“Blockchain and Morty”
So I did something kind of crazy. For my latest episode of “Blockchain and Morty” I re-wrote and dubbed over almost an entire episode of “Rick and Morty.” Normally I find a short clip somewhere between one and three minutes long and I re-write the dialogue to fit an idea or something current going on in Crypto. But this time I went much further.
My brother had been urging me to take on a full episode for a while now. Many fans of the shorter “Blockchain and Morty” episodes have also asked if I was ever going to do something longer. I’d always wanted to do a full episode, but to be perfectly honest I was scared to fail.
My first concern was the time I knew it would take. If I come up with an idea that I want to take on, let’s say “Crypto Meet-ups” for example, it’s easy for me to think about all the scenes from “Rick and Morty” and whether there’s a scene that fits the idea. I did that with Episode 11 for instance.
In doing a full episode I knew that I would have to think further out of the box than I ever had before. I would need to zoom out so that I am thinking not only about the moment-to-moment dialogue, but also about the overall plot. And if I was going to tackle a full episode, I didn’t want it to feel forced. I would need to find an episode with a plot that would align with Crypto in a big way.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about “Crypto Tribalism,” a phenomenon that I see rear it’s ugly head every single day on Reddit and Twitter.
I see all the die-hard Bitcoin maximalists saying that every other crypto project is a scam. All the Altcoiners call Bitcoin “old tech.” Roger Ver and his legion of Bitcoin Cash supporters spread misinformation and confuse new entrants into the space. Tronics follow their supreme leader Justin Sun like lemmings off a cliff, and Ripple? Don’t get me started about Ripple, that disgusting centralized, horrible, piece-of-sh$t!
Hey, wait a second!
Do you see what I just did there? Do you see how easy it is to generalize and apply labels? That whole paragraph was purposefully written to offend. Don’t ever be like that..
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of Tron, and I am definitely not a fan of Ripple. But I have my reasons, and I’m happy to share them with you if you ask and engage me in a rational open discourse. And while I believe that many of us value that type of discussion as an opportunity to learn from one another, there are too many people in the crypto community who prefer to live inside an echo chamber. On a side note in case anyone is curious.. I don’t mind Bitcoin Cash in thoery… I just fundamentally disagree with how Roger Ver and other Bitcoin Cash supporters consistently try to misleads the public.
But moving… I read a fantastic Medium article a while back that gives a really great perspective on Crypto Tribalism. I’ve included the link above, and I’d highly recommend reading it. One of the main takeaways was that crypto should not be looked upon as a zero-sum game. When all is said and done, is it possible that Bitcoin is the only crypto currency and blockchain left standing?
Sure. It’s possible.
But there are myriad other possible futures in which this isn’t the case. And that’s not a bad thing if we start thinking about things differently. The article I reference goes into this more deeply, but basically while all this infighting is going on, people have forgotten what the real fight is all about.
Crypto is about creating a financial and data ecosystem that doesn’t rely on traditional centralized authorities. It’s about putting the power back into the hands of the people. I say “back into the hands of the people,” but really Crypto is putting that power into our hands for the first time in human history. Central authorities have ALWAYS held the power of the coin and the power of account. These were realities I never questioned until recently. Until I got into crypto.
But I digress…
I needed to find an episode of “Rick and Morty” that would align with Crypto in a big way. As I binged through episode after episode for “research” purposes… I came across Episode 9 in Season 2: “Look Who’s Purging now?” in which Rick and Morty get stuck on a purge planet, like in the movie THE PURGE.
Normally I look for clips with as few characters as possible, hopefully just Rick and Morty, because I can do their voices best. This episode had A LOT of characters, but I knew I had to tackle it. This was the perfect vehicle for a cultural critique of Crypto Tribalism, and I didn’t even need to chop up the episode to make a story of my own. As is, the storyline was perfect for the critique I wanted to make.
Now if you’ve seen the episode, you may be wondering how I am even allowed to take a full episode and do what I do? I get asked this often, so I want to address it. One of my Twitter followers actually commented, “this is the edge of fair use…”
As you can see from my response, I admit that an argument could be made against me. But if I ever got sued, I believe that I would win. “Blockchain and Morty” is not only a passion project of mine, but it is an entirely unique vehicle for cultural commentary. I have plans to try parodies with other cartoons, but I don’t think it would be possible to achieve the same kind of impact without Rick and without Morty.
To me, Rick represents some of the biggest underlying tenets of the crypto currency movement, eschewing big government bureaucracy and centralized currencies. Not only that, but I think his nihilism and obvious depression and frustration with the world, mirrors that of many crypto enthusiasts who have also lost faith in the world they grew up in and the institutions that make up that world. And yet Rick is nothing without Morty, even if Rick won’t admit it. To me, Morty represents the more hopeful side of Crypto, the voice of reason, if you will. Rick is old, and he may be immortal. Who knows? But Morty represents the Future.
If you couldn’t tell… I truly love “Rick and Morty,” and I could write about it ad nauseam. Sorry if you’re at that point already! But my parody adaptation is a labor of love, and I hope that shows through. I’ve actually been approached many times to make promotional versions of “Blockchain and Morty,” but I’ve refused on principal and because it would disqualify the fair-use status of what I’m doing. Instead I get to play around with my favorite characters, reshaping their adventures in such a way as to add another layer of meaning.
The reason I’m going into all of this, is that I think we all need to be more self aware of our actions in this ongoing Crypto Revolution. Do you have Rick tendencies? Morty tendencies? Without giving too much away, this full-length episode has both Rick and Morty participating in the Purge, or the “Shilling,” as I’ve re-dubbed it. And that’s because no one is immune to Crypto Tribalism.
Tribalism is a human tendency that has kept us alive for thousands of years.
We can’t help that it is a part of our collective genome.
But we can work to lessen its effects. We can work together to overcome an evolutionary holdover from our much hairier ancestors, and in so doing, work to create a better future for all of us.
Diatribe over. Thanks for reading and please be excellent to each other.
If you haven’t seen the new episode yet, please check it out using these links:
Link to DLive/Steemit (Decentralized)
Link to YouTube (Centralized, Blocked in Most Countries without VPN)
Although I am currently focused on filming a pilot for an upcoming crypto talk show that I will be hosting, (Think John Oliver for Crypto…), “Blockchain and Morty” isn’t going anywhere. For updates on B&M and my new upcoming show, please subscribe below: