June 7, 2017 by Utku Baserdem
Rick and Morty is one of the most successful animation sequences that has emerged in recent times. At first, it looks like a simple story: Einstein-like grandfather and a grandson who looks very ordinary, a parody of Back to the Future… However, the unexpected side of the series is discovering that these series are actually debating about existential issues, and you can only realize it by watching all these episodes that emphasize the person more than science. One of the most interesting characters of the series is Mr. Meeseeks, who is confronted in the episode named Meeseeks and Destroy.
Hello, I’m Mr. Meeseeks look at mee!
Briefly speaking of this character, Mr. Meeseeks are creatures generated by a box called the Meeseeks box, and they exist to help with people’s requests. The important issue is the request should be simple, in other words, it is important to ask for requests that will not force Meeseeks too much. Then, once a Meeseeks fulfills this request, it will end its existence. For example, you can ask him for help with a relationship problem, or just ask him to bring a key on the table. But you cannot ask him to teach you to play golf.
This last statement may sound ridiculous, but it becomes meaningful when we explore what happened on that particular episode. We have the character named Jerry, aka Morty’s father, who is just an ordinary man that has simple pleasures in the series and represents the ignorant part of living happily in the Plato’s Cave. He generates a Mr. Meeseeks for himself and wants to learn to play golf from him. Jerry’s wife and Morty’s mother, Beth, makes a seemingly more complicated request, she asks to be a complete woman. Their daughter, Summer, wants to be popular in school. These requests are actually simpler requests than Jerry’s. Presumably, their simplicity also depends on the person who made the request. Summer finds a way to become popular in school, and Beth finds a way to be a complete woman. But Jerry cannot learn to play golf. He has not fully committed himself to this learning activity, nor has he struggled for it. Activities such as playing golf or playing guitar require a lot of work even if they seem simple to people. Being a complete woman and being popular in school are things that the outside world can decide. Playing golf is more authentic.
In this case, can another person make you authentic? Could an action be made for you at your place? For example, were you to want millions of dollars from Mr. Meeseeks, you would either teach them how to make money or steal money from the bank for you. However, if you want to learn to play guitar, you will not be able to show much of the guitar playing techniques. It is your that will carry out the action. So, Mr. Meeseeks is not able to inject this skill into your brain.
Meeseeks always wonder why we exist and what our life purpose is. If they find a life purpose, that is to say, that if they see the wish of the owner as an intention and try to realize it, it means that there is no trouble. They will be able to end their lives, their voracity, in a way similar to the desire for dying in man. However, no matter how many times he tries, a Mr. Meeseeks that cannot complete the request will not die. That means pain for them…
Existence is the pain!
Mr. Meeseeks, who cannot fulfill what Jerry cannot do for himself, does not know what to do, since the request is an action that can only be carried out by Jerry. Jerry’s Mr. Meeseeks then ask for help with the Meeseeks box and asks the new Mr. Meeseeks to help him solve his own existential problem. “Can you help Jerry teach golf?” Too many Meeseeks exist but somehow, they cannot solve this problem. At the end, the Meeseeks who want to die and end their existential sufferings, try to kill each other first; nevertheless, this is not possible. Therefore, they decide to kill Jerry, who caused the problem. If Jerry is gone, their existential bitterness will be gone too. At the end of the episode, Jerry and the people around him are taken the hostage, and Jerry is forced to play, and thus learn how to play golf. The Meeseeks then cease to exist and relieve their pain.
There are so many people like Jerry in the world. Take religious beliefs as an example. Religious belief or worship is an act that people can perform on their own. But when the fear of death increases, we want other religious beliefs not to be true, or we want them to believe in our religion. Were you to want a Mr. Meeseeks to persuade people to believe your religion, he would try to persuade people at first and then, when he could not be successful, he would try to kill them; just like other people who do not believe in themselves, focus on one point only, and whose existential concerns are external. Religions, races, nations… It does not matter. People who kill those who are different from them are not that different from the Meeseeks. Because what he is trying to achieve is not his own existence, but the existence created by others.
As its name implies, Mee = Seek cannot perform the “I seek” action. Meeseeks can only carry out a person’s if it is work related to Me. The I part is related to oneself only.
Keep your request simple!
Author Info: Utku Baserdem, MA Cand., Experimental Social Psychology Program (Baskent Un., Ankara) | email: utku_baserdem94 [AT] hotmail[.]com