Rick and Morty, and Whatever: What Is It About?

rick-and-morty
Rick and Morty

I wanted to write something about Rick and Morty. I really did. But what is the point? The whole point of the show is that there is no point. Or is it?

If you ever find yourself staring in disbelief at the screen wandering what on earth pursued the pixels to jumble into the particular but ever so pleasing madness that is Rick and Morty, you might have noticed the meaningful nihilism of the show.

There are no sacred cows for the creators, they happily barbecue them for breakfast. While South Park puts hypocritical institutions in its crosshairs, Rick and Morty obliterates the very fiber of all ideological cores.

Using a popular show to promote ideas is a tool writers often use. Yet, it often requires a truly ophthalmologically inadvisable amount of squinting to see into non-political shows the ideological bias writers want to advocate.

I myself have used popular books or movies to illustrate a point, but never claimed the stories intentionally tilted to one side or another.

If someone were to shoehorn any such nonsense into Rick and Morty, rest assured that the shoehorn will end up in where one wouldn’t want it.

The show even takes a jibe at the Pharisaic ending of many American shows where the protagonist dutifully recites what he or she had learned. Rick and Morty pointedly declares, in your bemused and traumatized face at the end of their adventures, that there are absolutely no takeaways.

And yet, with a shoehorn dangling above my head, I think that is the point. Not only of the show, but of liberalism, and free markets. There are no sacred cows. If they are better utilized as burgers, light up the grill. Question everything, all the time.

This is what makes classical liberalism inherently great. It questions the status quo, it constantly probes if something can be done better. The guiding principles behind this give way to dynamic thinking rather than inertia.

It gives the freedom to critique, to rethink, to develop. It incentivizes positive change. It invites scrutiny of the system itself.

No, Rick and Morty is not liberal. Neither is it anything else. But it opens interdimensional portals in the static minds, and without us realizing it cajoles us into critical introspection. The show is great because it anticipates expectations, and chucks them in a bin, lights it on fire, and moves on.

It enterprises to find something new, something better. We should learn from it.


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