Every Atheist Needs: Mr. Robot
Warning: Mild Spoilers
If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if Donnie Darko had joined Fight Club, now’s your chance to find out. The relatively new show, Mr. Robot, is like the story of Donnie Darko’s redheaded stepchild running a Fight Club chapter out of the back of a meth lab. It’s a little bit sci-fi, a little bit nerdy and whole lotta WTF.
Mr. Robot follows a hacker who struggles with social anxiety and addiction. He clashes with work and friendships and social events, but it seems he’s found a good, solid routine that keeps him going. It seems. The show calmly lures you into a safe space, and without any trigger warning, blows it up right in front of you. You’re going to feel strange: a little bit like your prom date wrestling with the condom. You’re going to feel mildly violated, to a slightly less significant degree than the violation we all feel from the Trump campaign. Most of all, you’re going to feel wildly entertained, like that first time you played Super Mario Bros. 3 in David Miller’s rec room back in 6th grade while his mom nagged you incessantly to go outside and play… “it’s a beautiful day!”
Even though Christian Slater is in it, the acting is top-notch. This is his best work since he spun Wave of Mutilation in Pump Up The Volume, but the truly sensational performance in this show is Rami Malek’s. He doesn’t just capture social anxiety and slap it on the screen for you to absorb, he oozes it like an out of control staph infection and it’s like you know in your head you want to get as far away from it as possible, but you can’t fucking stop gawking at it like a 14-year-old boy seeing his first set of titties in real life.
Before you know it, you’re riding the whitewater in a river of confusion so disorienting, Finnegan’s Wake suddenly seems reasonably easy to read. It’s a strange but good feeling, like when your partner finally agrees to try out your bizarre kink. You’re excited, a little bit nervous, and moister than Ivanka at the RNC.
These are all fantastic reasons for just about anyone to watch the show, but the reason I think atheists might especially enjoy it, is that at the beginning of season two, the main character, Elliot, spews this rant about religion that’ll get you out of your seat and clapping:
“Is that what God does? He helps? Tell me, why didn’t God help my innocent friend who died for no reason while the guilty ran free? Okay. Fine. Forget the one offs. How about the countless wars declared in his name? Okay. Fine. Let’s skip the random, meaningless murder for a second, shall we? How about the racist, sexist, phobia soup we’ve all been drowning in because of him? And I’m not just talking about Jesus. I’m talking about all organized religion. Exclusive groups created to manage control. A dealer getting people hooked on the drug of hope. His followers, nothing but addicts who want their hit of bullshit to keep their dopamine of ignorance. Addicts. Afraid to believe the truth. That there’s no order. There’s no power. That all religions are just metastasizing mind worms, meant to divide us so it’s easier to rule us by the charlatans that wanna run us. All we are to them are paying fanboys of their poorly-written sci-fi franchise. If I don’t listen to my imaginary friend, why the fuck should I listen to yours? People think their worship’s some key to happiness. That’s just how he owns you. Even I’m not crazy enough to believe that distortion of reality. So fuck God. He’s not a good enough scapegoat for me.”
This pretty much secures the show’s position as an entirely heathen enterprise, and I’m sure this won’t be the last criticism of religion we hear from it. So, install some antivirus software, change all your passwords, and stick Mr. Robot up there on your smart T.V. – you’re going to love it.
Are you a Mr. Robot fan? Let me know in the comments!