Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Red Pill or the Blue Pill?

Becoming an independent is a bit like Neo and Morpheus's meeting in the first Matrix film. "If you take the blue pill, the story ends, you awake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe." You take the red pill, and you wake up in a plastic egg filled with gooey, enzymatic Jello.

The red pill symbolizes the truth. Alice's rabbit-hole. An independent's ticket to Wonderland.
But as Morpheus warns: "After this, there is no turning back."

To get the full effect, watch the video clips from the film:
Short version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGQF8LAmiaE
Long version (including the gooey scene): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_8Zq_iWuFg

It's positively eerie how this scene ties in perfectly to taking those first steps as an independent. Read on:

Morpheus: I imagine that right now you’re feeling a little like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit-hole…You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain. But you feel it....That there’s something wrong with the world (1). You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.
...
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere...You can feel it when you go to work, or when you go to church, or when you pay your taxes (2). It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage (3), ...Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. (He produces a box containing two colored pills, one blue and one red.)
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back (4). You take the blue pill, the story ends, you awake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. (Pause. Neo reaches for the red pill.) Remember: all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more (5). (Neo swallows the red pill with a glass of water...four months later he receives his first two bills from UR$$AF and RAM to the tune of 428 euro.)

Source: Larry and Andy Wachowski (1996)
http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Matrix,-The.html

Footnotes:
(1) All teachers who have experience with CDD, CDI, CDII, or vacataire contracts know this!
(2) Morpheus' first mention of URSSAF, CIPAV and RSI.
(3) Second mention of CDD, CDII, and vacataire contracts.
(4) Sadly, this is true for independents. It's very difficult to go back.

(5) Morpheus must have read my mind.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Bethany, I enjoyed your little story comparing the film to independent English teaching! Who wants to be a slave?! Although the good old standard English teaching contract does have its advantages, as I tell my trainees every month. You have to start somewhere...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi there Sab,

    I agree. Becoming an independent and gaining first-time experience as an English teacher is not for the faint at heart. I personally wouldn't recommend it. However, I do know a new-teacher independent who didn't have a choice! She was "lucky" to be recruited by a major corporation who wanted her as their teacher on the condition she start her own freelance company so she could bill them directly. She survived and is doing fine now...but you can imagine the initial stress load.

    ReplyDelete