Jul 18, 2018

"Rick and Morty": More Homophobic than"Family Guy"?

I watched part of the first episode of the Cartoon Network's Rick and Morty (2013-) a couple of years ago, and turned it off, bored.  But people kept telling me how great it was, so I bought the entire Season 2 and binge watched.

Rick Sanchez is a foul-mouthed, misanthropic, drunken mad scientist who drags his squeamish tween grandson Morty (both voiced by series co-creator Justin Roiland) on complex, blood-and-puke filled adventures in the multiverse.

Sometimes his other relatives (forceful daughter Beth, her sitcom-inept husband Jerry, self-involved teenage granddaughter Summer) tag along.

Example: when his spaceship battery goes dead, Rick reveals that he has created an entire microverse inside the battery and populated it with beings who generate the electricity by stomping on foot-generators.

  But a scientist in the microverse has created his own mini-microverse, and populated it with beings who generate the electricty for his world, so they no longer feel the need to run Rick's generators.  And in the mini-microverse, another scientist....sort of like Inception, with more blood and puke.

Example: alien parasites have infested the house, pretending to be family members and friends, and inducing everyone complete sets of memories, so you think you've known them forever.  So how can they tell who belongs there?

 They know that six people belong there: the main family, and Sleepy Gary, who is actually married to Beth.  Ok, seven: Frankenstein has been a close friend for years.  Ok, eight, including the Raptor.  Ten...ten people have always lived in the house.  No, twelve...

I have to admit, the plotlines are interesting, with effusively creative universe inside of universe.  The blood and puke, not so much.

And Rick's habit of ending every sentence with "Morty" gets annoying.

"We got to get out of here, Morty.  Hand me that cosmic defrazzler, Morty.  This should do the trick, Morty.  But there's no telling what universe we'll end up in, Morty.  We'll just have to wait and see, Morty."

And I can't stand Morty's whining.  Or his hetero-horniness.  He has a crush on The Girl of His Dreams back at school, and in most parts of the multiverse, he finds a cute alien babe and "lets his penis do the talking."

Then there's the homophobia.

Fans point to the episode "Auto Erotic Assimilation" as evidence that Rick Sanchez is pansexual.  Not so: Rick is a grungy, sleasy, grab-their-tits, two-dollar hooker hetero horndog.  In that episode, he has sex with a being  named Unity, who has taken over the bodies of everyone on a planet.  Unity talks to him through male and female beings, but when they have sex, he specifies that he wants a stadium filled with attractive female bodies, and the bleachers filled with men to be amazed at his sexual proficiency.  That's heterosexual to the nth degree.

Rick doesn't even like gay people.  His favorite slur is "cocksucker!"  It's not just a denigration of oral sex; although men and women both can engage in that activity, Rick only uses it to demean men, by implying that they are gay.  For instance, in "The Wedding Squanchers," he denigrates his son-in-law Jerry:  "My name is Jerry, and I love to suck big hairy boners and lick disgusting testicle sacks."

I happened to watch the episode about an hour after doing just that.

Obviously the show expects us to find gay sex disgusting.

"Gay" is also used as an all-purpose put-down: "That's gay."

According to the fan wiki, there have been several actual LGBT characters on the show.  Let's take a look at them:

1.The alien parasite pretending to be Sleepy Gary has introduced memories of a secret gay romance with Jerry.  They keep it closeted.

2. Father Bob, the priest at the town church, has gay desires that he must hide, because, of course, God hates gays.

3. An alternate universe version of Summer is a lesbian, who is dating the alternate universe version of Summer's nemesis, Christina LaCroix.  She is attacked by other alternate versions of herself.  Can't have those lesbians around!

4. An alien tv commercial tells us about Trunk People are men who have elephant trunks on their faces, which allows them to have sex with both men and women.

Silly me -- I thought there were people right here on Earth who had sex with men and women both.  Apparently the writers believe that bisexuality is physically impossible.

Or did they mean sex with men and women at the same time is physically impossible?

News flash: you have a penis or a vagina, a mouth, a butt, and two hands.  That's five partners, of whatever gender configuration you want.  Try a cisgender man, a cisgender woman, a transman, a transwoman, and someone who is intersexed.

5. Maybe that's why bisexual actress Kristen Stewart has a cameo, having sex with an alternate universe Jerry.  See -- she's actually straight.

6. The partially mechanical humanoid Revolio Clockberg Jr. (aka Gearface) tries to pick up college girls, but he also reads a magazine called Queer Gear, which appears to show a mechanical humanoid having sex with a machine.  It's in the background of a scene; you have to freeze-frame and blow it up to see it.

7. King Jellybean, a giant anthropomorphic jellybean, tries to molest 14-year old Morty in the bathroom: "Stop being such a fucking tease, you sweet little vaginal potato!"  Morty beats him to death.

Yep, all gay men are sexual predators and pedophiles.  Teenage boys better be careful in public restrooms!

Even Family Guy never went that far.

I won't be watching any more episodes.

The Bodybuilders of the Eastern Edge of the Universe

When I was growing up in Rock Island, the western edge of my world was Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the eastern edge was Lasalle-Peru, about 90 miles away.  I knew Interstate 80 east to Chicago, of course, but we didn't stop at any of those towns.  We visited Lasalle-Peru quite often, for jump quizzes at the Nazarene Church and music contests at Lasalle High School, for orchestra concerts and drama club events at Illinois Valley Community College; and several times a year, usually on Saturdays in the summer, we visited Starved Rock State Park.

