Home > Trip > Dispatches > Local Dispatches > Local Dispatch #140

April 27, 2012: Idiocracy

Last night, Pete and I watched the video Idiocracy. A student of his lent it to him. I agreed to watch it because I was up for viewing something mindless. By mindless, I mean something with a fairly complex story line and believable characters. My hope in such instances is that I’ll later have something to think about.

This movie was about mindlessness. The plot was gruel thin. Two individuals, a woman and a man, are inadvertently projected by a botched military experiment, into the future, 2505 to be exact. They then find themselves in a near apocalyptic society inhabited by dullards.

man cave
Man Cave

The pair discover that these hapless morons are controlled by corporate culture. Sex, drugs, and libidinal attitudes prevail. In the end, the man gets the woman, and by virtue of having high a IQ, he finds himself in the position of being President. The movie concludes with him and his woman having three kids, and the vice president having 38 kids (by eight different women).

This movie was disturbing because it was so unbelievable. The main problem is that the absence of meaningful dialogue gets in the way. It’s unrealistic to assume that there’s going to be any meaningful communication at all when a supposedly intelligent person converses with near idiots. There were occasional lapses in which the characters conversed in a near coherent fashion, but this countered the plot.

The move was also disturbing because it’s believable. It’s not hard to envision what our society might become; because this movie is in some ways reflective of what’s already occurring. Most telling to me is what I’m now seeing, the slow deterioration of language. Many are now talking and writing in sound bites. And it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find people who can engage in extended and meaningful conversations. What most troubles me is that there are an equal number out there who aren’t able to grasp the connections inherent to intuitive and logical thinking.

Had more time gone into the making of this movie, some good might have come of it. First, viewers would realize that we’re on the verge of inhabiting an overpopulated planet. And secondly, they’d have come away with some ideas as to what to do about this.

As it was, I never figured out who the audience for this movie was. I’m not sure if it was intelligent people who are attuned to the long-term effects of reproduction, or stupid people who are oblivious to it. I do know this—after watching this movie, I chastised myself for watching it because it was a complete and utter waste of valuable time. Well, not a complete and utter waste of valuable time. I at least I was able to come up with a poem that echoes my sentiments.

The Dark Ages
Intuition rears its ugly head
looks around, and sticks it back in the sand,
knowing that science will begin counting grains,
later saying, “I told you so.”
“I told you so,” science’s counter-argument being
That the grains of sand are, like the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the ocean, finite in number.
You see light, and are asked if the sand bucket’s half empty
or half full. It’s both, you say
walking away.

Next: 141. 4/28/12: Drama in Real Life: The Foxtail Episode