Wednesday, August 9, 2017


As an artistic document, I can think of no bigger indictment of the failures of intelligence than "Pickle Rick." Yes, we no doubt live in a world where a lack of intelligence and a lack of awareness (self or otherwise) fail us at every turn. But intelligence is far from the savior of the basic emotional truths at the heart of the human psyche. Our inability to grasp our own capacity for fear, anger, disgust, sadness and joy is what so easily mars the engine of our selfhood. For the biggest truth always rests in our hearts and bodies. There is no outsmarting it. There is no outrunning it. And yet, we'd rather turn ourselves into pickles instead of facing the obvious darkness in our hearts. Which means, yes, this episode is about our broken emotional systems. It is about the way we come to value certain "positive" traits (like intelligence and power) that we believe will allow us to keep surviving, because we believe they have what allowed us to survive so far. But they will never be enough to make us whole, or even make us balanced. They are just broken systems we keep feeding again and again, confident our little band-aid solutions will fix things simply because they momentarily alleviate the guilt or anger. And that's how we go on, trapped in cycles, succeeding to our own crippling ends, and never addressing the ways we are broken. It is an episode about the ways we lie to ourselves and others. Especially because we know that, in the end, there is only facing the truth. And how we are utterly terrified to do it.

Film Crit Hulk SMASH: Let’s Talk About “Pickle Rick”

A look at RICK & MORTY's cutthroat mediation on intelligence.

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