So I have finally gone through the entire available third season of Black Mirror. It’s been a sad journey. No, strike that, the damn thing got me downright depressed.
I mean it. Sad. Not bad. High quality show, nothing to say here. It’s just that, damn, after the never ending list of happy endings we get the never ending abyss of depressing wrap-ups.
I get it. They mean to prevent, or to instil, a certain circumspect attitude towards the all too touted miracles of technology. But instead they make the audience feel as if the “mere” human is completely helpless.
In Black Mirror there is never any real choice for the characters of the show, and that cancels any kind of moral message they might attempt on the audience.
The soldier, lied to. The game tester, lied to. The pics kid, lied to. The twitter horde, lied to. The social addict, lied to. Probably San Junipero is the most fair episode towards the audience, but even in that one, the character is being lied to by itself, as all lovers end up being.
Indeed, the show makes a point of the lying by being very forward about it. Laconic documents signed, ignorant decisions, rushed life changes, you name it, it is all about pointing to an obvious deceit, yes, as if technology is a lubricant for our impossible wishes.
And boy, is that a good intent, a worthy aspiration, to tame the haste of letting bits and wires invade our pores. Yet, to whom is the show speaking?
Don’t we know? We, the ones who like and praise the show so much, we already know. We know all that. The entertainment that ensues from the confirmation of our expectation only gapes our defences for the long and terrible list of depressing endings. And this is where the show is weird and tiresome.
We’ve all got fed up with happy endings, I get it. But, folks, the antidote to happy endings are realistic conclusions, not depressive wrap-ups. Will we learn by being scarred? Does anyone? Won’t this whole initial idea of warning on the dangers of technology, be just lost on the audience being to busy finding some dopamine generator for their cortisol and serotonin flooded brains?
I mean, I want to scroll that Facebook feed into oblivion after a Black Mirror shot. Who is Black Mirror trying to scare? The mind out of us? Do script writers that take on the cape of social workers ever think it is actually possible to simply swap one manipulation with another?
In season three there is no single episode without a wrap-up. A wrap-up is not an epilogue, nor a conclusion, or a satisfactory falling into meaning of the plot. No, as the name says, it is simply wrapping up the show with the gloom and doom of helplessness and fatalism. It is the final acetylcholine forced sip to completely counter any trace of adrenaline that would make anyone even glimmer at the idea that there is actually a way out.
People zone out because life itself has become utterly boring. The population with internet access would do just about anything to build a separate escape world where their escapism can take them, and they have good reason to do it: the world makes very little sense these days. We sink into our fantasy alternate universes to shed some of the information overload, some of the constant sexual arousal, some of this insane montagne russe of expectations fed into our personalities by boundless media and connectivity.
How does a depressing, categorical and ivory tower shielded show ever gonna help us? I personally fear that most of the people at risk of being technologically disenfranchised, like the soldier with the implant, will neither watch, nor grasp the show.
I am also a bit mad.
It’s like, really they have all the answers, don’t they? Ah, these commoners, how gullible and foolish they are, tweeting bad hashtags, accepting stuff pinned into their cortex, wishing social acceptance so fiercely. But wait! That commoner is me!
My titanium clipping left behind by my long removed sick gallbladder is your sinister device of tomorrow infesting my existence. Do you think the technological doom of humanity will come through bee replacements and army visors? I believe it will insidiously appear one transistor at a time, one RFID antenna at a time, at all times luring our most humane intimacy: the doom of our incoming very personal and individual death.
And to that threat, the soul decomposing depression and the helplessness it brings, is a poor punch. We won’t even see the end of round one.
When I hear people enjoying the achievement of “landing" their dream job I shiver. I shiver at the extent of the brainwash, as if a job can and will ever be more than a job. Listen, in reality, unless you have direct ownership, you are a rat in a rat race.
Oh, perhaps you think I am too general and hand waving about this whole time tested concept. Rest assured I am not. The economic model we are into requires jobs, and a “dream job” is a way to sell jobs to highly intelligent people.
It was supposed to be a confidence vote granted to my near future.
But then I saw this Arrival movie.
The aliens gave us a language that once learned gave one the possibility to foresee the future. But! The big but was that what was called in the movie “non linear time” meant that events were fixed. Time is set in stone and there is only one way in which it unfolds. This had to be the most depressing thesis I’ve seen lately.
