Thursday, March 10, 2016


Conservatives seem to be under the impression that some progressives, liberals, SJW types, etc., might be humorless prats. What would give them that impression?

The film's legions of defenders call it satire. Well, the overt argument of the film is that good breeding prevents social problems. The so-called satire proceeds from there, presenting the ridiculous consequences of what will happen if we don't rethink how society breeds. Satire isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card for all vulgar and illiberal ideas; it has to be pointed and targeting the powerful, not targeting vague notions of idiocy illustrated by Appalachia accents and trailer parks without consideration for what caused the idiocy in the first place.

The message is cheap and easy and doesn’t require us to meaningfully challenge power, much less ourselves. Instead, we direct our disdain at the pseudo-problem of not being adequately intelligent, as if such a problem operates independent of material factors.

I agree with the premise of Idiocracy -- and obviously, have used it here many times over the years -- serving as a convenient shorthand for the extreme dumbing-down of the culture at large, to such an extent that government and science are rendered useless, even harmful, by dumbasses so outnumbering intelligent people that they end up running everything -- straight into the ground.

Mike Judge is one of the sharpest popular satirists this country has had in a long time. Between Beavis & Butt-Head, King of the Hill, Office Space, Idiocracy, and now Silicon Valley, he's made many fine observations about conservatives, liberals, teens, middle-aged people, the elderly, blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, blacks, whites, Asians, American Indians, men, women, subcultures, and on and on. He has not played favorites in his targets for skewering. Various forms of foolish and self-destructive behavior are frequent targets, sometimes to portray people as morons who nonetheless have good intentions and are doing the best they can, and sometimes just as morons.

It's not unfair to propose that the central theme of Idiocracy is a logical extension of "stupid people shouldn't breed," but that's a different matter from the eugenicist's creed that stupid people should be prevented from breeding. (Even though it's not difficult to find specific cases where at least disincentivizing overbreeding might not be such a bad idea. If you dropped out of eighth grade, have never held a job, have shat out well over a dozen children, and have no home, maybe it's time to put the cock down and find another hobby, one that doesn't require everyone else to pay for it.

I don't think it's "elitist" to point at specious or intellectually dishonest or inane arguments -- especially when those arguments are being propounded as justifications to vote for a dangerous fool -- and call the people who use such arguments idiots. If you've taken your dog to a Trump rally, and you try to make the dog do the stupid "oath" that has suddenly become the thing to do at such events, you just might be a fucking moron, and I really wish you wouldn't vote for anyone at all.

Suffering fools gladly is what has gotten into this mess. You don't necessarily have to go out of your way to insult them, but it's vital to at least recognize them for what and who they are.

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