- Trying to explain to people (usually white) who are not quite aware of the history between minority communities and the mainstream media, and so they didn't get the core reason why this "Mother of the Matrix" myth continues to thrive within our realm.
- Trying to explain to black people who should know better why her various claims are baseless. (I mean, just start with the easy stuff that's in the public record. Cameron "liberated" enough elements from Harlan Ellison's Demon with a Glass Hand for Terminator that Cameron man had to do the settle out of court jig when he was called on it. And common sense tells you no one would win a billion dollar settlement out of the blue against ANYBODY without that case showing up on a docket somewhere well before the decision was announced. I could go on, but just posting this violates my pact with myself to stop talking about this case...)
But the fact that the MoM story is treated as gospel in many black circles makes ABSOLUTE sense. A cursory glance through the history of America explains why we are particularly prone to conspiracy theories. People who don't understand that these things happened --
- The Tuskegee Experiments
- The Mumford Point Marines
- The Port Chicago Disaster
- Walton County, July 26, 1946
- Ossian Sweet
- Greenville, Miss.
- The Zoot Suit Riots
- Tulsa, May 31, 1921 - June 1, 1921. (And Rosewood. And so very many others.)
- Palm Springs, Section 14
- The Chavez Ravine
-- and also don't understand how our memory of what did/didn't happen in the public sphere when these things occurred? Those people don't get why so many of us believe there is a vast multinational corporate conspiracy afoot to keep the black woman who created the Matrix from getting her due.***
Oh, and I'm not using the past as cover. Off the top of my head I can make a list of modern injustices equally tragic and equally ignored. What makes us prone to conspiracy theories is not that we need to Get Over It. It's becasue the structure of America keeps fucking with us and we know it. Though I'm focused on black folks, here, know that this is not a black folks only issue. Any ethnic group in America - or that has come into contact with America - can whip up a list.
We have all been fucked with and fucked over since before this country was a country. We have sat in our classrooms and listened to the vast omission of our history and value. That's why we come up with things like "The Egyptians had airplanes, you know." (The equally infuriating flip-side to that are the hippie new age crap people who give credit for the pyramids to ancient alien visitors. Because, you know, it makes FAR more sense to give credit for the design of those astounding architectural feats to SPACEMEN over THE AFRICANS WHO LIVED THERE AT THE TIME. But at the same time, why don't the we-flew-first Egyptologists EVER mention the Jewish slaves?)
But depressingly, instead of figuring out a way to join up and force America to live up to what it said it was going to be, we go to war. Who's I.H.S. is greater? Is that of a descendant of slaves is more valid the I.H.S. of a descendant of Japanese immigrants (this isn't our first brush with detainee camps), or the I.H.S. of a Chicano whose ancestor tried to help Santa Ana get that fort the hell off the land? So, while we roil in the sucker's game of My Suffering Is Greater, the power structure is having a grand and easy time of it.
In a way, Susan Straight gets into the whole thing far better than I in the post that's going up tomorrow.
Anyways. That's why the Mother of the Matrix story is so very interesting to me.
** These are the people I think should have first crack at the right to claim being the source material for the Matrix. Feel free to add your own! Fun for the entire family!
- The estate of Philip K. Dick
- William Gibson
- The estate of Alfred Bester
- Grant Morrison (but only if he first owns up to his debt to PKD in The Invisibles)
- The guy who wrote Dark City
- Harlan Ellison (only a wee bit, though)
- Samuel R. Delany (again, just a wee bit)
- The Gnostics (i'm on the fence about this one)
- The Sufis
- The Buddhists (just a little bit, though)
If you're not aware of the Sophia Stewart case, it's because you're Not Geek Enough. If you want more information, go visit her website, and then get thee to Google. It's fascinating stuff.