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Author Topic: Symbolisms of Futurama  (Read 11361 times)
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Hudas

Poppler
*
« on: 02-09-2004 11:13 »

Hey guys! Do you think that maybe Futurama has a different meaning than just plain laughter and fun? Do you think that maybe the characters symbolize different people in our society like the drug addicts and hoboes? Or perhaps the setting stands for something else? Please reply.......  confused
VelourThunder

Crustacean
*
« Reply #1 on: 02-09-2004 11:22 »

Most certainly. Thats why its good. But its even more complicated than that.

And welcome to PEEL  wink
Zeep

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #2 on: 02-09-2004 11:29 »

welcome to PEEL, hudas. and VelourThunder.

as for this topic,
"I have no strong feelings one way or the other."
PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #3 on: 02-09-2004 12:03 »

Oh goody, ANOTHER thread attempting to find the "deeper meaning" within Futurama.  Why can't people just enjoy the show without trying to find the subtexts within subtexts?
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #4 on: 02-09-2004 13:11 »

Because that's exactly what society wants us to do.  tongue
zoidberg74

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #5 on: 02-09-2004 13:31 »

Damn society. You're not the boss of me.
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #6 on: 02-09-2004 16:55 »

I would say that within the majority of episodes there isn't much subtext, but a few episodes like "Godfellas" and "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television" give the viewer some things to think about.
Lurrr

Professor
*
« Reply #7 on: 02-09-2004 17:36 »

 
Quote
Why can't people just enjoy the show without trying to find the subtexts within subtexts?

Because this shows mean something! It tells me what to think and makes me want to do things, like fly space ships and find a one-eyed alien babe! Plus, all those squares keep saying it's just a TV show, but that's at odds with my rebellious youth and demeans my underdeveloped intelligence   tongue

In other words, people like to find deeper meanings just to prove that their show is better than everyone else's. Yes, Futurama is a parody of our world but I don't think it's that subversive as a show.
ActionLaPointe

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #8 on: 02-09-2004 21:18 »

second
canned eggs

Space Pope
****
« Reply #9 on: 02-09-2004 23:49 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by PCC Fred:
Oh goody, ANOTHER thread attempting to find the "deeper meaning" within Futurama.  Why can't people just enjoy the show without trying to find the subtexts within subtexts?

You can enjoy the show and still find subtexts, you know.  It's not like you suddenly turn into a humourless cynic just because you decide there's something more to life than wanking jokes.  Remember that the show is a dialectic, not just some static thing.  The more we investigate its meaning, the more it means. 

To answer Hudas's original question, my theory has always been that the principal symbolism in the show is the alienation of people in a technological, post-industrial, capitalist society.  Actually, this is a theme in a lot of science fiction. 

Not to say Futurama is a Marxist allegory, but look:  The main characters are a dude whose entire family and circle of acquaintances have been dead for a thousand years, a cyclops freak who starts out at least as the only one of her species in the universe, and a robot who turns his back on the only thing he's programmed for.  They're all alienated by the world they live in, they're all lonely, and the parallel with the present shold be plain. 

The lesson seems to be that with the advance of technology and information comes an increase in the distance between people, making everybody stand alone and unfulfilled.  Marx and Debord and Baudrillard have all written political philosophy on this aspect of modern and postmodern societies.  So Futurama can be sophisticated political commentary as well as funny-ass shit.  Satire is usually like that.

canned eggs: all rights reserved, all wrongs reversed.
PCC Fred

Space Pope
****
« Reply #10 on: 02-10-2004 08:12 »

If that's how MG pitched it to the FOX executives, I'm surprised they gave it the green light in the first place!
KittinGas

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #11 on: 02-10-2004 12:15 »

Er...
Bushmeister

Professor
*
« Reply #12 on: 02-10-2004 12:31 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by canned eggs:
 You can enjoy the show and still find subtexts, you know.  It's not like you suddenly turn into a humourless cynic just because you decide there's something more to life than wanking jokes.  Remember that the show is a dialectic, not just some static thing.  The more we investigate its meaning, the more it means. 

To answer Hudas's original question, my theory has always been that the principal symbolism in the show is the alienation of people in a technological, post-industrial, capitalist society.  Actually, this is a theme in a lot of science fiction. 

Not to say Futurama is a Marxist allegory, but look:  The main characters are a dude whose entire family and circle of acquaintances have been dead for a thousand years, a cyclops freak who starts out at least as the only one of her species in the universe, and a robot who turns his back on the only thing he's programmed for.  They're all alienated by the world they live in, they're all lonely, and the parallel with the present shold be plain. 

The lesson seems to be that with the advance of technology and information comes an increase in the distance between people, making everybody stand alone and unfulfilled.  Marx and Debord and Baudrillard have all written political philosophy on this aspect of modern and postmodern societies.  So Futurama can be sophisticated political commentary as well as funny-ass shit.  Satire is usually like that.



Seems sensible enough.
canned eggs

Space Pope
****
« Reply #13 on: 02-10-2004 12:34 »

I'm not necessarily claiming that this was the explicit intention of the show's producers or writers.  It could have just ended up that way.  I mean, people write what they feel, even if they don't know why.  Futurama's writers are mostly all intellectuals; they probably all had some general feeling of malaise about the artificiality of human interaction. 

