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Black Mirror: UIUC Edition

Season four of the Netflix series Black Mirror was released a month ago, and people still can’t stop talking about it (namely about how, much like an OTPHJ, it was kind of disappointing). Each episode in Black Mirror takes a different concept of technology in the near future and shows viewers why technology is bad, the future is bad, and we shall all suffer horribly when the robots take over. As if there weren’t enough suffering at UIUC already, we’ve created totally plausible UIUC-specific Black Mirror episodes to freak your mind:

CUMTD is Abolished, Suburban Express Becomes the Only Mode of Transportation:
In a dystopian Champaign-Urbana, CUMTD buses that get you to where you need to be only 10 minutes late wouldn’t exist. When public funding for inconvenient public transportation goes away, the only awful bus company left in town is Suburban Express. It’s up to Illini to decide whether they’re immoral enough to ride a racist owner’s bus company or find a better way to get to class. Either way, walking to class is not an option because it’s too healthy.

The Chief is Replaced With a Somehow-Less-Racist Hologram of the Chief:
Years from now, U of I still doesn’t have a mascot. Since the student senate can’t think of any possible mascots besides the Chief and a fat squirrel, they make the once-banned Chief mascot into a hologram. Chancellor Jones, who has already died and become a hologram himself, thoroughly approves of this new mascot, although his students are outraged.

Nothing Can be Submitted Online and Must be Submitted by 5 p.m. in Your Professor’s Mailbox:
This episode is equally as terrifying as previous Black Mirror episodes “White Bear” and “Playtest.” The IllinoisNet Wi-Fi has permanently shut down after half the Illini population tried submitting their assignments on Compass at 11:59 p.m. on the same day. In this post-apocalyptic episode, out of shape students run frantically to turn their assignments in in the most prehistoric way.

Students Who Don’t Pay, Like, $2 For Printing Will Be Jailed:
This episode was based off of the Futurama meme where Fry owes someone “like, a dollar” and he responds, “You’ll have to kill me for it!” In this episode, students who haven’t paid, like, $2 for university printing are dragged away and jailed a la “White Christmas” because Illinois’ budget can’t stand to lose a single cent.

State Farm Center is a UFO That Josh Whitman Landed on Earth In: 

There’s always been a reason why the stadium that our shitty basketball teams plays in looks like an alien spaceship. This episode is an origin story of how Whitman, a real-life alien, came from a planet where they’re under the impression it’s okay to pay a bad football coach $21 million.

Cockroaches in Taft Van-Doren Become Chancellor:
The university administration desires to knock down all the Six Pack dorms and rebuild them into livable spaces with Wi-Fi and air conditioning, but the cockroach tenants refuse to let their homes be destroyed. The episode focuses on a cockroach who, in an attempt to stop this cockroach genocide, somehow becomes chancellor and continues the trend of withholding scholarships from students.

These episodes aren’t as heartwarming as “San Junipero” or “Hang The DJ,” but they are realistic situations that could happen if we keep going the way we’re going with technology here at U of I. To prevent all of this, just throw your iPhone off the nearest balcony and hope for the best.

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