But remember Interstellar? That guy messed with the time traveler paradox inside a tesseract and sent messages back in time because future transcendent humans knew from the future this had to happen in the past. One way. Time and its events set in stone. Last year I was just sad.
This year’s “SciFi”event was downright depressing.
Like, there is a woman who decides to marry a man who will leave her because she decided to go ahead and have a baby girl with him knowing that their baby will die of an incurable disease after reaching teen age all while knowing he’ll leave her because he was one who couldn’t agree with the choice of going ahead with a doomed course of events but this fundamental difference in personality type didn’t matter any more or less than the known disorder causing the yet unborn girl to have this disease killing and first causing huge pain and misery to an unsuspecting human. This whole movie looked like a huge Pro Choice advert. And very disempowering.
I mean what if Trump had to be? What if that FBI director was the shit cause that aligned the odds so that the prescribed timeline could plough ahead?
’Cause ya know, I still believe that the donald by itself is not a super force of change. But what if:
there is a cataclysm that suspends democracy for emergency state
an insurrection occurs
freaking aliens arrive
there happens a major, and I mean major not starving tribes men in deserts with rockets type of thing, major international conflict, warring superpowers
or maybe divergent government appears in donald’s, you know, more or less federal country?
What if things like these occur in the next two years of donald’s complete hold on power? That is a scary set in stone future to me.
And what’s with these movies? Why is this art suddenly agreeing that there is only one way? And why, may I ask, do we humans of today or yesterday always need some hot shots from other galaxies or from the future itself to solve our current problems?
Do we need as a society someone who tells us what to do, and art just reflects what we’ve already voted?
Is this nationalist racist radical dumb xenophobe political doctrine that incoming future which we can only know about and observe but never change?
And with that loaded into working memory we went to see Florence.
Depressed, all I needed was mixed feelings. I mean, is this about a beautiful spirit who wanted to be seen in its joyful manifestation or about how the whole world is the playground of the rich? I mean, the second option I knew before seeing the movie. Yet the way it is presented in Florence Foster Jenkins with such charisma as only Hugh Grant could ever muster, made me red faced angry. But then Meryl Streep. I mean, maybe Florence was sending the world a message, maybe we should stop trying to be the best and just do things because we like them and abort the grading of our performance.
Mixed feelings. A commoner making a fool of themselves is publicly executed. A rich person is cushioned in all possible ways. Is Florence full of ego or full of passion? Is she sane? Is it an example to follow or a story about an unusual incident?
But in the movie there was this line where Hugh Grant says he (ahem his character) always aimed to be an actor, but at some point realized he won’t be a great actor, and at that point ambition left. And as the tyranny of ambition left he could start to live. And:
People may say I couldn’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing,
… said a dying Florence. But, does it matter? And is lack of ambition the grease of the mediocrity engine or is ambition the hammer that thinks everything is a nail?
My article on Trump. 294 views 127 reads 14 hearts. I am starting to live.
But Florence. The story, the movie, the two scripts detailing it (there is another french version Marguerite) all appeal to the comedic factor of one wearing the emperor’s clothes and the tragic factor of the meanness of mankind targeted at a deluded human.
But I also see that this was possible because of wealth. Do you see the connection between Florence and Ryan Lochte? I do. Is the world the playground of those who win the many lotteries it provides?
Are we all the hosts in the the real life West World of the ones who succeed? Should we be because there is no progress otherwise?
I mean, Trump came back after Meryl Streep died so beautifully as only she can. And the tears of Mr. Grant, reminded me of donald’s team at the white house. Oh lord.
This brat is running the world. All those 60,350,241 votes enabling his game to work and him to play.
He gets to be president because he was born Trump and we the people just upgraded the levels reachable by the winners.
I get to go to work. You too. When is our upgrade coming?
Why the fuck is everyone whining about one dude so much?
There is a system.
On January Day when he will have the most awesome egogasm in his life, he’ll also enter the biggest BDSM relationship with the system that keeps the whole US joint working. And the system is the raddest dom you’ll ever meet. Oh, how the system will squeeze that orange.
