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Why Cypher Is Really The Most Important Character In The Matrix For Today

American pop culture has many landmarks. From Woodstock to the Wizard of Oz, some music, films and books have left an indelible mark on who we are as a people. For just about anyone under the age of 50, the Matrix trilogy is indisputably one of those landmarks. From the paradigm shifting special effects which were cutting edge for the time, to the phrases and ideas from the Matrix that are commonly used by people, sometimes seriously and often for laughs, The Matrix is a powerful pop culture marker.

As a side note, although not a surprising one, I didn’t realize until recently that Larry and Andy Wachowski, the writers and directors of The Matrix, have “transitioned” and now think they are women named Lana and Lilly respectively. It makes sense in retrospect that people who turned out to be mentally ill crackpots used that instability to create a paradigm shifting science fiction/cultural icon movie trilogy.

It is somewhat ironic that the Wachowski brothers are bark-at-the-moon crazy liberals along with being deviants and mentally ill. They probably think that their movies somehow reinforced some leftist fantasy of fighting corporate power or some other such nonsense. Yet one of the most iconic moments in their most iconic movie, Neo taking the red pill, has become a catch-phrase for the “alt-right”. Being “red pilled” is a phrase that describes the moment when a “normie”, or regular White guy, has an experience that radically shifts their thinking and opens the door to considering ideas that are labeled thought-crimes in our culture. The leftists have actually become The Matrix and the Right is fighting them. The internet is an endless source of irony.

At first blush, the Matrix is a pretty true to form adventure. The plucky but reluctant hero is enlisted to overcome overwhelming odds, complete with the love interest and the older, wiser mentor. Whether it is Harry Potter taking on Voldemort or Frodo Baggins defeating Sauron or Neo smashing the Matrix or Sarah Connor crushing the relentless and seemingly invincible Terminator or beta male Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star, you can watch or read these adventures and come away with a predictable satisfaction of good overcoming evil. However, simply seeing these as “good guys win, bad guys lose” mindless entertainment is doing them an injustice. All of them to one degree or another also have much deeper and complex themes and meaning.

I was chatting with my wife one day about something unrelated and I sort of had an epiphany. The most important figure in the original Matrix movie to understand is not Neo. It is not his love interest Trinity or his mentor and devoted believer Morpheus. It is not even the relentless Agent Elrond Smith. No, for my money the most important character to understand is the cyber-Benedict Arnold known as Cypher, played by Joe Pantoliano with just the right amount of sleaziness and amorality. Assuming you haven’t watched the movie (in which case you probably can’t internet at all and wouldn’t be here), Cypher is the turncoat human that sells out humanity to the computers in return for a “reward” of being returned back to the Matrix, sort of a reverse red-pill, where he won’t remember being red-pilled in the first place and is promised to be “someone important, like an actor” which was a nice, self-deprecating line. In this clip he explains in a conversation with Neo’s girlfriend Trinity why he is betraying Morpheus, Neo and all of humanity to the machines when he knows the Truth:

“I’m tired”. My, my, my. I certainly understand that sentiment. It is so perfectly human and so real. Even though the Matrix is completely fictional, the emotion Cypher feels seems absolutely believable to me. It makes him seem to be the most honest and human character in a movie where most of the time people are doing crazy, physically impossible things, in the Matrix. We live in a world designed to wear us down and make us want to just retreat into our homes and pretend everything is fine.

We all get tired.  Tired of the incessant outrages we see on the news and in the paper and now via the internet streamed to us in real-time 24 hours a day. Tired of an endless stream of humiliations, insults and irritating injuries. Tired of being told on one hand that we are terrible people who accomplished nothing on our own and on the other told we have to work and go into debt so that we can provide for those who refuse to provide for themselves. Tired of seeing the cities we built turn into garbage dumps prowled by dangerous men who kill for any reason or no reason at all. Tired of seeing the schools we built with the sweat of our brows and the money from our wallets being used to tell our own children how awful we are. Tired of being told that it is a worse crime to point out malfeasance by certain groups than it is to be a victim of those same people. Tired of seeing our nation rotting from within and being forced at gunpoint to subsidize those doing the destroying.

White Americans are a generally pretty stoic people. We are trained to suffer indignities without complaint. We used to understand that life was not fair, that suffering was part of living. We grew up trained to look to the future. I will work hard and sacrifice in order for my children to have it better than I did. So we did. Generations of Americans did. My dad did. When war came, we fought and many died. The ones who lived came home, put down their gun and picked up a hammer or a mail pouch or a pitchfork and went back to work. Now I see my people beaten down and cowed in this country, dreading being thought a racist, while my people in Europe are filmed over and over running in a panic away from the latest encounter with Muslim cultural enrichment.

