Idiocracy  

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Time Machine Narrator: "We are going to take you back, first to the year 1939 when Charlie Chaplin and his evil Nazi regime enslaved Europe and tried to take over the world! ... But then an even greater force emerged: The un! [sic; United Nations] And the un un-nazied the world! Forever!"


"Like Luke Wilson in Idiocracy, a film The Invention Of Lying sometimes resembles, Gervais’ character goes from zero to prophet/seer/sage because he possesses something no one else does. In Idiocracy, that’s intelligence. Here, it’s the ability to lie. " --Nathan Rabin, 2010


"Idiocracy, (Gr.) the proper Disposition or Temperament of a thing or Body. Idiom, the peculiar Phrase or manner of Expression in a Language ; a Propriety in speaking." --Glossographia Anglicana Nova (1707), Thomas Blount.


"The science fiction film Idiocracy (2005) portrays the U.S. as a greatly dumbed-down society 500 years later, in which the low cultural condition was achieved with dysgenics, over-reproduction by people of low intelligence being greater than the rate of reproduction of people of high intelligence. Conceptually, the world postulated in Idiocracy derives from the science fiction short story The Marching Morons (1951), by Cyril M. Kornbluth. Moreover, the novel Brave New World (1931), by Aldous Huxley, discussed the ways that society was effectively dumbed down in order to maintain political stability and social order." --Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Idiocracy is a 2006 American science fiction comedy film directed by Mike Judge and starring Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, and Dax Shepard. The film tells the story of two people who take part in a top-secret military human hibernation experiment, only to awaken 500 years later in a dystopian society where anti-intellectualism and commercialism have run rampant, and which is devoid of intellectual curiosity, social responsibility, and coherent notions of justice and human rights.

The film was not screened for critics, and distributor 20th Century Fox was accused of abandoning the film. Despite its lack of a major theatrical release, which resulted in a mere $495,303 box office, the film received generally positive reviews from critics and has become a cult film.

Contents

Plot

In 2005, United States Army librarian, Corporal "Average Joe" Bauers, is selected for a suspended animation experiment on grounds of average appearance, intelligence, behavior, etc. Lacking a suitable female candidate, they hire Rita, a prostitute whose pimp "Upgrayedd" has been bribed to allow her to take part. The experiment is forgotten when the officer in charge is arrested for having started his own prostitution ring under Upgrayedd's tutelage. Over the next five centuries, the expectations of 21st-century society ensure that the most intelligent humans fail to have children, while the least intelligent reproduce prolifically, which, through the process of natural selection, creates generations that collectively become increasingly dumber and more virile with each passing century. In 2505, Joe and Rita's suspension chambers are unearthed by the collapse of a mountain-sized garbage pile, and Joe's suspension chamber crashes into the apartment of Frito Pendejo, who expels him.

The former Washington, D.C. has lost most of its infrastructure, with people living in plastic huts called "domistiles". The human population has become morbidly stupid, speaks only low registers of English competently, is profoundly anti-intellectual, and individuals are named after corporate products. Suspecting hallucination, Joe enters a hospital, where he is incompetently diagnosed, and comes to realize what has happened to him and to society. He is arrested for not having a bar code tattoo to pay for his doctor's appointment, and after being assigned the grossly incompetent Frito as his lawyer, he is sent to prison. Rita returns to her former profession.

Joe is renamed "Not Sure" by a faulty tattooing machine, and takes an IQ test before tricking the guards into letting him escape. Once free, Joe asks Frito whether a time machine exists to return him to 2005, and bribes him with promises of riches through compound interest on a bank account Joe will open in the 21st century. Frito knows of one, and leads him with Rita to a gigantic Costco store, where a tattoo scanner identifies Joe. He is apprehended, but is taken to the White House, where he is appointed Secretary of the Interior, on the grounds that his IQ test identified him as the most intelligent person alive.

In a speech, President Camacho gives Joe the impossible job of fixing the nation's food shortages, Dust Bowls, and crippled economy within a week. Joe discovers that the nation's crops are irrigated with a sports drink named "Brawndo", whose parent corporation had purchased the FDA, FCC, and USDA. When Joe has the drink replaced with water, Brawndo's stock drops to zero, and half of the population lose their jobs, causing mass riots. Joe is sentenced to die in a monster truck demolition derby featuring undefeated "Rehabilitation Officer" Beef Supreme.

Frito and Rita discover that Joe's reintroduction of water to the soil has prompted vegetation to grow in the fields. During the televised event they show the sprouting crops on the stadium's display screen, and Camacho gives Joe a full pardon, appointing him Vice President. Joe and Rita find that the "time masheen" Frito had mentioned is merely an inaccurate, history-themed amusement ride. Following Camacho's term, Joe is elected President. Joe and Rita marry and conceive the world's three smartest children, while Vice President Frito takes eight wives and fathers 32 of the world's stupidest children.

Cast

Themes

The idea of a dystopian society based on dysgenics is not new. H. G. Wells' The Time Machine postulates a devolved society of humans, as does the short story "The Marching Morons" by Cyril M. Kornbluth, akin to the "Epsilon-minus Semi-Morons" of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Idiocracy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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