Posts Tagged ‘idiocracy’

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Above are some reviews from Redbox. What do they have in common?

The 4th one calls himself “MovieProfessor.”

The Idiocracy is upon us, children. Take hammers to your skulls. Bash hard. It’s a new game. The Hammer Head Game. It’s from the internet. Take a whack!

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Scientology propaganda machine: Tom Cruise launches TV network to reach ‘every person on Earth’

 

Fuck. There’s way too much crazy in America today to keep track of. Just talked with psychotic gun nuts who told me that stopping terrorists from arming themselves to the teeth is “stupid.” The psycho right wing fringe, sitting on all the guns and ammo they can afford, whine to the rafters about any sort of gun control whatsoever and drag us all along toward open blood-drenched national psychosis.

But now we’ve got Tom Vision too. Gay Muslim terrorists. Trump v. Hillary. Millions of uncounted votes that disappear from history. Ecocide. Covert support to Al Qaeda. Empire games that threaten nuclear escalation. We’ve got it all. Enjoy the final minutes of “freedom” baby, before the whole shithouse ignites in a supernova of death and destruction.

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Gallup Poll:

In U.S., 42% Believe Creationist View of Human Origins

 

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High schooler arrested for science project
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State Attorney Jerry Hill: Drop charges against Kiera Wilmot

Sign Petition

Kiera Wilmot has been described as an exemplary student and a wonderful young woman. Why is it then that an experiment gone wrong is being dealt with by the police and school as a felony offense? According to the Miami Times:

“7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.”

The principal has said that that he doesn’t believe she had any malicious intentions. Yet she now faces two felony charges as an adult. These includ making, possessing or discharging a destructive device and with possessing or discharging weapons on school grounds!

I’ve learned that the charges have not yet been filed and this means that Florida State Attorney Jerry Hill and Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty have an opportunity to the right thing, use common sense, and drop these charges against Kiera.

Please sign this petition to challenge any decision to so drastically charge this young woman for something that was a simple mistake. Her life should not be turned upside down, her future crushed, because someone wants to make a statement. There was no criminal activity here – she does not deserve to be punished like this. Help Kiera find real justice!

I also recommend checking out this article about the situation

http://feministing.com/2013/05/01/the-effects-of-unchecked-criminalization-teen-charged-with-felony-for-science-experiment/

Commentary

Mike Judge was not talking about 500 years in the future when he wrote Idiocracy.  The nation of zombies is not fiction either, it’s here now.  They keep tapping and yapping and playing video games while the earth burns.  Metaphorically, it’s impeccable.

The society is now a top down authoritarian regime under total surveillance.  Corporate / government partnership has erased the civil liberties that once made America different from military dictatorships.  Justice is selective and does not apply to state crimes.  Citizens are trained not to challenge government criminality, first by being harassed as “conspiracy nuts” — as if the government is incapable of breaking the laws of the land — and then whistleblowers who show proof of government crimes are arrested and disappeared into gulags.  Their evidence is ignored by the corporate partners and the media empires they command.

The distraction society has reached a critical tipping point where people can obsess and communicate constantly as long as it is isn’t about anything actually important.  Actual citizenship, diligence, keeping the state in check is no longer even a part of the society for the great majority in America.  They have abandoned their responsibilities as citizens and accepted the dictates of the criminal political class.  By accepting a criminal state and failing as citizens, America is collapsing every day into outright fascism.

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Secret Elixir

 

UNDER THE RADAR (on the sidebar) will feature lost gems, classic films with something to say, but which never achieved the mass audience they rightly should have. Thanks to the newfangled magic of technology, these theatrical low-performers can achieve new life on your home screens. I’ll try to provide the Netflix links.

Some previous Under The Radar candidates…

We’re fighting the rise of a new fascism here, make no mistake. The plutocrats know what’s up. It’s your clueless neighbors who remain ignorant of the class war being waged on them and their progeny as we speak. Films are a powerful medium for counteracting the lies of the corporate mainstream lackeys and the public relations teams of the New World Order.

The term “New World Order” by the way is not an invention of conspiracy theorists. It was mentioned by US President George H.W. Bush at the United Nations, commemorating (and gloating on) the fall of the Soviet Union. Bush intended a new world where American empire could expand unmolested by the countervailing power which held it somewhat in check during the Cold War. Bush sought allies to join forces in “coalitions of the willing” such as NATO and friends, in order to control more and more of the world’s resources … and people.

Also, I’m always open to suggestions and guest columns that are well written. Thousands of you stop by, but very few drop an email (polfilmblog – at – gmail.com). …Sniff.

“It’s a family film for everyone”
-Bob Goldthwait

God Bless America finally arrived on DVD, and it’s packing. I called this one as a “must-see” and it is. Bobcat Goldthwait, who has returned to the limelight as an indie writer/director, has finally had enough of contemporary American culture. And who could blame him?

In God Bless America, the protagonist Frank lives a hellish subsistence bombarded by loud, rude neighbors, vapid parrot co-workers, and a chronic migraine. He’s turned to TV to drown out some of the noise from next door. In shock and amazement at what he sees nightly on his screen, Frank is set up as someone on the very edge, a live wire, a powder keg ready to go off.