It's named after a sandstone butte where the Illiniwek (after who Illinois is named) were besieged by the Ottawa and Potawatomie tribes until they starved to death.  The story is probably apocryphal, but there is archaeological evidence of human habitation since the Pleistocene Era.  There was a little museum, a trolley, and a lot of hiking trails down the canyon and to see the waterfalls.

On the way home, we drove into Lasalle for ice cream or hamburgers, and passed a "haunted house," four stories, dark and spooky, with rotundas and staring windows.  Once I saw a naked man staring out the window.

See: The Naked Man in the Haunted House

I haven't been there for over 30 years, so I thought it would be interesting to check on the beefcake at the edge of the world.

Lasalle-Peru High School still has the Cavaliers, with wrestling and swimming.

Their main rival is St. Bede Academy, a Catholic prep school in Peru.  It was male only until 1973.

St. Bede's star wrestler looks a little chunky, but I guess that's an advantage in matwork.

Illinois Valley Community College  does not offer intercollegiate swimming or wrestling, but you can join an intramural team.

If you search on "Illinois Valley Community College Bodybuilding," you get the "Jeremiah 29:11 The Anywhere Office Bodybuilding Helping other’s create healthy lifestyles," with a guy named Mark who is going to continue his baseball career.

I don't know what any of that means, but Jeremiah 29:11 says: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Nice to be sure.

You also get an ad for "Dynamite bodybuilding an fitness by J.W. Fitness Guru an personal trainer."  He asks "Who is ready to make changes to their physique to this degree? Who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of living and unhealthy lifestyle? I will give you guaranteed success and Supply you with the knowledge and wisdom of a Champion✔👌 Free consultations available right now"

The eastern edge of the universe seems to be populated mostly by bodybuilding shills.

I think I'll stick to the YMCA.

The Top 10 Teen Idols in the World

I grew up in the golden age of teen idols: David Cassidy, Shaun Cassidy, Robbie Benson, Bobby Sherman, Leif Garrett.  Top rated tv shows, #1 songs, gushing articles in teen magazines ("Find out what it's like to kiss Bobby!").

And beefcake.  It took awhile to get your big break, so the teen idols were adults, in their late teens or 20s, with physiques and bulges.  They appealed to guys in high school and college.  Even adults often found them hot.

Today any 10-year old with a Youtube account can upload a video of him singing or telling a joke and suddenly gain 3,000,000 followers, sponsors, a movie deal, and fame.  As a result, the teen idols tend to be very, very young, of interest to junior high kids and maybe, in a stretch, high schoolers, while the adults, if they have heard of them, are saying "call me in about five years."

To illustrate, here are the top 10 male teen idols from the website Teen Idols 4 You:

#10. Jace Norman, star of Nickelodeon's Henry Danger, posing here in his underwear.  18 years old, barely an adult.  A very skinny adult.  And remember, he's been on Henry Danger for 4 years.  And he's only #10.

#9. Alex Ruygrok, Australian, a model who began his career in January 2017 by posting pictures of himself in various fashion designs to Instagram.  He got lots of followers and sponsors, and was featured on the cover of Fashion Kids in January 2018.  He's now 13 years old, so he must have started at age 11.

#8. William Franklyn-Miller, a 14-year old British actor and model.  He has appeared in about six episodes of tv series, including Arrow, Neighbours, and Jack Irish, but he still managed to get  979,000 followers on Instagram.

At least he has abs.

#7.  Romeo Beckham, a 15-year old British guy.  I don't know why he has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. Is it because he's the son of soccer star David Beckham?

I think he's the one on the right. 

#6. Miles Heizer.  An  actual adult (age 24). He has appeared in Parenthood, CSI, The Arm, and elsewhere.  His popularity is probably due to his role in the suicide drama 13 Reasons Why.  This is not a gay romance scene.

#5.Ricky Garcia.  Ok, this one is old enough to drive a car (age 19), starring on the Disney Channel's Best Friends Whenever and in the movie Bigger, Fatter Lier (2017).  He's also a singer. He's on the right, on a date with  #1 Asher Angel.

#4. Johnny Orlando, age 15, an internet celebrity whose song "Mackenzie" has 11 million views on Youtube.  He's also made some movies.

Have you noticed that, regardless of age, they all have shirtless or underwear photos uploaded for the edification of their fans?  And they all seem to have abs.

#3. Carson Lueders, age 16, an internet celebrity with 3 million instagram followers, a singer who loves his friends, family, and God.  He's legal to date in some states, but why would anyone over the age of 13 want to?  Even though the stars-and-stripes shorts are kind of cool.

#2. Bryce Gheisar, a 13 year old Canadian actor known for the Disney Channel's Walk the Prank (2016-2017) and Wonder (2017), about a boy with a physical deformity going to a mainstream school.  Unfortunately, I think he's the one on the right.  Could I get a date with the boyfriend instead?

And the #1 teen idol in the world:

#1. Asher Angel, aka "Ashy Boy,"  Jonah the heartthrob on the Disney Channel's teencom Andi Mack.  15 years old.

He's the one second from the left, making gang signs while immersed in a pool.  Call me in about 5 years.

I do like his choice of friends, though, especially the red-trunks guy with his boyfriend leaning against his crotch.  Is Asher gay?


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