It is very hard to undo a system put in place by hundreds of years of aristocratic pyramid building. The only way is to effectively terminate the human web of relationships that actually holds in place the country game.
Hitler did it. He killed them all in the night of the long knives.
Stalin did it. He killed them all in the great purge and the smaller purge after for the exclusive society of those with loyalty ties.
That’s how it works. You cannot do it with words or by being an asshole. You need a shitload of determination and the force of armed partisans who somehow believe they’re doing the right thing.
Does the US have enough people with extreme beliefs, people infiltrated in high power structures and also people common in profile but high in numbers? Hardly so. Is there a true revolutionary spirit among Trump’s voters? Not really. It is a lot of ressentiment. A lot of resentment.
Anti-system vote? Protect the system they voted against!
(T)he problem with the other origin of the “good,” of the good man, as the person of ressentiment has thought it out for himself, demands some conclusion. It is not surprising that the lambs should bear a grudge against the great birds of prey, but that is no reason for blaming the great birds of prey for taking the little lambs. And when the lambs say among themselves, “These birds of prey are evil, and he who least resembles a bird of prey, who is rather its opposite, a lamb, — should he not be good?” then there is nothing to carp with in this ideal’s establishment, though the birds of prey may regard it a little mockingly, and maybe say to themselves, “We bear no grudge against them, these good lambs, we even love them: nothing is tastier than a tender lamb.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, oh yea baby Wikipedia philosophy, so? Sue me!
This is how we humans work. It is nothing shameful or wrong to be infuriated that someone votes for a notorious asshole like Trump, just as it is nothing shameful or wrong to be infuriated that someone invites Syrian refugees without blinking to live next door to you. Both matters are complex. And the intelligent human is intelligent exactly for internalizing fury and anger and envy and disgust and fear and sublimating them creatively somehow.
In the creative output of the combined frustration of people holding any or all of: racist beliefs, strong religious convictions, low knowledge of how the world functions, poverty inflicted pain, disbelief in the upcoming future, Trump is the core metaphor, a rich asshole, a big worded demagogue, a morally bankrupt caricature of the oppressors: by voting Trump they merely expressed their oh so soothing conclusion that it is they who must be good and right, and why not saint.
If we continue to keep the accusatory finger extended, they’ll eventually byte it off. No manners for the fearing lamb.
Oh, you may say, they don’t have the right to feel this way. Well this is not how it works. All humans feel like humans. Weapons changing hands only shifts tides but doesn’t end wars. The day the whites in the US will really be the minority is a day to prepare for. If we get there.
If you feel targeted by Trump’s idiotic hate campaign or the alt right’s shitty brain diarrhea: fear for your safety. It makes you pay attention. Other people in history (see German Jews or British politicians of pre WW2) were not hysterical that assholes suddenly ran the world, they had noble attitudes. They lost or died or both.
But investing the Donald with apocalyptic power is a bad idea.
Start laughing and keep tight rows.
I am one of conflicting beliefs. For example, I think that the right to bear arm which the US constitution grants is good and it should be very, very, very carefully amended, because an armed population is hard to be taken over by governing sociopaths, unlike all of Europe and so many other countries of the world. In my country if a Trump ascends on a wave of popular support we stand no chance of defending democracy, in the true visceral sense of the word “defending”. We can only either bow our heads or have them chopped off.
The polish people learned this. They are working towards a more prepared population. They have their reasons too.
There is a system. Pay attention to the system. Take control of the system and keep control of the system. That is what the civil society does. The executive government should only use the system. If this remains and all minorities, future majorities, the marginalized and the not ignorant disenfranchised unite in a strong civil society, the Donald will only quack.
Watch the laws. Keep close to your representatives. Picket. Organize and mingle among the ones that are now celebrating. Everyone who had the courage and inner resistance to read Breitbart and watch videos of folks “exposing” the PC conspiracy on Youtube, everyone who was liberal but not ignorant knew inside that there was a real chance for Trump.
But the ignorant liberal is locked into their moral supremacy. Will we have an atheist scientist soon to discover the moral gene as the selfish gene who stepped on the right side of history? I wouldn’t be surprised, the market for self congratulatory idea syrup is huge, a best seller for sure. Locked in the moral supremacy of their so right beliefs and justified anger and ancestral smirk of resistance, people will be charmed by themselves and forget to pay attention.
