Week 3 Response


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    Zi Chuang Wang
    Participant

    Black Mirror is commonly known for it’s dark commentary on society and new technologies. This particular episode deals more with the issues of capitalism. Every average middle class proletariat’s life in this episode’s world is heavily influenced by the bourgeoisie. Their lives revolve around technology which is plagued with advertisements funded by the rich and powerful. This resonates with what ContraPoints talked about in the videos “What’s Wrong With Capitalism?” part 1 and 2. The video discusses how the “lizards”, aka the bourgeoisie, causes a rift between the common people through alienation of work. Common people are forced to compete against each other to properly sustain their lifestyle when their work only benefits the rich. You can see this in the Black Mirror episode when the common people are forced to bike to power their surroundings and earn small amounts of digital currency called merits. They all sit in a room together and slowly progress towards their goal but will ultimately never be able to touch the rich and powerful. (The main character does but this honestly seem rather unrealistic that he earned fifteen million merits once again. Probably just tv magic so they could move on with the plot and have a resolution.) Everyone is trapped in this meaningless lifestyle which you can see with all the gray, bland clothing they share.
    The advertisements the people sit through everyday are used to create new desires for them. The people in power (or “lizards” as Contrapoints would say) create these new desires for the common people so they would feel some sort of satisfaction in their lives. They all fear becoming overweight as overweight people are shunned and mocked for public entertainment so they all march on slowly in their lives while never being able to actually achieve anything due to capitalism.

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