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Sat May 28, 2016, 11:53 AM

'Idiocracy' Realized: How Our Current Situation Is Worse Than the Film Predicted

The corporate overlords the movie indicted are creating a world where water is inaccessible to the poor and Trump Nation darkly looms.

By Paula Young Lee / AlterNet May 26, 2016


Photo Credit: Kues / Shutterstock

The 2006 cult comedy Idiocracy is having its moment in the sun. Written and directed by Mike Judge, creator of “Beavis & Butthead,” Idiocracy envisions a future corporate American wasteland where Costco is as large as a small city, the food pyramid consists entirely of fast food, and the president of the United States (Terry Crews) is a five-time "Ultimate Smackdown" professional wrestling champion and ex-porn star. “So you’re smart, huh?” President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho says to hapless time traveler Joe “Not Sure” Bauers (Luke Wilson), an Average Joe chagrined to discover he’s now the smartest man in the country. “I thought your head would be bigger,” Camacho bellows. “Looks like a peanut!”

Donald Trump's political ascendancy has made Idiocracy seem like prophecy. (Or, per a viral tweet by the film’s screenwriter, a “documentary.”) As satire, however, Idiocracy is uneven, precisely because recent events have already exceeded its most trenchant bits of lunacy. In the fictional Idiocracy future, Congress is full of idiots who do nothing but yell, “You’re a dick!” at the president. But those antics pale in comparison to stunts pulled by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Trump, a billionaire real-estate developer and reality TV show star whose foreign policy proposals include telling China, Listen, you motherfuckers, we’re going to tax you 25 percent! In 2009, Trump purchased the rights to pro-wrestling show “Monday Night Raw” and then sold them back to the previous owner “for twice the price,” according to the World Wrestling Entertainment website. “Since then, the WWE Hall of Famer [has] focused on his ever-expanding real estate empire, his Emmy-nominated reality television show ‘The Apprentice’ and running for president of the United States.”

Mike Judge may be a funny guy, but his mind isn’t exactly subtle. A decade ago when Idiocracy was released, he was already treading well-worn ground by envisioning a future where being unable to pay debts is a crime (see: the return of debtor’s prison), the Violence Channel dominates the networks (see: all of cable), and a plotless film about a farting white ass wins Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards (see: Swiss Army Man, starring Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse).


The film opens with a voiceover explaining that rampant breeding among the dimwitted has undone civilization. After 500 years of exponential idiocy, corporate America has responded by catering to the lowest common denominator. Thus, future Starbucks offers hand jobs. Fuddruckers has become Buttfuckers. Fox News is anchored by pro-wrestlers. Costco gives out law degrees. And the company behind the energy drink Brawndo owns the FDA, FCC and USDA. But the film got the power dynamic backward, thereby softballing its critique. As Adam Johnson pointed out on AlterNet, it decided to highlight “the problem—in this case political ignorance—without addressing its primary culprit: the consolidation of media into large corporations, a PR-fueled think tank industry fed by billionaires designed to promote toxic right-wing canards… and a decades-long corporate assault on K-12 and postsecondary education.”


Full article: http://www.alternet.org/media/corporate-trump-nation-made-america-worse-idiocracy

Bbm. I just wanted to highlight this because I don't believe the U.S. is a nation of idiots, by any means (and this same thing is happening not just in the U.S.) - but to agree with the author (imo) that it's been a strategy for decades, by all those he mentioned. Many countries may use violent repression to deny education and knowledge of events around the world - corporations have their dirty fingers into enough of everything in 'advanced nations' that they don't need to.

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Reply 'Idiocracy' Realized: How Our Current Situation Is Worse Than the Film Predicted (Original post)
polly7 May 2016 OP
madville May 2016 #1
Press Virginia May 2016 #2
highprincipleswork May 2016 #3
GreenEyedLefty May 2016 #4
okieinpain May 2016 #5
alterfurz May 2016 #6
n2doc May 2016 #7
Aristus May 2016 #8

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 12:31 PM

1. In the Congress scene

The seal on the podium says "House of Representin'", always thought that was hilarious.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 12:44 PM

2. Beef Supreme in 2024!

 

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 12:47 PM

3. Always have loved "Idiocracy", but it's always been too true! Now more than ever, as the commercial

 

might say.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 12:57 PM

4. "Idiocracy" is "A Modest Proposal" for our generation

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 12:57 PM

5. I really want to blame old white men

For this mess but I don't want to come off as a bigot. So I'll just give a +100 on this thread.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 01:23 PM

6. The future isn't what it used to be. -- Yogi Berra

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 03:15 PM

7. I would take President Camacho over tRump any day

Camacho at least recognized that there was a problem and chose the right person to fix it. tRump would tell us all those crops were Yuuuge! and everything was even better than before.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Sat May 28, 2016, 03:24 PM

8. Watching the 'comedy' "Idiocracy" was one of the most profoundly depressing media experiences I've

ever had.

I was in a funk for days after seeing it.

I haven't watched it all the way through after that one time.

I've tried to come back to it based on its guarded optimism; that even the idiots of the future know there's a problem and want someone smart to fix it.

But an America in which Donald Trump is a major-party candidate for the Presidency is too close to the film to want to go back and watch it.

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