Jump to content

Welcome to the Freedomain Radio Message Board


Sign In 

Create Account
If you're interested in joining the philosophical discussion, click "sign in" or "create account" on the right of the page. If you're creating a new account, please be sure to include an explanation as to why you're interested in joining the message board community. This verification requirement is included to cut down on possible troll and spam accounts.

If you have supported Freedomain Radio financially and would like immediate access to the message board - or - your donation status is incorrect, please contact Michael at operations@freedomainradio.com with your information and the situation will be addresses ASAP.
 
Guest Message by DevFuse

Wednesday April 23rd, 2014: No Call In Show

Thursday and Friday April 24-25th, 2014: The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam

Friday April 25th, 2014: Watch Stefan's Speech LIVE at 9:20am Eastern

Saturday April 26th, 2014: Freedomain Radio Meet-Up in Amsterdam

Sunday April 27th, 2014: No Call In Show


56 Philosopher King files - 71 Gold files - 40 Silver files - 50 Bronze files


Update: A new silver level file on Toxic Guilt and The Credibility Bank Account has been added! Click here to donate if you'd like access to the various premium sections. If your donator status is incorrect, please contact Michael at operations@freedomainradio.com with the relevant information and it will be corrected as soon as possible.

Photo

Black Mirror: The Twilight Zone of Our Generation


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy


  • 773 posts

Black Mirror is a psychological thriller/sci-fi series from the UK. In Twilight Zone fashion, each episode thrusts you into a world of its own where it dramatizes technology's influence on us as human beings. There's only been two seasons so far, with only three episodes each, but I found them extremely thought provoking and skin crawling creepy that I wish there were more. At least 10, if not 20 episodes a season would be great!

 

Anyways, examples of episodes: There's one episode, called The Entire History of You, where they focus on this device that allows you to record every single moment of your life and at ANY time, you can rewatch them in your mind or on any clear surface so that you can always have an objective perspective on your memories. It's a little gain implanted in your hippocampus region of the brain, and you can control it with a little remote the size and almost the same shape as USB flash drive.

 

The central human drama that complicates this device's usefulness is that of a man who suspects his wife of cheating on him based on how she behaved at a dinner party. He is able to catch subtle cues in which she dismissed him as useless to the scene, while being incredibly charmed by one of the party guests. 

 

To highlight how each episode is different from the last, there's another one called White Elephant where this woman wakes up tied to a chair, with a scatter of pills around her on the floor, and TV in front of her is projecting the image of a pixelated White Elephant logo. When she escapes the house she finds herself in, with no recollection of how she got there and what she was doing, a crowd of people start coming out of their houses. In her confusion her only instinct is to try and ask people for help, but they're too preoccupied with recording a video of her on each of their cell phones, while guys with guns start chasing her around trying to kill her.

 

As great as those episodes were, the very last one I decided to watch tripped me out THE MOST!!! It's called Fifteen Million Merits. For me to describe the concept behind it, I would feel compelled to spoil the story and give away all the metaphors about our current culture, even though it is sent in a bleak and distant future. All I will say is that it's a great social commentary on our consumerist culture and talent show based society.

 

 

I will have to admit to one critique on the show as a whole, and this only happens for me, but I always find the first act of every episode to be kind of boring. In hindsight, they do set up the episode quite well, but that shouldn't stop you from when the 2nd act of any episode fully immerses you into its world and begins to gnaw away at your sanity with what goes on in them.

 

I will share my take on all the metaphors presented in this episode if anyone is interested. For now though, I hope this is enough to pull you guys in.

 

Hope you enjoy! I am also glad to hear that many of you have liked Being Erica since I reccommended that. It gives me tremendous pleasure to know that what I share is valuable. Thank you thank you thank you! 


  • 0

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.


#2
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

I just wanted to thank you for recommending the series.  I would never have discovered it without this post, and it was fantastic.  Anyone who likes some of the classic "The Twilight Zone" episodes should love "Black Mirror".  "Fifteen Million Merits" may be the most beautiful one hour tragedy I've ever seen.

 

It would be really difficult to answer this without spoiling the content... but I'm curious... Would the knife sinking in, have been a less tragic ending?


  • 0

"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#3
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy


  • 773 posts

Yeah I think would be a lot less tragic. What makes it tragic is that he sold out a little bit to afford himself...well not freedom, but a bigger room with a better wall/window scenery. Instead of that childish cartoon farm, it was I think a vast forest and the horizon? A simulated image nonetheless.

 

It's also tragic that when he had his own program, people just watched it for entertainment instead of thinking for themselves like he was trying to preach.


  • 0

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.


#4
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

I agree completely... but it's interesting to note, that part of agreeing, is having faith that if the piece of mirror sunk in, something would have changed.  So, in some ways, it's a question of whether or not you have faith in humanity.  Given, that people ended up watching his show for entertainment, was his decision the lesser of two evils?  That's what makes it such a beautiful set up.  If people would have thought it was entertainment anyway, and would not have changed at all... He made the right choice.  Didn't he?  Again, thanks though, because every episode presented fascinating moral questions, that one was just the most intense.


