I’m not naive enough to think that a show on a commercial TV channel can ever be truly subversive, but Mr. Robot certainly struck a chord with me. As someone who wants to throw paint at every perfect face staring out from the myriad adverts that line my daily commute, I have real sympathy for the anti-hero, Elliot. He’s a cyber-security specialist and hacker, with severe social anxiety. But his distance from most people means that he sees our commercially driven society for the sham that it truly is, and is determined to do something about it:
“Is it that, we collectively thought that, Steve Jobs was a great man? Even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children. Or maybe it’s that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit. The world itself is just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our commentary bullshit masquerading as insight. Our social media faking us into intimacy, or is that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I’m not saying anything new, we all know why we do this. Not because Hunger games books makes us happy, but because we want to be sedated. Because it’s painful not to pretend, because we’re cowards. Fuck Society.”
I’m five episodes in to the series and looking forward to the rest. Not sure when this is showing in the UK – I had to use ‘alternative’ means to watch it. But then, this felt perfectly in keeping with the counter-cultural theme of the show!