Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In which we embrace the downward spiral. And not that NIN album either. The real one.

"Idiocracy". It's directed by Mike Judge, first infamous for creating a cartoon that inspired teenage arson, and stars two of the Wilson brothers: the one without the nose thing and the un-famous one who sort of looks like the guy who played Stifler. It's about an imagined future in which humanity has devolved into a race of near-retards and the man who's been frozen for 500 years that saves them. If you haven't seen it, you should. But you probably haven't since it was released to about 125 theatres with no press, which is a lot like opening a Burger King in Nepal, which is to say: not a good idea.

Anyway, in the "Idiocracy"-future, society, science, and culture have gone down the shitter in tandem with mankind's intelligence. The drinking fountains stream Gatorade, scientists work only on pills to enlarge genitalia, and television...well. Here's the point: television didn't seem a whole lot worse. In a movie that is so smart about being so stupid, T.V. seems almost better. Stupider, perhaps, but better.

See: if we're in the internet's infancy, then we're in T.V.'s preteen years at best. After all, television has only been commercially available for 70 or so years, and only prevalent in the lives of your typical American for about 50. And what a half-century it's been. We went from Edward R. Murrow to "Are you Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?", with layovers at "The Gong Show" and "Joe Millionaire" along the way. In other words, "Idiocracy"'s imagined sit-com "Ow! My Balls!" seems almost high-brow in comparison.

And then there's this. There was a time when only the Fox network would run something this patently manipulative and inhumane, but, apparently, they made a lot of money doing it, so now even the Dutch are in on the act. (Although, to be fair, the Dutch let tourists take hallucinogens, so, really, it was only a matter of time till they caught up with American ingenuity). Anyway, here's the premise of the show: terminally ill woman decides to donate kidney; three contestants clamor to become recipient of said kidney; outrage ensues.

Now: this is the point where we're supposed to bitch and moan and shake our fist and write stongly worded letters, but you know what? I'm through fighting it. I'm just going to embrace it, put my feet on the coffee table, and watch the inevitable decline. I'm looking forward to "World's Most Hilarious Deformities" and "America's Top Enema". Because, see, it's all about ingenuity. Sure, we're racing to the bottom of the barrel, but what a race. We're reaching the point where the World Wrestling Federation is positively Shakespearean. Honestly? I couldn't be happier. After all, isn't this better than a bunch of "Full House"s and "7th Heaven"s?

Exactly. If you need me, I'll be watching "Dirty Sexy Money" on ABC.

19 comments:

Sabrina said...

I just hope I'm still alive when they release holographic TV. Then I'll start watching it again.

Steve said...

As long as I can watch a crappy band in a bubble, TV is all right with me.

SOL's view said...

Wow, tv has come a long way in 50 years (here anyway). Still, I think I would rather keep myself amused with a book. Don't know what I'll ever do if Idiocracy takes over and they end up being fuel for fire. Yoiks.

birdmonster said...

Sabrina: Holographic TV, while amusing, would still be programed by the same twits. In other words: "World's Best Bowel Movements" in 3-D. Count me out.

Steve: I applaud your optimism in all things bubble-related

SOL: It's come a long way everywhere, methinks. A long, dumb way.

Sabrina said...

I wasn't thinking about BM's.. though for some sick reason linked with my love for medical education, I would find even this facinating.

When your old and can't take a shit you may have to come see me. Of course only if I'm certified or else that would just be gross....

jeffro said...

Strange that Mike Judge's Office Space was such a huge cult hit, and the "powers that be" would then give his follow-up, "Idiocracy," absolutely zero publicity or marketing. Or perhaps it's to cement his cult status.

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