Black Mirror : How could San Junipero not be horrifying?

Re: How could San Junipero not be horrifying?

Yes agree with that view of it. We will never get the chance, even though my theoretical view of the mind's existence is nothing more than a constellation of chemicals and neuron activity.

Re: How could San Junipero not be horrifying?

I think you're stretching it a bit, but I agree that this episode is Black Mirrorish enough and that many people miss it. It's mostly positive and uplifting, but there still is darkness to it. The difference is, in most episodes the dark side is a given, a fact, while here it depends more on your interpretation.

Your first point is, I believe, wrong. There's nothing that hints in any way to San Junipero being Groundhog'd Day-like experience. There are whole worlds styled after different eras, an actual worlds without pain and suffering where people can do whatever they like, and they're the ones developing it. There's no reason for it not to be rich and varied.

The most obvious issue here is, whether what is "uploaded into the clouds" is actually you or not. This is a matter of interpretation.

There are some fictional worlds the authors of which accept digitizing consciousness as something possible. Materialistic fiction that claims that consciousness is just a streak of information that can be analyzed and transferred into a different form. There's plenty of sci-fi based on that idea. If this is considered as something possible in the reality of this episode, that it's pretty happy all around.

But if we look at it more realistically, I don't see a way for this to be done even in theory. We can assume that there could be a way to replicate consciousness, create a digital copy of it, but that wouldn't be you. It's like the Star Trek teleport dilemma: if you're destroyed in one place and your atoms are recreated in another, the original you is dead, and the 'teleported you' is just a copy, a different individual. The same thing is true here: a copy of your consciousness isn't you. It may be identical to you, but the actual girls who had all those feelings are dead, and what we see at the end are just two pieces of digital memory swirling around the software. If you accept this as true, it's pretty grim.

I don't know which theory the authors consider true, but what struck me is that the servers at the end are very reminiscent of a columbarium, with memory cards instead of ash urns. Look at it the way you like.

I watched it alone and then rewatched it with my friends, and when watching it the second time I started to see those darker layers. Again, I believe that it's a matter of interpretation, that the episode doesn't really tell you what's true, but depending on the way you look at it, it may be pretty dark.

Re: How could San Junipero not be horrifying?

I totally agree with you, I cannot see how people can find this episode as beeing a happy one. the TCKR coumpound is clearly a graveyard, like the planet for old people in Futurama (and in Futurama it's their own bodies that are connected to the virtual world, and relatives can visit).

Like some, I think that it's just a copy of you, and not the actual you that gets to "enjoy" SJ. The actual you is either in the nil or in heaven/hell, depends of your beliefs.

Something you did not point out is the fact that TCKR "after death" service obviously comes at a high price, Yokie and Kelly are clearly rich, or at least not poor. Not having a communist talk here, just thinking that it is one of the gloomy aspect of this episode, the fact that maybe most of the population cannot even think about this "product" for their afterlife.
It would have been really interesting to see a commercial from TCKR about this, but my sensation is that TCKR is just a luxury service for rich people who doesnt want to be anguished the closer they get to death. Like "fearing the unknown ? dont, get a numerical "you/copy of you" and visit San Junipero to enjoy an eternity of pleasures".

Yokie died at 21 and gets to enjoy SJ once the technology has been released, so she basically doesnt know lots of thing about life (real life), and on the other side Kelly has been married for 49 years and will never see her husband and daughter again.
Both have insane voids in their life "now", and filling them together while spending their time in SJ is just a travesty for how sad things really are, and the ending scene, especially with the song from Belinda Carlisle, could even be the TCKR commercial.

Re: How could San Junipero not be horrifying?

Another thought-provoking episode. Great insights into this might be a rich person-only experience. I'd say that the experience could be legitimate and enriching for those who plug-in who are close to death. But once dead, I'd have to believe that those who are permanent residents would merely be (incredibly advanced) simulations, much like Ash in "Be Right Back." Also, if it is so regulated costly allowing only a few hours per week, then being a permanent
resident must be ridiculously expensive. I found that to be a plot hole.

Reminds me of the Red Dwarf episode "Better than Life."

Re: How could San Junipero not be horrifying?

1) How could this be true? The world is populated by tons of individual consciousnesses. Why would they do everything the same? This is baseless.

2) Are you sure that isn't your "essence" in real life? If I bemoaned that "my essence is only atoms and chemistry!" would that make our world (more) horrifying? Life begs the question of "is that really you in there?"

3) That's what you feel like? How compelling. On the other hand, I feel like I would like to exist forever. Even if "sensation" is somewhat different.

4) Great, so you live until you have to die - 'cause, y'know, that's an unfortunate limitation of being human - and then you get to live there permanently! Hooray in every way. This is not remotely horrifying.

As for "no struggle, no problems" - well, we saw plenty of struggle in San Junipero throughout the episode. Okay, so there was no genocide, cancer, or Trump - just can't bring myself to miss that stuff, though.

There are plausible nightmare scenarios that could arise from a similar premise, but they just aren't implied by the episode at all.

And no, I don't think anyone is "glossing over" anything. I think you're determined to find something that isn't there.

Participation in San Junipero isn't even mandatory, for god's sake.

Re: How could San Junipero not be horrifying?

I think that if you live there, you don't experience time like a regular person does. Like hours and minutes and seconds in a day. Like you jump from one moment to the other.
There is a scene where Yorkie changes her dress with just thinking about it. Maybe the same happens with time.
I do think it would be boring to be in the exact same place after a while, but maybe San Junipero is not the only option, and there are other places to try.
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