Ep.45: Bendin’ in the Wind (Notes)

  • As the episode opens, Bender is seen singing folk song parodies. This tells us that Bender has become more open about his dreams while around Fry and doesn’t need to get “messed up” with magnets anymore for his dreams to be spoken aloud.
  • After eating a fat-free potato chip, Bender, literally, craps bricks. Yet another one of his hidden features.
  • Led Zepplin, Jefferson Starship… there is something about how people in the future have heard of these things but don’t know the specific quality of them that makes me intrigued as to how they are hearing of them. For now, I will leave it to cultural denigration.
  • 2038: the date when petroleum reserves ran dry. The future now uses dark matter for fuel but at the time of this episode, whale oil is the major source of fuel.
  • Bender is crippled while trying to face his fears. Through this, he obtains his dream job as a folk musician touring with Beck as a “washboard player”. There is something existentially profound about such a turn of events, though I will refrain from meditating on what those events exactly constitute. It should be noted though that Bender does not become any humbled by his disability experience and attempts to use it to enrich himself. Classical Bender but also a nice slant against misguided moralizing which attempts to depict the disabled as somehow more pure or understanding than abled bodied individuals.
  • The United States in the year 3000 has changed a lot, as the following maps show:
  • Zoidberg can wash his shell and it evidently can “run” to turn white clothes into tie-dye colored clothes. More interestingly, however, is that the money of the future can be ruined– literally melted– by going through the wash.
  • During a concert in the countryside, characters obviously encoded as hillbillies, tell the PE crew to get lost since they don’t have money; they hold up a picture of the types they like and all the “types” are aliens. This is interesting for the additional reason that one of the hillbillies is a gelatinous blob. So we again see that racism-speciesm is not a huge concern in the future as aliens are just as welcome in the rural wilds as humans.
  • Broken Robots are recycled during sentiency. Essentially, this means they are murdered due to their self-awareness and agency. It does seem, however, that not robots fear death; in a future episode, we see Flexo happily jump into a dumpster to throw himself away since he is absolute. Again, later, we see Bender become afraid of death, but only after he becomes aware that he is unable to download into a new body should his current body get destroyed.
  • To cheer himself up, Bender slaps a magnet on his head to mess up his inhibition unit. The magnet he chooses is “I [heart] Men”; another notch in the amusing string of homoerotic moments concerning Bender.
  • Cover Image Art Link: http://spacecoyote.deviantart.com/art/Bendin-in-the-Wind-46480719

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