Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Narrator: As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.

I watched a good movie the other night. The premise supposes that by the year 2505 society has dumbed down to the lowest possible level thanks to hundreds of years of breeding by the wrong people. Idiots litter the streets of a post-apocolyptic America. Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph play characters who are victims of a 2005 government experiment gone wrong and when they wake up 500 years later, they are faced with the reality of Idiocracy.

Okay, obviously this is no Citizen Kane, no Gone With the Wind, but as far as social commentary is concerned, it is spot on. The idiots of 2505 don't actually speak, they grunt, like Kris Humphries. Their
facial expressions are as blank as the Kardashians. They just don't understand. Life is very hard. But they keep having kids (The Duggars). This movie was made before Snookie arrived on the scene, before the Real Housewives invaded Bravo.

Idiocracy was written and directed by Mike Judge, the man behind Beavis and Butt-head. That show about those two stoners who watch TV and laugh? you say? Yes, that's the one. But that show was also commenting on the youths of society. I teach college and am confronted with those insipid blank stares, confusion over due dates, surprise over plaigairism allegations. I see our future and it's kind of scary.

Idiocracy is a cautionary tale. It is the whisper before the scream.

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