For those of you reading this post who have never tried Brawndo, “The Thirst Mutilator”, or how much the greeter at Costco loves you, allow me to introduce y’all to a little movie called Idiocracy (2006). The film is a vulgar satire of modern society and technology, the conceit being that in the next few centuries or less our society is going to degrade at such a devastating rate we will eventually be worse off than cavemen. This will occur through a devastating ascension of commercialism, anti-intellectualism, and widespread lackluster breeding to the point that intelligent, well raised children will be completely outweighed by those raised in poor living and social conditions. People will become so lazy and self entitled over the decades, abusing technology while simultaneously enabling it to become autonomous and submitting themselves to it wholesale, that all forms of the humanities and rationality will be buried under endless mounds of uncollected waste, pollution, and combination McDonalds/tenements. This is the age of the sloth.
For those of you reading this post who never seen Don Giovanni or don’t know how to find “the good parts” of Ulysses, allow me to introduce you all to the 18th chapter of a book called Lost in the Cosmos (1983). In this chapter, Walker Percy wrestles with the notion that today’s society is simultaneously the most sexualized and violent that human history has ever known and tries to understand the correlation. He theorizes that, because the autonomous self has almost completely divorced itself from all forms of spirituality, become bored with all facets of modern life and naturally seeks excitement in recreation, sex has become the central venue of excitement and is henceforth woven into every form of media and culture that we have. Unfortunately, in the process we have deflowered the ways in which we understand and think about sex and in doing so have begun to become bored with sexual liaisons and ingenuity as we have with work and the church. Ultimately sex will be bled dry of all of its inherent mystery and (ironically) pleasure, leaving war and violence as the only means for which man may find enjoyment and distraction. This is the age of the demoniac.
Question: Why is the latter option more terrifying?
(a) Lost in the Cosmos is an existential social satire written by a genius, so of course it’s better.
(b) Idiocracy, written by the same man who created King of the Hill, is unjustly deified by armchair historians who find intelligent discussion in Fox News and self satisfaction in watching the world burn.
(c) Idiocracy’s future relies on the concurrent ascension and dumbing down of technology, which has not always been exclusive to mankind and by its very nature has an expiration date. Sex and violence, however, has been with man since the days of Cain and Abel, and even when all of the billboards have fallen and the skyscrapers have collapsed from neglect, the last man & woman on the earth will only really have that basic choice left: procreate (pleasure has long since been bred out of man’s psyche by this point) or kill (torture has also lost its pleasure).