Ep.13: Fry and the Slurm Factory (Notes)

  • Parody of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Slurm openly advertises it addictive traits, the slogan “It’s highly addictive!” a corporate shrill of self-aware power. This could be part of the elevated status of soft drinks in the future, where, maybe, drinks are measured by their addictive properties; if so, then this would mean that New Age health lifestyleism has been pushed to the curb.
  • “Odds of winning mathematically insignificant”. In the future, reality is laid bare.
  • Slurm “classic” vs. “new” slurm reminiscent of the controversy which surrounded the new Coke recipe.
  • Fry is a full blown soda addict; he reveals that he had three heart-attacks in high school from drinking cases of soda in a day. Bender is an alcoholic; does the entire crew have their own addictions?
  • When Bender flashes the F-Ray at Fry’s crotch, it damages his sperm. The second time, however, it fails to hurt Fry; does this mean that Fry is sterile? If it didn’t hurt a second time than doesn’t that mean his reproductive abilities were fried and his ability to generate new sperm eliminated, or at least diminished? If so, then how could he be his own grandfather?
  • Grunka-Lunkas are slaves but they have a Union. A commentary on the status of wage-labor under late capitalism and the outdated model of trade-union consciousness.
  • Slurm is the by-product of a giant worm of which the public is ignorant. A bit of social commentary on the mysterious and often revolting origins of both processed and non-processed food.
  • In the slurm planet (Wormulon) gift shop, we see a t-shirt rack which shirts for mutants. This is not only foreshadowing concerning Lela but an indication that anti-mutant sentiment is a bigotry specific to Earth. Provided, at this point in the show, supposedly, the surface dwellers don’t yet know mutants exist, so this could be an example of cultural ignorance on the part of Earthlings, that mutants exist outside of Earth but Earthlings merely refuse to admit that it could happen on earth itself. (This is if we wish to give meaning to the rack outside of it merely being a bit of foreshadowing.)
  • Class: Lela is a commoner according to worm culture and so her slurm would taste foul. Bad marketing but good as a publicity stunt. Indicative of how food appreciation and culture, intersect with class at odd and unexpected angles.
  • Slurm: standard (drinkable product from Queen), royal (concentrated product from Queen), and corrupted (product from a transformed worm outside of royal culture).
  • Slurms Mackenzie: suicidal. He could have placed the boombox on the ground and ran for it, but he choose to stand there and be crushed by the boulders. A bit of existential parody by using the word “tired” to denote both physical tiredness as well as inner-wellbeing. His partying girls, interestingly enough, are at least in their sixties, but appear in their twenties (Slurms says that he has had fun partying with them during these last forty years, and since they had to at least be in their late teens or early twenties when they began partying with him, they should be in their sixties if not older).
  • When she is upset, the slurm Queen drinks from her own rectum; is this masturbation? Is slurm worm ejaculate?
  • Government in the Future: the “Bureau of Alcohol, Soft drinks, and Firearms.” Soda is taken very seriously, we see– why?
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