The Netflix show “Black Mirror” is a scripted-fiction television show that aims to reflect the ugliest parts of society, exploring how the darkness of human nature can become our modern life reality. Look at our social norms, wait for the cracks.
Many of the episodes are hard to watch, not because of the violence, but because of how television might predict our future. Since October 7th I have confused my own reality with that of a Black Mirror episode. With 100 days of war, captivity and cruelty, I feel that I have watched a whole season, on repeat. Uncensored.
The season opens with the joy of youth, music and sunrise. Beautiful people high on drugs and life, are about to peak in ecstasy, perfectly timed with the immense beauty of a sunrise on the desert sands. They are floating on dreams, toned legs and their expectations for life to always be a cacophony of music, laughter and the unexpected.
Only the unexpected is hundreds of rockets flying through the rays of sunshine. To the dancer, the rockets look like fireworks. But the screams for shelter and blaring sirens bring the dream state to a halt and the nightmare sets in. The dancer is limbless. No more steps to take. Others break dance, or more likely seem to break down around her.
The opening scene has turned from festival to battlefield. The youth’s only weapons are their hope for survival against raging terrorists that have stormed the dance floor. It is a massacre, with lifeless bodies covering the sands and blood clouding the skies. The drugs have worn off and the fear has settled in. Many hide in bomb shelters waiting for the terrorists to finish their battle cry. But the worst is yet to come.
Their hatred is unleashed and they are throwing grenades into the shelters, taking turns raping women, shooting anything that moves. As the audience we view the betrayal of humanity through the lens of the terrorists’ go-pro cameras. As they infiltrate communities nearby, they continue their murder spree, ransack homes, take selfies with victims, set fires, steal clothes, and sing victory songs.
As the viewer it is hard to believe what you are seeing. Can humanity die on a dance floor?
The episode continues to pull at our greatest fears, as families are tortured live on social media platforms. Can social media be a weapon? Of course we know there are trolls and shaming, but a force of psychological terror, for the entire world to see? It has always been possible, but here it is undeniable.
The episode leaves us in chaos, emotional turbulence. The sky’s still blue, but the world has turned black. The black mirror is holding us all hostage. No commercial break. No break at all.
In the next episode we understand we are not the real hostages, but there are humans that have been kidnapped from their homes during breakfast, strapped to the backs of motorcycles, shoved raped and bloodied on to the back of pick up trucks, even elderly driven on their own golf carts through the borders into hell. You watch in fear, you keep telling yourself it is just a TV show, but the tears leak from your heart and you know that the flood of truth is just beginning.
The audience now views the shocking footage through the eyes of journalists. Hungry for headlines and ratings, they forget accuracy and become part of the war weaponizing information. The government steps in and declares war. We breathe a sigh of relief. Surely this is the end, where the soldiers bring back our reality, save our souls, and hunt the bad guys.
But the next episodes continue to crush us. We learn that hell is on earth, buried underground in tunnels, built by dirty money and evil hands. The blueprints from the Nazis, lead to the planned demise of an entire race of people, again. The viewer is taken on the ride with the hostages. There on the bike a woman is beaten by crowds of angry people chanting for the death of a nation of millions of people. Her head is bludgeoned, arm broken, pants torn from the waist down. She is taken to the hospital, but not for treatment. We see that humanitarian sites, including clinics, schools and emergency facilities, are a backdrop for rocket launching, terror planning and safe havens for the evil minds doing both.
Doctors do not take oaths here, but pledge their allegiance to the destruction of humanity, one operation at a time. The woman’s only medicine is the spoonful of hope she has left to endure her pain. There will be no healing here. Wounds will only get bigger. From our view, we as the audience must question all that we have come to know.
Only there is no time to unpack the episodes and you realize you have no words to do so anyways. The cameras zoom out from the documented horrors to streets across the world, where we hear the chants of hate, destruction of society and rage of the youth. Mobilized to care about equality and climate change, they fight for the rights of the oppressed. But it is a black mirror twist. They do not root for the victims that died on the dance floor, or those that are held captive beneath it. They justify the rapes. They justify the children that were murdered. They justify the babies that were taken captive. The Amazon forest remains on fire, and their chants spark flames burning fields of compassion and tolerance.
This is where the black mirror cracks under pressure.
The viewer is shocked to see a generation built on dismantling gender norms, falling apart as they chant for bloodshed and ridding the world of an entire religion. The audience can understand how wrong this seems to be, almost to a point that they wonder why the producers would even allow the story line to continue. The non-binary have conformed after all. The queers have become complacent. The progressives have become the human shields for terrorists.
Courts have become a place of judgment against the wounded. The rape victims must defend themselves. But they are still captive. The murdered must make their case for why the world should care. But they are dead. The defenders of justice must prove why they should protect humanity against evil. But their voice is not heard.
And so while we feel that we are at the end of the world, the season continues on.
100 days of episode after episode. Leading us down a dangerous path of humanity’s destruction and a tunnel system with the intent to place us all in a cage.
For 100 days human beings have been held captive in cruelty. Babies have weaned in hell. Elderly have retired in evil’s seething hands. And our world has divided, much like the cracks of the black mirror.
We are all hostages today and everyday. We are held back by the nightmares, when we should be dreaming. We are traumatized by terror, hate, and shaming.
SOS. SOS. SOS.
We will never be whole, until season 7 is over. Until our hostages are free. Until the evil dries up and the sands are once again shining with the bright rays of sun. Where young people laugh and dance, high on life. The skies have to be clear. Not one rocket. Not one threat. Not one terrorist. Not one victim. When we can unite as a people of good, we can bring justice. With our tears we can extinguish the fires of hell.
That is when this season will end. 100 days, and the show is not on TV. It is here, in my home and yours. It is beneath the surface and a reflection in the black mirror. Take a good look at who you are and which side you are on.
It is a reflection of our deepest fears and forces us to face our most vulnerable hopes.
“Moses knew that to be free you have to let go of hate. Wherever there is hate, freedom dies. Which is why each of us, especially we leaders, have to take a stand against the corrosive power of hate. All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing. Today I see too many good people doing nothing, and I am ashamed.”– Rabbi Jonathan Sacks z”l, speaking from his grave. It is there that the dead have the best view of the tunnels and the roots of our future.