Every so often, something happens that makes you think, “Oh, none of this is real, is it? We live in the Matrix.” Something will seem odd, or off, or unfamiliar, or too familiar, in a way that feels like, yeah, it’s probably more likely that we’re all in a computer simulation of reality than reality itself. The rules, the fundamental things we know to be true, will be broken in a way that could only happen if what we think of as existence is actually fundamentally not what we think it is.
There are subreddits filled with exhaustive accounts of glitches, little moments of wrongness that should tear the illusion down and help free us from the tyranny of whoever or whatever it is has us living trapped within this, but somehow don’t. Why, when we’ve all experienced these moments so many times, do we continue to brush them off and allow the simulation to continue, re-convincing us that we’re truly existing when we’re actually just fuel cells in a hideously destroyed world?
Because it turns out we might be wrong.
We might not be living in The Matrix at all.
We might be living in Lord of the Rings.
We had the wrong trilogy all along, and rather than a world of sentinels and plugs sticking into people’s skulls, maybe the true nature of reality is more like the orc-filled fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s creation.
A Twitter user named @flysanityfly realised that the One Ring, the compelling, maddening, immediately addictive object at the core of the series, bears more than a slight resemblance to the eternal companion of the modern human, the smartphone:
“…it would be a relief in a way not to be bothered with it anymore,” says LOTR’s Bilbo Baggins of the Ring. “It has been go growing on my mind lately. Sometimes I have felt it was like an eye looking at me. And I am always wanting to put it on and disappear, don’t you know; or wondering if it is safe, and pulling it out to make sure. I tried locking it up, but I found that I couldn’t rest without it in my pocket. I don’t know why. And I don’t seem able to make up my mind.”
The similarities between the One Ring and an iPhone, in particular, are pretty compelling:
We’re not in the Matrix at all. We’re Gollum. We’re all Gollum, staring at our phones, compelled, fascinated, transfixed.
We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Hobbitses. Wicked. Tricksy. False. Master betrayed us. We ought to wring his filthy little neck. Kill him! And then we take the precious and we be the master!
Oh well, nothing we can do now: see you all in Mordor.
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(Pics: New Line)