Growing up in my grandmother’s cult we had the most amazing video library,filling floor to ceiling bookcases. Giggy had tasked herself with stockpiling entertainment for the inevitable apocalypse and collapse of broadcast television. Most of my best childhood memories are of watching movies: comedies, SciFi, musicals, murder mysteries black and white classics. I loved them all. As anyone tracking my reviews can tell, I like more movies than not. So when I say I hate Idiocracy, understand that hatred was earned.
If you’ve never heard of it, count yourself lucky, close this tab, and enjoy the Internet’s bounty of adorable animal videos. If however you’re familiar with this drivel, you probably know that it’s about an average Joe who’s cryofrozen and wakes in a dystopian future. Capitalism has run amok with product branding everywhere. Sex work is abundant and legal. Everything is automated and the populace is numbed by high calorie snacks and low quality television.
The cause of this dystopia? “Stupid”(poor) people having too many babies while “smart”(upper middle class) people had too few. This is straight up eugenics, no exaggeration on my part required. The notion that we can and should control the evolution of humanity by selective breeding is eugenics. That’s where it comes from and where it always leads back to.
In order to find this movie “prophetic” as many want to, one must first accept its many premises on intellect. Namely, that intelligence is a single, concrete attribute, which is accurately captured by IQ scores, heritable, has been declining in the US populace, and is associated with “traditional” sexual morality.(US average IQ scores have steadily risen over the past fifty years but who needs facts when there’s bigotry to be done?) You have to believe “smart” people never enjoy “dumb” TV. Which is an inherent problem with this hypocritical movie.
Because of course, all this was dreamed up by a man who imagines he is one of the “smart” ones. Every dick joke, every product placement, every sexual remark about the scant two women characters, was made by the “smart” creator for the “smart” audience, or rather the audience that wants to laugh at dick jokes while pretending they’re too high brow to laugh at dick jokes.
That’s the whole odious appeal of the movie. It’s an opportunity to push the sense you ought to watch less Cake Wars and read more Dostoevsky onto a scapegoat: those with less money and lower IQ scores than yourself. Your refusal to engage in politics between presidential elections or even vote in midterms isn’t the issue: it’s all those “stupid” Republican voters in trailer parks wearing “wife beater” undershirts.
This movie isn’t prophetic. It’s not insightful. It’s not deep. It’s dick jokes and sexism, ableism and racism, with a wink-wink nudge-nudge to the audience that of course they’re not the dumb ones laughing at juvenile humor: they’re the smart people laughing at the dumb ones for being so easily amused. If you think this movie is a product of intellectual, thoughtful consideration your thinking is incredibly shallow. And I still think family planning should be your human right.
To support this blog and its author become a patron today.