Ep.11: Mars University (Notes)

  • The professor admits that he doesn’t know how to teach: “Fry, please, I’m a professor– I don’t know how to teach!” A commentary on how advanced degrees don’t equip students with the knowledge that they need to survive in the workplace?
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Guenter is miserable as a hat-gifted genius and muses on suicide/death. The compromise is that he remains intelligent but just smart enough to get by without ignoring his primitive urges. Speaks of how any sentience’s upbringing is prone to sabotage; the artificiality of culture.
  • Gate of Mars University: “Knowledge Brings Fear”. An odd way to express an elitist mindset– knowledge brings enlightenment and that brings status as a harbinger of practice over the unenlightened masses. Provided, there is multiple ways to interpret this so I will leave it be for now.
  • Bender, evidently, and despite what we see in a flashback, went to “Bender State”, an online school (?); his major was Bending with a minor in Robo-American studies.
  • Educational Standards: in the year 3000, four years of high school is the equivalent of four years of college in the year 2000. So, despite the many things wrong in the year 3000, educational standards have been raised, though to what end has yet to be seen. In any case, 20th century college is seen by year 3000 people as “expensive daycare” centers.
  • Fry’s decision to drop out of Mars U indicative of the anti-elitist desire to prop-up underdog ideology by at least showing the elite that the non-elite can still cause some trouble in the wider apparatus. A philosophy of desperation.
  • In the student registration line, we see two divides: “A-Y (Humans)” and “Z (Aliens)”. Does this hint that segregation exists on Mars? We already know from establishing shots that students are divided into different dorms based on their income (“Financial Aid dorm”), is it too much to stretch this to include racial segregation?
  • Does this old fashioned form of reregistration mean that there are so few students at MU that it is more practical to simply set up a table than a website? Is this lack of students indicative of ultra-elitist tendencies in the university system? Is Mars U. a charter school, a private school; is the high educational standards hinting at a class structure where only the privately schooled upper-class are able to teach their young the necessity of what will be expected at university, thus, freezing out everyone who lacks access to private tutors?
  • Is Dean Vernon’s hatred of Robot House indicative of anti-Robot prejudice? Does such prejudice even exist in the year 3000?
  • We learn through the professor that there is no jungles on Earth; complete deforestation.
  • The professor licks his lips at the thought of gathering up Guenter’s remains. This is a reoccurring theme: he wanted to collect Lela’s organs, Hermes’s liver, and to have Fry and Lela eat the hearts of anyone they kill while off at war. Is this a satire on how knowledge and the elite cannibalize the poor working class? Or does it simply connote more of the professor’s insanity?

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