Billy Bauer. We saw that name before at the end of the last year on interactive episode of Black Mirror “Bandersnatch”. At the imaginary tv channels “UKN” bottom news.
Season 5 released last week and we came across this name again. If you didn’t watch by now, go and watch because i will give many spoilers about it.
Spoilers About Black Mirror!
But if you don”t want to watch whole episode 2 i’m going to give a quick summary. My goal is not to waste your time though this is the main idea of this episode. We spend our time by watching lots of things and yet we don’t actually see them. We hear but can’t feel it. And waste our lifes.
Getting to know Christopher
Christopher, Chris for short. In other words, our main character is a driver with the help of a Uber-like application.
We see him in a group therapy when we try to get to know him. There’s a mother who says her daughter committed suicide 18 months ago. When Chris gets close to this woman, he realizes that this painful mother tries to log in to her daughter’s Persona account every day. Maybe she can understand why her daughter committed suicide.
Here comes our first social message. Persona is an imaginary social media channel. But almost every day we hear the news of children, young people who have committed suicide because of the things they are exposed to on real social media, even by some games. Persona doesn’t give her daughter’s password to the mother so the mother tries to enter her daughter’s account with 3 passwords every day.
This is our side story. The real story is about another social media company: Smithereen. Chris runs a cab near this company almost every day. One day, he takes Jaden, who works in that company, in his car and kidnaps this person who tries to go to the airport with a gun.
Because he thinks he’s one of the top executives of the social media company. But when he finds out that he’s just a trainee, he gets angry and goes on a sack and drags him into another car to an unknown place. On the way, he is followed by suspected policemen, who is stopped in the middle of a field after a short chase.
What does Chris want? What’s Chris’s problem?
So what’s Chris’s problem? Why did he attempt such a kidnapping? To talk to Billy Bauer. Billy Bauer, the founder and president of Smithereen, the social media company that he kidnapped one of their intern. That’s all he cares about! Reaching Billy Bauer.
After this, we see the desperate effort of the British police to gather information about Chris in a traditional and somewhat outdated way.
Chris wants to talk to Billy Bauer, because he’s American, so the FBI gets in. But the poeple who got the most detailed information the fastest way about him, neither the history’s superpower policemen working for England, nor the superpower of the present, the US security forces.
Tomorrow’s superpower, this technology company’s employees simply enter Chris’s social media profile and learn almost everything about him.
In the meantime, They get clear about whether they listen to us via our social media applications on our phone. They have been analyzing all of their members’ posts and all online behaviors for years, so they quickly form a profile.
We may see the other person as a friend in these apps, but these apps reduce us to a tag cloud. With thousands of data points, it identifies all of our interests and orientations and knows us better than our mother. Remember that sad mother at the knee. That’s why he tries to access his social media platform to get to know his suicide daughter better and to understand why he committed suicide.
Black Mirror’s Facebook
Remember last year everyone wanted delete Facebook??? I talked about these things there. In this case, this social media company in the Black Mirror is Facebook? Billy Bauer must be Mark Zuckerberg. What was on the photo I showed at the beginning of the post?
Indeed, for two days after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, we saw how Mark Zuckerberg was compressed on live.
On the other hand, let’s remember what Chris said in the beginning of the episode.
Your shitty app is on everyone’s phone.
Addiction. These apps are addictive, like drugs, cigarettes. That’s exactly why American comedian Bill Maher used the term “tobacco farmer” for the tycoons and kings of social media, like Mark Zuckerberg, a few years ago.
Moreover, this dependence is everywhere. Even those who develop those applications are trying to escape, but they cannot.
Who is Billy Bauer?
Personal information on Facebook had infiltrated many times, and when it was learned months later, the employees there were always “unaware”. Looking at all these clues, Billy Bauer is definitely Mark Zuckerberg, and we get another clue about him on the show and we get confused.
Well, where is he?
On the sixth day of a ten-day retreat.
Wait… This is not the kind of thing Zuckerberg would do. It reminds us more of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Didn’t he just tweet that she’s been taking a retreat like this on her birthday?
So Billy Bauer is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, right?
Well, then this social media company Twitter and Billy Bauer must be Jack Dorsey, its CEO.
Coyote, Charlie Brooker, creator and writer of the Black Mirror series. You’re stalking the nation’s tweets, spying on them and selling them to us, aren’t you? We won’t get fool, I would say, but Jack Dorsey’s tweet was thrown on December 8, 2018. The screenplay for this episode was already written and even more than half of its production was finished. Then this is a very lucky coincidence.
Billy Bauer must be a mixed character representing the strongest CEOs of companies in Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, Jack Dorsey from Twitter. Even if you look at his flip-flops and glasses, we can even say that he resembled Steve Jobs. After all, he loved trekking and meditation.
Another thing we know about them is the incredible power they have. These people and their companies are now more powerful than states. Look at this dialogue between Billy Bauer and the FBI agent.
Could Billy Bauer become a modern Zeus with his powers? This most powerful god of Western mythology is shown with a thunderbolt in his temple on Mount Olimpus. Our Billy Bauer’s temple has windows instead of columns and a satellite phone instead of lightning. A man capable of doing almost anything with a computer that can connect to the Internet.
Billy Bauer, despite all these people’s objections within a few minutes he reachs Chris’s phone number information and calls him.
This phone call is the highest point of the series’s tension. At the bottom, the interior of the vehicle in the plain has now become a confessional. Chris finally meets the creator of that social media world, where he once became his slave slave. He starts pouring out.
What he couldn’t say at the moment when he was bursting into tears. The fact that the flowing time will never come back. That’s why it’s more valuable than anything.
In fact, all this effort is a confession of his own fault. One moment of carelessness to think that his fiancé was killed. The inability to prevent her from looking at a notification from her social media application.
So no one can keep an eye on you. This is the point where all this episode will turn around. It’s done so no one can keep an eye out. That’s why Chris opens his eye in the first scene and Billy Bauer closes in the last scene.
A character who is forced to divert his attention to notifications from his phone because he is unable to focus his attention in the first scene. Finally, another character who managed to put his phone aside and close his eyes to the outside world.
One looks oppressed and the other cruel. One is offered in black and the other in white. But that would be very cliche. That’s exactly why I love this show. At the other end of the phone line, Billy Bauer took his character to such an inaccessible point that he made the small mountains a godlike taste. If they left him there, the hollow, one-dimensional he would remain like a cardboard character. But they didn’t. In fact, they showed us that his power is not absolute and is now out of control.
It was Billy Bauer’s confession and he said these things.
I swear our entire platform was different when I started. Later,… I don’t know, it’s like something has turned out! He came to this point step by step. They said to me: in You have to keep optimizing, Bill, people shouldn’t let go. ”So it’s like drugs. It’s like a Vegas casino with all the doors locked. There’s a division in the company. The only job is to deliberately play with it. I have dopamine targets and I can’t stop it. I started it. But I can’t do anything to stop it. I’m like a foolish leader.
I mean, we’ve been asking all this for nothing about Billy Bauer. In fact, the whole thing was an app that came out of his control. An application that tries to draw upon the eyes with all its power.
Some kind of attention thief.
Did you notice your logo? Big exclamation mark in speech bubble! Already the name of this section is the plural of this application name. Smithereens. What do you mean, Smithereens? It’s not just a fictional brand made up for this series. In English, this word means smashing something. Could that be our attention?
So don’t pay too much attention to the superficial comments on the internet or the discussions about what happened, who died, who stayed at the end of the chapter. It’s clear what happened at the end of the episode.
With the help of Chris and Billy Bauer, the mother, who finally learned the social media password of her dead daughter, presses the enter key to log in to her account, and at that moment a gun is pointed at the occupants. With the start of the famous song “I can’t take my eyes from you” , we see our characters who cannot take their eyes. People who can’t keep their eyes apart from their notifications and maybe even ourselves.
It doesn’t really matter who’s dead and who’s left. An introduction to a social media tool that kills our time is almost the same as killing a person. Because they both eliminate very valuable things that can no longer be brought back. Time.
Who the hell is Billy Bauer?
You know who Billy Bauer is? From now on, that’s the name of my lost attention. Billy Bauer keeps whispering something in my ear. Moreover, he does this by putting exclamation marks at the end of his whispering.
I used to say “come on, turn on the TV! watch! change the channel! ” Now, let’s open Facebook! Look at Twitter! Use Instagram! I don’t know what he’ll do tomorrow. But there’s one thing I’ve learned. It’s my life, and if I don’t have control, Billy Bauer will take him out of the way and shatter him. My whole life will be wasted.
But no! No, no, no… I just woke up. My eyes are open! If you have an exclamation mark, Billy Bauer, I have brackets. I will use technology, of course. But I won’t let him use me. I will carefully take the exclamation marks he sends to distract me and place my own brackets around him.