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Thread: Black Mirror

  1. #31
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    "I like Sloane's forthright take on this but didn't really feel empathy with anyone in the first episode. I assume the artist topped himself at the end either because he was horrified with what he'd done, or horrified about what happened said about the world."
    I thought it was because he was an inconvenient loose end. Also, the bits describing it as a great artwork were surely a direct reference to Stockhausen saying the same about 9/11 - although here lart was a pale imitation of life. You can't really satirise that can you?
    Edit: thanks for the NLP info

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    But I thought that NLP was a kind of self-improvement technique? I've heard people recommend it. Maybe I'm thinking of something else, I'll look it up again.


    That wasn't at all the view I got of the PM - I took him to be an unpleasant, bullying and shallow character (given the subtle surname of Callow) who was painted into a corner by his reliance on polls. When he felt there was no choice he did the "right" thing and was then happy to reap the rewards of people wrongly believing that he'd made a moral decision. He acted exactly as we think Tony Blair would and I think that we were supposed to despise him in the way we assume Brooker despises Blair.
    Not sure about the artist character - in fact he wasn't really a character, just an afterthought added on to make the story work. I felt that that was a failing in the story but not one that was necessarily due to Brooker's politics.
    John's right about the NLP, maybe I should have said Newspeak to be clearer.

    I know what you're saying - and I think that's a good take - but I'll carry on with this for the moment : for the last ten minutes the sympathies were wholeheartedly placed toward feeling horror at the action (the 'horror of watching' that Brooker always seems to hark on about, the faux-disgust at the media he works and earns a living by) and sympathy for the PM character - the tracking shots in the pub, the being sick, the final stomping off of his wife.
    My anger at Brooker means that I can't read that in the terms which you say, and lead me into more paranoid - and probably less viable - positions, but the reading of the bit at the end stands I think. I think though he would like us to think it was about Blair, the wife was clearly Sam Cameron and I think a reading of it as pro-Cameron text is viable - there's no reason post-Thick of It and the Queen for Brooker to do a Blair tract - the scent of Blair was there but I think it's a false trail. I think he loves Cameron and wants to marry him.

  3. #33
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    does anyone know if brooker is red or blue? i always assumed he was labour.

  4. #34
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    Dunno who he votes for... probably hates everyone and draws a cock on his ballot paper.
    The prime minister seemed to be a bit of a mixture of Blair and Cameron - probably because they're not that different and by making him an amalgam you can get two birds with one stone. Agreed that the wife was Sam Cam (if you were married to Cherie Blair you wouldn't be that bothered about fucking a pig ho ho) but I thought she somehow reprsented some kind of honesty in that she seemed to hate him despite the public adulation he got from his actions. I don't konw what that means though, I can't really imagine that Brooker actually sees Sam as Dave's conscience.
    The horror thing seemed to be just the location of the humour really - the total straightfacedness of everyone involved about something that was just really stupid. In the grand scheme of things, what he was asked to do wasn't that bad really was it? I mean, it's horrible but it's not horror in the Lovecraftian sense but that was the way in which it was played.

  5. #35
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    i dont know if it was that bad, but it was still sort of surreal/horrifying. actually, if more people were laughing that might be more appropriate, though it wouldnt fit with the idea of 'look at what weve become!' which was the whole point of the thing. it worked as a sort of meta companion piece to all the grotesqueries that we watch normally. i liked the wifes disgust too.

    (the 'horror of watching' that Brooker always seems to hark on about, the faux-disgust at the media he works and earns a living by)
    dont see why just cos he works in (and gets praised - does anyone in the media not like CB?) the media, he cant say anything bad about it. its not hypocrisy, its just objectivity. and we like nothing more in the 00s/10s than people who like to talk about their personal/political/career conflicts, while also reaping the rewards of it (i keep thinking of drake and kanye for some reason, though i think brooker is more sincere than either, even if he is a gadget freak, who goes on about how theyre ruining us).
    Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 23-12-2011 at 10:29 AM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubberdingyrapids View Post

    dont see why just cos he works in (and gets praised - does anyone in the media not like CB?) the media, he cant say anything bad about it. its not hypocrisy, its just objectivity.
    I know, I just wish he'd...die, really. Or shut up. I'm disappointed, basically - I've never liked him, I think misanthropists are stupid, and you have to be a very clever one to be funny, and he ain't that bright, a few good ideas maybe - cos I was giving him a last chance, and I came out - having gone in attempting to be objective, at least, just thinking, well, all of the above really.
    And so now I've come to the totally irrational conclusion he's a government agent, and once I've done that with someone, they may as well be dead to me. So sorry, Charlie. It could have been wonderful.

