Black Mirror is a show on Netflix that delves into present and future scenarios, where the technological advancements, however great, have terrible consequences. One of the more terrifying ones is called “Men Against Fire”, in this episode soldiers are hunting their sworn enemies known as roaches and butchering them because they see them as hideous violent creatures. This episode seems like a normal zombie apocalypse type scenario until suddenly a mysterious device goes off and messes with the chip the government has inserted into the soldiers brain. After this, when he goes back onto the field he looks at the roaches and they look human and he has trouble killing them. It is later explained by a psychologist to him that the chip inserted in his brain distorts his image of the “roaches” so they don’t look human, and therefore he feels no remorse when butchering these things. I’m not going to ruin the end but it gets crazy.
This episode is terrifying because, essentially that is what the media and government does today with our enemies, in less of a literal sense and more of a propaganda and censorship sense. They make distorted images of these cultures in order to put fear into us in order to be ok with genocide and war. If this invention ever comes to fruition, soldiers wouldn’t have any problem butchering innocent people and that is an awful thought. It is explained to him that in the 21st century soldiers had trouble killing and would often miss on purpose because killing feels wrong. An utterly terrifying episode.
White Bear is another great episode, though not as terrifying it does shed light on problems with technology and also the best way to torture people. It starts in an apartment with a woman waking up with amnesia, she tries to figure out what is happening and goes outside to find everyone is watching her and recording her with their phones. She has no idea what’s happening and then gets chased by people in masks with guns when she finds other people who are running. After a long chase and people all along the way not helping and instead recording her she gets to the end and finds out that she has murdered her daughter with her husband and is constantly living a life in a prison park where she has to relive the same events everyday.
That would be the worst form of torture, going from discombobulated to scared running to finding out you are a murderer. I could not think of a better form or torture. That is a date worse than death and something although I couldn’t see happening in reality, it’s still mind boggling to think about.
Another episode that is crazy to think about is “Shut Up and Dance” this episode is particularly scary because it seems as though we are only a few years away from living this hell on earth type scenario. It starts with a boy who when his mother isn’t home Kenny decides to masturbate, and after he does he gets a message from an anonymous account saying they saw him through his computer camera and will release the video to all of his friends and family if he doesn’t do exactly what they say. So he is forced to do all of these seemingly harmless things until he arrives at a hotel where a man is staying who he gives a cake to. The man is also being blackmailed and together they must rob a bank and it gets even crazier when, with the money he gets dropped off in the middle of the woods, and is forced to fight another person who was blackmailed to the death.
This episode is terrifying because it outlines how internet hackers can manipulate people into doing terrible things. It turns out that Kenny was watching child porn so, I guess he deserves it? It’s tough to say because he just did two things as bad if not worse to try and get out of it. This just makes me uneasy for the future, in a sense that anything we do online could be targeted and made into black mail by a hacker. It wouldn’t even have to be anything as bad as those scenarios but the fact that these people were forced to do unbelievable things so their lives didn’t get turned upside down is totally believable in this day and age.
Anyway there are tons of other great episodes and I can’t wait for a new season. You do you Black Mirror.