The most important thing to remember: This is by design. We live hectic lives with brief interludes to eat food that makes us ill and popping pills that purport to help but usually make things worse. Instead of working hard so our kids have a brighter future, we are simply told to borrow money so they can go to college. Work smart, not hard! Then little Suzie and little Johnny get out of school and they or their parents or both have a debt load that would buy a nice starter home. We are absolutely inundated with entertainment and distraction such that few of us seem able to take our eyes off of our phones long enough to see what is going on around us. I believe the constant din that we live in everyday is the result of an intentional effort to wear us down, keep us distracted and exhausted.

Like Cypher, many of us are exhausted by the truth. It gets tiring to beat your head against a wall over and over again while so many fellow citizens just blithely stumble about their lives concerned only with when football season starts and how soon they can upgrade to the latest iPhone. There are many days when I want to just say forget it and go back into the Matrix where diversity is a good thing and Whites can pretend that things will keep going as they always have before. It is a bitter reality of human life that a comfortable lie seems to be better than a discomforting truth. An awful lot of heritage Americans are exhausted just like you and me.

In some ways I wish I could take a blue pill and go back to the more innocent days of my youth. Life was easier when I could worry about my fantasy football team and pretend the world wasn’t going to hell in a handbasket. But I can’t.

For decades we have treated this struggle as a political competition between fellow Americans and because of that we have operated under civilized rules of engagement. We go about our lives as normal and turn on the news in the evening and show up to the ballot box in November to cast our votes. When we saw footage of antifa rioting and people showing up to Trump rallies being attacked, having eggs thrown at them, assaulted for wearing MAGA hats, it caused something of an overload. It didn’t compute. This isn’t how it is supposed to be. We are all Americans and that means we all believe in the marketplace of ideas, in free speech and the freedom to assemble. But now you can’t assemble freely in many places unless you want to get assaulted or have your identity splashed on the internet and potentially lose your job and have your family threatened.

Many like-minded people who instinctively know that something is wrong refuse to see it. Many others see it but are just worn out by the whole thing. Like Cypher they are just tired. Can’t we just give it a break? Your exhaustion is part of the plan. They wear you down with assaults on so many fronts that you can’t process it all and just give up. The media and most of the once anti-war Left is cheerleading an attack on Iran because that gives us the sort of distraction they love. A war in Iran is perfect. Gen Xers and Boomers alike remember the Iranian hostage crisis under Jimmy Carter and have a deep-seated revulsion for Iran. We even had the Iron Sheik in the 80s, a villainous Iranian wrestler.

Man, I hated that guy.

The game isn’t being played like we were told. We think we are in a polite, spirited but civilized political disagreement but the other side sees this as total war. It is a jihad for them, a quasi-religious crusade against all of the evil heretics they have been indoctrinated to hate, specifically white men and everything they have built and everything we care about. This isn’t something they think about as November gets closer. It is what they live and breathe from the moment they get up to the moment they fall asleep. Their jihad consumes them and gives their otherwise miserable lives meaning. They don’t get tired or weary from the struggle because it is all they have. We have careers and families and neighborhoods. They have the jihad. They count on wearing us out.

We can’t get tired. We can’t just quit. Losing this fight means more than losing an election or seeing tax rates go up. If we lose this fight, we lose everything that our ancestors spent thousands of years building. It means no future for our children and our grandchildren. Each generation in the West is entrusted with a sacred duty to preserve and expand what was built by those who came before us and in this sacred trust we are failing miserably. We must change our thinking about what is going on.

If someone breaks into your home and threatens your family, you know what to do. You fight with every fiber of your being, no holds barred, nothing is off the table. I am not an especially violent person but if someone tried to hurt my family I would have no issue stabbing them to death with a steak knife or gouging out their eyes with my thumbs. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to protect my wife and my kids. That is the sort of attitude we need because the other side has no moral qualms about anything. They think you are a Nazi and your family is too simply by association. They think your free speech is violence and are therefore justified in using actual violence to suppress your speech. They think you have stolen everything you have worked your entire life to earn and therefore they are justified in stealing it from you. They think you are evil because of your very existence.

Don’t tell me about being tired. I am tired all the time. I get it. It wears you down, and makes it hard to sleep. It stresses you out and gives you headaches. Just remember the stakes we are dealing with. The Left doesn’t want to win the next election, they want to burn down an entire civilization and exterminate an entire race of people. We must stop thinking of this in terms of a political conflict and start to see it for what it is, a lukewarm civil war. If you refuse to submit meekly to boarding the train to the gulag, you will become their enemy. The only options they are giving us are complete submission or utter annihilation. Therefore our only hope for surviving is to have the same commitment to our preservation as they have for our extermination.

We don’t have time to be tired.


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