Idiocracy

Natural selection should, in theory, favour the smartest and strongest, but what happens if it actually results in a dumbing down of the population? Evolution rewards those who reproduce the most, and in Idiocracy, intelligent people have become an endangered species.

I didn’t really care for this movie when it first came out, but waking up to a world in which Donald Trump is president brought this immediately to mind.

_88551016_trumpcoverLuke Wilson plays a very average dude waiting out his pension in an army library until he’s chosen to pioneer an experiment. Maya Rudolph, a prostitute, is also extremely average, and both have the added benefit of being completely friendless in the world, so no pesky family members to ask nosy questions when the army turns them into human popsicles in order to determine if humans can successfully “hibernate” for a year. Verdict: never trust the army, for starters. The experiment is neglected and its two subjects lay dormant for years. Meanwhile, humanity gets stupider at an alarming rate.

It’s a pretty dismal picture for the future of mankind, but as far as Idiocracy goes, it doesn’t go far enough. It fails to account for the reality TV  host of its fictional show “Ow, My Balls” not only running for president, but actually winning. That’s one little nugget that even Mike Judge couldn’t fathom, and he’s the guy that divined a Carls, Jr. burger-dispensing device that also confiscates children from unfit mothers. Reality is turning out to be even stupider than the most low-brow satire had the balls to portray.

The rest of the world is horrified. Nauseated. And not just at the 59 million racist, misogynist Americans who voted for a smug, clueless, unapologetic (boastful, even) rapist, but for the millions more who didn’t show up at all to stop him. Of course I’m heart sick and nervous about so many of my largeuncomfortably-close neighbours to the south harbouring such hatred in their hearts, but I’m almost as upset about the apathy, and what that apathy means. It means that a man can run a campaign on blatant lies, zero experience, and rampant xenophobia, and people will let him. It means Americans are not the people we thought they were. That progress is rolling backwards in that country. That now our own rational, credentialed, professional world leaders will be forced to treat Trump like an equal even though he has proven himself unqualified to open his own car door. We have embraced “sunny ways” up here in Canada but see nothing but dark days across the border. I wouldn’t have wished a Trump presidency on my worst enemy, and never wanted to believe that this Neanderthal would succeed. Would be allowed to succeed. Nevertheless, he is the president-elect, and maybe the president they deserve. It’s a wake up call to all of us. We are not without problems in Canada and as the U.S. is usually our cultural mirror, it’s safe to say we should all be taking a much longer look at ourselves and each other. We can do better than this. We ARE better than this. Even Idiocracy offers hope: in the end, the smartest man is elected. Order is restored. The righteous are vindicated.

 

 

 

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. – George Carlin

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18 thoughts on “Idiocracy

  1. Brittani

    It’s hard to see hope right now. I’m with you, I wasn’t crazy about this movie. It had a few funny moments. After what happened this week, I’m not sure if I’ll ever try to watch it again.

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  2. badblokebob

    It’s a scary time, to be sure. Our best hope is that he’ll be resolutely ineffectual in achieving his aims (and that he’ll be gone in 4 years — fingers crossed!)

    As for the film, I didn’t care for it either! It seems to have attracted a cult following, but I just didn’t think its satire was clever enough.

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  3. Christopher

    When I first saw Idiocracy years ago it just didn’t strike me as funny because it was a little too prescient–and not just prescient but frighteningly reflective of the times we lived in.
    Thank you for reminding me not just about Idiocracy but also its hopeful note at the end, and your own words of hope that we are better than than this.
    We should look to you, our neighbors to the north, and your sunny days because in the darkest of days any light, no matter how small, burns that much brighter.

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  4. J.

    There are some things that you can’t make sense of, but times like this I want to throw my arms around my friends and loved ones (including those on the blogosphere). Stay positive.

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  5. ninvoid99

    That film scared the fuck out of me when I first saw it as it’s now starting to fucking happen. Holy shit, this world will be run by idiots. I guess all of those Madea movies and Michael Bay bullshit films are going to become more common than ever…

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  6. Matt

    The apathy kills me. Not just from those who didn’t vote but from all those who voted for him not BECAUSE he was a racist pathological liar and self-proclaimed sex offender but just didn’t care very much that he was.

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  7. Liz A.

    I didn’t like this movie. And now I doubt I could ever see it again. Keep in mind that he-who-shall-not-be-named LOST the popular vote by, like 200,000 votes. Seriously. It’s the stupid Electoral College and the idiocy of the center of the country. There’s a reason we’re blowing up social media and protesting in the streets.

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  8. reocochran

    Thank you for many of the same reasons why I understand rioting people. I have really been rather depressed. My favorite political movie wasn’t very political. “The American President” with Annette Being and Michael Douglas.
    I was pleased one if the newscasters used a reference to “Network” and I like Director Lumet (shoot, I forget was it David or Sydney. . .?) He used the, “I’m so mad I can’t take it anymore” line.

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  9. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    I started watching this the other day (before the election) in some kind of optimistic haze, but I found it so painful that I actually stopped watching and put myself to bed whilst the fiance and his friends watched the rest. Little did I know what was to come in international politics. Very strange and disappointing times indeed. I might try re-watching this to get a taste of what seems like a positive ending!

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  10. Lacey

    Sometimes I think stupid people rise to the top (like management in the workplace) is because the smarter people get tired of dealing with bullshit. But Yes the movie is scary because it seems so close to what CAN be.

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