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.