Matrix Trilogy and like me you thought philosophy
classes in college were the melted cheese on your favourite hamburger… this
book is for you. And be aware that this title is the followed up to the equally
good book called THE MATRIX AND PHILOSOPHY: WELCOME TO THE DESERT OF THE
REAL
both edited by William Irwin.

This book, like the rest of this ever growing collection Popular Culture
and Philosophy
, is a compilation of various essays about the subject
matter, exploring the philosophy of The Matrix films under 4 different
categories, called scenes. The first scene discusses the Suck-Fest or Success of
the sequels, followed with Scene Two in which Freedom and Reality are discussed.
Scene Three applies to the religious aspects of the films, including Vedanta,
Islam, Christianity, faith and messianic symbolism. While Scene Four delves into
the social political aspects of the trilogy, including race and violence.

So the book is 216 pages long, so with 16 essays, an intro and an epilogue,
it doesn’t leave much room to go hardcore with all the varying aspects of the
Matrix Films. But what I love about this series is that they give you enough
information to want to pursue it even more. So far I’ve read 3 books from this
series.

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in
    Sunnydale.
  • The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real.
  • More Matrix and Philosophy: Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded

All three were quite fascinating and gripping books to read. The newbie
philosophy amateur will be very comfortable reading about philosophy especially
when they refer to popular culture icons such as Neo and Morpheus or Buffy. The
writers, for the most part, make their arguments accessible to the novice and
still grasp onto more advanced ideas which the novice could easily look up on
the web or by reading other books, the many books mentioned by the essayists.
And thankfully they, with the exception of Sphincter-boy Slavoj Zizek, make you
like philosophy and get you interested to just how deep the rabbit hole does go.

Speaking if Sphincter-Boy, I’ll dedicate a paragraph to him but mostly to the
editor… Slavoj Zizek wrote the final essay of this book and just slaps the
Matrix Fans around like we are all idiots.

"I had a unique opportunity of sitting close to the ideal spectator of the
film — namely an idiot."
— Slavoj Zizek (More Matrix and Philosophy:
Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded
(paperback), Reloaded Revolutions, p.199)

Not only does he begin by insulting the fans of the series, but also the
readers of this very book. I didn’t purchase this book to get called an idiot.
Not only that but he lacks to make the effort to write a new essay, since this
paragraph can be found in his other essay, the first paragraph of The Matrix:
Or, The Two Sides of Perversion (The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the
Desert of the Real
(Paperback) p.240). I often complain that philosophers can
hardly come up with original thought because they to often cite material over
and over again written by other, perhaps greater philosophers. But to plagiarise
one’s own writing is an act of laziness unfitting of a writer and or a
philosopher.

So I ask William Irwin, why Mr. Irwin, why, why, why, why did you allow him
to write the final essay again? The final essay that was like having to pull out
just before orgasm. Just completely ruined the entire satisfaction I was having
reading this book. And just like the first book, I was robbed of my Jouissance,
to use a word that Zizek abused during his mockery. After reading his essay, I
was frustrated. I was made to feel like an imbecile for appreciating The Matrix
trilogy, I was made to feel like a cretin for enjoying and reading the very
books you exquisitely edited. Also to add that whenever someone denigrates
readers, especially on philosophy which many don’t want to read, it won’t
attract the lay-people to this type of critical thought, because no one likes to
feel like an idiot.

One thing is for sure, I won’t be picking up books by Zizek anytime soon. I
don’t give my hard-earned money to get treated like a dick by some would be
philosopher who can’t even address an issue without referring to its supporters
as idiots.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought
without accepting it.
"-Aristotle

Despite getting an Intellectual Bobbit Job at the end I give this book a 4
outta 5


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About David Desjardins

  • http://www.dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    OK at least the email brought me to the comments –
    I think I own one of these books, I’m too lazy to go check right now, but I’m pretty sure it is one of these. I heard of the Buffy one, for some reason I thought there was a Simpson’s one as well?

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Jeliel – are you still having a problem with comments?

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    No – they’ve been fixed now

  • http://bvalentine@blogspot.com Brandon Valentine

    I am one of the rare who enjoyed the Matrix trilogy in its entirity.

    After reading this, I will have to venture out and buy both of Irwin’s Matrix Philosophy books. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Yes I can see the comments now. What happened ?

  • Eric Olsen

    a small coding error on our part – not your fault, nor was it intentional. Thanks!

