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Plavski
Feb 1, 2006

I could be a revolutionary


Carpet posted:

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

And? His view is now of life, whereas before it was some ghastly Wii hideousness with pay-per-skip ads and forced personally-affecting pornography. Within the confines of his world, he is in a better place.

Things have improved for Tealeaf. Changing from one negative state to a less negative one is an improvement, and within the structures of that world, this is a happy ending. It is not a John Wayne riding off into the sunset style of happy ending, but it is a happy ending.

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FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002


That's a good read of it. Personally, my resistance to it comes because Bing strives for something authentic earlier. So the character at the end is not the same, as he's betrayed his ideal of finding something genuine.

But... As you said, he makes that choice to ensure his sanity...

At the same time, though, he brushes aside the attempts at intimacy/friendship from that other woman, so maybe he's a little shallow in his search for something real.

FilthyImp fucked around with this message at Dec 19, 2014 around 18:55

Fans
Jun 27, 2013

A reptile dysfunction

I thought the point of the end of 15MM was he went onto TV and had a genuine display of emotion and it got treated as just another fake bit of entertainment. In the end he's giving a second speech to camera, but right after the cameras go off he just puts the glass shard away. His real anger has been processed and now it's fake and played up for the TV, everything he hated about it all in the first place.

I mean you could say it's a happy ending because he isn't riding a bike anymore, but that'd be kind of missing the point.

BSam
Nov 24, 2012



Fans posted:

I thought the point of the end of 15MM was he went onto TV and had a genuine display of emotion and it got treated as just another fake bit of entertainment. In the end he's giving a second speech to camera, but right after the cameras go off he just puts the glass shard away. His real anger has been processed and now it's fake and played up for the TV, everything he hated about it all in the first place.

Yeah pretty much, and when you put it like that you can see why it's the most autobiographical thing Charlie Brooker has ever written.

Sheng-Ji Yang
Mar 5, 2014


Vitamin P posted:

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.

Yeah 15MM seemed pretty loving marxist. Every action including emotional outbursts and rebellion immediately commoditized... the bikes were straight up labor theory of value.

Lot 49
Dec 7, 2007

I'll do anything
For my sweet sixteen


I just watched the christmas one.

Started fantastic but was too repetitive and dark for the sake of being dark.

Still obviously worth watching. Hamm was terrific.

Teriyaki Hairpiece
Dec 29, 2006
leading helpless teens astray

If you like snow, John Hamm, and incredibly dark humor, there's a show out there just for you!

Republican Vampire
Jun 2, 2007



Sheng-ji Yang posted:

Yeah 15MM seemed pretty loving marxist. Every action including emotional outbursts and rebellion immediately commoditized... the bikes were straight up labor theory of value.

According to Brooker the Bike didn't actually serve any purpose and neither did the obese people who worked as janitors. They were just means of preserving class structure in a post-scarcity world.

TomViolence
Feb 19, 2013

PLEASE ASK ABOUT MY 80,000 WORD WALLACE AND GROMIT SLASH FICTION. PLEASE.



Bing is Charlie Brooker. Bottled outrage, £5 a pop. Buy my new book about how everything's poo poo.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005




The fact that the jog shuttle controls for the eye computers look virtually identical to the ones from "The Entire History of You" was probably so obvious as not to be worth mentioning, but I thought it was meant to imply a direct evolution of both that technology and society along with it. In "History" the partygoers casually mention that people are starting to go grainless, and there was the woman who had hers stolen and later the cops hang up on her because she didn't get another one. Instead of addressing why people might not want invasive brain-recording hardware jacked into their skulls, they seem to have solved the "problem" of opting out by making the tech compulsory and impossible to remove once implanted.

FilthyImp posted:

At the same time, though, he brushes aside the attempts at intimacy/friendship from that other woman, so maybe he's a little shallow in his search for something real.

Bam, that's exactly it. Even though the first woman is barely a relevant feature of Bing's life after the first few minutes of the story, the camera keeps going back to her now and then to keep us apprised of her alternate longing and disgust for Bing. Why? Because she's the only one who really knew who Bing was from the very start, and knows that for all his desired altruism and nobility and finally his righteous rage, he's really been suckered just as much as everyone else. He just suckered himself instead of being suckered by the system. He was never a hero of the people, just a hero in his own mind. The only real thing in the entire episode is her infatuation, a real emotion that gives her a real insight and ends in real disappointment. A real happy ending for sure.

outlier
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

Just watched it via 4 OnDemand. (Verdict: irritating service - 3 minutes of unskippable ads every 12 minutes.)

