Keep Your Nose Up

There are no spoilers in this post but there are spoilers in the links I’ve provided. Click at your own risk.

A few weeks ago, I watched the latest season of Black Mirror. Like all seasons after the epic first one, it had some episodes that blew me away (Hang the DJ) and some I could have done without (Metalhead). For me, the primary brilliance of Black Mirror lies in how close we are to every dystopian terror they depict becoming reality. Yes, some more than others, but the technologies highlighted in the episodes seem to me decades away or less, rather than the centuries implied by shows with long-distance space travel and flying cars. The kidnapping/ransom plot in the brilliant debut, The National Anthem, could easily happen tomorrow. And although I vow to always resist any attempt to implant surveillance technology in my body, there are millions out there willing to be early adopters, making many of the show’s other plot lines right at our fingertips. Some of the technologies probably are already in beta testing in a lab somewhere close to home. Since I was going to have nightmares anyway, I decided to rewatch some of favorites from other seasons, such as Nosedive from season three. Continue reading →

Flash Fiction: Screen Time

We are lying on the sofa in the den watching a movie. I selected the movie; he always wants me to. I sent him the trailer; he never watches it. This always works out fine because he never really watches the movie either.

He is on his phone texting Eric, browsing Facebook, texting Joel, browsing reddit, texting Johnny, browsing imgur, making memes to send to Cameron, Scottie, and Chris. The incessant clicking and the blue glow aren’t what bother me. What bothers me is that he just missed a portentous western sky, a meaningful glance between the protagonist and her sister, a book placed in a particular spot on a shelf, a close up of a dog as seen through a window. How will he understand why so-and-so does such-and-such if he didn’t see those clues? He’s mired in an artificial world constructed through images curated to reflect an ideal vision of the participants’ lives, enhanced by unnaturally witty dialogue that only be accomplished with the help of an edit button and he’s missing…

He’s missing… Continue reading →