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Nettle Soup
Jan 30, 2010

Oh, and Jones was there too.


Actually, thinking about it, we don't really know if she died, that's just what they told him and put in the simulation to break him.

Anyway, I've never watched any of the rest of Black Mirror, so I suppose I should go catch up.

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drunkill
Sep 25, 2007


friendship is magic
in a pony paradise
don't you judge me

Yes, catch up, now.


Great episode, some nice twists in this one. John Hamm is amazing and this made me sad that Mad Men is almost at an end.

Stumiester
Dec 3, 2004

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."

Black Mirror reminded me very strongly of surface detail by Ian M Banks: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_Detail.

It's about cultures which decide that the religious belief in heaven and hell are useful societal/moral controls, but want to be sure they actually exist, so create artificial hells that they put backed up brain states (essentially the same as cookies) into after you die. It very strongly rams home the principle that you are your brain state/consciousness, and putting your brain state into a state of torture for an unimaginable length of time is a truly and completely horrific thing. I couldn't help myself from thinking that it was a small hop and a skip from cookies to that. To give an example from the book, here's the protagonists watching a tour of visitors from the Real essentially having a prison visit to keep them obedient:

"The eight Pavuleans exiting the giant beetle were also distinguished from the damned around them by being whole, carrying no scars or obvious injuries, seeping wounds or signs of disease. They looked well fed too, though even from this distance Prin could see a sort of hungry desperation in their movements and their facial expressions, a petrifying sense of probably being about to escape this landscape of pain and terror, but with the realisation dawning on at least some of them that perhaps they had been lied to. Perhaps this was not the end of a brief warning tour of Hell, designed to keep them on the straight and narrow back in the Real, but rather a taste of what was about to become their settled and already inescapable fate; a cruel trick that would be just the first of innumerable cruel tricks. Perhaps they were not getting out at all; perhaps they were here to stay, and to suffer.

From what Prin knew, for at least one of their number this would be brutally true; such groups were inevitably traumatised in the course of what they were forced to witness during these tours and utterly unable to establish any rapport with the rapaciously forbidding and utterly disdainful demons who escorted them quickly drew together, bonding like a tiny herd, finding a rough but real companionship amongst their equally horror-struck companions no matter how various their personalities, situations and histories might have been back in the Real.

To then have one of your number cut out of your little group, somebody you knew and felt some camaraderie towards, made the experience all the more vivid. It was just about possible to experience one of these horrific excursions and convince yourself that the unfortunates you saw suffering were quite different from you just because of the extremity of their degradation (they appeared sub-Pavulean; little more perhaps no more than animals) but to watch one of your group having all of his or her worst fears confirmed, consigned to everlasting torment just at the point when they thought they were about to be allowed to resume their life in the Real, made the lesson the tour was meant to teach stick much more thoroughly in the mind."

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

we need to compile a Black Mirror reading list

(short stories, about half of them very black mirrory)

(contains the story "suicide coast")

(expanded from the short story "the light of other days", just read that bit really)

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/31979 ("The Tunnel under the World", full text, if it seems derivative or hackneyed remember it's from loving 1955, so long before the idea of VR was a thing that the author envisaged his virtual copies of people as robots not computer simulations)

Aye Doc
Jul 19, 2007

my name is john carter



alrighty, I just finished White Bear and I think I'd like some whisky now

Total Meatlove
Jan 28, 2007


Rangers died, shoujo Hitler cried ;_;


Aye Doc posted:

alrighty, I just finished White Bear and I think I'd like some whisky now

Watch 15 million merits, it's the happiest one out of the lot.

Pilchenstein
May 17, 2012

Let's get this party started.


Lipstick Apathy

Well that was bleak. Like "I won't be surprised when I see Charlie Brooker up a clocktower with a rifle on the news" bleak. It was a little predictable in places but that did nothing to soften the blow. Also, as soon as it finished my girlfriend starts saying "yeah but people would never let that sort of thing happen in real life" and I had to remind her that this very week we learned the CIA had been raping people to death and most of the world's response was either not giving the slightest gently caress or tacit approval.

When Brooker called one of his books "I can make you hate", he wasn't loving kidding.

