Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research


Charlie Brooker’s popular Netflix series Black Mirror has never failed to reflect society’s shadows, and season three’s “Men Against Fire” carries the torch in revealing that our dependence on technology leads to othering, dehumanization, and a perpetual power struggle. As technology rapidly evolves, its tendrils sink further into the human, organic world, making it increasingly difficult for humans to behave ethically as we gain power. Simultaneously, those at the other end of the spectrum are dehumanized as they are monitored and manipulated through the use of technology and power. The links between “Men Against Fire” and both historical and modern accounts, including the Holocaust and today’s refugee crisis, show that we do not change and are unprepared to keep up with the power that technology brings. Compelling dialogue, combined with first-person angles, gives the audience a firsthand view of a not-so-distant future in which our willingness to become socially distant and indifferent to suffering outside of our own group has led to the destruction of society and to the ongoing mission to destroy an entire population of powerless people. The intricate web of relation between power, technology, dehumanization, privacy, and xenophobia is strikingly evident in both “Men Against Fire” and our own world, offering a haunting premonition of our potential future state.