Themes around abusive relationships and toxic masculinity have been a recurring presence since Rick and Morty’s very first episode, but this season they’ve gone supernova, infecting every aspect of the show, from Rick turning himself into an actual pickle to avoid family counselling to his daughter Beth’s dangerous idolising of her selfish, neglectful father. It’s these raw personal family dynamics that elevate Rick and Morty (and the equally thoughtful Bojack Horseman) above the rest of the adolescently minded animation pack. Without them, it would just be a gleeful gross-out comedy, full of extreme violence, inside baseball genre riffs and fart jokes. But with them it becomes something deeper.
The problem is that Rick and Morty’s bad fans – like the Walter White worshippers before them – are tuning in for the gnarly stuff, and missing the fact that the show is actually an implicit commentary on them. After all, it’s not exactly a stretch to notice the similarities between Rick – cynical, cruel, endlessly expecting the world to accommodate his every whim – and the many stripes of entitled white males seeking to dominate the internet, from the gamergate mob to the alt right.
This is a really good article that has applications to a number of other fandoms (e.g. Always Sunny, Archer, etc)
However, one of the things that is most interesting to me about this is where this kind of critique sits in the evolution of the “bad fan” discourse.
In ye olden days, the ‘bad fan’ was usually conceptualized as problematically rabid/obsessed, someone who needed to “get a life.”
In more recent years, transformative fans have often been cast as the ‘bad fans,’ defying the precious original intent of the author(s) and undermining/disrespecting the sacredness of the canon text.
Now, we’re moving into ‘bad fans’ as people who take away the wrong message from a piece of media – often misunderstanding or ignoring the critique it contains – and valorizing its worst components.
It’s just interesting to see how the idea of the “bad fan” continues to evolve.
So these would either have been implanted/accidentally swallowed as eggs….. or mayyyybe a few hatchlings could slither in while Dash was sleeping (thinking like, while on a camping trip on a woodsy planet)…
How big his belly would be would depend on how big the snakes would get and how many there were… but for an InCube assignment it would probably be upwards of 8 specimens. He’d start out with just a little extra firmness, indistinguishable from like a post-buffet bloat – and then as the snakes feed and grow inside of him, he would slowly round out to a good “seven months pregnant” size. The shape of his swollen abdomen would be round for the most part, but any more than a cursory glance at it would reveal the shape changing slightly as the snakes overlap and gather in certain places before spreading out again.
Overall, Dash’s belly would feel dense and hard, the slow but strong movements of the hatchlings clearly palpable to any hand pressed against Dash’s skin. There would be an occasional low grumbling and squelching as one of the reptiles stirred up an air bubble. Due to the heaviness of all the snakes’ bone and muscle, Dash would need to keep an arm tucked against the underside of his gut if he wanted to stand upright.
(((Hey I’m doing this number ask game where you send me a creature and I describe the belly hehe.)))
I know how scary that can be sometimes. I go through a lot of gnarly, dark stuff too and what helps me.. my friends, my family. A lot of times when I get down to a dark point I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to see anybody but usually friends and people that you love are the only people that can pull you out. I can’t even say how many times Dyl has just helped me see the better side of things. (…) Just reach out, you know? Really talk to people. Therapy is always great. You got to try it out, see if you like it, see if it works for you.
On Jeffandrew, the Light of Creation, and the Hunger
So I was wondering why Griffin included the scene with Jeffandrew in the finale, since it seemed a little bit out of the blue at the time.
As far as I can tell, it seems like it was meant to a. assure listeners that the planes consumed by the Hunger would be restored eventually, but more importantly to b. explain the origins of the Light of Creation.
What we originally knew about the LoC is that it desired to be used, and that even though its thrall could do some pretty gnarly stuff, civilizations could also use it to make incredible advancements and do incredible things. Now, we know that it was originally the tool of Jeffandrew and the other beings that created the world of the Adventure Zone. People have theorized that Jeffandrew and the builder beings are meant to represent the writers/creators of our world (largely because Griffin uses his own voice for them), which would make the LoC, essentially, creativity.
This brings us to the Hunger. The Hunger represents “dissatisfaction”, as described by John, but it also represents things like the belief that life is suffering, and that fate is cruel. It pursues the Light of Creation in order to consume it.
I think the real world parallel to the Hunger would be negativity. Obviously, the real world can kind of suck. The Hunger chasing down “creativity” and consuming it might represent the disheartening current events and the hopelessness that many people currently feel gradually affecting creativity, resulting in more and more dark and gritty stories where there are fewer happy endings and a lot more “realism”.
This is why I think Jeffandrew’s inclusion in the finale, as well as Griffin ending the campaign in the way that he did, is important. Jeffandrew congratulates the THB and Lucretia on overcoming their difficult journey and defeating the Hunger, which essentially amounts to a creator being thankful that what they’ve created has been able to alleviate some of the negatives in the world. I know that a lot of us, myself included, have found a safe place in this podcast that makes the world seem a little less intimidating. So I guess this is also sort of Griffin telling all of us that he’s glad they made us happier.