Cat Machine
Jun 18, 2008

EASY OPERATION

Unfortunately the most plausible thing about the special (to me) was that people would use Block to ignore important real-life issues like not owning up a pregnancy through infidelity. I can totally imagine relationships going to poo poo a lot faster when people can avoid confrontation with zero hassle.

hemale in pain
Jun 5, 2010



Cat Machine posted:

Unfortunately the most plausible thing about the special (to me) was that people would use Block to ignore important real-life issues like not owning up a pregnancy through infidelity. I can totally imagine relationships going to poo poo a lot faster when people can avoid confrontation with zero hassle.

To be fair I got the impression she wasn't happy with the relationship at all and wasn't just avoiding him because of the baby. I'd probably end up blocking someone who gets thrown out of bars and smashes vases in anger, especially if i was pregnant.

I like the spin on the weird loner person being an actual crazy suicidal person rather than cool and brooding.

hemale in pain fucked around with this message at Dec 17, 2014 around 16:03

Daktar
Aug 19, 2008

I done turned 'er head into a slug an' now she's a-stucked!


Definitely need to add some Phillip K. Dick to that reading list. I could just see Charlie updating A Scanner Darkly and using it to take on modern drug culture and the surveillance state. Time Out Of Joint is pretty Brookeresque in its exploration of simulated reality, too.

Factor Mystic
Mar 19, 2006

Baby's First Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Good special. Good twist. I anticipated that the British dude was cookied, but I also thought it was going to turn out that Jon Hamm was as well... kind of an eternal AI interrogator.

HUMAN FISH
Jul 6, 2003

I Am A Mom With A
"BLACK BELT"
In AUTISM
I Have Strengths You Can't Imagine


drunkill posted:

John Hamm is amazing and this made me sad that Mad Men is almost at an end.

Makes me happy because maybe we'll see him more often in something that isn't boring garbage.

Deus Rex
Mar 4, 2005



Factor Mystic posted:

Good special. Good twist. I anticipated that the British dude was cookied, but I also thought it was going to turn out that Jon Hamm was as well... kind of an eternal AI interrogator.

I figured it out during the cookie segment as well, but thought Hamm was a detective himself. The connection to the first act was clever.

Plavski
Feb 1, 2006

I could be a revolutionary


Total Meatlove posted:

Watch 15 million merits, it's the happiest one out of the lot.

It certainly has the happiest ending. For reals.

McDragon
Sep 11, 2007



One thing that occurred to me today. When he hears the story about the Cookie, the killer guy sees it as pretty horrific and that comes as a surprise to Hamm's character, and he mentions something along the lines of most people wouldn't find anything wrong with that (society in Black Mirror World is messed up). I don't know if that was maybe a bit of a hint towards the twist but with hindsight it could be? It's somewhat interesting to me anyway.

McDragon fucked around with this message at Dec 17, 2014 around 20:27

Dr. Pancakes
Aug 12, 2011

Thank you for not eating me without syrup

McDragon posted:

One thing that occurred to me today. When he hears the story about the Cookie, the killer guy sees it as pretty horrific and that comes as a surprise to Hamm's character, and he mentions something along the lines of most people wouldn't find anything wrong with that (society in Black Mirror World is messed up). I don't know if that was maybe a bit of a hint towards the twist but with hindsight it could be? It's somewhat interesting to me anyway.


I thought of it more that he was just tying to get him to think he was a good person so he would confess easier.

I liked the whole SIMS feel to the Ai thing when they first introduced it. The torturing of the AI in the end was a little cheesy to me, I would have preferred just the ending with hamm's character being blocked which would have had a stronger impact without the other scene.

Great special overall though

hemale in pain
Jun 5, 2010



I felt the AI's ending was a bit cheesy too but was just as much a bit of tongue in cheek mockery of awful endless christmas songs being played for a month straight everywhere.

Big Anime Fan Here
Sep 8, 2010

by XyloJW


It was really corny, for him to suffer 1000 years for every minute on earth, for sure

Junior G-man
Sep 15, 2004

Bawk Bawk THERAPY CRANES Baaawk!




Big Anime Fan Here posted:

It was really corny, for him to suffer 1000 years for every minute on earth, for sure

Well, I mean, it's only a digital copy and he's not real, so should we really care ...

