Black Mirror's take on reality is enlightening, frightening and prescient in looking at tech from a cost perspective, something BRT has done for the past 7 years as There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, thanks to the 3 laws of Thermodynamics. In Mirror, The Waldo Moment strikes home when it comes to combining tech with an uneducated populace to give rise to world dictatorship under a "leader" that doesn't exist. Something akin to the rise of Trump, the now soon to be president who should not exist.
In “The Waldo Moment,” a brash cartoon bear voiced by a comedian winds up winning over the British public and running for political office. Waldo uses humor (he’s a cartoon, after all) to separate himself from career politicians, and he gains popularity in part because of his vulgar disdain for the system and his running mates. Bright blue cartooniness aside, he’s more or less a prescient version of our President-elect.
Sure, there are also some parallels here to Italy’s Five Star Movement, a growing, far-right political party started by a comedian who got crowds of malcontent Italians to shout “Fuck off!” at corrupt politicians. And yes, the circumstances under which Waldo enters the race stem from an Anthony Weiner-esque sexting scandal that forces an incumbent politician to step out of office. But Waldo’s rise to power eerily mirrors Donald Trump’s, especially considering that this episode of Black Mirror was penned long before there were any signs that Trump might actually secure the presidency in 2016.
Waldo, like Trump, begins as a candidate perceived as a joke, only to win the favor of voters who enjoy his lack of filter and “refreshing” sincerity. Waldo, too, makes for good entertainment, and that’s enough to get him votes. The episode’s final scene, in which the cartoon bear reigns as global dictator and wields what appears to be a brutal police regime, now reads as a dark foreshadowing of what might come out of a Trump presidency—and it’s not funny at all.