My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
Satire is sometimes the best antidote to madness, and if you want a few laughs about the utter stupidity of the times we are living in, I can recommend one movie which, not surprisingly perhaps, is called Idiocracy.
It was released in 2006 but don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it before. According to Wikipedia, Idiocracy was released in only seven US cities and expanded to only 130 theaters, not the usual wide release of 600 or more theaters. Critics charge that the film’s distributor, 20th Century Fox, did nothing to promote the movie. No movie trailers, no ads, and only two stills and no press kits were released. The film was not screened for critics. There has been speculation that Fox was actively trying to keep the film from being seen by a large audience, while fulfilling a contractual obligation for theatrical release.
In The New York Times, Dan Mitchell argued that Fox might be shying away from the cautionary tale about low-intelligence dysgenics (the study of deteriorating genes and traits, as opposed to eugenics), because the company did not want to offend its viewers.
Two Americans – a hooker and an apathetic Army librarian – take part in a military experiment to store humans until they are needed as soldiers. Inevitably the experiment goes wrong – the officer in charge is prosecuted for joining the hooker’s pimping ring – and the experiment is shutdown.
The two hapless time travellers end up – literally – in a mountain of garbage that ultimately collapses in 2500 AD.
By then the low birthrate of high IQ people and the high birthrate of low IQ people has produced a society of stunning idiocy where to speak normally or to read a book is to be a faggot, where the USA president is a former wrestler and water has been replaced with a Gatorade.
Our pretty hooker and the apathetic Army librarian find themselves to be the most intelligent people in the world.
I won’t tell you what happens but it’s great satire – and I write this as someone who usually avoids “funny films” as much as possible because too often the plot and the humour are so contrived.
Of course, it’s not hard to see the seeds of this idiotic society within our own – the dumbing down of citizens, the corporate takeover of public spaces and institutions, the sheer wastefulness of the consumer economic model.
According to Idiocracy, the USA is still the centre of the universe 500 years from now – which is unlikely to prove correct. In fact, the world five centuries from now is unlikely to be anything like the world the film portrays thanks primarily to the stupidity of our own attitudes and actions today on this beautiful planet.