The fact that Griffin ends the campaign with happy endings for everyone? I think that’s also really important. Seeing these characters that we’ve all fallen in love with end up happy is a good reminder that, even though life can suck sometimes, happy endings are never completely out of reach. Merle has a line in part 2 of the Stolen Century that I love: “It means there is a happy ending if we get to it”.
I think it fits neatly into the unflinchingly hopeful message of The Adventure Zone. And even if this ends up just being me blowing smoke out of my ass, I really really want to thank Griffin, Justin, Travis, and Clint for creating something that is so unafraid of being happy.
“Sometimes I go through a lot of gnarly dark stuff too. And what helps me? My friends, my family. A lot of times when I get down to a dark point I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to see anybody, but usually friends and people you love are the only people that can pull you out. And I can’t even say how many times Dyl has just helped me see the better side of things and be inspired by him…"
What was the worst anon hate you've ever gotten? Also, favorite fruit?
I’ve had my share of anon hate, from both Dean and Sam fans, and the worst was pretty gnarly stuff which I’d rather not repeat but suffice it to say some people should not have access to the internet. My favorite fruit is:
I could live off bananas and water lol. My least favorite fruit, even though you didn’t ask, but I just watched this episode and since I like to answer things in gifs and I can’t resist:
Ahh, I like this question, anon :] The answer is yes! Absolutely yes. A couple of examples that come off the top of my head:
Rage Against the Machine is pro-choice. They supported Rock For Choice (created by L7) by playing at their benefit concerts and put RFC’s info inside their CDs, DVDs, concert programs, etc.
In a 1997 Rolling Stone article, he talked about Wu-Tang Clan’s misogynist lyrics saying: ”Straight up: There’s got to be a more creative way to express the tension that sometimes arises between men and women than to dehumanize a woman by calling her a bitch.” (x)
In Pistol Grip Pump by
Volume 10, the lyrics are: “Whether brothers in the hood be chivalrous”. In Rage’s cover,
Zack says: “The brothers in the hood, we chivalrous!” And he also changed ‘bitch’
to ‘sucka’. It might not seem like a big, important moment, but I’m glad he stood by his word in the previous quote up there ^^^
Zack talking about sexist behavior,
particularly in hip hop: “Because
of the colonial process that a lot of our people have gone through, we’ve been
stripped away from our roots. For example, we don’t, for the most part,
understand that we are people of the Nahuatl tribes, the old Aztec tribes, and
our belief was in a god called Omecihuatl, which was a god of two genders,
okay? And it was a god who realized the importance of Woman. Woman was the
giver of life, we had that relationship, we worshiped her, and that’s something
that’s lost sometimes in Rap music because of the nature of colonization and
how it’s effected our minds, ya know, some of us are still enslaved by that
sexist and oppressive thought that has been engrained within our minds because
of the oppressive society under which we live. So ya know, I don’t back it. […]
Sex sells, whether it is within music or other forms of media, and I think he
(Ice Cube) is using that, and it’s unfortunately not a very intelligent
approach, I feel. It’s not a humanistic approach that is necessary to evoke the
consciousness in all people. Our women are, like I said, to our culture, by
root, THE MOST important person within the community. I mean, they’re the
givers of life.” (x)
In the live version of Year of tha Boomerang, performed at Cal State in 1994, Zack introduces the song by saying, “Some men dream of a patriarchal society,” explaining that L7, who took the stage previously, was their (pro-patriarchal society men’s) “worst nightmare.” This is a direct reference to the opening lines of the song, “Tha sistas are in, so check the front line,” denouncing oppression of women’s rights. (x)
On stage Zack would often stop shows if he saw men trying to take advantage of the women in the crowd. I’ve read stories from concert goers like this, and you can watch this video to see what I mean.
Yup, clones. It’s ridiculous how many times obsessing over this segment and watching if repeatedly it took for me to realize that yeah he’s a clone and not a robot (though there’s still probably some pretty gnarly robotic stuff in him, but that’s probably just my headcanon)
It’s a good headcanon… and not entirely unfounded. I don’t think I noticed (or remembered, or was generally able to process through how upset I was during that entire chapter) the part of that one document that references ‘the augmenting of biological materials through cloning’… like, they weren’t just making regular humans, they were making augmented humans, whatever that means.
The ‘muscle stimulants’ and ‘flesh fortifiers’ (that I DEFINITELY did not see before) seem to imply that they’re just like… super strong / super tough humans as a result of a drug regimen they’re probably administered their entire lives (aren’t MT like… really tall too? could be a result of that), but the true facts are this game gives us so goddamn little detail about ANYTHING that it could pretty much mean whatever you want it to mean.
