What Postmodern Ninja-Messiah Figures Fight For

The Catholic literary journal Dappled Things has an interesting interview with the critically-acclaimed science fiction writer (and Catholic convert from atheism) John C. Wright:

Where films depart from the rules of objective moral order, they become merely silly. For example, there is a simply absurd scene in the thirdMatrix movie (I forget the name—Matrix Revisited? Matrix Rehashed? Matrix Regurgitated? Something like that) where Agent Smith, the Evil Secret Policeman of Evil, mocks and challenges hepcat ninja-Messiah Neo, asking him why he fights? Neo, being a hepcat postmodern ninja-Messiah figure, cannot say he fights for truth, justice and the American Way, as the superheroes of an earlier and healthier period could say (despite that Neo is quite obviously fighting for these things); he cannot say he is fighting for the woman he loves (despite that he obviously is, both during her life and in her memory); he cannot say, like an earlier Messiah, but one who did not use so much slick wirework Kung Fu, that he is fighting to bring the bread of heaven to men, to free the captive, to heal the sick and restore the dead to life (even though Neo has been freeing, healing and resurrecting like gangbusters during all three movies). No, his only answer, his sad and pathetic only answer, is to announce (amid a flourish of trumpets meant to sound inspiring) “BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO!” It is enough to make you spit your popcorn onto the floor in a flood of salty, butter-substitute dripping laughter. Well, if that is your reason, why not just choose not? It is, however, the modern subjectivist moral-relativist answer, and, unfortunately, even if moral-relativism were a true doctrine and not a heresy, it is an un-dramatic doctrine. It does not make for good theater.


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