One of my co-workers recommended this movie due to its hilarity and satirical nature, so April and I picked it up from Blockbuster last night and decided to watch it during lunch today. All I can say is: Dear Lord…
I mean, I guess it was funny… but mostly, I felt horrified throughout the film. It was depressing in its potential accuracy, taking the observation that people of both lower socioeconomic status and education tend to have more children than those with higher IQs, and then extending that observation to its logical conclusion. A man with an average IQ (which is between 90 and 100) in the present day is frozen and, due to circumstances that arise around the experiment, he is left frozen for over 500 years. When he awakes, he is the most intelligent person on the face of the planet.
The movie depicts a society that teeters on the brink of self-destruction due to starvation and rampant poverty because people are too stupid to solve even their most basic problems, and the main character is put in jail largely due to his intelligence, which is viewed as deviant, and is eventually sentenced indirectly to death. He survives, of course (this is a comedy, after all, rather than a tragedy), but the movie is still depressing.
I do not think such a future will come to pass, however. One of the subplots in the movie is that the two main characters (a woman was frozen as well) are easily able to manipulate the people with whom they come into contact. I suspect such manipulation and strength of will would disallow such a bleak and stupid future to occur. Or, at least, I hope so.
I felt that, in the end, the movie called into question our form of government. It makes no observations about any country other than the United States of America, and the viewer is left wondering what is going on in the “outside world.” Perhaps it was not Mike Judge’s goal to question Democracy, but it certainly led me to such questions. Faced with such a crisis in a country with so many stupid people, is there any way for a democracy to resolve the challenges before it? For even a republic calls for election of those one thinks are intelligent enough to address and solve the problems we face… and if the people voting are too stupid to recognize intelligence, let alone know what is required to solve these problems, how can democracy succeed?
It is a dangerous question, and I do not know the answer. I suppose my fall-back would to be to trust God in the sure knowledge that He is sovereign. But that does not free us from our duty to question, learn, and do the best we can. The satire is right: we can no longer just “get out of the way.”