The episode I chose to analyze from Black Mirror is “The Waldo Moment.”
The likelihood that we are to experience this dystopian reality is not far off. I won’t say that we as a society have come to the bleakness viewed at the end of this episode. However, it is evident that this fiction is slowly becoming reality. It may be no surprise that I am going to bring Trump into this conversation. In my opinion, are many similarities between him and Waldo. While he is of course more educated than Waldo and does have a platform (however much one may agree or disagree with it), his reason for being elected can be attributed to his many social stunts as seen with Waldo. His ability to create a mockery of media, politics, valid information, and so forth put him at the front of every news story and kept him relevant. Whether or not you stood behind him, like Waldo, he was the talk of the election from start to finish. Further, like Waldo, much of what he was being covered on was not related to politics at all!
Further, it can be said that politicians platforms are becoming less and less substantive. While I mention that Trump does have a platform, much of his stances changed during or after the election (e.g. his stance on abortion), and the few things Trump keeps repeating that people remember contain absolutely no substance and in my opinion degrade the platform he has been privileged to use (e.g. The Mexico/U.S. wall). Thus, like Waldo, politics is being used for all the wrong reasons, and is not going to create positive change for the future.
As for social media’s role in this becoming a reality, I do believe that it is up to society to remain informed through valid, unbiased channels, and to truly start standing and taking action for what we believe in. Waldo also very much represents society, in that while people may be angry or frustrated with those in power, no one is willing to take a real stand. However, we are willing to make fun and laugh at our issues. Like Waldo, society likes to talk the talk, but I do not believe that there are enough people taking real action in real life to solve the problems in society.
If there was a ‘Waldo’ running in the past U.S. election, I do not doubt that people would have voted for it. In fact, while he was not actually in the running, many people were joking about voting in Harambe for office. While this is comedic in the moment, it takes away from the Harambe story in itself, but more so from the professionalism of politics. I agree with Munroe’s points in the episode that there is no point in entertaining hollow social stunts when there are real life pressing issues that need society’s attention. While those that side with Harambe or Waldo feel like they took action, they must realize that while they are standing, they are standing for nothing. This idea is very dangerous, and we must be a stronger society and put the focus we are all so capable of into something of depth that will prevent our society from hitting rock bottom.