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    Default Synchronistic Linguistics in The Matrix

    Or How Bob Dobbs Became the Tetrad Manager
    Robert Guffey

    http://www.paranoiamagazine.com/matrix.html
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "To use the images of the city is not appropriate to our time. The real city today is Magnetic City. Magnetic City is the whole world in a little acoustic imitation of resonating electromagnetic white light. We're all on that little node. It can't be visualized, but the whole world is on that spot all the time, and that's the state of being discarnate. To someone who wants to have visual parameters, that's a very claustrophobic thing to imagine. But we are stuck in that. That's why people are channeling. That's why people are doing all the various things that have been surprising to Americans for the past twenty years. They're trying to erase their body, and the motive for that is the sensory-structural change resulting from electric conditions. Did you know that even speaking, even not being in a trance, is a form of trance under electric conditions? Just walking around is a form of trance today because any bodily activity is inside this little electronic, discarnate node of consciousness called Magnetic City."
    - Bob Dobbs (Dave Porter Interview 10/16/88)

    An interesting parallel to the above view is expressed by a hypnotist named Jack True. In the epilogue to Jon Rappoport's 1998 book The Secret Behind Secret Societies, True makes the incredible statement that he's "stopped doing hypnosis on most people" because most of his clients are already in a hypnotic trance when they walk into his office! "The modern idea that surrounds our society is that by being nice, by being very nice you will fit into the system around you and everyone else will be happy with you. The only thing is, everything around you is hypnotic. I mainly find myself doing reverse-hypnosis these days. I do things to wake people up." (371).

    As I write this on the night of April 25th, 1999, a film called The Matrix is number one at the box office. Though by no means a perfect science fiction movie, it still manages to pack one hell of a wallop. I'd hardly put it on the same scale as 2001: A Space Odyssey or Brazil, or even Blade Runner, but at the same time I don't believe the flaws in the film represent a weakness on the part of the Wachowski Brothers' writing talents. I believe the film is designed to disseminate a subversive message through the filter of popular culture. As Marshall McLuhan said, "Anything that's popular is a rear-view image."
    The Matrix is not about the future, it's about the past: circa 1945, to be exact. The Wachowski Brothers' previous film, Bound, received good reviews but fared poorly at the box office, which proves to me that they're more than capable of non-generic, non-traditional writing. I suspect the overly-long fight scenes and limited characterizations are specifically intended to lull the viewers into a hypnotic state, to drag their brainwaves down into alpha, at which point the filmmakers slam the message home: 'Wake Up, You're Being Controlled.'

    This is a cliché.

    Clichés are obsolete.

    "If it works, it's obsolete." Marshall McLuhan explains this quite well in the first chapter of his 1964 book Understanding Media.

    I could compare The Matrix to ancient Vedic philosophy, Hassan-i-Sabbah ("Nothing is real, everything is permitted"), the experimental novels of William S. Burroughs (The Reality Studio in Naked Lunch), Philip K. Dick's series of solipsistic novels (Eye in the Sky, Ubik, A Maze of Death, not to mention dozens of others), recent proponents of VR technology (Jaron Lanier), and the best-selling novels of William Gibson.

    But, this film has almost nothing to do with any of those things. Halfway through, I realized it was all about Bob Dobbs. Not J.R. Bob Dobbs; the real Bob Dobbs. The real Bob Dobbs has nothing to do with the Church of the SubGenius, was never assassinated in San Francisco, and doesn't even smoke a pipe. He is the guiding intelligence behind two quirky CDs entitled Bob's Media Ecology and Bob's Media Ecology2 (which features the music of Negativland, Coldcut and Steinski), a radio play entitled Who's Forgotten Furry Lint? (a Bob Marshall production), and the author of Phatic Communion With Bob Dobbs. (Perfect Pitch Editions, 1992)

