I watched the movie Idiocracy (2006) this evening with my wife. Oh boy… where do I start? The idea for this movie hits a little too close to the place where I work. The basic plot line of the movie is that a perfectly average guy is cryogenically frozen in 2005 and wakes up five hundred years later. But the world is overrun with … shall we say… people of below average intelligence (aka. idiots, morons, slowcoaches, etc.). The cause of this is explained by the fact that all the idiots were multiplying like crazy while the intellects of the world weren’t. This sort of stick-a-finger-in-the-eye-of-natural-selection approach to the movie is explained by the fact that, since humans have no natural predators to “thin the herd”, the sub-standard intelligentsia is allowed to pass its genetic material on to the next generation.
The main character, Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), finds himself in a world where a former pro-wrestler/porn star is President of the US, and where Joe is the smartest person on the planet. He is catapulted through a series of events that leads him from jail, to a cabinet-level position, to a “death sentence”, to the position of US President himself… all while being assisted by a prostitute and a lawyer who’s favorite TV show is “Ow…My Balls!”
As a satire on our culture of idiocy, it is really quite scary… dead on and scary. Although the film is crass, replete with foul language, and sexual humor, I don’t know if it could have been made much “cleaner” and still have made such a poignant statement about what idiotic things turn people’s cranks these days.
If anyone doubts this point, then they simply need to spend a week as a fly on the wall in any of the classrooms in the public school where I teach. My intention is not to get all self-righteous or play the martyr, but to simply say that many people are insulated from the baser slices of society and are simply uninformed about what goes on outside their limited circles. It’s always good to remember the adage, “But for the grace of God, so go I.”
This movie, although not recommended for most viewers, does have its redeeming qualities. The movie doesn’t simply take its shots at the idiots of our culture. It also exposes the idiocy of the “intellects” and how they are helping to propogate the problem. But, and I think this might be best of all, it shows how the two main characters, people of moderate or average intelligence, are very susceptible to and almost sucked in by the idiocy around them. The movie promotes reading, education, and a higher fertility rate among the so-called intelligent folks of today. For public school educators and youth group leaders, I recommend this movie highly. For fundamentalist-King-James-only-preachers and little old ladies who are uncomfortable when someone says “butt” around them, allow this one to pass you by.