Loki, The Matrix, And The Great “Game Night” Analogy

“Before I was a Discordian, I took life much too seriously. When you take life too seriously you start to wonder what the point of it all is. When you wonder what the point is in life, you fall into a trap of thinking there is one. When you think there is a point, you finally realize there is no point. And what point is there in living like that? Nowadays I skip the search for a point and find, instead, the punch lines.”
–Kerry Thornley

***

I. LOKI’S MASK

In 2011, this magnificent green stone mask was unearthed in Mexico, at the site of the Pyramid of the Sun.

Of course, this mask bears a striking resemblance to…

The mask of The Mask representing the Norse trickster god Loki…thus naturally lending itself to Carrey’s zany antics. Now, Loki isn’t Mexican, as far as I know. But when something from the past is unearthed that bares a striking resemblance to this or that pop-cultural touchstone, I do pay attention (though it might be totally wrong-headed to do so).

And are we not in the age of the Trickster, in the wake of 2012’s close? Is this not Loki’s time? Are things not getting stranger and stranger in the news, in politics, in our science and in the increasingly complex interrelations and public meltdowns of our celebrity gods?

And did Operation Mindfuck really go too far? Or was this all inevitable, just another turn in the spiral, just another exponential leap for humankind per Robert Anton Wilson’s “Jumping Jesus Phenomenon”?

What we really have to…I wouldn’t say “guard against,” because that sort of attracts its own aggression…What we really have to “watch out for” is the purposeful encouragement of the breakdown of reality not for the eventual enlightenment and freedom of humankind, but rather as a cynical tool by TPTB to eventually institute an “approved” reality.

II. THE BIG SWITCHAROO

Someone—some clever silver-tongued (or punch-drunk) pundit—will say to you, “we must escape the Tyranny.” But is their ultimate goal truly to escape the Tyranny, to escape the Matrix? OR: is it to then institute the Reality they personally feel is the correct one?

You gotta get this stuff straight, folks.

Even Wilson himself in the preface to his famous “Jumping Jesus Phenomenon” lecture (which I have easily listened to at least 25 times) states that it is a very useful yoga to stop at least once a day and ask oneself: “am I a useful idiot?”

We can’t escape The Matrix only to find another Matrix (and a particularly slipshod version, at that). And yet, in any number of esoteric/fringe online/realitime circles…this seems to be exactly what is happening.

This may be considered The Age Of Loki the Trickster—but with his anarchistic sympathies and chimeric, non-binary attitude/aesthetic, he certainly wouldn’t be greeted in many “Escape The Matrix” circles nowadays. (Even though two trans women created the actual fucking Matrix movie series, but that’s by-the-by)

In fact, Loki’s the sort of chap to be first on the chopping block when it turns out that this Fight Against The Matrix trope was largely hijacked as a ploy to reinstitute a paternalistic authoritarian “Return To The Golden Age.”

Which all brings me to…

III. THE GAME NIGHT ANALOGY

…improbably utilizing the Great Game Night LARPing Analogy.

In the 2018 comedy Game Night, the first level of LARP (stretching reality, breaking out of The Matrix as a type of fun brain exercise) is represented by the hip couples playing the murder mystery game:

The Scooby Gang

The second level of LARP is represented by the super-repressed cop character Gary, who is shut out of the Game by the “trendies” and wants revenge. He too engages in the creation of/indulgence in alternate realities, but is not motivated by a sense of playfulness and discovery—but instead, by a return to Authoritarianism and an appeal to the “rule of law”:

Gary the Obsessive Cop

And the third level of LARP is the revelation of the super-scary, super-sinister person(s) behind the scenes, who had been pulling the strings the entire time. They are seemingly what is behind the Last Curtain of reality. Helpfully, in Game Night this figure, named The Bulgarian (which sounds a lot like The Bavarian), is played by the same guy who was serial-killer Dexter.

The Bulgarian

Now, there is actually another “player” in this analogy, and it’s the character of Brooks…a criminal and con-artist who very consciously co-opts LARPing as a methodology to carry out his various schemes. He’s just out to make a buck.

Brooks the Shill

Towards the end of Game Night, all the LARPs are revealed, and the lives of all these different types of interested parties (with their myriad motivations) collide into each other.

And then you gotta ask yourself…who are you most like in this analogy? And who are the people you “follow” most like?

I mean…don’t ask yourself that seriously, or anything. It’s just a Buzzfeed-type quiz question.

Are you:

a) One of the Scooby Gang

b) Gary the Obsessive Cop

c) The Bulgarian

d) Brooks the Shill

And then when you find out…don’t forget to share the thoughtfully provided captioned graphic on Facebook so all your friends (and the marketers, and the advertisers, and the profilers) know!

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