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The Red Pill


In the first episode of the film trilogy The Matrix, lead character Neo was given the option of taking a red pill, which would enable him to understand what was actually occurring outside the illusion created by the Matrix, or a blue pill, which would allow him to return to experiencing only that illusion. Because he chose the red pill, Neo became aware for the first time of the oppressive, parasitic nature of the Matrix.

We too live inside a matrix, and the hegemonic power of the matrix has only strengthened since September 11, 2001. Lies are repeated until they are accepted as truth. Our rulers, dedicated social constructionists, declare proudly that “we create reality when we act,” as if no obdurate reality exists outside spin. However, occasionally, just as in the original Matrix film, there is a disturbance in the matrix. With Hurricane Katrina, we are experiencing just such a disturbance. For all who never want to see the people of our nation experience another catastrophe like Katrina, it is time to take the red pill.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Tierney, Kathleen. 2006. "The Red Pill." In Understanding Katrina: Perspectives from the Social Sciences. New York, NY: Social Science Research Council. https://items.ssrc.org/understanding-katrina/the-red-pill/

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