Published Jul 26, 2019If you've ever seen Adam Conover's TRUTV show Adam Ruins Everything, it might be hard to imagine it taking form as standup comedy. Mind Parasites Live with Adam Conover is really more of a "one man show" — a comedy show that can make you feel a little dumb, a little smart and hopelessly human. And thanks to the agile wit of Conover, it's also pretty damn funny. That's what makes it so interesting — not only are there many laughs to be had, but minds to be blown.
For those unfamiliar, Conover has created a sub-genre of comedy that relies firmly on facts and power point slides. That doesn't sound particularly hilarious, and it's not, but with Conover's hyper-smart delivery and love of bizarre facts, it's better than hilarious: it's utterly terrifying and loads of fun. That's exactly what we get with Mind Parasites Live, because here's the thing — mind control is real.
Conover, flipping slides and being charming, gives us some real life examples of mind control, relative to the insect world. There's a fungus that controls ants. There's a parasitic flatworm that controls snails. There's a wasp that can capture the brain of a cockroach. That's all wonderful and weird, but it leads us to the real point. It examines our own struggles with mind parasites. Conover reveals to us that our true overlords are advertisers, social media companies and addiction peddlers. Example — a green box. Put a green box on that screen, and what do we think? None of us hesitate. We think of H&R Block. That church bell sound? What's it mean? It means Taco Bell, and so on. Then there's social media, the truly evil shit (and we don't care). And perhaps most terrifying of all — our relationship with alcohol and how we rationalize it.
By the end, you hope for a silver lining, and it's not obvious, but there is one. Learn. Read a book. Think critically about the world around you. Because really, we're all fucked, and may as well laugh at it.