Anchor for this item posted by Bernard Tremblay at Tuesday, March 12, 2002; Tuesday, March 12, 2002

This is not a movie, and so there really is no "blue pill / red pill" choice to make. And yet something very much like that is unfolding every instant: moment by moment, individuals are choosing to adopt easy explanations in order not to tangle with the problem that has arisen, and so the next moment they are a bit more deadened and a bit less responsive than the moment before.
If there's no blue pill or red pill, there's something like a poison pill, and that's what the person swallows when they buy into the notion of powerlessness in the face of a need for change. Whether responding out of cynical loneliness or from a pessimism born of fear (fear creates a manic need for certainty, even if it's only certainty in everything being futile), we can extend the worst of the past through the moment into the future by pretending to actual powerlessness.
But how many of us are so cynical and so powerless that we would not flee a burning building? Why, then, do we stand mute in the face of social injustice and environmental degredation except from a deeply ingrained, entirely irrational, and profoundly mistaken faith that everything will work out for the good? If we are so bold here as to factor in the effect of guilt and self-loathing, then we are greeted with a scenario that meets in every particular the Buddhist imagery of the hell-realms.