Idiocracy–It’s The End of the World And I Can’t Stop Laughing:Hot and Latest News
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Idiocracy–It’s The End of the World And I Can’t Stop Laughing


If you’re into dystopian fare like I am, you know that, most of the time, looking at a shattered future in which the basest urges and instincts of man come to the fore can be a little, well, depressing. Doesn’t matter if it’s the next-Sunday-AD style collapse predicted by The Trigger Effect, in which we lose power for a few days and the next thing you know civilization collapses around us or the slow death and rebirth and redeath of the various zombie movies out there. It doesn’t even matter if it’s a nuclear sort of affair, as was the case with The Day After, Jericho, and countless other movies and games.

But what if the cause of the downfall of mankind…is mankind’s own stupidity? If you were watching Comedy Central recently, you might’ve caught a glimpse of Idiocracy, one of my personal favorite movies. And despite the sheer amount of humor involved, it’s no less dystopian.

Idiocracy takes a central premise that’s surprisingly plausible and ramps it up to the Nth degree. See, maybe you’ve seen a daytime talk show lately–Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos, Dr. Phil, Maury, what have you–and maybe you’ve noticed that the people who show up on those shows with a passel of kids aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. Idiocracy displays this very well, by showing a couple with genius level IQs–both in the 140 range–and shows how they continually put off having kids until one of them dies in a tragic accident involving in vitro fertilization. The union has no children. Meanwhile, a man of much more modest intelligence–in the high eighties–continually spawns youngin after youngin with the various ladies of his trailer park. This carries on until his oldest son, a football jock, assures a watching Friday night football audience that he was going to, following a significant win, have lots and lots of sex with high school girls. His father looked on proudly from the stands, assuring us that that was “his boy”.

Idiocracy takes this central premise, that the dumber you are the more children you have, and advances it forward five hundred years. The result is that intelligence, by this point, is essentially selectively bred out of the population, leaving behind a crumbling future run by idiots. Garbage is piling up with no solution, health care is a disaster, the language has been reduced to urban slang and assorted grunting noises, and the most popular movie in theatres is called Ass. And that’s all it is, for two hours.

Introduced into this horrible future is a young man from the twentieth century, an Army soldier selected for a special suspended animation project due to his extreme averageness. Left in suspended animation for those five hundred years, he now emerges to a future in crisis. The interesting thing? Now, he’s the smartest man alive. A nation of dullards turns its hopeful gaze to the most average man the twentieth century has to offer. Will he solve the nation’s problems, or be put to death by idiots who can’t understand him?

It’s this combination of idiots in charge of high technology that’s downright unsettling, and yet funny beyond all words. You have to remember that the crash was gradual, so technology continued to advance even as the population dumbed down. But despite this advance in scientific knowledge and reason, the culture rapidly began to crash. Imagine a world where Jackass is considered mainstream. Now imagine a world where it’s considered inaccessibly high art. If you didn’t just get a cold chill, then you’re a braver man than I am.

But it’s not all disaster, mayhem, and idiot-fuelled panic in Idiocracy–no, not at all. There’s some great jokes, and lots of interesting looks at the future. Imagine a big box store so large it encompasses the equivalent of a city and the greeters welcome you with a vaguely mechanical repetition of “Welcome to CostCo. I love you.” and you’ll get the idea of the kinds of funny stuff that’s just waiting for you here.

Dystopia may always be just a little depressing–even here, imagine what could be saved if we all just read a book every so often–but perhaps for the first time, Idiocracy shows us that the end of the world can be a little funny, too. And that gives us all just a little extra reason to hope.


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