Opinion | What ‘Rick and Morty’ can say about American masculinity

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Look out! Look out! This section contains enough spoilers for all seasons of Rick and Morty.

Adult cartoons have been popular for generations. Simpsons, Griffins, South Park, Archer – For decades, cartoon series have analyzed the structure of the American family and genre. As South Park’s popularity declines, new shows appear to fill the gaps it left behind – Bob, Tuck and Bertie’s Burgers, Adventure Time, etc. – and to make the most of the newly found popularity.

Of all the new cartoons from the 2000s, not a single series had enough interesting effects on Rick and Morty. The star of the series, which creates an intense fandom cult, is a brilliant male alcoholic who deals with the great issues of life. Why am I here? Does my life have any meaning? Am I being punished for playing Machiavelli and insulting almost everyone in my life?

The last question is about kicking the ball. Given the number of fans of this show and its general reception, one can learn more about the modern man-fan. In Rick and Morty, Rick is rarely confronted with the consequences of his actions, and it seems that he has moved on to a subset of the fans of the show, a subset that used to laugh at the writers of the show and went crazy with the gravy. This kind of misogyny can have much worse real consequences than hunting Reddit – such behavior can become a hammer door, can become a world where an hysterical person is president. The directors of the show, Dan Harmon and Justin Royland, still have 70 episodes to go. You should use them to change their philosophical melody.

Of course, men aren’t the only ones eating this show. Of course women and non-binary people also love this show – I’m one of them! But this show has a male audience and it’s important to analyze it. What is it that attracts so many men? I love Rick and Morty. I can’t lie. At best, the show is a thorough study of what it means to be aware of this enormous power that we know nothing about. At its worst, cosmic nihilism glorifies abuse, no matter how much the perpetrators fight it. When I stopped the show because of the quarantine, I immediately saw the problem with receiving it – although there’s enough clear information here to know that Rick isn’t a role model, unfortunately there are people who won’t see it, no matter how you write it for them.

And the series allows this subgroup of fans to do exactly that, perhaps unconsciously – to make Rick a role model, to identify with him, to see him and to be ergonomic like gods. The question is how Rick and Morty will deal with the consequences – or rather, how they will not.

I was surprised when I saw Rick and Morty’s first season and realized that Rick had insulted Morty physically and/or emotionally in every episode. It goes so far in season four.

Rick rarely sees himself confronted with the consequences of his actions. He drags Morty to his death in episodes and humiliates him verbally. He also laughs at his son-in-law in every episode and throws his classmates on the street, like this: I don’t like your unemployed genes around my grandchildren. He doesn’t let his granddaughter Summer go on an adventure with him until the end of the first season, because he doesn’t take chicks on adventures (Ghazarpazorp Rise). His daughter Beth is an emotional disaster because of the possibility that he may leave her again, which leads us to believe that he left her as a child – but by jumping through portals between galaxies.

It is the face of a modern father, a modern genius who seduces so many young fans. Here’s a man who doesn’t face the consequences, or rather, who can go into another timeline to avoid them. Everyone he lives with, in one way or another, depending on his mood. Isn’t this the ideal male fantasy for 2020? Or maybe she’s no longer a part of our world? Where can a man with power walk away from something when in our reality it looks more like Brett Cavanaugh and less like a cause of death for entire alien civilizations?

It’s rare to expect to see Rick. It is a wet dream of every island, an irresistible fantasy for young people who feel powerless in the face of this new era. Rick is the embodiment of fantasy.

The closest is the pain Rick can feel during a suicide attempt, but ironically his drinking saves him – he falls on the workbench, the death ray he has set up drops his head a few inches (autoerotic asymmetry). At moments like this, the show is at its peak – these are the consequences of Rick’s life. We don’t want to be him. We have to want him to get better.

But these moments are rare and far apart. Rick’s nihilistic cosmic gaze usually prevails. He does what he wants – because he has the ability to do that, that is, he must be able to follow his philosophy – and for that he is congratulated. Rick makes sure everyone tells him what he wants to hear and does exactly what he wants to do.

In last Sunday’s episode of The Sourpuss, Chan creates a device that can stop and rewind time by opening all registers to alternative realities. It explains how the device works when Morty panics at the end of the episode over all of Morty’s dead alternatives. Om belediging aan het letsel toe te voegen, stelt Rick voor dat Morty besluit om ofwel alle mensen die hij heeft geleden in deze alternatieve realiteiten onder ogen te zien, ofwel een beetje toe te geven, wat Rick gebruikte aan het begin van de episode die Morty belachelijk maakt – Rick ontsnapt aan een aantal van de antagonisten door in een vat met nepzuur te springen. Morty decides to pretend he’s in a barrel of acid and renounces all responsibility. Als een grootvader, als een kleinzoon. Rick ziet zijn daden nooit onder ogen en duwt zijn familie zelfs om dit wereldbeeld over te nemen.

Ik begrijp dat als je eenmaal je kunst in de wereld investeert, het aan je publiek toebehoort. Maar in het geval van Rick en Morty legt de populariteit van de show hem de verantwoordelijkheid op om geen andere ricks te maken die gehaat zouden worden door de mensenkinderen die de show zelf maken. Dit soort giftige mannelijkheid genereert echt geweld en haat en creëert onder andere het recht op een cultuur van verkrachting en massa-executies. Dit soort wereldbeeld, deze duistere visie op macht, wordt gedeeld door onze huidige president – en we weten allemaal hoe goed zijn modellen van mondiaal bestuur werken.

Het verbaast me niet dat sommige giftige fans zich aangetrokken voelen tot Rick en Morty. De prijs van de show is precies het gedrag dat de fans een lachertje maakt – het recht, het geloof dat slimmer zijn of meer macht hebben betekent dat je kunt doen wat je wilt. Zolang Rick’s karakter niet op veel obstakels stuit, zullen zijn enthousiaste fanjongens blijven geloven dat hij God is. Ze zullen in Machiavelli blijven geloven en zijn weg in real time volgen.

Het is zeer problematisch om de controleurs te vertellen wat juist zou kunnen zijn en dat de gevolgen niet belangrijk zijn. Er zijn nog 70 afleveringen over, dus er is meer dan genoeg tijd voor deze serie om zich te richten op een betere filosofie. Als fan, als vrouw, bid ik Harmon en Royland hetzelfde te doen.

Genna schrijft over cultuur, media en genderpolitiek voor The Pitt News. Je kunt hem schrijven op [email protected]rick and morty toxic masculinity,rick and morty is garbage,rick and morty not funny,rick and morty season 4,no rick and morty,rick and morty vulgar,rick and morty pretentious,is rick and morty funny