If you’re like me, when you attended college, you probably took one class of Philosophy 101, during which you attended lectures where the professor explained what was already in the textbook, making you feel more “euphoric” and “enlightened” than everyone else before you eventually forgot everything you learned over summer break.
Let’s face it, philosophy, like algebra, has no real practical application outside the classroom for the Average Joe. It’s one of those studies that’s more “useful” when used by hoity-toity, artsy-fartsy hipsters to over-analyze the arts and literature. And let’s face it: in our less-than-sophisticated culture, most of us don’t visit art galleries or pick up a book that isn’t a New York Times bestseller.
However, we do watch movies and television shows and play video games, all of which are art. So wouldn’t it be cool if we were able to apply philosophy to the arts that we actually enjoyed as a culture? Wouldn't it be great to feel more "enlightened" for watching a big summer blockbuster, binge-watching Netflix, or gaining an achievement on Xbox Live? Fortunately, there’s one YouTube channel that allows us to do exactly that: Wisecrack.
Wisecrack is a channel whose videos utilize critical thinking and analysis on the media we love in order to discover a deeper meaning beyond simply a surface level impression. Think of their videos as more condensed versions of the literature or philosophy courses you took in school, only instead of analyzing sonnets from dusty books, they analyze your favorite movies, shows, and video games.
For example, have you ever wondered why Rick and Morty often makes you wonder about your own existence and the meaning of the universe in general? Have you ever wondered why playing Bioshock felt like reading Ayn Rand back in high school? And did you know that Deadpool is a postmodern deconstruction on post-modernism, which, in and of itself, is a philosophy dedicated to deconstruction? That’s the beauty of philosophy: it makes the things you love look smarter than they actually appear, mostly through the help of big fancy words.
So if you wish to impress your friends by explaining how that episode of Rick and Morty is “existential”, or how that episode of Daredevil highlights the dichotomy between “determinism" and “free will”, feel free to check out their channel. You’ll certainly feel smarter after watching them.
For this post, I’ll be sharing their “Philosophy of South Park” video, in which they analyze the epic 19th season and how trying to enforce “political correctness” and “diversity” through “neo-liberalism” is a concept as bull**** as the talking s*** in the cartoon: