Category Archives: Movies
I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won’t say anything.” Well I’m not going to leave you alone.
I want you to get mad. I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets.
All I know is first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m a human being. God Dammit, my life has value.” So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell,
“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Things have got to change my friends. You’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell,
“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
-Howard Beale from the classic 1976 movie Network
I have seen the future and it is Idiocracy, a movie that is more outright horrifying than Soylent Green, Blade Runner, Brazil or any other dystopian vision because it is already happening. I’ll get to that in a little while because something has been troubling me for a few weeks and I need to get it off my chest because it relates to the movie or could at least serve as a prequel. If ever there were to occur an American version of the Renaissance rest assured that it will not be centered in South Carolina, the capitol of peckerwood nation. The recent painfully embarrassing performance of Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton whose rambling, clueless and nonsensical answer to a question of why did she think that approximately 1/5 of young Americans were unable to find the USA on a map is a searing indictment of the mass stupidity that permeates this country today in the era of American Idol, Survivor and other simple-minded gravy for the brain that passes for entertainment post 9/11. Such incredible ignorance is a primary reason (along with rampant corruption and electoral fraud) that George W. Bush is the two-term reigning king of Idiot Nation. So thoroughly indicative was her example of damning this brain dead nation of shambling zombies whose gray matter has been rendered into so much mental mush as a result of the constant assault by charlatan politicians, too much religion, tabloid trash culture, too many video games and an overdose of television torpor that establishment boob Matt Lauer of the Today show had to feature her in a nationally televised do over in a desperate attempt to shore up confidence in the moronic progeny of Ronald Reagan’s shitheel generation that we really can’t be that stupid can we? While being soundly defeated by fellow former Confederate states Mississippi and Alabama for the dubious honor of being the fattest state in the nation the embarrassing performance that was a smash hit on You Tube of Miss Teen South Carolina should ensure that the Palmetto State will remain among the largest bastions of ignorant, knuckledragging, regressive, red state fascist raptureheads in the Republican empire of the reconstituted Confederacy born out of Nixon’s Southern Strategy.
Of course the south couldn’t have become the incubator of the ‘perfect’ American for the Republican thousand year reich without a good amount of that old time religion updated to mesh perfectly with the authoritarian types and their war on civilizations. That long haired liberal swine Jesus Christ had to be taught the error ways because a peacenik commie who preached against the evils of wealth was incompatible with his new role as pitchman for corporate dominance and global empire. Thanks to the influence of John Nelson Darby and assorted other lunatics with their premillennial dispensationalism that was juiced by the apocalyptic ravings of Hal Lindsay and later the highly influential Timothy LaHaye of the multi-million selling pulp trash Left Behind series Jesus V.2 now preached the gospel of ‘fuck the poor’, only walks on water when it is on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier and flies through the skies with the help of an F-14 that he uses to drop napalm pods on brown-skinned Muslims to the delight of the zombies in the Rapture death cult.
Very little is as simplistic as an abandonment of reason and total surrender to religion as an escape from the cruelty of looter capitalism and the complexities of a technological society with no use for the dumb. It has always worked that way since the earliest civilizations with their worship of the sun god vs. the darkness devil and the promise of an afterlife to those legions of slaves who would taste nothing other than the whip of repression as they erected grand temples so that some rotten son of a bitch of an early version of today’s greedy and vainglorious psychopathic leaders could have his face carved onto on a statue or sphinx. Everything was a result of the favor or the anger of God or the even more simplistic and all encompassing master plan of the almighty. I have to simultaneously experience a sadness and a need to sardonically chuckle every time that some red state simpleton praises God for surviving the natural disaster that just wiped out everything that the rube had and this sort of childlike sort of primitive thinking is exactly what the cynical party bosses, CEO’s and war criminals want because a submissive drone with no actual concept of reality makes a good foot soldier. The astonishing level of national regressive thinking in the United States over the past quarter century or so has saddled the country with a mean-spirited, grossly ignorant and maladaptive blight of tens of millions who bear a large share of the responsibility for the erosion of American prestige, morality and economic might that have us teetering on the precipice of something really ugly that could come any day with a government full of war crazed ideologues, a financial system that has been rigged and manipulated by the avarice of the Gordon Gekko/Ayn Rand cult to the point where the entire fucking world economy is on the brink of collapse which is only further facilitated by the 24/7 running of the printing presses at the Federal Reserve and an indolent mass of television lobotomized consumers growing restive now all the credit cards have been maxed out and the rapidly devalued McMansion is no longer a piggybank. We are all fucked thanks to the morons responsible for gross abominations like the Creation Museum or the Holyland Experience and the wart on the ass of humanity that is the Bush administration.
But I digress.
About a month or two ago I caught Mike Judge’s brilliantly scathing Idiocracy on DVD, it was deemed unsuitable for any sort of widespread theatrical release by Fox Studios which deliberately buried it and has largely been ignored by a corporatist media obviously uncomfortable with the movie. The should be afraid because Idiocracy just fucking mocks the dumbing-down of American society that is largely the result of the deterioration of mass media, the rise of southern fried religion and the relentless war on the human condition by the rapacious plague of corporatization and a form of looter capitalism that has become cancerous. I have never seen a movie that is so in your face and that obviously made the Fox honchos very uncomfortable because they are largely a culprit in the ongoing process that has stupified what was once a well informed country with real values. The movie is a bit juvenile and overly loaded with scatological references but that is the point it is trying to make and those who don’t get it bring to mind the famous poker saying that if you don’t recognize the rube at the table it’s you.