“Rick & Morty” & When to Give a Shit

I drove up to Seattle to hang out with my friend Elliott who is also a huge “Rick & Morty” fan. We’re having a little viewing party at his apartment, at which we will watch the already-released Season 3 Episode 1 “Rickshank Redemption” along with the newly released SE3EP2 “Rickmancing The Stone.”

I’ve hit the point where my fandom of “Rick & Morty” has hit peak obsessional levels. This isn’t strange for me, because I have a historically obsessive personality type. In the past couple years, I have gone off the deep end in my obsession with animated TV in general (“Adventure Time” and “Steven Universe” rank in the same tier as “Rick & Morty” for me of exceptional animated content). I also am a lifelong Asher Roth fanboy (no one else shares this obsession) and an insufferable coffee nerd. I usually fall into hobbies that eventually become all-consuming, and this is exactly how I like existing. Everything becomes dizzyingly interesting the more you stare at it.

The #1 draw of “Rick & Morty” is Rick Sanchez, the titular main character of the show. He is a burping, alcoholic genius with absolutely no tact and only some fleeting moments of empathy. I love Rick because he doesn’t give a shit and he doesn’t really have to because of how intelligent he is. “Listen, I’m not the nicest guy in the universe, because I’m the smartest. And being nice is something stupid people would do to hedge their bets,” he says in SE3EP1. This is the appeal of Rick and characters like him (e.g. Tony Stark), who have the power to say whatever they want simply because they know best.

SE3EP1 The Rickshank Redemption

I don’t believe that being intelligent means that you have to be cynical and mean. Becoming truly smart means being able to inspire your friends to live instead of pounding them into the ground and best-ing them with your own knowledge. However, in my life, there is always someone who is smarter than me within rock-throwing distance, so I know that I am definitely nice to “hedge my bets.” Watching Rick heavy-handedly shut people down is thrilling because he wields an ultimate intelligence that I definitely crave.

I work a retail job where I have to embrace a “customer is always right” mindset. There is a way to artfully and tastefully embrace this kind of thinking, but recently I find it difficult to indulge customers who are rude, pretentious, or wrong.  I need money, though, so I indulge them. I am told that this is to be expected across the board as far as jobs go. It’s all ass-kissing, whether you’re a professor, a barista, or a web developer. We all need something, so we’re going to kiss some ass to get what we need. Rick breaks free from this human-centipede of ass-kissing, and it makes watching him and his antics extremely addicting.

There are people that I meet in my life that I just happen to like without having to try too hard (like, for instance, Elliott). I would say that I like 20% of the amount of people I interact with daily, including friends, strangers, and family,  Sure, I have a general love and appreciation for humanity blah blah blah, but only 20% of my social sphere include people I would happily do favors for simply because I like that they exist.

“Rick & Morty” makes me contemplate the things like this, the things I should actually give a shit about. It allows me to zoom out and think about my relative insignificance, and in turn the relative insignificance of my problems. Rick acknowledges the triviality of our mundane, human, and planetary woes. In the end it allows me to enjoy the people and things I like much more fully, because how rare is that? To find something worth loving in this shit-storm of matter and energy?

I am super stoked about the premiere of SE3EP2 tonight. It’s 22 minutes of animated television, but it satisfies an almost spiritual need to see someone bring some much-needed perspective to the human race, myself included.

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