What I think is cool is that they're not being negative about it, though.  I mean, the characters on the show are all lonely, but they find each other and develop an almost family-like group of outsiders.  If you look at other sci-fi, most of it is unable to propose any real solutions to alienation.  Look at Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of my most hated films.  It opens with a study in suburban alienation, and closes by suggesting that the only cure is aliens swooping in from the sky and making everything all better.  Could be a poor allegory for religion, but it sounds fascist to me.
Anarchist

Professor
*
« Reply #14 on: 02-10-2004 13:37 »

Now, I respect canned eggs, I think he's a good man, but quite frankly, I agree with everything he said!
rule brittannia

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #15 on: 02-10-2004 14:07 »

  confused
Gambit

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #16 on: 02-10-2004 17:40 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Zeep:
welcome to PEEL, hudas. and VelourThunder.

as for this topic,
"I have no strong feelings one way or the other."

oh the neutral comedy. 'if i die tell my wife hello'

and welcome Hudas! i do this because no-one welcomed me when i joined  cry
Cloud 9

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #17 on: 02-10-2004 20:09 »

No one welcomed me, either...  cry I think that the underlying meanings may just be that everlasting things, like: love, friendship, laughing cruelly at another's expense, etc... will be around no matter what year, be it 1999, 2004, or 3000. Uh...Maybe! (I've confused myself)    confused

Those who choose to alter fate will do so at their own misery.
Hudas

Poppler
*
« Reply #18 on: 02-11-2004 03:35 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by canned eggs:
 You can enjoy the show and still find subtexts, you know.  It's not like you suddenly turn into a humourless cynic just because you decide there's something more to life than wanking jokes.  Remember that the show is a dialectic, not just some static thing.  The more we investigate its meaning, the more it means. 

To answer Hudas's original question, my theory has always been that the principal symbolism in the show is the alienation of people in a technological, post-industrial, capitalist society.  Actually, this is a theme in a lot of science fiction. 

Not to say Futurama is a Marxist allegory, but look:  The main characters are a dude whose entire family and circle of acquaintances have been dead for a thousand years, a cyclops freak who starts out at least as the only one of her species in the universe, and a robot who turns his back on the only thing he's programmed for.  They're all alienated by the world they live in, they're all lonely, and the parallel with the present shold be plain. 

The lesson seems to be that with the advance of technology and information comes an increase in the distance between people, making everybody stand alone and unfulfilled.  Marx and Debord and Baudrillard have all written political philosophy on this aspect of modern and postmodern societies.  So Futurama can be sophisticated political commentary as well as funny-ass shit.  Satire is usually like that.

Hey canned eggs! Can you send me your e-mail address? I really need to talk to you about what you posted.....please

  cry
davierocks

Professor
*
« Reply #19 on: 02-11-2004 06:04 »

Incredibly well said canned eggs *applauds*
Lurrr

Professor
*
« Reply #20 on: 02-11-2004 09:34 »

It is fair to say that you can take different meanings from a text like Futurama, but I personally disagree that Futurama can be read in such general way. It is a satire, and therefore requires some frame of reference (i.e. contemporary society) but I don't think it can be seen in the allegorical sense that canned eggs implies. Individuals will take different interpretations from Futurama so searching for some overall interpretation doesn't take into account that each of us watches and uses Futurama in a different way.

For example, my sisters (6 & 8 years old) are fascinated by Bender, probably because of his disrepect for authority and general troublemaking, yet still remaining charismatic. They will probably find most pleasure in those epidoes that heavily feature him. Meanwhile, I like Zoidberg, perhaps because it make me feel that there are still beings in the universe more pathetic than me  wink.

Though it could be read in an allegorical sense, I think that's too broad a way to interpret it. Individuals I think will interpret it very differently because of their own experiences.

(Sorry, I've just done a Media Studies presentation on this subject  smile)
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #21 on: 02-11-2004 10:29 »

"No matter how advanced our technology becomes, we, as a species, will remain exactly as stupid, lazy, and obnoxious."

"absolutes (dystopia/utopia) are boring."

That's about the only deeper meaning I've gathered from Futurama, well that and beavers mate for life. Then again sometimes I'm just slow to pick up these things.
Düffman

Delivery Boy
**
« Reply #22 on: 02-11-2004 11:15 »

Crist canned, your comments awalys make me think. But i think your exactly right, the more advanced the technology the more alienated people get from one another (that theme also makes sense for futurama, but i dont think that the writers did that on a concious level).
canned eggs

Space Pope
****
« Reply #23 on: 02-11-2004 17:18 »

Hudas: It's canned_eggs at hotmail; it's no secret, I don't post it anywhere because I don't want webbots to spam me.  I dunno why you think it's so important to mail me, unless this is some plot to get me to do your homework for you...

Lurr:  You say, "I personally disagree that Futurama can be read in such general way," and then "Individuals will take different interpretations from Futurama."  I'm just supplying the interpretation I took.  If individuals are permitted to take different interpretations, then mine should be as valid as anyone else's, and hence Futurama can be read in such a general way.  By me.  I don't get your objection.  I'm not claiming that my idea exhausts the symbolic capacity of Futurama, I'm just giving an example of a reference I see.  And I agree that I am interpreting it through my own experience.  And through the literary theory I've studied, etc.

canned eggs: all rights reserved, all wrongs reversed.
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