Idiocracy: Life Imitating Art?csudhbulletin December 12, 2018 0 COMMENTS
By Fernando Bazan
We have all encountered someone in our life who is frustratingly naïve, someone who believes incorrect information even when presented with facts. Not to say they are bad people, just incredibly dense.
In 2006, Mike Judge directed and produced “Idiocracy,” a film set in a world filled with characters who embodied the characteristics mentioned above. Though it sounded preposterous when released, 12 years later, it seems uncomfortably close to reality.
“Idiocracy” takes the idea the future will be filled with technology beyond our imagination, which instead of progressing humanity, delivers a world where a completely average man with average intelligence has the capability to run the United States.
Joe Bauers (played by Luke Wilson) is the central character of the film as part of a government experiment that was meant to freeze a subject for a year. Due to complications, Bauers is unfrozen 500 years later in the future only to realize the world he once knew is grossly populated with stupid people.
The film does a great job depicting the reality that procreating is something to be taken seriously in a sequence that transpired early in the film while Bauers is frozen. A couple with high IQ’s take decades before deciding they want to be parents; however, a different couple with low IQ’s churn kids out like clockwork simply due to irresponsibility and giving into desire.
This procreation trend among people leads to a sharp decline in the average intelligence of the population. Eventually, by the time Bauers wakes up, individuals aren’t just dumb, but they are anti-intellectual. Bauers is berated with insults anytime he doesn’t sound as foolish as the rest of them.
This world is one that is filled with media whose standards are low, even compared to our current situation. The Oscar-winning movie of the year was “Ass,” which was literally an ass on a screen that occasionally farted for an hour and a half. The most popular television program was a guy getting kicked in the balls, and apparently, Carl’s Jr. has a monopoly on most food options.
The language people use is so simple and to the point, a 6-year-old today could easily hold a conversation with most people from that time. Their accent is a cross between valley girl, hick, and inner-city slang. Perhaps the most bizarre thing the movie portrays is clothes the people wear in this society are filled with advertisements.
The main idea this film wants us to realize that if we aren’t careful, we too can become a society that is riddled with hyper-consumerism, a culture that chases instant gratification and a stupefied population that is content with mindless entertainment.
The film is supposed to be a satirical take on what our future might look if we exaggerated the idea that people become too dependent on technology and comfort. But at times, it feels less like satire than it does social commentary.
Our society isn’t perfect, but it can look a lot worse than Mike Judge’s depiction of it. If you ever need a motivating film that makes you feel good about your capabilities and achievements, watch this movie and feel like you too can become the president of a bunch of idiots.