Vitamin P
Nov 19, 2013

just so it's clear

Big Anime Fan Here posted:

It was really corny, for him to suffer 1000 years for every minute on earth, for sure

The episode drifted far too close to torture porn for me, especially 'disciplining' the house AI and how long the suicide scene was. And the twist doesn't even compare to White Bear, I'm a pretty dumb person but I twigged quite early that the guru was working the guy and after the 'AIs exist' point was shown the general direction of the plot was obvious.

The PUA narrative could sustain an episode, with a bit more incidental depth to it, and so could Blocking potentially, but this felt like two B-list ideas being smashed together alongside how annoying ubiquitous christmas songs are and grim-for-the-sake-of-it torture. And it's nit-picky, but a sign of how clearly it was two unrelated stories, temporary Blocking being available would hugely change the pick-up game and it wasn't even referenced. Especially weak because Black Mirror is usually so good at incidental effects of technology on society.

Overall it's more Black Mirror and was better than 99% of what's televised but still, not great.

Hat Thoughts
Jul 27, 2012



HUMAN FISH posted:

Makes me happy because maybe we'll see him more often in something that isn't boring garbage.

TVIV everybody

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002


Oh god I'm a third of the way through 15 Million Merits and its just the sweetest little story and... God I'm not going to like where this goes am I?

BSam
Nov 24, 2012



FilthyImp posted:

Oh god I'm a third of the way through 15 Million Merits and its just the sweetest little story and... God I'm not going to like where this goes am I?

That's still my favourite. Enjoy.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

PONYTAR
PONYTAR
PONYTAR




FilthyImp posted:

Oh god I'm a third of the way through 15 Million Merits and its just the sweetest little story and... God I'm not going to like where this goes am I?

Tell us more

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

got another one for the reading list:

http://poliscifi.pbworks.com/f/Maru...dding+Album.pdf

The guys work as a whole is pretty cool but this one is particularly relevant to White Christmas, being about simulations of people and their place in the world of the real people they're based on. I've loved these kinds of stories for years and it's great to see the same sorts of concepts explored on mainstream, primetime TV

Fatkraken fucked around with this message at Dec 18, 2014 around 11:50

MoPZiG
Jun 6, 2006



Vitamin P posted:

The episode drifted far too close to torture porn for me, especially 'disciplining' the house AI and how long the suicide scene was. And the twist doesn't even compare to White Bear, I'm a pretty dumb person but I twigged quite early that the guru was working the guy and after the 'AIs exist' point was shown the general direction of the plot was obvious.

The PUA narrative could sustain an episode, with a bit more incidental depth to it, and so could Blocking potentially, but this felt like two B-list ideas being smashed together alongside how annoying ubiquitous christmas songs are and grim-for-the-sake-of-it torture. And it's nit-picky, but a sign of how clearly it was two unrelated stories, temporary Blocking being available would hugely change the pick-up game and it wasn't even referenced. Especially weak because Black Mirror is usually so good at incidental effects of technology on society.

Overall it's more Black Mirror and was better than 99% of what's televised but still, not great.

Yup. This. The technology and conceit behind the story wasn't up to stuff for black mirror. Much as I love him, Jon Hamm wasn't really needed to be an expat lethario either. Stuck out.

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002


Rarity posted:

Tell us more
In smiley form:























The whole bit about the culture they're in perverting anything that's honest or genuine or real was damned spot on. My god. I'm glad I saved that one for last. Pretty sure that one hit harder than National Anthem.

FilthyImp fucked around with this message at Dec 18, 2014 around 17:46

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


White Christmas is definitely torture-porny, but when I see sci-fi like that it makes me grateful that I actually get to die. Sort of a relief, really, compared to what we saw. That woman's dad was a real bastard, though, wasn't he?


The sting at the end of National Anthem was just so rough, and was so efficiently presented. The pathetic intellectuals declaring the kidnapping "great art" while the PM's life is just invisibly destroyed for real. Fantastic. The harshness to the end of National Anthem is just on another level because it's fairly sympathetic to the average people, who are pretty much ghouls in 15 Million Merits, White Christmas, Waldo, and White Bear.