Good but not my favourite Black Mirror episodes. I found it a bit too Twilight Zone / Roald Dahl ("here's a flawed person we're going to punish disproportionately ..."). But it was still better than most things on TV. The technology was nicely realised, the transparent computers and popup controls for the eyes. And oddly, it looks like they filmed a whole section of it up the road from me, in an underused set of office buildings.

egon_beeblebrox
Feb 29, 2008

WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING IN LIFE.



I've watched the whole series now, and I kind of want to die.

So, yeah, great show.

ashpanash
Apr 9, 2008

I can see when you are lying.


The show is a beautifully written and well produced example of tech paranoia and provides well conceived examples of how our technological progress could be - based on our current culture - much more of a curse than a blessing.

But, like the Twilight Zone before it, it fails to recognize that our culture will and does evolve with the available technology, and many of the legitimate, well portrayed concerns are either overblown or provide an extreme and notable exception to the general rule.

Which is all to say that this show is brilliant. And, in some way, necessary and important, if only to influence, positively, the way we work with and develop further technology.

I still must point out that *language* and *the written word* are technologies. Agriculture and sanitation. Philosophy and mathematics. These are as transformative and devastating, in their own way, as the technology that people are afraid of now. And look at all we've done with it.

The fear is most likely unjustified, but the artistry is exceptional regardless.

Republican Vampire
Jun 2, 2007



ashpanash posted:

The show is a beautifully written and well produced example of tech paranoia and provides well conceived examples of how our technological progress could be - based on our current culture - much more of a curse than a blessing.

But, like the Twilight Zone before it, it fails to recognize that our culture will and does evolve with the available technology, and many of the legitimate, well portrayed concerns are either overblown or provide an extreme and notable exception to the general rule.

Which is all to say that this show is brilliant. And, in some way, necessary and important, if only to influence, positively, the way we work with and develop further technology.

I still must point out that *language* and *the written word* are technologies. Agriculture and sanitation. Philosophy and mathematics. These are as transformative and devastating, in their own way, as the technology that people are afraid of now. And look at all we've done with it.

The fear is most likely unjustified, but the artistry is exceptional regardless.

I think you're missing the point here. The technology is never the root of the problem. The problem is always technology and mass culture as enablers for our worst instincts, impulses and behaviours. Technology isn't evil, but we kind of are, and in the real world it's enabled us to do all kinds of lovely things to other people. The fear is entirely justified because we've simply accepted or chosen to ignore the contemporary equivalents. Look at the working conditions of the people who made your clothes. Are your electronics free of conflict minerals? What about online harassment campaigns, or doxxing vulnerable people?

ashpanash
Apr 9, 2008

I can see when you are lying.


Republican Vampire posted:

I think you're missing the point here. The technology is never the root of the problem. The problem is always technology and mass culture as enablers for our worst instincts, impulses and behaviours. Technology isn't evil, but we kind of are, and in the real world it's enabled us to do all kinds of lovely things to other people. The fear is entirely justified because we've simply accepted or chosen to ignore the contemporary equivalents. Look at the working conditions of the people who made your clothes. Are your electronics free of conflict minerals? What about online harassment campaigns, or doxxing vulnerable people?

You're absolutely right. I take a position from a place of exceptional privilege, and that is an important thing to point out. So I agree that Black Mirror has been unsuccessful at illuminating your extremely valid point.

ashpanash fucked around with this message at Dec 21, 2014 around 05:02

Republican Vampire
Jun 2, 2007



ashpanash posted:

You're absolutely right. I take a position from a place of exceptional privilege, and that is an important thing to point out. So I agree that Black Mirror has been unsuccessful at illuminating your extremely valid point.
Black Mirror has always been interested in talking about publicly sanctioned hate figures, or the people who get ground up by our society and economy. Whether it's the Cookies as slaves in the Christmas special, its treatment of criminals in White Bear and White Christmas, the treatment of sex workers, the obese, and the underclass in Fifteen Million Merits, it's a recurring thing.