The system is what matters, not the puppets we vote.
We all must know that it is just a system. A convention among us the humans, which is also changeable by us humans too. All we need is persistence. Stop being afraid to be afraid, face the cold and the anxiety of the fleeting life. Be active and involved. If not for you then for your children. If you have no children, than for other people’s children. If that ain’t doing it for you then do it because you’re being suckered into oblivion everyday, every day.
The wave of disgruntlement makes people tired. The impulses of moving to another country are exhausting. The planning to flee and the void that remains drain you before you take the first step to that airplane. All these liberals who now want to move into Canada are not very different than the openly trump supporter Peter Thiel and his floating cities for the special humans. He wants to emigrate too, but into his own special floating city.
Our exhaustion is their strength. These people who make up the system and who control what’s in our plate each day, these people are powerful because we let them control each day of our lives. The number of hours in traffic jams, the hour you wake up every day, the chances you stand in the ER or the quality of the school your child will go to.
They have the power to decide in your place if the country goes to war, if food is a right or an obligation, if the water should be just as clean for everybody or if the sun falling on your skin should be taxed or not. Don’t be fooled. Almost nothing of that sanctified property you own is actually yours.
The system. The system owns everything. The system will replace you both at work and in life.
This is not a conspiracy. There are people who hold office for decades in a row now. If you are part of the system don’t be scared or ashamed. We the people want you to do good and be noble towards our humanity, that’s all. We don’t want you to quit, to concede, to make pacts, to fraternize with stray folk, to settle on surviving. We want you to keep the game alive in our terms, the terms of a game both for the people and by the people.
Look at this, just look at this:
The chart starts at 52 mil. So watch out for the misled belief that Dem turnout halved. It didn’t. It simply shows that it is HRC’s campaign that demobilized not DT’s that mobilized.
This is the result of the ivory tower class of moral supremacy caste exercising their power of idea congestion upon the human society of a country. It makes people quit.
Folks, it is not the donald who will put the foot in your door and ask for your immigrant papers. It is not the donald that will enforce mandatory religious ceremonies for aborted pregnancies. It is not the donald who will allow Russia to stretch and catch vigor again. The donald is merely a seventy year old member of the orange race.
Donald Trump won’t do squat. Stop this orange supremacy fear mongering. It is we who will be placid or reactive, active or dormant, involved or disconnected, tired or enraged, smug or engaged.
you don’t get to [place human emotional craving here]
It is the new way of emotional punishing: crush their oxytocin levels by openly reflective reverse empathy.
Who the fuck gave you power over what I get to? Your weird crappy prescription morality? Your obvious logical superiority?
And gawd is this popular! The younger you are the more you get to imprison people in your fucked up social sharing emotional mirrors amplifying you puny little starved hatred.
Hate is better than the moral patronizing of a permanent mutiny mob.
Power in numbers, speaking for the many, amplifying opinion, all powerful weapons. I have no idea why would people think that a weapon taken from the hand of the oppressor becomes a red pill blessing in the hand of the revolutionary, when a weapon will never change purpose with a change in ownership. Weapons are the artistic expression of power and their core message is vulnerable exposure.
Amplifying what people get to and what people don’t get to is pulling the propaganda trigger. Propaganda is a weapon that fires with mentalities.
The warriors of the good today are the generals of evil tomorrow. Who tells you what you get to today, allows what you will get to tomorrow.
Are you fighting on the side of the obvious good? Be better.
The dread question that begs another: are you worthy of a living?
Am I? I don’t know. I sell myself as high as I’m able to, but I never received the scale of worthiness.
I watched this movie, About a boy, and in it this guy Hugh Grant was playing, had no job because of steady income from royalty. Throughout the entire movie this situation was described ad nauseam as undesirable because “he did nothing”. This is crazy. This is the craziness I notice when I hear people telling me:
“if people wouldn’t go to work, what would they do all day long?”.
I don’t know.
For living I do what everyone else does: I breathe, I eat, I drink and I sleep.
For A living I survive, and I wish I would thrive.
Why must we earn a living?
Earn a living? Earn the thing while having the thing?
