The Engineering SPECTRUMOpinionJanuary 28, 2018Victor B. Calinao, Jr.Veriloquent ThoughtsR&M has been packed with good old science fiction while having a subtle social criticism wrapped with callous jokes.Rick, a sociopath and alcoholic scientist which was entitled as the smartest mammal in the universe runs the spontaneous intergalactic adventure with his alter-ego grandson, Morty. This animated science fiction television sitcom, especially, my favorite, sixth episode of season two, “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” has poked fun at various significant issues in today’s society.Slavery with extra stepsThe episode runs around Rick trying to fix his Space Cruiser’s ‘Microverse battery’ when it behaved wrong in the middle of their alternate multiverse adventure for movies and ice cream. Inside the battery is a universe inhabited by sentient beings whose purpose driven life is only providing Rick free electricity to power his car and charge his phone and stuff.This is unknowingly done by the people of the Microverse by stepping continually on a device made by Rick called the Gooblebox, which converts their movement to generate electricity sending 20 terawatts to Rick’s engine.Upon seeing this, Morty reacts to his scientist grandfather for “enslaving” an entire planet for the sake of energy. Rick, however, argued that he just created a functioning society whose byproduct is electricity. Morty rebuts seeing through Rick’s poor rationalization and convinced that the Microverse’s civilization is founded on “slavery with extra steps.”The civilization Rick made is a metaphor of Marxist interpretation of capitalism. Which the people in the labor produces surplus value, and regarded as the profit of the capitalist. Surplus value is the additional value which the worker produces but does not get paid for, which is an abundant situation in the country, allowing capitalist to gain.The surplus value is in the form of additional energy generated by the Microverse beings, as most of the energy is silently taken by Rick for his own gain. Same rationalization with the defenders of capitalism, they see this situation as justified as it enables society to function.Lies power societyIn order to maintain such system, Rick disguised as a ruling elite alien establishing a culture and taught some of its made up language like “fuck you” as an equivalent for peace and “blow me” as a reply. There is also an event like Ricksgiving, and also an education structure which is arranged in deifying Rick as a hero and an elite. People in the Microverse is enslaved by a culture of reverence which leads then to the profit of the ruling elite, Rick. This is similar to how our today’s society is engineered to deify certain traditions and groups: not because of their moral righteousness, but in respect on how they developed the account. This is exactly what’s seen in holidays like in Valentines and December that both spur the expression of love through consumerism, purchasing things, in spite of supposedly being generous.Unconsciousness HypocrisyThe problem of Rick’s Microverse battery is that, people of the Microverse, led by brilliant scientist Zeep Zanflorp has made a device similar to Rick’s battery, which is also has a universe inside called “Miniverse” that acts as a source of energy of the Microverse and has the same setup, leaving Rick’s Gooblebox idle. Rick pointed out Zeep’s method of gaining energy as “unethical,” using the same words Morty used to criticize Rick and Zeep used the previous words of Rick to justify the means.Rick convinced Zeep then to went inside the Miniverse and learned that a move is ongoing obsoleting Zeep’s invention by creating a similar device battery which to is called “Teenyverse” but still in the making.***The show, however, ended as Rick beat Zeep and escaped the battery with Morty. The show portrayed comedy but also delivered the moral dilemmas surrounding modern-day slavery and how status quo justifies it. Which then leaves to a challenge: how far are we willing to justify how things are in spite of deception and exploitation being experienced by the most of the people? Are you willing to rationalize slavery just so we can run our cars and charge our phones? 


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