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    No biggie. =)

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Comment 1 posted by Mary K. Williams

    Yup and theres some on Seinfeld, Star Wars, LotR. It’s a growing series. The editor e-mailed me last night to thank me for the review and explain why he did what he did concerning “sphincter-boy”… some funny stuff.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Comment 4 posted by Brandon Valentine

    Yeah we are a rare breed that loved the whole series. You’ll probably enjoy the books.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Here is an updated list of the books in the series:

    http://www.opencourtbooks.com/categories/pcp.htm

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/blog/ Mark Sahm

    Interesting that the abbreviation for the series is PCP. Nerve deadening.

    But you have to give Irwin credit for cashing in on such a concept. I wonder if any fanboys actually view these as bibles?

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Credit for cashing in ?

    I don’t view it as THE BIBLE, I view as others views and interpretations.

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/blog/ Mark Sahm

    Cashing in = not actually having anything to do with the production of something, but writing a book about it to get paid.

    And I wasn’t calling you a fanboy. Relax. But sadly, there are folks out there who see the Matrix as pure truth, and govern their lives under such.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Cashing in.. I don’t know. He does see it as an opportunity to get people to read something that almost no one wants to read. Philosophy. Wether he’s cashing in, nothing wrong with that IMHO if it gets people reading… not enough people read.

    And if people use THE MATRIX as a template for life, they understood nothing about the movie.

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/blog/ Mark Sahm

    I hear you, Jeliel. Getting people to embrace philosophy (even if it’s based on pop culture) is still a noble deed. I guess I’d see more merit in it if it was Irwin’s own original material, instead of based upon the Matrix.

    BTW, I did enjoy the films, and harbour many a Keanu quote for humorous occasions.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Yes but Irwin ain’t no git either. He’s published 2 books of his own and multiple publications that dem PhDs have to do. Designs and teaches his own classes. PLus he only edits the PCP series. The books are comprised of essays by multiple philosophers. And he likes Jeopardy!, it’s all good in my book 😀

  • http://www.magicjunk.com/blog/ Mark Sahm

    That’d be an interesting thread: do most intellectuals or PhDs like or hate Jeopardy?

    But anyway, glad to hear he scripts his own prose, which is much more admirable. But I’m sticking to my cash-in comment regarding the pop culture stuff. So it goes.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    I hear ya Mark. Of course he’s cashing in, he’s obviously no dummy…

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    I love that quote by Zizek, who is perhaps the hottest name in cultural criticism in philosophy writing in Europe today. He writes some great film reviews of people like David Lynch as well.

    Look, the reality is that the first Matrix movie was the only one that had anything interesting to say at all. Yes, the W brothers (I won’t even try to spell their long Polish last name) think they are great intellectuals influenced by Baudrillard and religious history. They clearly don’t understand post-modern philosophy and most of the movie’s themes — machines bad, romantic love good — are age-old themes that are more properly the stuff of mainstream Hollywood scifi than postmodern fiction. The last two movies offer no evidence of learning other than a few cheap, pretentious references (Merovingian, Zion) that betray a Dennis Miller-ish freshman history approach to writing.

    The reality is that the message of this series got completely muddled and ridiculous in the last two films. There IS no coherent or compelling philosophy in any of these ridiculous TV shows.

    I don’t care for any of this series of books, having browsed them all. The Buffy one seems geekarific, but Buffy doesn’t tell you anything about philosophy. The Simpsons one is mostly worthless, save for a weird Marxist essay on the class dynamics of Springfield that’s memorable only for being so bizarre. I love reading cultural studies, but these books are bad examples of the field, even though they feature real scholars. Do we really need a pseudo-intellectual veneer to justify the childish entertainment we enjoy?

    That is all.

  • http://mindblender1618.blogspot.com/ JELIEL

    Depends were you are comming from. I think that everything is philosophicaly debatable. I think that everything is philosophy.

    “Buddha is a shit-stick” — Tiazan Maizumi Roshi (I probably screwed the spelling)

    I myself see no diffrence between the works of Shakespeare or a Spiderman comic book. Both are valid witnesses of their time, both are valid instruments of storytelling. Simply the method or the medium is different, like painting and photography. The Wachowsky Sibblings and Joss Whedon are all master story tellers IMHO. But that’s all in the proverbial eye of the beholder. Everyone hated Reloaded and Revolutions and loved LotR, for me it was the contrary.