This is a not-very-good picture of two of the 25 or so Agent Smiths from The Matrix that descended upon the Grand Central Station subway station on Friday morning in the latest example of what could be called infiltration media. The sight of so many of them was jitter-inducing, which is one reason it’s so shaky. The other is that in mid picture-taking, it occurred to us that taking pictures in a subway station can get you arrested these days. (It’s an anti-terrorism thing.) But impersonating a fictitious creepy Secret Service-like agent in the subway system is just fine, so there they were, standing five or six abreast, handling out little black “scratch and win” cards to promote the airing of The Matrix Trilogy for three days on Cinemax last week. The Smiths had also appeared in Times Square and the "Today” show and were about to descend on Philadelphia, according to one Smith who seemed more intent on fiddling with his earpiece than handing out cards.
Here’s the weirdest part. As we left them behind and descended the stairs to the train platform, an older guy in a trench coat began to have words with one of them, shouting something about being “a concerned citizen” and waving one of the little black cards in his face. It was hard to tell if the whole thing was staged, or just infiltration media gone awry. That #6 train couldn’t show up fast enough.–Posted by Catharine P. Taylor