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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Gospel of Tron

In the beginning was the User, and the User was a bumbling fool.

The Ballyhoo and i went to see Tron: Legacy the other night. While it's a visual feast, the story is devoid of calorie. It's a jelly donut where someone forgot the jelly. i was struck mostly by the obvious biblical metaphors. Small wonder, eh? Happ who studied archetypes in literature this year tells me that that's all it was. Disney just used the Bible as an archetype, a primitive model for their story. You can't read too much into it. Hmmm. Methinks me son misapprehends the power of story to shape idea and thought. Especially since i have been telling him the opposite of this since he was old enough to sit still while i spoke and it only took one teacher with a different story in one class to change his mind.

God Himself knows the power of narrative. That's why the Bible exists. It's the story we need to know if we are to know Him.
"105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path." Psalm 119
Words are lamps. They light up the soul of the speaker or the writer. They illuminate what's going on inside. That's why a lie has such power. It clouds the viewer's eye's with false light, false images. It misrepresents the soul of the liar... until the lie is laid bare. It's why the Bible is attacked so viciously, so often. Atheists want more than anything to prove it false. To expose the lie they see it as. The lie their faith is based upon. If it's not a lie then they are much to be pitied.

The Satan is known as the father of lies. He knows that the best lies have nearly eighty percent truth to them. He can quote scripture. Just take something true and suck the jelly out of it. Most folk won't dive in deep enough to notice anyway. Disney is not the devil but they seem to be about his work willfully or not. That's what they're stories show and Tron is perhaps one of their most obvious. Let's review shall we, (spoiler alert: i am not paying any attention to whether i give away the story, plot or twists of the movie so if you really don't want to know anything about it, don't watch the original Tron from the eighties.)

  • Kevin Flynn is God. He has the white clothes, the beard, the inscrutable mystic ideology and the power to create. He creates an entire universe within a computer and populates it with programs.
  • Programs are angels. We have Flynn's archangel, Tron and a new one he creates in his own image (literally) named Clu.
  • Clu is Lucifer. The best and brightest and obviously the most beautiful of all the programs. Flynn creates him to aid him in creating the Perfect System. The one that will bring light to all the universe, both in and outside the computer.
  • Obviously there has to be a fall. God and his angels can't just go on to create harmony and beauty. And here's where Disney really starts sucking the Jelly out and injecting silicone.
  • ISO's arrive. ISO's are people. Innocent yet wonderfully wise as Flynn describes them. ISO stands for Isometric algorithms. Which, as near as i can figure is what mathematicians use to discover things about stuff they don't understand by finding identical parallels between the mystery and already known areas of study. i say, "arrive" because that's how Flynn describes it. He didn't create them, the conditions were accidentally right for them to spontaneously form. Translation: there is a God but we evolved without his actual design.
  • Flynn is enthralled with the ISO's. He forgets about his original ideas and henceforth, CLU. CLU becomes jealous and overthrows Flynn. Translation: Lucifer is God's fault cause he's absent minded and callous. Lucifer has a legitimate beef with God.
  • Kevin Flynn's son Sam shows up on the grid. Sam is Jesus. But he has no idea why he's here or what he's supposed to do. He want's to rescue, not people, but God, Flynn.
  • As a matter of fact, rescuing people/ISO's is gonna be a bit tough, cuz there's only one left, Quorra. Far from the outcast, downtrodden, poor and needy that Jesus came to, Sam is going to end up rescuing a pretty hot, pretty capable, pretty worthy critter who will help rescue Sam as well. Translation: God needs us as much as we need Him.
  • Cutting to the chase, literally, in the end, God has to sacrifice himself in order to kill Lucifer and allow Jesus and his chosen person to escape. Translation: Good and Evil are two sides of the same coin, God cannot exist without the devil and no matter what happens, we normal folk are probably better off without their interference anyhow.
So, i guess what i'm trying to say is, don't let pretty lights, pretty people, cool bikes and driving techno beats distract you from what the world is preaching every day. In that sense, Tron is a great movie with a great message.

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