  • 0

"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#5
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy


  • 773 posts

Oh did you watch the entire series already? There's only 6 episodes so I held off between some, they were too compelling to digest in a quick amount of time, at least for me.

 

I guess it was the lesser evil, but that entire hamster wheel society was evil all in itself. Do you think those people would strive for freedom if he DID kill himself on that stage or ever chose to during his broadcasts? They don't show what happens over a longer period of time after he gets that opportunity. Like does ANYONE start to open their mind at some point?

 

Anyways what a trippy episode. Any other notable ones for you?

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the one where that woman loses her boyfriend and talks to the virtual manifestation of him through her phone and other social media. Creepy ass idea to replace your dead loved ones with technology that only resembles them.


  • 0

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.


#6
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

Yeah, I think I still have faith in the human spirit.  If he had ended it, on the broadcast everyone loved, I think things might have changed... By making it a show, I think he may have been the last thing they needed to suppress revolt.  Still, such a terrifying, and evil dystopia, and a beautiful story.

 

The other two you mentioned were really the best.  The virtual lover and father created by social media.  Very sad, very realistic.  Same for the one where the man accuses his wife of having an affair, because he keeps replaying the video of his own life over and over. I never wanted Google glass, but now I want it even less.  I'm going to end up some crazy survivalist in the middle of nowhere if things keep going this way, lol.

 

I once wrote a joke, on twitter of all places, that I really fear is going to come true "I think I need a singularity lawyer... I want to make sure it's illegal for someone to download my consciousness and enslave it for eternity".  The episode with the social media recreation of a person really touched on that sentiment, but in a much less dystopian fashion.


  • 0

"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#7
Josh F

Josh F

    Thought Terrorist


  • 766 posts

this is one of the best shows I've ever seen, it is very anti-government, and so dark and funny.


  • 0

#8
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy


  • 773 posts

Glad you guys have enjoyed it!

 

Yeah I love that memory device episode. You gotta be more accountable for your actions if everything gets recorded because it's so easy to see memory objectively.

 

Here's my rundown of 15 Million Merits:

 

The facility's power is generated by the inhabitants biking on those treadmills. I think that's a metaphor for how the world runs currently. Everyone basically does mostly the same thing, work to make a living just to go home and watch TV. So in this episode they condense that TV watching culture and conformist employee thing into ONE. You can watch TV while you "work," but of course the main character always preferred treating it as a bike path simulator.

 

People's bedroom walls consisted of flat TV's all around that bombard them with advertisements they have to pay MORE to ignore, kind of like how consumerism might consume us one day. What I found most interesting though was the talent show audience, wherin instead of actual people, THEY WERE AVATARS while the judges were real people. I think that symbolizes how complacent TV obssessed culture is, like the audience just doesn't really consist of REAL people. Rather consumers all around whether they're in the studio or not. As you can see the REAL person was at home, kind of indicative of whether or not you're there, you're just a passive watcher.

 

Making it to Hot Shot (the talent show's name iirc) is kind of like a metaphor for getting out of the rat race. Instead of working that same daily grind of everyone else, just biking mindlessly while consuming TV, you give yourself the chance to EXPRESS your being in front of a panel of judges. The judges of course being a metaphor for the gatekeepers that decide to either accept you as a success or a failure.

 

With the girl he helped, she was just about average, yet unsure about herself. She sang beautifully even though it lacked some emotion. It had a lot of timidness and hesitation so her "upgrade" out of the daily grind is becoming a porn star. Degrading, but still a step up from endless biking to some degree. I felt really bad for her and for the dude when he saw the production she was in. THe fact that you can't close your eyes and ignore it is like how in our face this denegration of the human spirit really is.

 

Finally with the main character, when he did his performance and stopped abruptly to give his speech, I LOVED IT. I loved how he said he had nothing planned to say, just knew that he wanted to be up there and tell the truth. Although I thought people would wake up from it, I was satisfyingly dissatisfied that they just saw it as yet another "performance" rather than something of substance beyond singing and dancing.

 

It was a metaphor for growing up and escaping the rat race by expressing the depths of your being, but we live in a culture where your expression, no matter how strong, must still be evaluated by judges. You still have to prove yourself to harsh critics while passive perceivers get entertained in your struggle. You were once them, but some of them may never reach your level or ever choose to. Some might of course but anyway.

 

His upgrade into a bigger room was that growth even though he has damned himself into a life of honesty that is still overlooked by the people at the end. His message wasn't taken seriously so the cynicism that comes with judging our current culture, it's kind of like entertainment itself when taken at face value, and never really thought about. He got bigger walls sure, and instead of having a cartoon farm it was a vast horizon however artificial it was.


  • 0

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.


#9
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy


  • 773 posts

Coming back to this thread after a couple months, I am quite proud of my interpretation of that episode. If anybody's still interested in this show and saw the episode in question, I would love to know what you think of my thoughts.


  • 0

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users