Likewise technology's allowed us to be shits in a real interpersonal way. I probably should've also brought up social Media stalking, for instance. It enables us to obsess and that in turn makes us worse people. Even when it's not malign, like in Be Right Back, the show's showing us how tech enables an unhealthy impulse.

Republican Vampire fucked around with this message at Dec 21, 2014 around 06:07

Plavski
Feb 1, 2006

I could be a revolutionary


"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." - Abraham Lincoln

hermand
Oct 3, 2004

V-Dubbin


Plavski posted:

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." - Abraham Lincoln

Haha

Mellomeh
Jun 12, 2006


In White Christmas, is that anecdote about the topless man on a horse a reference to Lady Godiva, who, according to legend, rode naked on horseback through the streets of Coventry? The phrase "Peeping Tom" originates from that tale; supposedly a solitary pervert named Tom spied on her and was struck blind as punishment, which echoes the punishment dealt to Jon Hamm's character.

override367
Apr 29, 2013


White Christmas

I liked it until the end, the punishment for being a peeping tom is permanent inability to interact with another human? How would you buy food? How would you work? I can't see any crime for which that would be a fitting punishment, only the most heinous violent crimes would really count, and those people would just be driven mad and go on a killing spree or something

it seemed too edgy for edgy sake, not that the narrative made sense before that. I don't buy for a second one half of a relationship could just gain custody of a kid by blocking the other person, and though it wasn't his kid, that would have to be the case otherwise someone would have told him it wasn't his kid when he tried to get custody

ufarn
May 30, 2009


Fans posted:

I thought the point of the end of 15MM was he went onto TV and had a genuine display of emotion and it got treated as just another fake bit of entertainment. In the end he's giving a second speech to camera, but right after the cameras go off he just puts the glass shard away. His real anger has been processed and now it's fake and played up for the TV, everything he hated about it all in the first place.

I mean you could say it's a happy ending because he isn't riding a bike anymore, but that'd be kind of missing the point.
Bing is sincere, and his audience views it as such. The problem is that his anger serves to mollify people's feelings instead of stoking them.

The same criticism has been levelled at people like Jon Stewart whose scathing shows are largely inconsequential, if not worse. They sow a kind of disaffection that leads people to not bother doing anything, least of all voting, because what good is it anyway.

The Baffler posted:

What’s notable about these episodes, though, is how uncharacteristic they are. What Stewart and Colbert do most nights is convert civic villainy into disposable laughs. They prefer Horatian satire to Juvenalian, and thus treat the ills of modern media and politics as matters of folly, not concerted evil. Rather than targeting the obscene cruelties borne of greed and fostered by apathy, they harp on a rogues’ gallery of hypocrites familiar to anyone with a TiVo or a functioning memory. Wit, exaggeration, and gentle mockery trump ridicule and invective. The goal is to mollify people, not incite them.

Brooker is afraid his criticism is seen or consumed as entertainment rather than meditative calls to action.

ashpanash
Apr 9, 2008

I can see when you are lying.


override367 posted:

White Christmas

I appreciated it as a sort of "Time Enough at Last" / O. Henry style twist.

I remember a Chris Hardwick joke that you could rename "The Twilight Zone" as "Nice Try, rear end in a top hat."

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


ufarn posted:

Bing is sincere, and his audience views it as such. The problem is that his anger serves to mollify people's feelings instead of stoking them.

The same criticism has been levelled at people like Jon Stewart whose scathing shows are largely inconsequential, if not worse. They sow a kind of disaffection that leads people to not bother doing anything, least of all voting, because what good is it anyway.


Brooker is afraid his criticism is seen or consumed as entertainment rather than meditative calls to action.
Yeah, it's why Waldo moment felt like a bit of a retread - it had the disadvantage of being less strange and unsettling, as well.


It's interesting that at the heart of every Black Mirror episode is a romance. It's as if the hyper-rationality that the show's technology delivers exposes the contradictions that make romance possible in the first place (including the ability to forget mistakes and bad temporary states).

