OLD ESSAY// The Matrix is #nomoneynoborders

The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis (credited as The Wachowski Brothers) and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano. It depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called “the Matrix”, created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies’ heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Computer programmer Neo learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the “dream world.” It is the most influential film of our time!

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1. Life Does Not Transcend Money & Borders

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😎 Personal: Watching the opening of The Matrix: Revolutions, I couldn’t help but feel directly represented in my struggle to produce change for the Trainman so I can get back to fighting for the truth about money and borders. The programs Neo converse with obviously represent the entire families and communities that are likewise (but much more horrifically) stranded in our system. I live outside my city now, supported by father and partner and a small circle of very close friends. As Neo’s own family fights through Hell to help him out, The Wachowski filmmaking team give us a moment of peace, of eye-to-eyeness, and open their hearts unabashedly to the globe. This sequence used to feel a little superfluous and ponderous in its construction but that was before I truly understood that the symbolism used is much more naked, empathetic, and urgent.


2. Freedom Transcends Money & Borders

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πŸ”Ž#Factual: “I’m going to show these people a world without you. A world without rules or control, without borders or boundaries. Where we go from there I leave up to you.”
🌏 #Actionable: How to Be A Superhero!


3. Art Transcends Money & Borders

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πŸ”Ž#Factual: The Matrix is a project that includes a range of characters and types designed to transcend the segregation seen in places like The Matrix‘s real world setting Chicago.
πŸ”§What Does It Have? What Does It Need?: The Matrix needs for its brown and differently abled players to be as empowered and lovely as the two white kung-fu master protagonists.


4. Believing in Yourself Transcends Money & Borders
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πŸ”Ž#Factual: At each moment of crushing near-defeat the only way any of the characters in The Matrix Trilogy make any headway is by believing in their self. Our heroes make a choice to love as the very nature of reality is deconstructed and hanging in the balance, and that is how their world eventually transcends restriction.


5. The Savior Transcends Money & Borders
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πŸ”Ž#Factual: Supported by everyday people, Neo is ritualistically sacrificed several times by the forces of this system, mirroring the myth of Jesus Christ.
πŸ”§What Does It Have? What Does It Need?: It needs for everyone to be provided for so Neo & Trinity can just chill and enjoy their love.
😎 Personal: Same.

6. Partying Transcends Money & Borders
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πŸ”Ž#Factual: In The Matrix: Reloaded the most joyful moment is a Utopian cave rave full of love, life, and hope. As the forces trying to enslave us dig closer and closer, we dance!
πŸ”§What Does It Have? What Does It Need?: IT NEEDS A LONGER RUNTIME.
🌏#Actionable: Shoutout to the Utopia Ball!


7. Love Transcends Money & Borders
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πŸ”Ž#Factual: Several romantic partnerships are key in The Matrix films, notwithstanding the intense familial love our protagonists exhibit for each other.
πŸ”§What Does It Have? What Does It Need?: “Cookies need love like everything does.” 😎 Personal: I love my bae and my homies and together we will make it right!

8. Utopia Transcends Money & Borders
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πŸ”Ž#Factual:
In The Matrix Trilogy, Zion, the unplugged human haven, is shown without any discernible currency~ certainly nothing resembling money as it was used at the start of the 21st century.

πŸ”§What Does It Have? What Does It Need?:

If life was asking a question with its production of and investment in The Matrix, The Matrix: Reloaded answers the question as soon as it intercuts a diverse, classless Zion rejoicing together while Neo and Trinity make love.

9. Hip-Hop Transcends Money & Borders
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πŸ”Ž#Factual:
The first two films end with rapper Zach De La Rocha & his band Rage Against The Machine rallying against inequality. Later in The Matrix: Reloaded credits is a song by fellow hip-hop rockers P.O.D. imploring you to “unlock these secrets in me” and decode hidden messages. Put together this clearly just means that these films are acknowledging that in real life “the Matrix” is restricted access to space & resources that we wish art could rescue us from politically.
πŸ”§What Does It Have? What Does It Need?:
The people spoken for in these songs have righteous fury, shared culture, and love for each other but need housing, access to basic necessities and to not be targeted as dangerous or for slavery by the needs of maintaining the historical system of money and borders. P.O.D. need you to understand the meaning of the film The Matrix and use your powers to give a voice to the voiceless. “Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear?”
😎 Personal: Nu-metal made me a badass!


10. Future Transcends Money & Borders
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πŸ”Ž#Factual: In 1999, The Matrix was a metaphor for our lives in the (post-)modern reality of inequality. Neo was supposed to have flown above that inequality at the end of the first film to destroy borders and global injustice. He didn’t, so in 2003, The Matrix: Reloaded & Revolutions would be looking ahead to the endgame of restricted access to space & resources.

πŸ”§What Does It Have? What Does It Need?: Millions of people anticipated the climax to Reloaded to provide an answer and herald a new global awakening. And when the Keymaker opens the Door of Light and The One enters…the films engage us in a recursive loop to be replayed out until the moment is right. Each time, the film tells the viewer to choose to forge ahead even when it seems like the systems holding up money and borders are too much, the genocide too complete. The Architect’s sequence visually references the fact that Neo is being viewed in a sequel to The Matrix, searching (again) for what the Matrix is and thus also anticipates a sense of our social media life via peeling layers of digital reality. Day after day, year after year, we return to these films needing something more to complete the mission. The only reason The Matrix films have not changed the world to the point of eradicating inequality is because art, other than religion, has never had power over money and borders. UNTIL NOW.

