So I’m writing my paper on the dystopian future presented in the Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill) film Idiocracy. A lot of people probably haven’t heard of this film, since it was buried by Fox, its distributor, because Judge and Fox executives disagreed about a lot of the content in the movie and disagreed about how to market and package it. In the plot, a perfectly average soldier and a street prostitute are chosen by the army to be frozen in a time capsule to test new human hibernation technology. The project is scrapped, and the two find themselves 500 years in the future. The plot of the movie is rather inconsequential, but the dystopian future that the two find themselves in is very interesting, as is the movie’s explanations of how the future got to be so dysfunctional. The premise of the movie is that the mean intelligence of humanity slopes rapidly downward because smart people don’t breed nearly as much or as early as unintelligent people do. Because everything is so automated, dumb people thrive in the world. In the future, everything is sexualized, corporations run the government, the English language has deteriorated into a mix of “hillbilly, inner-city slang, and grunts”, the average intelligence of people is extremely low, and people no longer have the ability to perform basic functions such as waste management and food production. People who talk “smartly” are derided as “faggy,” the number one show on television is “Ow! My balls!,” and all that people eat and drink are Brawndo (a Gatorade-like drink) and Carl’s Jr. The House of Representatives is the “House of Representin” and the President of the United States is a professional wrestler/porn star. You get the picture.
The aspect of the movie I’m discussing in my paper is that unlike in other imagined dystopias we have read about, this dystopia is built by the intelligent classes for the superficial comfort of the dumber and dumber masses. In works like Brave New World, V for Vendetta, and Children of Men, the people in power manipulate the masses in order to gain power. In Idiocracy, the world is hand-crafted to require no intelligence, and instead provides comfort and pleasure to the masses. I wonder what you guys make of this vision of dystopia, where there isn’t so much a threat of terror or a quest for perfection, but rather a shockingly “plausible” deterioration of society due to neglect, superficiality, and a glorification of violence, sex, and most importantly, INSTANT gratification. I can think of some factors that would prevent this extreme manifestation of dystopia from happening, mainly that those in power would prevent it. Anyways, what does everyone else think about the premise of this movie’s dystopia?