Venmoch
Jan 7, 2007

Either you pay me or I flay you alive... With my mind!


override367 posted:

White Christmas


I don't buy for a second one half of a relationship could just gain custody of a kid by blocking the other person, and though it wasn't his kid, that would have to be the case otherwise someone would have told him it wasn't his kid when he tried to get custody



I'd imagine this was more for narrative effect rather than anything. I can't imagine a child services that would automatically allow the block to take hold without some form of reasoning or court order. Unless something was cut for time. I'm also sure he'd be told that the baby wasn't his.

I'm also unsure why the 'cookies' are programmed in such an 'unethical' way. It seems far to much effort to program something that is a 'human' rather than employing a neural network to learn from you. (Less chance of it going haywire and burning you with the toaster too.)

The more interesting bit for me is whether a virtual testimony from a 'cookie' would be seen as "admissible evidence" within a court of law. Technically, its not a confession by the individual under trial which would make such a confession invalid. It could also be argued it was a confession made under duress which would also have repercussions. The answers to which would make a fascinating episode.

justcola
May 22, 2004

La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo

The idea that a person would pay money for the service of creating a perfect mental copy of yourself that is, in essence, yourself in order to open your curtains and make you toast is ridiculous. If I knew that the copy of me would think it was me, why would I then torture myself with solitary confinement for months at a time in order to break my will so that I would become a slave? And the only point in having this slave is that they would know my personal preferences immediately over than teaching a computer? It is probably more closer to the original meaning of robot than it is artificial intelligence, and I thought this could have been explored more but it only seemed to exist within the story in order for the ending to be possible. As well as the idea of blocking, within the fictional world it existed there could be ways around it by simply acting upon your surroundings, only seemed to exist in order for the twists towards the end to occur. Not that these things are necessarily bad, for technology to exist inside a story in order for the story to progress or to occur, but if exploring those ideas I think that they should be taken further rather than used as a way to link point A to B. It's as if the idea of a man experiencing a Christmas song for a thousand years was a good one and the way to get there would be by having these particular technologies to exist, yet the ideas on how to get to the ending had more potential than what was actually done. A book called The Quantum Thief has a similar idea of a virtual barrier between our consciousness and reality as a gevulot, a technology that controls privacy settings between people and becomes important to the plot throughout the story rather than existing only for the story to take place. The same could be said about a lot of things in fiction, like dinosaurs in Jurassic Park or a time machine in Back To The Future. Although these stories embrace these ideas more and follow them through. This story was as if you had Marty McFly travel back in time to go on a dinosaur adventure only to return to the present to find out he had wiped out all life on Earth. It is convoluted.

On the other hand I quite liked it. By the time a few years had passed you'd have probably gotten so used to the song it would be like having tinnitus and then you could focus on meditating. Plus it was good to see some darker science fiction on television, especially at Christmas. I quite like ghost stories at Christmas, and this was one more or less.

No Wave
Sep 18, 2005

Yogg-Saron fan #1


I don't think the cookie-buyer knows what they're getting into - otherwise cookie-self would know what was going on. In this era of wearable technology and big data and behavior monitoring and quantified self an embedded device meant to predict your preferences isn't even a stretch. The cookie inventors wouldn't even have to make public what their technology did, as there isn't any law covering digital clones if you stumbled across the ability to do it.

This aligns our first-person view of the cookie extraction with that of the cookie-character - it's really, really shocking and scary, and you have more ripped away from you than ever thought possible.

No Wave fucked around with this message at Dec 22, 2014 around 21:51

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005




override367 posted:

White Christmas

I liked it until the end, the punishment for being a peeping tom is permanent inability to interact with another human? How would you buy food? How would you work? I can't see any crime for which that would be a fitting punishment, only the most heinous violent crimes would really count, and those people would just be driven mad and go on a killing spree or something

Have you ever seen the 80s Twilight Zone episode "To See The Invisible Man"? The punishment blocker is basically that but unignorable, and probably comes with similar consequences. And since when does society's punishments have to be fitting? We already put perverts through far more indignities and isolation than other ex-criminals and make it very difficult to support themselves, even when they're guilty of relatively innocuous crimes like his.

This was a fine TZ-esque morality play, using a scifi hook to amplify and expose a problem in society. Overthinking the plausibility of the eye tech is like trying too hard to resolve the time travel paradox in The Terminator, you're missing the heart of the forest for the technobabble trees.

