On a friend’s recommendation, I rented Idiocracy, a movie which I had previously never heard of, but that apparently got a limited theatrical release near the end of last year. I was told that I might not appreciate the humor, but that the social commentary was right up my alley.
Well, he was wrong. I enjoyed both the humor and the commentary (though I admit the former only works because of the nature of the latter).
The premise of the movie is that two completely average americans are put in a state of suspended animation as part of a secret government experiment. The original duration of the experiment is supposed to be one year, but after some chaos, red tape, and covering up, they are forgotten about.
They awake five hundred years later, after the great garbage avalanche of 2505 knocks their suspended animation chambers open. They find themselves in a world where humanity has devolved into an even more stupid and careless group than we are today, where corporate advertising is omnipresent, where the english language has “deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valley girl, inner city slang and various grunts”, and where they are now the two most intelligent people on the planet.
Their journey is full of scatological satire, but in every fart joke and ball-kick there is a hint of the crap that currently passes for pop culture in the United States.
In Idiocracy, humanity was reduced to this sorry state via dysgenics. The theory is that once you take all the genetic benefit out of being intelligent (i.e., the survival/reproduction rate is no better), and have intelligent people waiting or refusing to have kids, and stupid people who can’t figure out birth control having kids nearly as rapidly as they are biologically able, the population will over time have more of the latter and less of the former. As this is something I’ve babbled about for years, it’s nice to see it presented in an enjoyable way on film.
Anyway, I highly recommend this movie to anyone with a brain and a sense of humor. It’s not perfect, but it is good.
If the scatological aspect is overly repellent, you may want to read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, wherein the lazy upper classes no longer need or want to use their brains and over millennia devolve into the cow-like Eloi, through a similar process.