Mike Judge's movie is still hilarious, bleeped out as it has been for Comedy Central. With any luck, the uncut version should become a cult classic. But here's the even odder thing. I taped a version of it as it aired this past Sunday on broadcast TV which means that I had to fast-forward through the commercials. The ever-increasing irony of the idiocy of the commercials I had to scroll through was not lost on me.
We have been discussing the matter of the smartness and dumbness of abortion and family planning a little bit over here at Cobb, and I do connect that very directly in the same way Judge does. Yuppies such as those portrayed in the film are indeed too dainty. Of course Idiocracies are not so benign as the one in this movie. What inevitably happens when dumb people take control of failing institutions and bend them to their numbnut notions is that people too smart to fall for the idiocy game the system and build up alternate hierarchies.
There is a slight allusion to that in the film when Rita speculates about how disgusted Einstein might have been with humanity in his day. "Maybe that's why he built the bomb." No matter how dumb people might be with regard to how to institutionalize, there will always be clever rulers. People don't forget how to flee, fight, lie and love. The machines may all break but the desires of the soul will remain and human agency will find a way.
There's no religion in Idiocracy. It makes presumptions against the human soul - that nobody will break out of the monotony and cry out to God for freedom. It presumes that corporations will remain clever enough to stupefy all of the masses and destroy history. But there is too much wisdom in faith. The human soul is too demanding and the faithful will ask questions that the stupefied would not dare, because to believe in God is to believe in the perfectibility of the soul. To believe in the soul is to have faith in revelation, and to maintain faith is to reckon with what God gives and what man must do to be worthy of God's gifts. You cannot keep faith in ignorance, and you cannot keep souls enslaved. It is, in the end, human nature to seek God's truth - and in that endless journey of faith, the continuing trial and error, understanding must finally flower. All it takes is one prophesy to come true, one element of conventional wisdom to be overturned, one small miracle to occur, and then faith is reborn. That is human nature.
Faith is misplaced a thousand ways - but we cannot deny what we are.