Black Mirror. Sometimes I just say it like a complete sentence, over and over. Black Mirror, Black Mirror. So what is it? What is Black Mirror? Trying to capture the magic of the channel 4 British TV show Black Mirror is, to me, almost impossible. Think Twilight Zone getting f*cked raw by Philip K. Dick while surfing the internet on mushrooms. It is a show that is brave, ballsy, heart-breaking, mind-blowing, disturbing, and brilliant. Honestly, in terms of TV, it feels like an esteemed purebred among a bunch of yammering mutts. So in those terms, it still shocks me that when I bring this show up, it’s often met with a “huh?” That is just not okay, so right now, we are fixing that. Right now I am insisting you discover this show and fall in love with it, even though, at times, it will break you. Black Mirror is about as good as TV can get and I implore you give this show a shot.
If I were writing this for any other site, do you know what they would tell me to call this article? 21 Reasons All Sites Should Be Like Buzzfeed. They would then ask me emulate the exact style on that site (big photo or gif, small blurb of retarded text) and they would tell me to assume my audience was filled with mindless, thirteen-year-olds and to write with that target demo in mind. Why, even though that sucks a thousand dicks, would a website ask me that? Because, my REMlins, that is what sells right now. Internet journalism is in a state of 9-1-1, on the edge of becoming like fast food. Quick bursts of pointless poison that does no one any good. So how did this happen, and what can we all do? It happened because we let it, and we do nothing except get a better understanding of why they are feeding us bullshit and why we allow it. Only then can we hopefully take a step towards changing it.
A few years back, I went dark. No, my power didn’t go out, and no, I didn’t dye my hair black and become the dude who talks about how every meal tastes like sadness. I mean in the things I was studying up on and the type of films I was watching and overall, what I was subjecting myself to on a daily basis. While I can recognize the compelling aspects of dark stories and twisted tales, I can also tell you constant exposure to that stuff takes a toll. Not in the “this media inspires me to want to act like this” way, but in a “I cannot unsee these films” way. The most messed up part is that this does not mean these films are bad. The reality is, quite a few of them are amazing. But they deal with subjects that will haunt you, if you actually have a soul. While I am sure there are many people who could see this stuff and just move past it, I think the realest and most empathetic of us get sometimes get f*cked up by a curve ball a movie throws that none of us could have seen coming. This list is the six movies that did that to me. Warning, this shit is not for the faint of heart.
A few days after Christmas, I went to a thrift shop near my house with my sister and Mom. When I walked in, I felt something pulling me across the store. I mumbled something to them and wandered off among the array of memories for sale. What was pulling me, like an invisible magnet, was a giant, golden framed poster of beloved actress, Audrey Hepburn. With her massive, doe-like eyes staring out at me, I ran to it and grabbed it, scooping it under my arm. Before I had even left I was stopped by someone inquiring if they could “take it off my hands.” Nope, you can’t. I told the (older woman) that Audrey would be given a good home and would be treated with the love and respect she deserves. She smiled, and I walked away, smiling, knowing this angel would be looking over me in my office. So what is it about Audrey Hepburn? Why, years later, generations after she made movies, do we still pine for her? I think I know….
2014 was an awful year for a lot of good people. Hell, let’s be honest. It was an awful year in general. If you had a great year last year, this is not meant to undermine you in any way. Just know you are probably the minority in that. From bubbling racial tensions to clearer and clearer lines being drawn in the sand between the have and have-nots, few people I know look back on 2014 positively. Add to that the numerous problems we all (may have) faced in our personal lives, and it really wasn’t an easy year. Yet here we stand, in 2015. We can scoff that the actual year change means little and has little significance, but you know what, it actually does. It marked another 365 days we survived, got out of bed, faced our lives, battled our demons, and that deserves a hand shake, a hug, or a pat on the back. Thing is, as the year winded down, I figured out something about my own self and the somewhat trying year I faced. As you read on this will all make more sense and hopefully ignite something in you, too.