Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Movie Spotlight: Idiocracy
An Army Librarian (Luke Wilson) addicted to television, and a Prostitute (Maya Rudolph) who calls herself an artist, are dubbed as the two most average people on the planet and chosen to participate in a top secret governmental experiment where they would be placed in hibernation chambers for a full year. Through a series of ludicrous twists that only Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, Office Space) could conceive, the Colonel in charge of the experiment is arrested, the military base is demolished (with the chambers still inside of course) and the debris from the deconstruction taken away so a Fuddruckers can be built on the site.
Through narration we are taught that being smart is not exactly a requirement for procreation and a series of graphs points out how the birth of morons begins outpacing the intelligent, essentially creating a completely dumbed down society. Fast forward 500 years into the future to the year 2505 when the great garbage avalanche takes place, bringing the hibernation chambers with it and the main characters are reintroduced into society. By a miracle of chance, they are now the smartest people on the planet.
This is where my environmental brain kicked into high gear. The garbage was piled so high it created mountains taller than the Alps and I sensed it might not be too far off from reality if something were not done now to offset it. Additionally the world had become one big advertising campaign where everything was sponsored by something and that something was not always the right choice. For example, the entire planet drank nothing but a liquid containing electrolytes which took over many of the government agencies and began claiming it was the best solution for everything, including watering plants.
The outcome of the movie is of course very predictable and it is typical Mike Judge fashion -- a cult style classic comedy but sadly not speaking to the mainstream. I will challenge that association however by giving this movie a Three Leaf Rating, reminding ourselves how important it is to take care of our environments -- the planet, local businesses and our free thinking minds -- so we do not become the type of society that begins naming our children after popular products like corn chips or luxury cars. Oh wait, that has already begun.