Doesn't "Elite" Mean "Good"?



11 comments
BY ART REMILLARD

Beavis and Butt-head creator Mike Judge's Idiocracy isn't a great movie. I wouldn't even call it good. But as this election cycle unfolds, I'm reminded of it's underlying social commentary, which suggests that current trends in anti-intellectualism will over time purge any hint of thoughtfulness from society. The main character, played by Luke Wilson, is average in every conceivable way. Through a predictable chain of events, he is frozen and forgotten about for 500 years. When he emerges, he discovers that humankind has become stupider with each passing generation. As a consequence, Luke Wilson is the most brilliant person on a planet where brilliance is not valued. Even his seemingly normal speech patterns earn immediate scorn from those who consider him improperly thoughtful.

This brings me to western Pennsylvania, where I supposedly live alongside many "bitter" people, as Barack Obama has infamously commented. Let me briefly conjecture that he is absolutely correct—there is bitterness in the region over unemployment and the economy. And this probably indirectly motivates the culture warriors who argue about religion, guns, and immigration. What's more distressing for me, though, is the unfortunate set of talking points that have emerged, collectively labeling Obama an "elitist." It's a good thing we have Jon Stewart, a comedian, who brings sanity to the situation, asking, "Doesn’t 'elite' mean 'good'?” Finally! Someone who can echo my thoughts by exclaiming before his many viewers, "I want someone who is embarrassingly superior to me!"

Please watch the clip below and share it indiscriminately. I hope to God(s) that historians 500 years from now don't remember Mike Judge as the Nostradamus of our time.


11 comments:

Tim Lacy at: April 15, 2008 at 10:44 AM said...

Thanks for the Daily Show link. Good stuff. - TL

Edward J Blum at: April 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM said...

Art, no joke, idiocracy was the first movie I ever netflixed. While I love Luke Wilson, it is a TERRIBLE movie.

deg at: April 15, 2008 at 5:25 PM said...

Politics is dirty business, but it's arresting the tags that Obama's opponents are trying to attach to him. According to them, he's an elitist, anti-Semite, racist, and communist. I expected that Clinton would get these labels put on her (including "radical feminist," "tax and spend liberal," and "Bill's wife"), but that the excoriation of Obama would come after the conventions. He's got some folks - particularly conservatives - scared crapless.

Anonymous at: April 15, 2008 at 6:01 PM said...

dang it, I must have mistyped. I was looking for that blog about religion in American history, and somehow I got this Obama for president blog instead... anyone know the right url?

deg at: April 15, 2008 at 6:53 PM said...

If you want to read about religion in American history, then I invite you to read the 300+ posts that have little to nothing to do with Barack Obama.

Randall at: April 15, 2008 at 7:19 PM said...

I think you guys are being a little too hard on Idiocracy. True, it doesn't hold together as a movie, but in short bits on youtube, it's incredible. "It's secretary 'Not Sure' who finds himself in the toilet now!"

I'm very interested in certain iodiocratic or perceived idiocratic trends in America today. Look at books by Susan Jacoby, Al Gore, Francis Wheen, and others. I don't think it's just refried Hofstadter.

Paul Harvey at: April 15, 2008 at 10:21 PM said...

Dear "Anonymous": What Deg said. Also, you (Mr. or Ms. "Anonymous") have posted here frequently, almost always on posts that have nothing to do with any political candidate, or even politics at all. Perhaps you have forgotten that. Please come back and post a comment when you have something of value to contribute to the conversation. I'm not holding my breath.

Art at: April 16, 2008 at 7:20 AM said...

The glorious thing about Netflix is that I can rent a movie like Idiocracy and not lament the loss of $8.00, only the loss of 90 minutes of my life that will never, ever come back. In any case, Randall may have a point--if nothing else, I'll never forget the movie's professional wrestler/president. How long until we see Hulk Hogan for president?

Bland Whitley at: April 16, 2008 at 9:10 AM said...

Well, we've come pretty close with Jesse Ventura, right. My money's on the Rock. I don't suppose the Iron Sheikh would have much of a chance, though. Wow, I know more about pro wrestling than I should!

Edward J Blum at: April 17, 2008 at 9:24 AM said...

Bland, there is nothing wrong with knowing your WWF wrestlers. My favorite was Tito Santana, and I still remember to toy I had of him and re-painting his outfit when he changed his colors.

Art at: April 22, 2008 at 1:37 PM said...

I'm thinking the good people at the WWE are reading this blog...

http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/results/6871930/

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