How consumerism, money and advertising shape are view of are reality?

Autor: Jean Carlos Castro

How consumerism, money and advertising shape are view of are reality?

Black Mirror:15 million merits

A society of people live in an enclosed, automated space, with nearly every surface a video screen with personalized entertainment and frequent advertising. They earn their living by riding on stationary bikes to generate power in exchange for “merits”, a form of currency used to buy food, goods, virtual items for their doppel, and for entertainment. The society shuns overweight people, who are tasked with menial, janitorial jobs and subjected to humiliation via a game show. Bin has recently inherited millions of merits from his dead brother. He meets Abi Khan while exercising one day and develops a crush on her. Later, after overhearing Abi singing in a restroom, he encourages her to enter Hot Shot, a reality contest where winners can move into more lavish spaces and can forgo the bike riding. However, an entry ticket costs 15 million merits. Bing, feeling there is nothing worth buying, gifts Abi the entry ticket, and joins her for her audition. Abi is required to drink a psychotropic beverage, before she goes out to sing for the judges. While they are impressed with her singing, they admit they have no more room for singers, they suggest she is better suited for pornography. Despite Bing protesting from the wings, both the crowd and judges excessively pressure Abi, and in her altered state tearfully accepts.

Bing returns to his routine listlessly. He spends the next few months aggressively earning merits on the bike to re-earn the 15 million merits and buy another Hot Shot entry ticket. Prior to his tryout, Bing hides the glass shard in his trousers, and says to the stagehands that he has already drunk his Compliance by showing them the empty container. For the judges, he starts with a dance number that impresses them and the audience, when he suddenly pulls out the shard and threatens to slice his neck. Wraith suggests he go through with it, but the other judges hear him out. Bing angrily rants about the system, talking about the cold, heartlessness of it and how everything is artificial and unemotional. After some discussion, Hope offers Bing his own regular show on one of their channels. Sometime later, Bing is shown recording his show, consisting of him holding the shard of glass to his neck to rant before finishing with advert placements. Bing now lives in much larger quarters, and the episode ends with him looking out through the side of his room onto a green forest stretching into the distance.

In the Dystopia present above we can see a world shaped by merits(money), entertainment and advertising. There many facts to analysis from this episode like how people are bound to the stationary bikes. This is a symbolism how people work to earn merits to buy the everything but is much more than that, only fit people the can ride the bike, fat people are

outcast and force to be janitor, the ridicule, they are the principal comedy in the episode. Represent the endless cycle of the capitalism system, the workers treated like machines. Other aspect to analysis is the value of the body over the person itself.   In this world people are no more the object of economic value. The example are the janitors and Abby. The janitor are outcast because there fat and are ridicule. On the other hand, is Abby, she goes to Hot Shot to sing but end up doing porn because the judged believe her body is better for porn that to sing. But the most important aspect to analysis is Bing. Bing is always search for something real, he feels trap in this world, where everything is fake, illusion. A world of entertainment and advisement, where there is no place to hide from it, in been in the bedroom. And merit is the only thing of valued. He sees the Hot Shot has the way out. And tried to speak the truth at the show, only to be offer his own show. I see this has an attempt of the system to turn someone that sees through the lies into and instrument of the system. In any case in the end Bing seen to have escaped the bikes.

 The advertising and entertainment has shaped this world to such all point the humanities has disappeared, in it place a construction of what should human been. Beautiful, fit and stay in line. Everything that does no goes with these ideas should be outcast. But must understand that are world and this dystopia are not the far apart. We also something value perfect body and margin those do not follow the idea. We are in some way in a stationary bike. We are also always receiving entertainment and advertising all the time.


  1. Black Mirror:15 million merits
  2. How Advertising and Entertainment Shapes Your Subconscious. (2012, November 07). Retrieved from
  3. Rothenberg, R. (2014, September 26). How Powerful Is Advertising? Retrieved from

Publicado por Jean Carlos

Amo la historia, en especial historia de Europa, Estado Unidos y Latino America, pero no limitado a estás áreas. Bachillerato en Historia de Europa, UPRRP. #23


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