5 RING SHRIMP
Oct 3, 2012



Is White Christmas streaming online anywhere?

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

EATIN SHRIMP posted:

Is White Christmas streaming online anywhere?

It's on 4od, are you in the UK?

5 RING SHRIMP
Oct 3, 2012



I'm in America

solovyov
Feb 23, 2006

LAWYER FIGHT


ufarn posted:

Brooker is afraid his criticism is seen or consumed as entertainment rather than meditative calls to action.

The only call to action I perceive from this series is "please notice how clever the creators are."


EATIN SHRIMP posted:

I'm in America

Also, dumb.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


Juice Packets posted:

That was totally the song from Fifteen Million Merits that his ex was singing at karaoke, right?

Yes, it's Irma Thomas. (I fuckin love Irma Thomas)

Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007

ha ha ha!
you've already paid for this


Well, that was bone-chilling. Merry Christmas!

Junior G-man posted:

Did not notice that first. Jesus Christ Brooker.

Oh, Jesus, I was wondering what that was a reference to.

Fatty
Sep 13, 2004
Not really fat

override367 posted:

White Christmas

I liked it until the end, the punishment for being a peeping tom is permanent inability to interact with another human? How would you buy food? How would you work? I can't see any crime for which that would be a fitting punishment, only the most heinous violent crimes would really count, and those people would just be driven mad and go on a killing spree or something

Am I the only one who got the impression that he was going to be imminently killed by the angry looking guy with the snowglobe? I mean it was clear to other people that he was on a register, and nasty things happen to people on registers.

Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007

ha ha ha!
you've already paid for this


override367 posted:

I liked it until the end, the punishment for being a peeping tom is permanent inability to interact with another human? How would you buy food? How would you work? I can't see any crime for which that would be a fitting punishment, only the most heinous violent crimes would really count, and those people would just be driven mad and go on a killing spree or something

It's just a basic escalation of how people on those registers and lists already live - instead of having to tell your neighbors and potential employers, you have to tell everyone.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005




Fatty posted:

Am I the only one who got the impression that he was going to be imminently killed by the angry looking guy with the snowglobe? I mean it was clear to other people that he was on a register, and nasty things happen to people on registers.

No, I thought that implication was pretty clear too. Nice way to tie the stories together in the end.

TheRationalRedditor
Jul 17, 2000

WHO ABUSED HIM. WHO ABUSED THE BOY.


Fatty posted:

Am I the only one who got the impression that he was going to be imminently killed by the angry looking guy with the snowglobe? I mean it was clear to other people that he was on a register, and nasty things happen to people on registers.
It was definitely framed very purposefully that way, but given that it was just some previously unseen extra it didn't seem to add up like that. That just makes them seem like someone who should probably be on their own criminal register.

And yeah they don't do much to clarify how that would even work thematically because it's presented as a classic episode end 'Twilight Zone' stinger. Radical special overall, though.

nate fisher
Mar 3, 2004

We've Got To Go Back


I just watched White Christmas (one of the few times I was glad I had DirectTV), and I'm glad I saved it for the day after Christmas. While I had some of the same issues and questions as other posters on here, I really liked it, but I am a sucker for this type of stuff.

qntm
Jun 17, 2009


justcola posted:

If I knew that the copy of me would think it was me, why would I then torture myself with solitary confinement for months at a time in order to break my will so that I would become a slave?

Because the copy isn't you! Once the nugget is removed from your head, it's another person, and in this scenario you are a demanding, self-centred individual who doesn't care about people who aren't you, no matter their origin, no matter who they happen to believe they are.

Moreover, the copy doesn't believe itself to be you; the copy believes itself to be itself. And every real instance of torture and solitary confinement being carried out in reality, right now, is being done to someone who believes, very fervently, that they are themselves.

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nate fisher
Mar 3, 2004

We've Got To Go Back


My theory of what makes you 'you', is the ability to connect your memories. You might not be able to remember point A in your life, but you can remember point F, which remembers point C, which remembers point A. So at the moment the nugget leaves your body it is you, but once it starts a different memory chain (the second after it leaves your body) it is no longer you.

Reminds me of the old philosophical argument if you transport a digital imprint of your brain (with all your memories) into a new body at the exact moment your body is destroyed, is that new body really you?

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