Black Mirror’s love/hate letter to technology through Irma Thomas’ “Anyone Who Knows What Love is (Will Understand)”

The world
May think I’m foolish
They can’t see you
Like I can

Oh but anyone
Who knows what love is
Will understand

No matter how many times we are warned and shown the horrifying consequences of technology, we, collectively, continue to embrace it. In the context of Black Mirror, “Anyone who knows what love is will understand” describes all the many ways technology can abuse our trust — yet we still love and depend upon it.

You can blame me
Try to shame me
And still I’ll care
For you

You can run around
Even put me down
Still I’ll be there
For you

While the future seems to absorb innocent bystanders at an alarming rate, some protagonists of Black Mirror are more than capable of changing their fates. It is easy to view these characters and plotlines under a harsh spotlight: “If only he hadn’t…If only she had done… It was her own fault… he deserved it…”

I just feel so sorry
For the ones
Who pity me

How many times could have a protagonist within Black Mirror’s world sang these lines,  completely literal, standing on the maddening edge of tech-induced delusion?  Before the downfall, there is a confidence in following desire to its fullest extreme (no matter the price).  If pressed for comment at the height of delirium, these characters, and Irma Thomas, would argue to naysayers:

Oh they don’t know
What happiness
Love can be

Blame and shame with rationality; torture the populous with “infinity prisons” to extend 24 hours into 1000s of years of confinement — we’ll still keep buying in.  Even as it’s happening before our eyes, the latest tech will be repeatedly placed in the hands of people who abuse its power.  Even when things go beyond any and all semblance of control, we will still trust in the technology.

Anyone who’s fallen under the hypnotic rapture of the black mirror, will understand.                                                                                                                      –Andrew JD

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