Ep.5: Fear of a Bot Planet (Notes)

  • “Blurnsball” is a “jazzed up” version of baseball and indicative of how hopelessly incomprehensible late capitalism has made the universe.
  • When Zoidberg is trying to order food at the concession stand, he says that he will just take “one of your young on a bun”. The staff person remarks sheepishly that “we are out of buns”. Thus, it seems that in the Futurama universe, one can order the charred remains of human youth as food. This actually keeps up in later episodes where things such as “Soylent Cola” can be seen.
  • An emergence of a dialectic between humans and robots; robots do menial labor during the Blurnsball game yet hold little in the way of rights. Chapek-9 is colonized by a “radical crew of murderous robot separatists” and ruled by a secret council which sponsors human hunts (possibly, this could be parallel to U.S Black-White race relations or an allusion to the Haitian Revolution). In any case, the effects of Chapek-9’s revolution, place robots in this area away, perhaps, from MOM’s control and so represent an interesting estrangement of the contradiction. Ultimately, though, Chapek-9 is more reminiscent of Cold War America, complete with anti-communist teen horror films, then anything else (this, then, may shade Chapek-9 as a “Communist” state as perceived by U.S reactionaries). Following this, we do see the Robot Elders use humans as a scapegoat to distract the population from the crippling lugnut shortage, so this is in line with conspiratorial counterrevolutionary ideology.
  • “Robonaukah” is a Robotic-Jewish holiday made up by Bender but it is only one part of Bender’s wide range of alleged religious beliefs. Is this robotic reification of human holidays an attempt by robots (Bender but maybe others as well), to form their own culture or is it a sub-culture at best?

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