😎 Personal: Once upon a time, I was an avid re-watcher of The Matrix the same age as the little “Potential” telling Neo “There is no spoon, it is only your mind that bends.” I grew up with that in… mind. Watching it now, as an adult person with adult relationships and a curious consciousness I kept flexible, I am ready to finish the game!
🌏#Actionable: RSVP to support student gardens here!
~ @mtvxonews

ANNOUNCEMENT// The 10 Laws of #nomoneynoborders

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Read all 25 Laws of Pop Culture & learn more: tinyurl.com/LBGCsuperheroguide

 

#mtvXO is a utopian pop culture network & service learning platform. We partnered with Let’s Build Garden City! to bring you the 10 Laws of #nomoneynoborders and make it easy to share how something creates a free world! We focus on pop culture as the most powerful images, languages, and sounds expressed from all over the world and posit that its message is often literally censored from having the very impact we make it for. We are identifying our global human community’s TRUE demands, elevating them, and linking it all up to real life structures that build utopia.

These are the 10 Laws of #nomoneynoborders:

1. Life Does Not Transcend Money & Borders
2. Freedom Transcends Money & Borders
3. Art Transcends Money & Borders
4. Believing in Yourself Transcends Money & Borders
5. The Savior Transcends Money & Borders
6. Partying Transcends Money & Borders
7. Love Transcends Money & Borders
8. Utopia Transcends Money & Borders
9. Hip-Hop Transcends Money & Borders
10. Future Transcends Money & Borders

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You can apply these laws (or your own!) at any time to anything.

Check out these sample posts where we use the following tools to explore a piece of art being #nomoneynoborders

🎞#NowPlaying: Clips, videos, or pictures illustrating the topic

πŸ”Ž #Factual: Objective descriptions related to how something fulfills a law (or three)

πŸ”§ What Does It Have? What Does It Need?: Can be broad or specific, fantastic or realistic. Ex. What does the protagonist of a movie lack materially and how does that intersect with the plot and what they are looking for emotionally?

😎 Personal: Super subjective but all-important level of analysis, how the writer is indivudually experiencing a piece of art and applying it to their own life

🌏 #Actionable: Ties the subject back into #mtvXO/Let’s Build Garden City! and using art & creativity to actively make a new world.

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Got it? Let’s play!

 

INTERVIEW// Milan Anderson!

Milan Anderson

Milan Anderson, via #supportstudentgardens


Let’s Build Garden City!‘s huge citywide workshop series
How to Make A Million While Selling Your Crops in the Hood is the gift that keeps giving! Here’s our Q&A with Bridgeport-based educator & activist Milan Anderson! Stay tuned for more gem-filled interviews with farmers in your area! See you next Spring ^_^

THE Q&A

Who are you?

Milan Anderson, [I] apprenticed at Living Roots farm in 2016, worked for Urban Canopy as market manager and farm hand, obtained a Master of Urban Farmer Training with University of Illinois Extension summer of 2018, hosted weekly garden workshops for kids at El Paseo Community Garden summer of 2019 and have been an avid forager in Chicago the past year, making medicines out of what most people consider weeds πŸ™‚

What’s some advice you have for students starting out as a professional in the agriculture industry?

You might need to volunteer and intern first go get your feet wet and later use that experience to apply for paid positions. It might take a season or two of volunteering low key for a garden, but it could pay off in the long run. For instance, I was a volunteer gardener at El Paseo and when I found out they wanted a kids garden program, since I was already a contributing member, the garden directors were happy to fund the kids workshops I created. You never know where your involvement might lead so just put yourself out there!Β 

What are some local resources you think students should know about? Chicago Community Gardening Association (they offer tons of resources and plants) AUA listserv, Chicago Environmental Network.

Do you have any words of encouragement for someone just looking for a fun service learning project to do?

Try and be present, really in the moment and think through the different tasks you are doing (what could make it more effective, or make it easier on others) so you can make the most of the experience.

What’s the secret to students treating each other right?

Be kind to yourself, and apply that kindness to people around you.Β 

Anything else you want to talk about?

Learn about permaculture (aka permanent agriculture or growing food forests), it is awesome to use this to your benefit and the ecosystem’s benefit. A lot of organic farms already use some of these practices to sustainably grow, but could add more. With climate change, it is even more important to learn about these practices that stem from indigenous people’s ways of growing in harmony with nature.Β 

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Can we share your social media?

Yes! ecocentric_gurl is my insta.

 


 

RSVP & donate to support new student gardens in 2020! 🌻

ANNOUNCEMENT// How to Make A Million…

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Supported by a generous award from the Chicago Food Policy Action Council

how to make a million while selling your crops in the hood

WINTER WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

12/20 Ashburn
12/21 Pullman
12/23 Logan Square
12/24 Downtown
12/26 PilsenΒ 
12/27 Austin
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RSVP FOR ADDRESS // tinyurl.com/lbgcRSVP
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We’re bringing folks together to give students insight and valuable connections heading into the next growing season.Β Let’s Build Garden City!

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Support student gardens this Food Fun(d)ing Friday!

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We’re Let’s Build Garden City a CPS service learning partner program based on the Southside. Our mission supports student gardens and promotes young people across the city growing their own food, herbs, plants, and more.
OCT 25, 2019 | 6 PM – 9 PM | THE WOODLAWN |Β BIT.LY/HARVESTFEST19

We’ll be raising money with theΒ Chicago Food Policy Action CouncilΒ for a financial literacy-themed workshop series titled “How To Make A Million While Selling Your Crops In The Hood.” And for Halloween we’re throwing aΒ Haunted garden partyΒ at The Cooperation Operation for students in Pullman!

Want to support student gardens in your neighborhood? We have a resource library hosted at our siteΒ tenderdiscovery.comΒ with articles & tips for students; as well as anΒ outreach toolkitΒ for community members. Come through to the event though! We need youΒ