Rick and Morty: Fanatical Fans, and Internet Psuedo-intellectualism

Editors’ Note: Honestly we have no idea what’s going on here

By John Looby and Michael Jack O’Brien

Staff Knockoff Ketchup

Michael Jack: The hit animated TV series “Rick and Morty” is the greatest thing to arrive at the peak of Mount Stupid since Friedrich Nietzsche and Prog Rock. This, of course, is not entirely the shows fault but of a small subset of extremely passionate, fanatical fans, many of whom have decided that common decency and acceptable social behavior are unimportant, as seen by the trainwreck that was the release of Rick and Morty Szechuan sauce at McDonalds. Is Rick and Morty mania in full effect?

Looby: I’m a fan of Rick and Morty, I watch the show, but um, I’m not a gigantic piece of shit, and I think that being one is sort of becoming a trend for some people who watch this show lately. Szechuan sauce is somehow responsible for several Mcdonald’s employees just getting their days absolutely fucking wrecked. What the fuck can we even do about this? Cancel the show?

MJ: Well to be fair… no I’m not doing that. In all seriousness I feel that we need to break this issue up into different segments. The first being the show itself. As I said before, it isn’t the fault of the media that its fans are assholes (unless we’re talking about InfoWars). That being said, it does seem that R&M attracts a certain type of person.

JL: That certain type of person being the internet intellectual: the sort of guy who reads the wiki summary of just any philosopher’s work and then covers every social media platform with the evidence of his enlightenment and then goes back to work at Best Buy where he “wastes his genius.”

MJ: Exactly. Now as to whether or not this is the fault of the show is to be debated, but my more cynical side says yes. To me, R&M promotes a type of pseudo-intellectualism in which one can be “smart”, and at the same time invest little or no effort into self betterment. For the internet intellectual, potential is the name of the game: present yourself as smarter and more cultured than others, but never actually plan on showing your receipts. Pseudointellectualism is nothing new, it just found its posterchild for its cause.

JL: I think the big problem boils down to the idealization of Rick they all see a sad drunk, and think oh I’m a sad drunk, I’m just like Rick, but society is holding me back from my potential. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but no one is like Rick. He is a fictional super genius, you just never had a good worth ethic. His nihilism comes from knowing too much, and yours just comes from the externalization of the disappointment in yourself.

MJ: Okay, Looby, I wasn’t going to go that soul-crushingly far but yes you’re mostly right. Rick uses his immense intellect to avoid dealing with deep rooted emotional trauma; it’s okay to like Rick, but he’s not a role model by any measure. For some fans of R&M, I think that Rick acts as a surrogate for actual intelligence, being smart comes so easily for him, so the fan feels as if they don’t need to do any work for self improvement either. This is all to say that they might be taking away the wrong message from the show. However, this still doesn’t explain why people are standing on McDonald’s countertops yelling about fancy ketchup.

JL: At this point I can’t tell if people are being ironically socially inept. That man who freaked out in Mcdonald’s pulled a Naruto run on the way out. Is this some sort of Kaufman-esque long con by the Rick and Morty fan base, or have these lonely self absorbed select few just completely forgotten how non-cartoon society functions? Sure Rick can yell “I’m pickle Rick” because he’s a goddamn cartoon character and not a human being getting in the way of someone getting their lunch. I really can’t understand what the motivation behind this is. Someone traded a car for Szechuan sauce. A fucking car.

MJ: This brings us to the second part of this shitshow: the fans themselves. I’m of the belief that the irrational behavior of these people is nothing new, and every fandom in the world has a small subset of horrible human beings who, just spitballing here, might be taking this a bit too seriously, shocking, I know. But whether it be selling your kidneys for Szechuan sauce, or sending death threats to video game journalists, at the end of the day, stupidity in large numbers will always be dangerous. Just ask the Flat Earthers. In short, this is all of our faults.

JL: You make a good point. More often than not there is always that subset of fans who ruin it for everyone else. For Game of Thrones, it’s the book readers who for some reason think that we care about book-related accuracy and then to get revenge used to spoil the show for thousands of fans. Every group has that toxic membership this time around though McDonald’s gave them a public venue to let the world behold their fuckery. I think we’ve reached a sort of natural endpoint for this. Let’s just admit that some people just fuck things up for the rest of us and in this case they really wanted fancy ketchup.

MJ: Agreed.


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