Let me get this out of the way now: I have never watched a single episode of “Rick and Morty.”
I know. It seems like a show I might like! I plan to watch it sometime. And, at the risk of pissing off a notoriously acrimonious subset of its fan base, I’d like to clarify that the show itself is not actually on trial here. While I can’t speak as a fanboy-level expert, there are a few indications — such as the decision by co-creators Don Harmon and Justin Roiland to hire more female writers — that make me feel it’s unlikely that the show is secretly placing alt-right, anti-feminism messaging into their episodes. Just one man’s opinion.
Then again, I am but a blue-pilled normie, unenlightened to the hidden machinations that obscure the true nature of our cucked reality. On the 4chan board /pol/ — short for “politically incorrect,” where discussions about news and politics often quickly verge to the far-right fringe — others see things differently.
It’s probably worth noting that, when reading 4chan, one should always keep Poe’s Law in mind — trolling for trolling’s sake is a big part of the community’s culture, and it can be hard to suss out an actual opinion from someone just stirring the pot. But, as you’ll see below, it’s all still pretty weird.
It may not surprise readers that those who espouse a socio-political worldview based on a dumb metaphor from a dumb ’90s pop culture fad also have a certain predilection for getting sucked into finding dumb symbolism and dumb meaning in all of the dumbest places. (Note: I am not calling “Rick and Morty” itself, as a show, dumb. Again… please do not contact me about “Rick and Morty.” I’ll watch it. I promise.)
“Holy fuck, have you seen this show?” one enthusiastic 4chan post entitled “The Most Red Pilled show” begins. “Rick and Morty. [It’s literally the most Red Pilled shit [I’ve] ever seen. This is like [S]outh Park symbolism and just as radical in a different format. This shit [is] fucking crazy.” Whoa, man.
Others were quick to chime in, with one gently reminding the original poster that “South Park” was once unkind to George Zimmerman:
Very much agreed; it is hard to understate the potent symbolism of the special Fart alien’s death. RIP, special Fart alien.
In another thread, a poster asks his compatriots: “Is Rick and Morty /ourshow/”
Here, a critic offers a counterpoint: “Is there anything more blue-pilled than Rick and Morty?”
Another poster wonders if, perhaps, “Rick and Morty’s” approach to red pill philosophy is more of a slow build — a normie trap of sorts:
A second viewer comes to the same conclusion, and gets some emphatic agreement in the replies: “I’ve been saying this for a while now, everything on Adult Swim, for the most part is relatively redpilled…This anti-Adult Swim shit on /pol/ is fucking weird. Adult Swim is literally the most redpilled network on TV right now.”
Others, confident in their stance that the show is, in fact, reddit-tier, left-wing garbage for SJWs, had an idea: to re-appropriate the show’s titular character as a white supremacist icon, a la Pepe the Frog.
Of particular interest to a number of posters was this scene, from episode 4 of season 3, “Vindicators 3: The Return of World-Ender.”
Again, while I’ve never seen the show and am pretty confused about what’s happening here, speaking as a casual, normie-ish viewer: The gag does seem to be that Rick is a bit of a political loudmouth when drunk, behavior about which he seems clearly embarrassed when confronted.
Hmm…OK. What if it’s a secret message that Jews run the country, though?
This guy seems the most right to me:
I encourage readers to decide for themselves whether the funny sci fi cartoon is trying to turn viewers into ethno-nationalists. However, if you do believe it, you are probably very stupid. Thanks.
[photos: Adult Swim]