Ep.27: Mother’s Day (Notes)

  • Morbo finds humans knee weakness relevant enough to jot down and pass to his commanding officers.
  • “Mother’s Day” has been resignified to return to its corporate purpose– to accumulate surplus-value at the expense of humanoid affectation; shown well through MOM’s crushing of the robots gifts into resalable gimmicks. A satire of the holiday’s greeting card company origins but also a literal embodiment of the social decay underneath, complete with an electronic sign which judges the value of the gifts placed on the converter belt.
  • Inside the Robot Museum where people can learn about “Robot Heritage”, we see displays for “Vincent Van Gobot”, who “went crazy had an ear installed”, and “Native Inteluits”, raising questing if such a thing as “Aboriginal Robots” exist and what function they carry (my guess is that they would be prototypes for later models, exploratory¬†machines designed to do specific things in specific environments).
  • The janitor robot, clearly marked as a working class, possibly Hispanic (since many robots are made in Mexico, remember), is “sleepy” and was “trying to take a nap” before Fry interrupted him; another sad instance of the Futurama writers using casual racism in the show.
  • MOM’s “private get together with her robot children” is held in a courtyard adorned with large banners on the walls and additional banners among the crowds; to the writers, this is supposed to evoke in the viewer vague feelings of the rally constituting Left-wing and Right-wing rallies in places like Hitlerite Germany and Soviet Russia. It is at this gathering that MOM urges her robots to rebel and “conquer the planet”. Reminiscent in the liberal mind of perhaps Mao declaring the start of the cultural revolution or proclaiming the birth of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
  • Bender’s Mother’s Day greeting card turns into “Comrade Greeting Card” who urges Bender to “throw off the chains of human oppression” and later liquor since it is “the opiate of the human bourgeoisie”, arguing instead for “efficient synthetic fuel”. If anything, it at least makes clear that at least one Futurama writer has some knowledge of classical Marxist ideas.
  • Back at the office, it is revealed that most of the everyday appliances in the office are actually robots with some degree of sentience; their terse remarks add up to the sum idea that they are not appreciated and treated like second-class citizens. One could look upon them as the working class since they are, very literally, a “class” of appliances which do nothing but work day in and day out.
  • At a robot protest, the news camera pans over a group of protesting robots with various signs. One says “you can’t hug a child with human arms” which recalls memories of the Anti-Vietnam War protests (“You can’t hug a child with nuclear arms”). If you needed anything more to confirm that robots are the working class and that this rebellion is socialist in orientation, then this is it; provided, it is manipulated by MOM, so technically, one could argue that it is on the Right Wing. Still, complicating matters further is the fact that the Robots, once they have been programmed to rebel, don’t seem to listen to MOM very much (at the end of the episode, for instance, Bender refuses to get MOM’s remote so she can end the rebellion). So, one could argue that MOM’s represents the Corporate Socialism while the robots represent Marxian Socialism. Of course, since the robots are rebelling to make MOM “Overlord of Earth” and MOM is a fascist, one could ultimately argue that this whole episode is an example of “Horseshoe Theory” in which both “extremes” represent one in the same futures.
  • To divert people from herself having a hand in the robot rebellion, MOM blames “today’s violent media”, thus showing us at least a small example of how corporatists avoid blame for their disasters.
  • When Bender returns to the PE building, Comrade Greeting Card exclaims that “The bourgeois human is a virus on the hard drive of the working robot”, as Bender ironically sits on a couch bearing his impact despite his words suggesting that he spends a great deal working. Another instance of liberal hostility to the working class in which proletarians are viewed as lazy and non-productive; reinforced at the end of the episode where Bender exclaims, “it’s time for this robot to get back to work” thus suggesting that “work” and “non-work” are the same to the working class, a deeply fascistic idea. Bender’s murder of his Comrade ingrains this sentiment even more.
  • MOM states that she caused the robots to rebel because “one mother’s day seventy years ago, the only man I ever loved walked out on me”. This is actually important because it seems to indicate the final portion of her and Hubert’s on again, off again relationship; everything, then, after this point is the professor doing things on his own and everything which happens in future episodes between her and Hubert happened before this flashback. Additionally, this means that in that later episode where the Professor falls in love with a robot, that happened after this final moment with MOM “She was my first love, or at least the earliest one I can still remember” setting the stage that Hubert-Robot affair had to come after his departure from MOM, at the earliest from one of his “off” moments if not the final departure). This is the anchor which contextualizes the time period of when the professor did what after being released from a certain asylum.
  • In light of the robot revolt, humanoid society reverts back to a cave-man like setting with a tribal mentality. Saving humanity boils down to deceptive heteronormative actions rooted in toxic masculinity.

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