Radicalized fanatics of anything are annoying and wrong, particularly when the thing they’re radicalized fans of is fine otherwise. The radicalized fanatics of Rick and Morty are no different. I’m not surprised people looking for a one-stop-shop worldview idolize Rick. Radicalized fanatics of every worldview misinterpret and twist external inputs to fit their unaddressed internal neurosis. The need for control to mitigate the natural human fear of the unknown is a natural evolutionary mechanism, though arguably a fairly destructive one outside the hunter-gather context. Rick offers an easy answer to create a feeling of control by offering the idea that the existence of infinite realities and an infinitely large universe serves as proof that individual consciousness is meaningless, and therefore narcissism and self-interest are not only justified, but rational.
The problem is that while Rick is smarter than everyone about everything, he’s also an old, damaged human stuck in his impressive but still limited constructs when it comes to understanding his own consciousness and how it impacts his life. This simple fact makes his feeling of external control merely an illusion. External control, even on the scale Rick has achieved, is worthless without the accompanying internal control, a fact Rick recognizes about himself and with which he clearly can’t cope (wabalubadubdub). As Susan Sarandon’s awesome cameo character monologues at Pickle Rick, “Rick, the only connection between your unquestionable intelligence and the sickness destroying your family is that everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness. You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force, and as an inescapable curse. And I think it’s because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it’s your mind within your control. You chose to come here. You chose to talk, to belittle my vocation, just as you chose to become a pickle. You are the master of your own universe. And yet you are dripping with rat blood and feces. Your enormous mind literally vegetating by your own hand. I have no doubt you would be bored senseless by therapy. The same way i’m bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass. Because the thing about repairing, maintaining, and cleaning is: it’s not an adventure. There’s no way to do it so wrong you might die. It’s just work. And the bottom line is: some people are okay going to work and some people… well, some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose.” Rick’s intelligence, and his self-aware knowledge of his own intelligence, facilitates great moments in Science. However, when paired with his unaddressed neurosis, this power also amplifies the destructive force of his inevitable self-destructive behavior.
Rick is a character to learn from, but not emulate. He’s a cautionary tale about a man who believes intelligence is to be singularly valued at the expense of all else. That man is wrong, and Rick and Morty is proving why.
Human creativity can imagine right just as easily as it can imagine wrong. Telling the difference between the two and then implementing your conclusions into your present reality is the great challenge offered to all conscious beings.