  7. #37
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    Default On Sympathy

    It's natural for any human to feel sympathy for someone who has to fuck a pig, even a despised politician. But while politicians seem to more like autocued ciphers every year, which has led a glut of post-modernists to harp on about how 'unreal' the whole thing is, we know that when the cameras are switched off, they still exist as humans (or lizards). This is why we sympathise with them when, like Gordon Brown and David Cameron, their children die.

    If Simon Callow was a real person, or at least presented as something other than a vehicle for satire, we'd feel the same. If this was a fictional drama played straight, we'd suspend our disbelief and probably feel some degree of sympathy for him when faced with such a rotten choice. But the context of the show means that we're not supposed to sympathise with him at all. He is a literary metaphor for the cynical politician, and the pig-fucking is what makes it comedy rather than tragedy. Our reaction to the pig-fucking is reflected by the shots of people in the pub.

    He's only doing it because the opinion polls say he should. Of course, this asks fundamental questions about democracy -- should we expect politicians to take principled (and sometimes unpopular) positions, or do we prefer them to be ideologically empty, taking their cues from the litmus test of public opinion? Post-Blair, that's certainly how things operate to a large extent. I think what Black Mirror shows is that politicians often believe, or convince themselves, that by letting opinion polls guide their actions, they are acting democratically. But the trouble is, people's opinions are shaped by a sensationalist and bigoted media. Hence, you get Labour governments under Blair and Brown taking stances they really shouldn't have, simply because they were following public opinion -- or to put it another way, they were scared of the Sun and Daily Mail. In Black Mirror, the PM goes back on his principled stand against fucking a pig to save his own bacon (ho ho!)

    Just because the public was interested in the prime minister fucking a pig, was it in the public interest?

    RE: Episode 3. I thought this was an interesting premise, since it is becoming easier to log our every action. It's possible, for example, to log in to your girlfriend's computer and read her emails, or check her phone messages. It's something we've all done. So Black Mirror E03 took this to its logical conclusion.

    The conculsion I drew from it, though, was that on a personal level, this technology is a mostly positive thing. If it wasn't for the memory scanner, the protagonist would never have found out that his girlfriend had been carrying on with another bloke. Surely he has a right to know this, and she is a cheating scumbag who deserves her comeuppance?

    Just because the conclusions we draw from a work of art are inconvenient or ethically dubious, it doesn't mean it's bad. It says more about us than it does about the artist. It says a lot about me, for example, that I'm instinctively in favour of being able to check to see if my girlfriend has been sleeping around by scanning her memory. I'd like to know whether she's thinking of someone else when she's having sex with me. So is it fair to argue that Black Mirror E02 is somehow guilty of making us more suspicious and voyeuristic, by promoting this technology? Or is it warning us that we are all snoopers who can't be trusted with this technology? I'd say the latter. But the trouble is, even after being made aware of how creepy it is, I'm still in favour of devices that may convince people to stop lying to one another.

  8. #38
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    Watched the first episode last night. Fucking brilliant. Not sure if I want to watch the next two having read the comments in this thread as feel it might spoil my buzz. Will wait a bit then venture forward.

  9. #39
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    Default Black Mirror

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/black-mirror/4od

    Be right back.

    Strong start to the second series, no?
    Last edited by HMGovt; 13-02-2013 at 02:38 PM.

  10. #40
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    so the new series is out
    on netflix

    anyone watched it, or figured out a way to catch it without netflix subscription?

  11. #41
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    Ironically (?) my Chromecast is refusing to work ATM so I'm unable to watch the new series. It's a short walk from here to my Chromecast strangling me and selling my corpse to be fucked by reality TV stars in a dystopian future.

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