Satire done well

by Scott Smith

I’m no friend of satire, but Mike Judge does it right. By now everyone has seen Office Space. His last film, Idiocracy, nearly matches the former in genius. The premise is smart people are having fewer babies and dumb asses are having too many babies. The result: A man of average intelligence in 2005 would be the smartest man in the world 500 years later. I loved the chart of the world’s IQ declining steadily.

Judge pokes at advertising. Several characters tag their conversations with ‘brought to you by Carl’s Jr.’ because they get paid. The big screen tv has a 13 inch viewing area with its borders containing ads. Several US Government agencies have been sold to large consumer brands, resulting in Gatorade replacing water everywhere except for the toilet. Apparently, Carl’s Jr. acts as both the nation’s food source and provides children protective services.

I thought of this movie last night while Robinson and I watched ‘Dateline.’ We don’t normally watch tv, but the NCAA tournament is on, and I’ve been enjoying it despite the announcers (there’s something odd about a bunch of guys nearing 90 broadcasting college games).

While I snuck outside for a smoke, Robinson flipped to NBC. There was Dateline reporting (cough, cough) on a group of moronic teenagers in East Moline, Illinois. Now, why everyone on the episode spoke like they’re from western Kentucky, I’ll never know. Anyway, I come walking back in and hear “bi-curious and bi-sexual girls.”

Hmmm. Well, I’ll catch-up on the score during commercial breaks.

As we’re watching, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to ‘Idiocracy.’ The beady-eyed boy who claims the girls were really fighting over him (NBC would cut to photos of him with a Michael Jackson hair-do only blond). The reporter would ask him a question about his disturbing behavior and the kid usually responded: “We we’re high.”

Reporter: What did you do after burning and dismembering the body?
Beady-eye Boy: We went to McDonald’s.
Reporter: How could you?
Beady-eye Boy: We were high, man. We were smoking, like, all day.
Reporter: What did you have?
Beady-eye Boy: Double-cheese burger.

Of course, the girl’s murder happened in the middle of the day in front of a Taco Bell.

I think Mike Judge jumped a few centuries too far into the future.