    Bob Dobbs is an expert on communications theory and was a colleague of Marshall McLuhan at the Center for Culture and Technology in Toronto, Ontario. For several years during the mid-'80s he was the personal advisor to investigative journalist Bob Marshall, who hosted a radio show on CKLN-FM called the International Connection. The show regularly featured the information of groundbreaking conspiracy theorists such as Mae Brussell, Sherman Skolnick, Dr. Peter Beter, and Lyndon LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review. Adam Vaughan, the manager of the station, fired Marshall early in 1987 for broadcasting Dr. Beter's "antiSemitic rants" against the Rothschilds. The fact that Beter railed against the Rockefellers just as much as the Rothschilds apparently went right over Vaughan's head. Dobbs later replaced Marshall on the air, and has since followed a rather interesting career trajectory. According to him, he's taken over the Earth.

    Dobbs is a brilliant but eccentric fellow who claims to be the leader of "The Secret Council of Ten," a shadowy cabal that controls the world using complicated techniques known as "synchronistic-linguistics" and "tetrad management." As far as I know, the latter term was first developed by Marshall McLuhan and his son Eric in their 1988 book Laws of Media: The New Science. The tetrad is a four-step process that analyzes the projected evolution of man-made artifacts; you might say it's a means of predicting the future of humanity by predicting the future of its technology. Dobbs claims the NSA and other intelligence organizations utilize the techniques outlined in Laws of Media to manage world affairs. He also claims that he and his colleagues are engaged in the same exact activities. Thus, he refers to himself as "The Tetrad Manager."

    Though he looks no older than 35, he claims to have been born on Feb. 2nd, 1922. When asked to explain this incongruity he explains that a unique device known as the D-Cell has enabled him to maintain the veneer of youth even though he's really going on 78 years old. He also claims to be "the only artist alive today." When asked to elaborate he replies that everyone else in the world is really dead, therefore he feels completely at ease with declaring himself "the only artist alive today." According to Dobbs everyone else disappeared in 1945, leaving behind a world of "holeopathic retrievals."

    "Holeopathic," he explains, is a mixture of "homeopathy" and "hologram." Homeopathy is a form of medical treatment where the physician takes the essence of a substance and dilutes it, the theory being that the tinier the dose the more potent it is. A hologram is an artificial environment indistinguishable from the reality upon which it's based. Dobbs claims it was the implementation of what he calls "the solar government" in 1945 that caused the disappearance of Earth's entire population, who were then replaced with holograms. This means that succeeding generations are mere holograms of holograms of holograms, ad infinitum. The tinier the holograms, the more realistic and engaging the artificial environment becomes, hence the term "holeopathic retrieval." In order to break out of this program, he claims we must become what he calls "menippean satirists."

    The word "menippean" is derived from the Greek writer Menippus, who lived around 230 B.C. According to Dobbs, "He mixed prose and poetry and different styles in a rather anarchistic way, and that mixing of styles is traditionally called menippean satire by historians." (Interview 7/24/93)

    Though it's not quite clear - Dobbs' explanations tend to lean toward the abstract to say the least - by advising us all to become menippean satirists, he's suggesting metaphorically that we need to learn how to flip in and out of various environments at will, just as Menippus flipped in and out of various writing styles. We have to learn to wear our environments like clothing.

    Dobbs goes on to explain, referring to himself in the third person, "the goddess Circe turned men to swine. Bob's role is to return the swine - or our media extensions as the new animals - to human form again, to get back out of the tiny diluted homeopathic level. I'm here to retrieve our human-scale identity." Dobbs' solution to this is surprising:

    We as secret discarnate menippean satirists who follow Bob, what do we do? We know that we don't want to be just discarnate. We want to retrieve the human form. What is the one religion that celebrates the human form in an individualistic sense, not in the Oriental sense of the human gnostic pleasure machine of the body? The Christian concept of the human body - God in flesh, as Christ manifested in his individuation of that process. One individual, not a tribe.

    We as discarnate menippean ironists, we put on Catholicism in the sense of the true Christian tradition of celebrating the human form over all technological amplifications of it. So we're secretly Catholics."

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