The 2005 movie “Idiocracy,” staring Luke Wilson, is a hilarious film about the direction our society is headed. The movie begins with a narration explaining how the human evolution is at a crucial turning point in the 21st century. It goes on to say that with modern technology there’s no way for natural selection to take effect and thin out the herd of weaker and unintelligent people. It shows that the more intelligent people plan out pregnancy and decide when the proper time to have children. In contrast, the less intelligent people have many children, and they show no concern about having numerous children. This creates an effect of breeding out the more intelligent with the lesser intelligent people. This would create a very scary world to live in because the intelligent people would no longer exist.
The movie starts with the narrator explaining what is currently going wrong with our society and if it continues this is where it is heading. The narrator states, “As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection is the process by which the strongest, the smartest and the fastest and reproduced in greater numbers than the rest. It is also a process, which had once favored the noblest traits of man, but now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction: a dumbing down effect. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.”
Luke Wilson plays an Army solider named Joe, who is told that he has to take part in a military experiment. The reason why they want Joe for the experiment is because he is the most average person in the entire military. The name Joe even shows how average he is for example “The Average Joe”. The purpose of the military experiment is to see if they can freeze a human for one year and then awaken them once the year is up. 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. The narrator goes to explain, “The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hope that the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources were focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections.” Five hundred years have gone by and society becomes even dumber because of this dumbing down effect.
In 2505, Joe and Rita's suspension chambers are unearthed by the collapse of a mountain-sized garbage pile, and Joe’s chamber crashes into an apartment. When Joe reawakens from being frozen he finds a world that is full of dull-witted people. The human population has become morbidly stupid and speaks only low registers of English. The narrator states, “But the English language had deteriorated into a hybrid of hillbilly, valleygirl, inner-city slang and various grunts. Joe was able to understand them, but when he spoke in an ordinary voice he sounded pompous and faggy to them.” This is a comical play on how our society communicates today. People try to come up with new words or terms to sound cool or hip, but in the end they just sound idiotic and ridiculous. Joe encounters one of these imbeciles sitting around watching a fictional TV show “Ow My Balls,” while furiously masturbating and eating garbage food. The people have become completely dependent upon automation for food and medicine and they are too dumb to fix anything. This example is mirroring what’s going on with our educational system in America today. Less people can afford to school because of high costs and schools are not as competitive as they once were. That’s why the United States is ranked 14th in the world in education. The population in America has also become lazy and expects things should be handed to them rather than being earned. Also as from a culture perspective, people idolize celebrities and pop culture as their role models, instead of people who are smart and do amazing things for the good of humanity.
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 and beaten for not having a bar code tattoo to pay for his doctor's appointment. Joe is renamed "Not Sure" by a faulty ID bar code tattooing machine, and is forced to take an IQ test. Here is an example question on the IQ test, “If you have 1 bucket with 2 gallons and 1 bucket with 4 gallons, how many buckets do you got?” Joe eventually escapes prison, but later on he is apprehended by the police and taken to the White House to meet the president of the United States. Joe gets appointed to Secretary of the Interior, on the grounds that his IQ test identified him as the most intelligent person alive. This symbolizes the direction our world is currently heading. This is the direction our government is going with our healthcare system and an overly aggressive police force. Also many corporations have become monopolies and the political influence is severe.
In conclusion, Joe was able to help save the country from the food shortage by using water instead of Gatorade to water the crops to produce food. Joe is then elected president of the United States and Rita the former prostitute is now the first lady. This movie may be a fictional comedy, but sooner than later these examples can become a true reality in this lifetime if there isn’t change. People need to step up and take responsibility by taking their education seriously and help create better leaders to help guide our society to a better future.