Movies

The Many Signs That Mike Judge’s ‘Idiocracy’ Is Upon Us

Idiocracy is upon us, protect your balls. It’s more than the parallels between President Camacho and, oh, say, Donald Trump, though. Gaze into the heart of a humongous meat and bread pile with a clever name and extra pump cheese and tell me that we are not in the dark times. And tell it to me in emojis, so that we all might understand it when I post it on my face wall timeline thing.

Yes, it’s long past time that we anoint Mike Judge and Etan Cohen as prophets and accept that these seven examples are proof of the fact that Idiocracy is becoming (has become?) real.

And the moronic shall inherit the Earth

According to Idiocracy, the cause of our oncoming societal slip toward idiocy is that dumb people have more children than smart people. While that may feel like a generalization, there is research to back up that way of thinking.

A provocative new study suggests human intelligence is on the decline. In fact, it indicates that Westerners have lost 14 I.Q. points on average since the Victorian Era.

What exactly explains this decline? Study co-author Dr. Jan te Nijenhuis, professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Amsterdam, points to the fact that women of high intelligence tend to have fewer children than do women of lower intelligence.

Team Clevon is winning and there is nothing that we can do about it.

“Our best minds were too busy engineering baldness cures and prolonged erections.”

When Judge signals that humanity’s fall off the cliff can’t be saved by the best and brightest because they are otherwise engaged, it feels more like an observation than a prophecy because we’ve been collectively flush (I’m sorry) with boner pills since the late ’90s. Broad spectrum anti-virals and cancer cures? Not so much.

Ow! My Balls!

Obviously, our cultural war against testicles began long before Idiocracy with Jackass and almost every prize-winning video to ever appear on American’s Funniest Home Videos, but the dream of an actual Ow! My Balls! type of series is alive in Japan. Until someone wisely and sadly brings that concept to our shores, we’ll just have to settle for watching real housewives free the beast on each other. Hold me closer, tiny dancing Alfonso Ribeiro. Make us forget the dark future that is on the horizon for reality TV.

“The English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valley girl, inner city slang, and various grunts.”

Totes, y’all. We’re on the expressway to an emoji-based language.

Everything on an ad and an ad on everything

Though advertisements litter city streets, I won’t go so far as to say that it mirrors the over-commercialized version of the future on display in Idiocracy. What I do wonder, however, is if one day we might see wearable tech and augmented reality merge to paint the world in digital ads and create something that is akin to what we see in the film.

As for the corporate logo patterns on the clothing of the time, it’s hard to contend that we’re not already well on our way to that, because we’ve been walking billboards for clothing companies since shirts with a tiny alligator badge were cool the first time.

Portion sizes

It seems like every week we see some upstart burger place release the Kraken of hamburgers with an extreme name like The Widowmaker, The Mile High, or The Monster. I like to think that the “Extra Big Ass Taco” would fit in nicely alongside those kinds of options, but I would have also loved to have seen what that behemoth looked like. It’s sad, once we climbed mountains, now our greatest adventurers try to conquer epic food piles. It’s like John Candy’s character in The Great Outdoors is their Edmund Hillary.

The political process

After ingeniously escaping from prison and then getting captured again, Joe is brought to Washington to solve all of the world’s problems after President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho finds out that Joe is the smartest man in the world (by default). Good thing that we, as a nation, have never anointed someone as a savior and expected them to solve all of our problems in the course of one week…

The weight of modesty sinks people in the public square nowadays. If you want to be a celebrity, you need to get on a reality show and lose your mind for the pleasure of the masses. Sadly, the same thing can be said of politics, where the loudest and surest voices often get the most attention, regardless of the content of their words.

President Camacho is a cross between Randy “Macho Man” Savage and James Brown. He delivers sermons to the voters and Congress while eagerly over-promising the hollow plans that he concocts to save his ass. There is no way that Terry Crews’ insane character wouldn’t become America’s straight-talk sweetheart and the man who people most want to crush a beer with. He’d win the presidency in a walk and then he’d take a victory lap on Monday Night Raw.

Judge’s take on the corrupting force of big corporate money in politics is also notable and prophetic (in a loose sense), though I wish that, in real life, politicians were as obvious and shameless as David Herman is about his fiscal priorities.

So, are we doomed to spend the next 500 years stacking garbage and eating progressively larger hamburgers until Idiocracy becomes fully realized? Despite the evidence that we are on our way, nothing is promised, so there’s still time for us to exercise, read the great Russian novels, and transform into better versions of ourselves. Or not. What do we care what the Earth looks like in 500 years? We’ll all be dead anyway, so let’s all go to Starbucks and forget about the whole thing.

This post was previously published in October 2014

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