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Films and TV
Idiocracy is a
documentary movie written and directed by Mike Judge that's about a literal average Joe that, due to cheesy plot device cryonic experiments, finds himself 500 years in the future… and due to idiots outbreeding smart people, he is now the smartest living human. Brought to you by Carl's, Jr.®!
While the introductory segment comes off as a pro-eugenics propaganda piece, the majority of the film actually criticizes the culture which glorifies idiocy more than anything else. Especially Fox News, which led to the production company, Twentieth Century Fox, doing everything it could to bury the movie; eliminating the entire budget, spending nothing on advertising, then releasing it in 6 theatres for one showing after midnight, then declaring it a flop. Viacom managed to find a copy of it, and then played it on Comedy Central whenever they could. It's actually not that bad.
Well, the plot isn't too in-depth. It starts off with a "case study" of two couples; stereotypical Yuppies, and stereotypical rednecks. The Yuppies wait to have kids, because they aren't financially ready yet, only to develop fertility problems; the husband eventually dies of a heart attack induced by masturbation at a fertility clinic and the wife never has a kid. The redneck husband can't figure out how condoms work and somehow keeps knocking up everyone else at the trailer park, while his football playing son knocks up a bunch of cheerleaders. The result being that idiots overpopulate the world.
Then the movie starts.
The main problem for human society in the movie is not that "idiots are allowed to breed", but that idiots were held up as something to worship… which is what causes the dumbest ones to be able to outbreed the smart people. Talking in proper English is "gay", and intelligence of any form makes you a "tard". Executions are basically a public spectacle, and art has been debased to just staring at a man's ass. And no, not as a practical joke by Andy Warhol. The President is the amalgamation of every idiot, though more intelligent than most others alive at the time (and African American, played by Terry Crews); he's a porn star action hero that drinks heavily and shoots guns constantly, and every other word is a swear word or an advertisement. (A hilarious opposite of the actor) Brought to you by Carl's, Jr.! Advertising is everywhere; clothing is made up of brand names, and television is more advertisement than show.
Interestingly, it also takes a stand on the importance of keeping money out of politics; a megacorp, Brawndo (the thirst mutilator!) buys up the FCC, allowing them to advertise whatever they want. The result is that Brawndo replaces all water, and the electrolytes (what plants crave!) end up killing the crops and causing a near-total collapse of society.
Things to Come
Many people see this movie, and claim it's a prophecy of the future. This doesn't quite stand up to reality; average intelligence has not been decreasing, in fact, the opposite is true. The main driver of this is public health campaigns; it turns out that all those parasites and diseases that we had in the 19th century were not good for developing minds. The question is if genetically we are better or worse off. This is not so easy to test, in part because there is no single "smart gene", but rather a complicated mesh of many different genes.
When it comes to the dumbing down of culture, pop culture has always been doing this. People don't actually swear more than their parents did; they just use different swear words. While today you might say "fuck", "shit" or "damn", words that would make your grandparents blush, you can damn well bet you wouldn't say the fucking shit your grandparents used to say all the time, like "cunt" (save for Downunder), "faggot" or "nigger". Words change meaning over time and old swear words are forgotten or fall out of use: Deadwood used modern swear words because the profanity of the time sounds comical today. As for "stupid, low-brow culture", this was exactly the complaints people had about Shakespeare in his time. Part of the wonders of getting a bachelor's degree in English is that you get to learn so many new dick and poop jokes, like the very first scene of Romeo and Juliet where the guys brag about how they will poop on the girls' heads before murder/raping them, while joking about the size of their dicks.
In August 2016, director Judge and writer Etan Cohen attempted to make advertisements using the President Camacho character from the film. Cohen had become horrified at how close reality had gotten to Idiocracy, but the project was stymied by a combination of prematurely labelling the advertisements as "anti-Trump" (rather than just satire) and opposition by Fox and specifically Fox's owner, Rupert Murdoch.
More importantly, it's a movie; in the real world, it actually takes some emotional intelligence to have a relationship, even one that only lasts long enough to get pregnant. Also, there is little correlation between intelligence and fecundity in humans, and things like the Darwin Awards suggest that said correlation is directly proportional, not inversely.
- Idiocracy (2006) — the script
- The Flynn effect
- National institute of health, "is intelligence determined by genes"
- Yes that is in there! When Sampson is talking about lining the girls against the wall, it's because, in the days before widespread plumbing, British toilets overlooked the street.
- I never expected #idiocracy to become a documentary. Etan Cohen
- Fox Rejected ‘Idiocracy’ Director’s “Anti-Trump” President Camacho Ads by Jack Giroux (Sunday, August 21st, 2016) Slash Film.