If you have seen the movie Idiocracy, you should be able to follow my ramblings here. If not, here’s a short recap: Luke Wilson plays as Joe Bauers, an army soldier graphed as being the Army’s “most average” soldier. He is lazy and happy with his position as a librarian at his army barracks library. His superiors have a machine which allows a human to hibernate in their exact state for a long period of time. They choose Bauers and some prostitute to be the guinea pigs for a one year pilot test run. They are forgotten and emerge 500 years later to a horrifying world where everyone is incredibly stupid. No one can read or write, Fuddruckers has been renamed Buttfuckers, everyone drinks Gatorade and waters their crops with it (Why? Because it has electrolytes.), and Carl’s Jr has authority over child custody, among other things. Bauers is then the smartest man on earth and fixes many problems, and becomes President of the US.
What I am trying to get at here is that to me it seems that we are slowly heading towards an idiocracy of our own. Sometimes it seems we are heading there rather rapidly. Don’t get me wrong, we are a lot more knowledgeable than we were 50 years ago, but that doesn’t mean we are smarter.
From television, which on this movie was portrayed by a show where one guy gets kicked in the nuts over and over again, we now have a slew of reality shows on the air that are pretty goddamn ridiculous. There are shows which host some celebrity personality who gets 10 to 15 attractive members of the opposite sex to choose from for “love”. He or she then slowly eliminates the players, because if they can’t win a simple challenge that requires superb concentration, perfect balance, quick thinking, or stamina like a Navy SEAL, they must not “love” the celebrity enough. Then one of the players is famous enough now after their quick exposure on cable television to be entitled to their own spin-off of the “love” and “reality” show. And then this same cycle continues, until I, myself, get my own program and get to choose the love of my life from 15 gorgeous women. Holy shit, I can’t wait.
In Idiocracy, one of the largest problems facing the United States was heaping piles of trash. I see this as an analogy for our increasing conversion from delayed gratification, as taught by our forefathers, to instant gratification. Throw the trash over there now, the pile is still manageable, when it becomes a problem we’ll face it. I myself am a faithful follower of the instant gratification religion. I had many credit cards, which I maxed out, and now I’m stuck with these bills. And to prove that I’m an idiot, I have no regrets about maxing every credit card out.
Also in the movie, Brawndo, the thirst mutilator, which is basically Gatorade, is used instead of water for nearly every purpose, except flushing the toilet. People thought that crops could be grown by sprinkling Brawndo on them, because it has electrolytes. Carl’s Jr, or Hardee’s here on the East Coast, serves people one size portions, such as “extra big ass fries” or an “extra big ass taco”. These parallel our society today, because water is scarcely consumed as much as needed, while food is over-consumed. Water is free most of the time, and we need at least 8 glasses a day, and that’s without being overly active. However we choose soft drinks and beer and Slurpees when we thirst. As Americans, the majority of us, including myself, overeat. If a certain portion is put in front of me, that is the portion I am consuming at that sitting. I eat so fast sometimes that I stuff myself for twenty minutes, then it all hits me at once, and I’m miserable as shit.
The easiest thing to see in Idiocracy is that everybody is absolutely stupid. No one can read, write or talk properly. Things are constructed without following blueprints. Simple tasks become impossible to everyone, for they lack the cognitive skills needed to carry them out. We, today, are pushing proper education aside. When our economy struggles, the first thing to lose funding seems to be the Department of Education. Many in my generation who are still in their teens and early twenties have already had children, without making sure life will be better for them then it was to the parents. Kids these days have so many diversions from homework such as the internet, television, going to the movies or the mall, or many other choices.
All this said, I am happy to live in this day and age. I can be a hypocrite as I preach “delayed gratification” but practice “instant gratification”, for I like buying now and paying later. I hate those reality shows, but still catch myself pausing extensively at each one as I flip the channels. I also have many close friends who have not reached twenty five and already have a child; some have two. I do not tell them that it is bad timing or a wrong decision to keep the child, because I have seen how much joy they can get when they play around with their own kid. I eat what I want, when I want, and who needs water? Soda’s got water; it’s the main ingredient.