Ep.31: The Honking (Notes)

  • Robots can be rich; they are not relegated to service positions. Of course, I feel this is the minority position, much like how today there is wealthy and influential Black and Queer persons, but they are still in the minority of that population and more of the exception to the rule. In any case, it is worth mentioning here.
  • Bender can be muted via a remote control. He also had a rich uncle who lived in the castle, apparently, a family possession. How is this? Class wise, why would Bender’s “family”, whatever that constitutes, own a castle? Was it given to them as part of their line or just something they bought? What I find most intriguing about robots as members of society who can purchase land and have a class in their own right, is that they are yet also still machines designed to serve humans, so they are still property– yet, they are integrated into capitalism as workers who have their labor power exploited. It seems like a neo-feudalism has forced robots to become the new serfs.
  • Black bordered envelopes signal death; how did these come to be? Is this a staple that I am not aware of? Cultural or pop cultural?
  • “Thermmostadt”, Capital of the Robo-Hungarian Empire. Bender’s family is Robo-Hungarian. This actually raises questions: (1) Bender’s family own a castle, does this mean they are royalty or aristocrats? (2) In a later episode, we see the Emporer of the Robo-Hungarian Empire. Are there any deeper connections between this episode and that?
  • Bender’s family castle has a reputation of being “unholy”– why? His uncle, Vlad, is named after a historical Impaler, so did he “impale” in some regard?
  • Robots can be superstitious; the Professor opens the robot’s circuit diagram but the robot simply says, “I believe what I was programmed to believe!” Not only is this a fun satire of religious childrearing but it means robots have a degree of self-will or denial about their programming. A kind of quasi-existentialism.
  • Ghosts can die, evidently. Which means that science has advanced to the point where humanity knows what ghosts are (though, perhaps certain robots don’t believe in human ghosts). But, there is a difference between human and robot ghosts.
  • Bender can “pass out”. How? By not drinking enough? That can’t be the reason because he says “which is much earlier than usual” which means that he often passes out. It seems, then, that if he drinks too much alcohol, he can pass out (overload his system with energy/”sugar”?); meaning, the reason Bender drinks beer is to not overload his system (otherwise, it would make sense for him to drink hard liquor all the time).
  • Calculon is over a thousand years old and started as just an assembly line robot helping construct cars. Infected with the were-car virus in 2019.
  • Project Satan is described by Calculon as “a savage, intelligent military vehicle”. What military function was this weapon to have? Cause confusion and disorder in the ranks of enemy equipment by causing it to shift or malfunction?

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