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Night before last, I went to go see _(Robin Wright at) The Congress_, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Congress_%282013_film%29which turned out to be a film adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's _The Fututolgical Congress_. I didn't catch that angle until the end credits, and somehow that helped everything pop into place.

 Originally I was content to enjoy a quriky, difficult film. But the more I thnk about it, the more I appreciate what they did with the source material.

Here's wikipedia on the novel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Futurological_Congress

It sounds a lot like _The Matrix_, doesn't it? Except where The Matrix is built upon software running on computers, running on hardware controlling human minds, The Congress runs on psychoactive drugs running on human brains still operating in the real world.

All this would have sounded far fetched to me, not that long ago. But a while back, I came into possession of an E-cig setup, and it still had some charge and some juice, and one day on a whim, I took a substantial drag. And I didn't feel anything, so I took another drag. It was unlike any cigarette I'd ever had before. And the effect was subtle enough, I told myself it hadn't worked. Except that 24 hours later, the same time of day, I found myself craving another puff on that E-cig. This wasn't so much a recreational drug as it was a programming device, for programming *ME*.

In 1971, when the Novel was written, Robin Wright was 5 years old. She was 16 years away from making The Princess Bride. The state of computer technology at that time was... primitive. The premise of scanning this actress' performance into a CGI machine was a long ways off, and Lem's book doesn't go anywhere near the first half of the movie.

What so impresses me about the film, is how they re-worked societ mind control in the 70's and played it out into American mind control in the teens. We don't just use drugs to program our minds, we don't just use computers, we use the concept of celebrity itself... and whatever celebrities make themselves available for that purpose.

 When I saw the matrix, I didn't see it really having very much to do with computers at all, they were just a metaphor. The real idea behind it was all about changing the meaning of what we witness, into something more acceptable to those with the power to care.

And in that sense, The Congress gets much closer to the core of what The Matrix was trying to warn us about. How many of us really believe it's possible to do anything to slow or stop anthropogenic climate change?  We may accept what scientists are telling us about what's happening, but there's no one out there with a convincing narrative of how we can alter the way we live on the planet in order to leave the place better than how we found it. So much easier to talk instead of the distractions being put in our path by those getting rich with the way things are.

 I guess I'm too stubborn to accept the logical conclusion here, I should give up and try to live my remaining days in as much dignity as they system will allow me. I'm still hunting for bread-crumbs, clues to what's *really* going on. This movie smells important to me, far beyond its entertainment value.

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anansi133

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