When his neurologist informs Frank of a terminal brain tumor, and Frank’s own estranged daughter begins mimicking the garbage from television, Frank finally calls it a day. With a gun in his mouth, he accidentally turns back on the TV, and is suddenly confronted with a choice. A moral choice?

Anyone who’s seen the trailer knows what happens next. Perhaps the trailer gave away too much of the film, but still it’s stuffed with funny and thought-provoking scenes. A genuinely funny spree killing road picture is a rare thing indeed. One with such political and social satire rarer still.

The two leads, Joel Murray and 17 year old Tara Lynn Barr, have a magical screen chemistry that makes this outrageous over the top massacre picture seem plausible and real. Of course the dialogue gets a little preachy, with a 3 page monologue given to Frank, near the beginning. But, then again, that’s the point Frank has come down from the mountain to make, that soundbite culture is shallow and meaningless, and that important topics need real communication and discussion. The writing style grows organically from the subject matter. That’s not to say the film is bogged down with excessive talk. Sequences and montages are skillfully incorporated to break up the flow and to leave viewers guessing as to where these two loonies can possibly go next.

God Bless America felt like something that Mike Judge might have concocted (Idiocracy, Office Space). It is aimed directly at pop culture, the mindless cheering for whatever simplistic gibberish ends up on a screen: the nihilism that is championed in the media, star worship, the mistreatment of others for entertainment, and the glaringly insane Tea Party propaganda.

An interesting real-world divergence happened along the way to production, as far as can be ascertained from the behind the scenes interviews. It seems that Goldthwait’s interpretation of Roxy, the psycho teen spree killing partner, and Tara Lynn Barr’s understanding were a little bit different. A little at odds, actually. Goldthwait seemed to write her off as simply insane several times; that’s his position. The actress, however, had more political motives for her killings which are in evidence in the story. Barr was concerned with justifying the character’s actions, taking them from the “insane” to the sane and giving them legitimacy. A particular scene, where a vicious right-wing TV propagandist is shot by Barr seems to make that point. While many of the character’s actions could be considered clearly immoral, and/or the work of insane people, it is certainly not all. Goldthwait proclaimed that he was against all violence and is a vegetarian. His explanation for writing the piece is simply as a message to the nation to be nice. Or else?

The blackness of the satire is perhaps even darker than expected. The film’s first minute includes a baby blasted with a shotgun. The intent was apparently to screen out a part of the audience. Goldthwait hoped they would simply walk out after his litmus test.

The film’s budget was not disclosed, but domestic gross was on the order of $120,000, clearly not a big hit. From what was on screen, it could be quite a loss unless the DVD and rental market sees some exceptional activity.

I don’t think God Bless America will end up in too many Christmas stockings this year though. It’s such a shame that Americans are unable or uninterested in looking in the mirror, nor curious as to how others see them. That is what’s reflected in the numbers, as it should have been a runaway hit. Like other dark satires that have preceded it and failed commercially, the genre remains a highly risky venture. It’s truly a shame, as this is where the best of American cinema can be found today. American film today is usually formula or nostalgia, and winds up saying not a lot.

In Judge’s Idiocracy, there’s a running gag about the cinema of the future. FART, The Movie, is the biggest success of their time, multi Academy Award winner and pretty much the only movie shown at the multiplexes. Are we there yet?

I’m now sold on Goldthwait, and will look forward to catching his previous indie projects, as well as whatever comes next. He’s a funny guy, with the maturity to actually say what we’re not allowed to hear from our corporate programmers. God Bless America is going on my best of the year list. As Bobcat said: “If you don’t like my movie, then go suck it.”

World’s Greatest Dad trailer:

 


Idiocracy on DVD

 

(Article orginally appeared on Counterpunch)

In a time when one literally has to argue that exploding nuclear power plants really do pose grave risks to human health — against people with letters after their names — the case could easily be made that we’re already living in an Idiocracy.  As Japan finds itself irradiated and helpless to stop the radioactive isotopes escaping from multiple reactors, still the President of the United States refuses to put a halt to expanding the nuclear industry here.

Take that snapshot, that microcosm of what’s wrong with the world today and expand it out to the food chain, the rainforests, the air we breathe, the drinking water we ingest, the chemicals sprayed on our lawns and between the cracks of concrete.  In every facet of our lives compromises have been made for us, often without our knowledge or consent.  In the case of genetically-modified crops the government has long abdicated its responsibility and refuses to regulate.  Genes from God-knows-where co-exist with the natural genes in all manner of foodstuffs.  These foods are deliberately thrown into the food chain in a manner that we cannot know what’s in it, where it came from, or what it does to lab rats.  We’re the lab rats!

It’s unsurprising that the invisible poisons and genetic experiments can be force fed us when people willingly choose to ingest all sorts of unhealthy junk.

Which leads me, hamfistedly, back to Mike Judge’s comedy/sci-fi Idiocracy, a film that takes these trends to their logical conclusions.

There are many factors to consider when a great film doesn’t turn a large profit.  Idiocracy does not appear to have done well financially despite being one of the funniest satires of American consumer culture ever produced.

Idiocracy is so bold and so outrageous that it could potentially have alienated its own potential audience.  The target, throughout the film, could be considered stupid people, even people of “average” intelligence who live meaningless lives of convenience and just getting along.  This may have been too close to home for a large swath of American movie ticket purchasers.  Or perhaps the studio marketing gang didn’t like the message and simply failed to promote it? *
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