The Idiocracy Prophecy
It is hard to say who will be seen as a prophet in the future today. What we see as important today may be something trivial tomorrow. Today we view people like President Truman as great men, but in his time, he was considered a failure with an approval rating as low as congress today. They say the winner writes history, but the children of those winners also rewrite it. The life of a prophet's words is in their availability and the ability to translate them into a modern setting. Using that as a guideline, the modern prophets are the entertainers (writers, moviemakers, etc.). That is not to say that all entertainers will be seen as visionaries to be studied in the future. There is a difference between meaningful and meaningless, but that is not for me to decide. That’s what people in the future will choose. Some people see the works of Michael Moore as fitting within this context. Only time will tell if his take on social issues will be timeless or dated. So to say someone is a modern prophet (using my view) is a bit of an oxymoron. I want to say that the Mike Judge Movie from 2009 Idiocracy may indeed become a work of prophecy. God, I hope I’m wrong.
To give the movie context, I will provide a brief description of the movie. Idiocracy is a comedy about an average man played by Luke Wilson, who is volunteered by the Army to be put into cryonic sleep for one year. Because of a mishap, he and a prostitute played by Maya Rudolph are frozen for 500 years. In that time, the fabled dumbing down of America has degenerated the population into a state of idiocy. The basic idea is that natural selection favors the strong and not the smart. This is depicted in a cross-comparison between an intelligent couple who overthink and a stupid man who reproduces at an alarming rate. Wilson’s character was an average “Joe” in every aspect in the present is the smartest man alive in this dystopian future. I don’t want to give too much of the plot of the movie away because I think you should see it and judge for yourself. It was made by written and directed by Mike Judge, the man behind Beavis & Butt-Head, as well as the genius (in my opinion) film Office Space. (see http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0431918/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1) The following are some concepts I noticed in real life that seem to foreshadow the events of the movie. I would recommend watching the movie at least twice one week apart, and in the time in between, look at the culture we live in today.
An automated society
We are working to create connivance today by making everything automated, plug-in-play, and foolproof. This is displayed in the lack of understanding of how stuff works. Showing the sequences where even the economy was automated (spoiler alert) when an event in the movie caused an automated layoff of the largest company in the world.
Our Education System
From my perspective, the focus of education has been turned away from its primary mission of educating the people. I say people because, at one time, we worked hard to educate everyone, not just the young. We now care more about accountability and cost. We want to treat education like a business holding teachers accountable for theoretical results and reducing costs. Now I a not here to debate the education system, my point is that we need to focus our education system on educating the public or suffer the consequences. We also use the education system to argue political and religious positions rather than facts — an education system with a longer list of what not to teach than what needs to the taught.
Many school systems don't teach some of the basics anymore, such as the time tables and cursive. The focus in the classroom is on the digital age with classes in keyboard typing and office-based software. This will make our children dependant on computers and calculators to do the things we did with a pen, paper, and our minds. Although to be fair, I am every addicted to technology.
To say we are dependant on our technology today is an understatement (I just paused to answer my cell). The cell phone (mobile) is for many an extension of ourselves. For many of us, we live and work within the digital age. It's everywhere. I witnessed an office shut down when the computers went down.
The movie talks about the state of the entertainment industry. The movie talks about how such concepts as plot and dialogue were replaced by shows about being kicked in the genitals (Owe My Balls a tribute to Jack-Ass) and Ass the movie, which was just a shot of a person backside for two hours. The justice system is a return to the gladiatorial games of the past as punishment called in the film rehabilitation.
The Prez and Chief
FLoA (Future Leaders of America)
Science Fiction as almost always depicted the future as one ruled by the intelligent. While a delightful notion, in reality, we favor bold over smart. In leaders, we pick the guy who can speak our brand of values better than the other. In one party’s case, they tend to mock the intelligent candidate as if education is a disqualification for public life. Following the party-line for some is more important than shaping the debate. In the film debate on the house-floor involves even more posturing then today (along with gunfire instead of a gavel to bring order).
I just hit upon some of the many ways Mike Judge’s Idiocracy has prophesized our future. Like any other prophecy, it is open to interpretation and will take many years to be either proven or dismissed. Now I tried to keep this as non-controversial as possible. I did not blame anyone (but us as a group) for our problems. We can play the blame game over our issues until our descendants resemble the cast of the movie, or we could come together and try and fix them. Or watch the movie and enjoy it.
Will you or have you ever watched this movie
© 2013 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron