Huh. Okay. Huh. A pig. Really? Huh.
Of all the things in Charlie Brooker’s near-future sci-fi parable anthology Black Mirror that were sure to come true, probably very few of us expected it to be EXACTLY, or pretty close to exactly, the scenario depicted in the series’ shocking first episode. And yet, that’s what’s being alleged currently, though not under the same circumstances at all.
In the 2011 premiere episode of Black Mirror, entitled “The National Anthem,” a hacker/terrorist kidnaps a very important person’s daughter and sends video to all news agencies to get the British Prime Minister (played by Rory Kinnear) to do certain things. After some escalating, it’s revealed that the terrorist wants the PM to have sex with a pig on live, national television, leading to a forcing of hands (so to speak) and him having to concede, which elicits shocks, cheers, and eventually groans of “Boy, this isn’t as funny as I expected” from groups of citizens.
That didn’t happen in real life. Mostly. New allegations surfaced over the weekend that the current British Prime Minister, David Cameron, may have “placed private parts of his body” into the mouth of a dead pig when he was back in University. 10 Downing Street refuses to comment on the allegations, but that hasn’t stopped Twitter from exploding over the weekend with things like #PigGate and finding unfortunately-hilarious-now pictures of Cameron holding a pig for some kind of PR thing a few years ago. Does it make me laugh that he may have something like that? Not particularly. Does it make me laugh that he’s one of the stuffiest and most conservative PMs since Margaret Thatcher and he may have done something like that? Oh, my yes. Nothing has been proven, I hasten to add, but it’s not unfunny.
Charlie Brooker was asked to comment on the whole thing, since he sorta-kinda presupposed it four years earlier. Naturally, Brooker wasn’t intending to be Nostradamus, and didn’t even know what was going on at first, telling BuzzFeed News, “I didn’t know really what to think, so it took me a bit of clicking around to work out what on earth was happening. I thought maybe that he mentioned [the episode]. Put it this way, my mind didn’t immediately go, ‘Oh, he must have f***ed a pig then?’ I was very confused.”
The fictional PM in the episode, Michael Callow is the character’s name, isn’t meant to represent any particular party, and in fact, by the end of the episode, he comes off as a very sympathetic, pitiable figure, so Brooker in no way was trying to besmirch Cameron or any other figure… still, what’re the odds, right?
Brooker continued, “I think it’s mainly because we’re exaggerating the present and sort of coming out with an exaggerated version of now. … I think it is by accident really. This was one that I would have not have seen coming.”
In a show that tells us that technology unchecked could be (and already is) leading to a societal collapse, or at least some real sad times for people, who’da thunk the one that ended up being true first would be the one that seemed the most outlandish at the time?
If you’d like to watch “The National Anthem,” or indeed any of the six episodes in the first two series, they’re on American Netflix now. And don’t forget: more Black Mirror is in the works for Netflix so we’ll see what Brooker will accurately predict about other sex acts with farm animals. Or, you know, whatever.
HT: Buzzfeed News
Images: Channel 4
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!