It is as if you’re given a free TV and if you don’t watch it 10 hours a day you loose your house, and the TV.
Everyone of us with a job is in survival mode. A good paycheck is still a paycheck and the conditioning that is building inside the brain is survival mentality.
The thing is “a living” is a product. We buy it with work, work which actually creates all the “livings”. A self reinforcing cycle. That’d be great by itself, but, you see, this “living” product doesn’t come full option by default.
A living has many quality levels and huge number of optional features, and the price tag on it respects market dynamics. How do you create demand for what everyone effectively is defined by, which is being alive? No, killing people is hard and also bad business, but we tried that too, multiple times. Today, because a living is a product to be sold, demand had to be created by making simple living suck more and more.
Anyway, I make web software in general and product management in particular. Doing this I earn a good living. I don’t want a good living, I actually want the best living money can buy. That is why I don’t write more than blog posts, why I changed careers four times, why I have had four attempts of making my own business which failed four times. I have a paycheck and a lot of frustration.
I am not ashamed of my frustration. It’s pure energy not put to use.
Ana, that was an over the top response to your Q somewhere 😀
Slaughter of other humans, lovely occupation, been here since forever.
But we know what’s inside atoms! We inject our children with dead viruses and we eat chemicals that allow cuts filled with dirt to heal! If we do all this to survive, why do we then slaughter each other?
Porn is and has always been everywhere. From your modern browser’s history to your porcelain tea cups shamelessly depicting the small percent of spicy parts in the Kama Sutra. Did you know there is a pretty big part in the Kama Sutra about “relaxing” the woman before getting down and dirty? How about the part about the virtues of marriage? Anyway.
When I say everywhere, I say that fantasy itself is pornographic. You know, that part of thinking concerned with projecting your desirable sexual future.
Want less porn consumption? Stop teaching kids about bees and flowers and storks. Want even less porn consumption? Let’s open up sexuality, like we did with orientation. When will the day come when we can be again openly aroused? Want less porn overall? Why?
Instead of criticizing, or worrying about, what the watching of people doing the sexy time on camera does to kids and teens, why don’t we make sex normal again? We don’t, because we’re set deep inside to fear sex, because we’re set deep inside to fear ourselves.
I find a super tight resemblance between porn and soap opera. Not an easy thing to swallow, and it is a subject for another context, but I want to say this:
Women and men don’t look for sexual satisfaction in porn, they look for emotional fulfillment.
Alain de Botton has a cool talk on this, basically that sex is more about the soul than the body. However, it is true only while your perspective is from inside to outside, while when you look the other way around, it is just sex. What I mean by that is: when you hear some one describing their sexuality, don’t turn into an instant psychoanalyst and draw conclusions on personality because of fetish. You will be wrong if you do it.
But in Emma’s piece the problem is not the fact people watch porn. It is the fact that the content of porn is demeaning for women and bad for men. However, the content of pornography will change when it will be a different industry producing it. Porn today is made by an industry made of ignorant people, who are held ignorant by continuously being kept at the edge of outcast. If you want to do porn you better want it for the rest of your life.
There is no real input of creativity and art into pornography because the world still clings to chastity as virtue. When chastity will be just another option, perhaps gonzo will shrink and meaningful porn will rise up: in numbers, then in popularity.
Porn is popular with teens because it is still something to hide and it still indicates a rebel status. Just like fifty shades of grey. It is the “oooh, I shouldn’t be doing this”. But, at the same time, it is more, much more: with all the progress about being open about your sexual orientation, we’re still a closeted world in regard to sexuality.
In “You’re the worst”, a TV show, there is a dialogue like: “don’t tell me you’re one of those creeps with a foot fetish”. As long as a fetish springs up a label, porn will always be an emotional band aid. And it is so for both men, the horde of wanking dudes, and the, by comparison, select few women who venture into this bottomless pit of lust.
Women don’t barter sex. Women barter men’s emotional fulfillment. And so do men.
This is key to grasp porn properly. I am not talking about abused women or abusive men. They are not the bulk of the society. Feminism explains patriarchy very wel,l but we should not conflate the privilege of being born a male, with the intent driven abuse of women by men. They are different things.
