A satirical recall regarding the humanistic visualization of unity

The wonderfully weird and wicked satirical TV-series Rick and Morty follows the far-out intergalactic adventures of rogue and borderline sociopathic genius Rick and his not-so-genius grandson Morty.

In the episode “Total Rickall” Rick, Morty and their family find themselves in a situation where alien parasites have infested their brains with false memories of non-existing family members and friends. The family now has to figure out how to tell false characters from real and as Rick and Morty discover this lies in one crucial detail: the parasites can only create happy memories in order to verify their existence. What then follows is a slaughter as the family gets rid of all characters with whom they only have fond memories and in the process they are encountered with all the horrifying bad memories they hold of each other. Amidst the butchering the family fatally shoot their posthuman friend “Mr. Poopybutthole” who then, in a cringing scene, apologizes for the fact that none of them hold any bad memories of him.

The fatal shooting of the ironically absurd character “Mr. Poopybutthole” brings to light the challenging complexity in differentiating between humans, as the rest of the family are, and posthuman existence solely based on the humanistic visualization of unity. Furthermore the episode cleverly questions what it truly is that will tie us together as a human unity in the posthuman intergalactic future. Will our recognition of the term humanity partially be imbedded in our inhumane mistakes and wrongdoings towards one another?

(Bonus info: If you, like me, have been totally rickrolled by the sublime satirical quality of Rick and Morty then try watching episodes like “Auto Erotic Assimilation” and “Look Who’s Purging Now”. Both of these episodes deal with the question of human/posthuman unity.)

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10 Comments on "A satirical recall regarding the humanistic visualization of unity"

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Lara Eva Sochor
Great example for this assignment, Rick & Morty indeed has a lot to offer in regards to the Posthuman. Nonetheless I am not quite sure on whether I agree with your assessment of the hole Mr. Poopybutthole – debacle. During the shooting the family has to kill parasites which have taken on a human form as well as those in anthropomorphic form. The rule is simple and egalitarian in respect of looks: Kill everyone you only have fond memories of. Mr. Poopybutthole does not get caught in this crossfire however but is shot during family dinner where the place for… Read more »
Johannes Poulsen
Johannes Poulsen
Like a few of the other blog posts, this thematizes whether human unity is primarily relational, and while I find the idea that bad memories are more “true” than happy ones in this context, I am also interested in seeing where your discussion here takes you: Does it relate to the “posthuman” characters at all or is it just part of the “mystery” of these parasites? Also: How is Mr. Poopybutthole (oh the absurdity of asking a serious question with that name in it) posthuman? I don’t know the series very well, but a look at the official wiki didn’t… Read more »
Jakob Gaardbo

Hi Sofie. I’ve removed the link from your post. Please refrain from embedding full copyrighted material such as a full episode in blog posts.

Maja Tingberg Kruse

Hi Sofie!
Great post! Your point about a defining characteristic of humanity paradoxically could be our inhumanity, ties well together with the argument I put forward in my post about 1984 – that human unity could be viewed as a oxymoron, due to our inherent tendency to divide the world into seperate things – including the “us” and “them” perspective that lies at the root of a great deal of human conflict.
In line with this thought, do you agree that a defining point of transition from the human to the posthuman, could lie in the eradication of our inhumanity?

Maja Tingberg Kruse
Hi Sofie! That is great to hear, I really love this topic! I’m afraid that I have a discovered that I have a rather pessimistic view of the possibility of human unity. It seems to me like our inherent tendency to think in abstract terms and put the world into manageable boxes, is further encouraged by most modern societies. Competition, judgements and comparison between individuals seem to be such an ingrained part of society (the beauty/fashion industry is one great example), and could perhaps be viewed as reflecting the predominant level of consciousness. It is so easy to talk about… Read more »