Either way, we’re definitely approaching some real FFVII-level supersoldier bullshit. OP mentioned parallels to Dirge of Cerberus which I’m gonna use as my in to talk about a headcanon of mine… that ‘augmented’ in this context might just mean ‘daemonic’ in nature (your average daemons being more powerful than your average humans). So it may be that children born in the lab are given treatments of gross demon goo from a young age, if not even during prenatal development. I’m un-subtly pulling from Jenova-cell injection procedures here. There’s another document somewhere in the tower, though unfortunately I think not in the post, that mentions the darkness is just tiny micro-organisms, so there definitely is a physical aspect to it that can be used this way.
When it comes to the effects that the darkness can have on people, we know two things… 1) it can turn you into a daemon at any point after first exposure, as seen by the description of the vanishing plague in Niflheim that effected people who were not infected by the starscourge and presumably had not even come into direct contact with any concentrated daemon goo, but maybe just… went outside at night one time??? and 2) it does not always turn you into a daemon right away, as evidenced by the fact that 10 years later there are still humans around on Eos.
Knowing these things, and assuming that Prompto and all the other clones may have been infused with icky black goo stuff at some point in their early life / prior to birth
(which, again, is the recipe for success where Jenova-enhanced soldiers are concerned), maybe as kind of a primer for becoming fully corrupted later, I like to think that Prompto is… basically constantly battling against turning into a daemon… and is already at the point at which he could become one at any moment. It adds a layer of strength to his character (not that he isn’t strong and brave and wonderful already uwu) that I really like, especially when you take into consideration the ten year gap.
OPENS UP THE POSSIBILITY…
FOR PROMTPO TO JUST… UP AND BECOME A DAEMON SOMETIMES.
Like, I know this is straight up craziness, but how cool would it be if Prompto had essentially a last-gasp technique that kicks in when he’s close to death (and… you know… it’s Prompto… so that’s like… not all that uncommon) where that little bit of daemonicness in him just… takes over while he’s weak… or maybe even it’s that he lets it, to save his life. I mean… if even one tiny bit of this headcanon is remotely plausible, it means that Prompto has been living with the darkness in him all his life… it’s not unreasonable to assume that he might have developed a limited degree of control over it in that time. I’m not even gonna deny the fact that I’m self-indulgently channeling Vincent limit breaks with this but OP mentioned Dirge and my mind just kinda dove off a cliff with it.
But yeah, there’s definitely lots of room to think about what other things Prompto and the other MTs have got going on. Your cyborgy thoughts fit just as well here too, especially considering that the final product MT’s clearly have some mechanical parts grafted into / onto them. Just consider what a fuckin hassle it would be to have to perform manual repairs on every single one of your mass-produced battle-bots when they take damage. Unless Niflheim ha an army of mechanics on call, it’s def not unreasonable to imagine that they might have outfitted their MTs with, idk, nanomachines or something inside them to do that kind of upkeep. Something like that could even be injected into a still-fully-human baby at birth, so even if Prom did get out when he was only one it’s possible he’s got some robo-bits in him in the form of these and whatever they may or may not have done to his insides to spiff him up in the meantime. Nanomachines would actually also explain how exactly it’s possible to ‘program’ and control the MTs… at first anyway.
So like… when I say the game is full of wasted potential, this falls right in with what I mean. Given Prompto’s background, there’s so much cool stuff they could have done with him to make it more significant, or to, y’know, give even like an ounce of foreshadowing?
Wow this got long. And at this point you think I’d stop being surprised at myself when my posts run long. Shout out to @domesticfluffsimulator for providing the inspiration though with her super awesome post that you all should definitely go read if you haven’t already.
howl when we’re apart by haydenrdunbar - oh, god, liam! she lets out a breath and feels a tear roll down her cheek. she doesn’t think she’s ever been so relieved to see him.
death of me by maliasliams - liam realizes he likes hayden.
hayden/liam prompt 1 by gabyintheskywithdiamondss - at sinema, liam and hayden end up locked in one of the stock rooms.
oh, i should have by haydenrdunbar - “my sister got shot,” she says, and then meets his eyes again, eyebrows narrowing as if daring him to say something, or warning him not to. he honestly can’t tell.
pack text by infinitestories98 - a collection of stories in text message form.
breathtaking by avarosier - she’s come over readily enough, but the way she glares at him tells him she will gladly hex him just to feel joy.
back at it by infinitestories98 - he didn’t understand when he started looking at her a different way, when he started to watch her as she moved. How her face gets into this serious mode when she is focus on a task or how when she smiled. all he know is that when he thinks of hayden romero he should not feel warm and happy.
basement by bestiarystheory - hayden had heard a lot of gnarly stuff about this damn town, and the fact that she has bared witness these things was kind of surreal.