It is a common misconception that in relationships, and in society in general, women barter sex for things. That is wrong. The greater aspect of a sexual relation is about the fulfillment of desire. In the emotionally stunted group of men raised so by our civilization, desire is the root of a general schizophrenia.
Most men live in a state of inner conflict between what they are and what they’re suppose to be, just like women. They suffer less than women, because, like racism, the system is gamed so that they are pampered with privilege to ease the pain of the their schizophrenic mind, lacking emotional expression, outward motivation and any sort of connection to their inside self. Be a man! No shit.
I don’t glide easily on the idea that men learn from porn how to behave in bed. It is true! And it hurts like hell. But this is how male sexual education works because we’re making it so for thousands of years.
Do mothers or schools open up the subject properly and then their kids get slammed with porn at random? No, porn is a seek for what is unknown. For example, in medieval times men of means went to courtesans, sex workers, where the “secrets” of sex were “taught”. In Chinese and Indian sexual tradition always special women, mistresses, priestesses, these knew the secrets, never the wife, the mother or the common girlfriend. Why?
When I was very young there was no internet. Yet we still “learned” about sex from sex stories, magazines, tapes and whatever, including pornographic depictions of sex from older boys do were doing it. What those boys talked about isn’t even on the entire PornHub.
Porn is free because we still can’t pay for sex.
Sex work is, in most parts of the world, hugely problematic. It is a way to work which has been constantly persecuted by society as a whole, and now it is infested with the vermin that grow in the rot of anything deemed illegal or over regulated.
When sex work will be as normal as being a bank teller, and as easy, and as safe, sex will become accessible. Right now it is not, and porn fills this void avidly. Sex is, in the US, in the EU, for the most part still inaccessible.
There isn’t even a serious market for female buyers of sex which is not because women don’t want that, but because of the bad idea that women “get it” whenever they want. Which makes them vulnerable. The hypocrisy is huge.
Pornography works because sex sucks.
Humans are thread full. We have this illusion of cohesiveness, like we’re the same in all dimensions. But, c’mon, we’re so not. We change, we shift, we switch, every single minute of our existence, constantly pulling on threads that unravel some behavior.
The brain tries everything and picks the best guess. And we don’t accommodate this very well, especially in our sex lives. How many people are full frontal about what they want in bed, without metaphor, without fear of rejection, and even more, how many people are by default willing to try?
By default? Edging towards zero, because as we grew up our sexuality was non existent to our social circles.
This guess work done by the brain, which I strongly believe to happen, is even more relevant about sexuality. Men and women get turned on by how a voice sounds or by eye contact. What do we do about it? We ask people to not get distracted by open sexual stimuli. How sane is that?
When will we be able to be openly aroused?
Openly aroused, yes. Making horny normal and as mundane as a headache or hunger. We take lunch breaks, do we take sex breaks? This sounds outrageous, and it should, because we’ve conditioned ourselves for it, but it isn’t.
Did it ever occur to us that we like watching others have sex because we used to see others having sex all the time? People were doing it in front of other people since forever and the hair thin slice of history taken over by religious based civilization will never make up for the large chunk of history made by natural human sexuality.
Why was I prompted to write this?
Because sex and sexuality has always been the liberator of mankind. It will always be so.
Because this new trend is getting louder, this idea that men suck as sexual partners because all they do as teenagers is watch porn and then they grow into cavemen exploiting women. This idea that men are bad in bed and abusive towards women because they look at moving pictures of depicted sexual fantasy is gaining support. And it is wrong.
Because I believe it is another ugly head of the utter mind control we’re subdued into as children by a society that builds cohesion by fighting nature.
Because, we accuse without understanding first, and then we feel entitled to say: qui s’excuse s’accuse, which almost all the time is a fallacy because we believe to be doing righteous accusations in the first place.
Whenever sexuality is talked about in the open, just like the last century’s classification of orientation as disease, society draws conclusions way outside the scope of the subject which is sex, not social standing nor good humanity.
It is not movies and websites that make men treat women bad, just as it is not the gore and blood in TV flicks that make people kill each other. Now that we’re at it, there is a horrendous amount of emotional pornography at children viewing hours broadcast daily an no one bats an eye.
The fencing of sexuality will not ever in a million years make men better, and, yes, pornographic consumption (in metaphor too) is an expression of sexuality.