My power ranking:
1.) 15 million merits (so ambitious and so weird - really, really great stuff. The antiseptic world that's all metal and screens is just so physically repulsive and nauseating thanks to the way the screens were implemented.)
1.) National Anthem
3.) White Christmas
4.) White Bear
5.) Waldo
6.) You eyeglass memory ep
7.) Dead bad at sex dork back to life ep

No Wave fucked around with this message at Dec 18, 2014 around 19:25

Hat Thoughts
Jul 27, 2012



Actually, the objectively correct rankings are

1. The Waldo Moment
2. National Anthem
3. 15 Million Merits
4. Be Right Back
5.White Christmas
6. White Bear
7. Entire History Of You

Gordong Dongbay
Oct 18, 2007

by FactsAreUseless


15 Million Merits is one of the sadder episodes in my opinion. Seeing Bing's look of acceptance was absolutely crushing. Seeing him realize that there was no escape and the only thing that waited outside his cell was a larger one, it was just heartbreaking. It was such a great sequence because it happens right after his monologue and you can't help but feel pumped for him and then it just goes straight into that.

Sheng-Ji Yang
Mar 5, 2014




Plavski posted:

It certainly has the happiest ending. For reals.

For it to be happiest it has to be even a tiny bit happy, and it's not. Its ending crushed me more than any of the others.

The third episode probably has the most hopeful ending.

Hat Thoughts
Jul 27, 2012



I'd say Be Right Back is the happiest by a margin

Fans
Jun 27, 2013

A reptile dysfunction

Matinee posted:

There seems to be some weird Easter Egg thing going on. The song from 15 Million Merits, one of the pickup club had the screen-name I_AM_WALDO, and I might be crazy, but wasn't Hamm's wife the female lead from The Entire History Of You?

The woman from White Bear was in the news report having her appeal denied. Merry Christmas

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002


Hat Thoughts posted:

I'd say Be Right Back is the happiest by a margin
Its the happiest by virtue of the guy living on through his daughter. I mean, that's usually the thing widowed spouses take away from it.
Its also mind numbingly dour how she's left living with a shade because she wasn't brave enough to order it to self terminate.

15MM is just... Bing realizes there's nothing genuine to be found in his situation, so he settles for the closest thing. I mean. He makes the best of his situation, but he's ultimately become a cog in the machine of pablum that ruined his life.

Annabel Pee
Dec 29, 2008


It's funny thinking about what Hamm could do for entertainment in a world where everyone's blocked. Like I guess he couldn't watch TV because everyone would be blurred on there too, but the ban gets lifted when you die so he could live on old films like 12 angry men where all the actors have passed away.

Rondette
Nov 3, 2009

Your friendly neighbourhood Postie.


Doakes posted:

It's funny thinking about what Hamm could do for entertainment in a world where everyone's blocked. Like I guess he couldn't watch TV because everyone would be blurred on there too, but the ban gets lifted when you die so he could live on old films like 12 angry men where all the actors have passed away.

Yeah I was wondering about that too, I guess would that be the same for music as well??

Junior G-man
Sep 15, 2004

Bawk Bawk THERAPY CRANES Baaawk!




Fans posted:

The woman from White Bear was in the news report having her appeal denied. Merry Christmas

Did not notice that first. Jesus Christ Brooker.

Vitamin P
Nov 19, 2013

just so it's clear

FilthyImp posted:

15MM is just... Bing realizes there's nothing genuine to be found in his situation, so he settles for the closest thing. I mean. He makes the best of his situation, but he's ultimately become a cog in the machine of pablum that ruined his life.

15MM reads pretty coherently as a critique on capitalism, where acting alone the most Bing can achieve is to slightly improve his own situation and exist in a better gilded cage. His personal rebellion being perfectly integrated into the framework of social control is just so grim. You can imagine frustrated people on the bikes spending loads of credits on the iconic glass shard for their Dopple.

Plavski
Feb 1, 2006

I could be a revolutionary


At the end he has a view and does not have to cycle forever in a prison surrounded by the love of his life performing degrading sex acts with strangers. In the confines of what that world can offer someone, he's in the best possible place. He has risen to the top of that particular scum filled pool and has given himself a future. Before he had nothing, now he has the potential for something more. The rules of the game are that he sacrifices everything he values to escape. And he escaped.

He's basically Sam Lowry at the end of Brazil. And that had a happy ending too.

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Carpet
Apr 1, 2005
Scientology - It's the gift that keeps on taking!

That wasn't a real view though, it was a video screen just like the others...

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