New Theory: Stupid people reproduce more because the alternative is sleeping with [Mefites]. June 29, 2009 11:40 AM   Subscribe

There have been 205 comments on Metafilter as a whole mentioning the movie "Idiocracy", some subset thereof expressing or implying agreement with the premise of the movie (stupid people breed more so we as a population are getting stupider). There have been 800 comments linking to or about the online comic strip xkcd, some subset thereof expressing or implying an agreement with the opinions found in that comic strip. There is now an xkcd comic strip expressing the opinion that the premise of the movie "Idiocracy" is incorrect. In the law game, this is what is known as a split in the circuits, and requires a decision by the Supreme Court, hence this MeTa post.
posted by ND¢ to MetaFilter-Related at 11:40 AM (174 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Am I supposed to express outrage or solidarity here?
posted by GuyZero at 11:43 AM on June 29, 2009


Solution: sterilization for half of you, little American flags for the others.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:43 AM on June 29, 2009 [31 favorites]


The judge should be like, GUILTY! Peace.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:44 AM on June 29, 2009


It would awesome if we could have a moratorium on xkcd references. God, that comic is tiresome drivel.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:47 AM on June 29, 2009 [9 favorites]


Well, I'm a bit of a prick. So I'll be Scalia.

Anyway, Idiocracy is actually a film about the ongoing vulgarisation, crass commercialisation and pandering to the lowest common denominator of American culture. It just has a confusing eugenics-y introduction. I'm not an American so I can't comment on what is or is not happening to culture. But that was very funny film.

I assume a mod will be by soon to "deny cert."
posted by atrazine at 11:47 AM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


These things are settled in Nerd Thunderdome; not Nerd Appellate Court.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:47 AM on June 29, 2009 [28 favorites]


a very funny film
posted by atrazine at 11:48 AM on June 29, 2009


I'm ruling in favor of xkcd while reserving the right to call for more and better education for them as needs it.
posted by DU at 11:48 AM on June 29, 2009


In the law game, this is what is known as a split in the circuits, and requires a decision by the Supreme Court, hence this MeTa post.

How many MeFites who agree with the (proposed) premise of Idiocracy also treat xkcd as gospel?

"Logical Fallacy" ≠ "split in the circuits"
posted by zarq at 11:49 AM on June 29, 2009


I'm not looking at any xkcd strip; I'm afraid of seeing stickperson cunnilingus.

Anyway, I think idiocracy ignores the fact that stupid people are more likely to die by e.g. getting themselves wound around a driveshaft, or diving into a wading pool, or any number of things. Maybe it just even out. Additionally, there are at best, 5 candidates for Metafilter Supreme Court: matt, jess, cortex, pb and vacapinta. You'd have to drum up a few more to round out the bench.
posted by boo_radley at 11:50 AM on June 29, 2009


Blazecock Pileon: "It would awesome if we could have a moratorium on xkcd references. God, that comic is tiresome drivel."

Hey, do you know how XKCD is pronounced? Strawman.
posted by boo_radley at 11:51 AM on June 29, 2009


But you see, none of this actually happens or matters, because Nero blew up Romulus.
posted by jbickers at 11:53 AM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I summed up my problem with xkcd in a thread that got deleted pretty quickly for some inexplicable reason. Might as well repost it here and (hopefully) bask in my amiriteness.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Certainly those little people in xkcd, if cunningly rendered, still look like they are made from straw.

I suppose I'd best get 'round to seeing Idiocracy at some point.
posted by adipocere at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2009


Why can't they both be wrong?


... or right?


Or whatever? I don't care.
posted by Elmore at 11:55 AM on June 29, 2009


I think we should get rid of all of the stupid people by educating people better.

At least, that's what I'll say until I can get enough money and power to build my orbiting death fortress.
posted by lucidium at 11:56 AM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, if you replace the concept of 'stupid people' with 'uneducated people,' then the premise is true, at least in the modern era.

Similarly, you can use poverty as a marker for lack of education and get the same result.

The upshot seems to be that educating people (particularly women) and working towards self-sustaining economic growth will fix the 'problem' from both ends. This is a solution that has nothing whatever to do with encouraging one group to breed more or another to breed less but instead relies on the natural consequence of improvements in living conditions.

If you're really stuck on the idea of the heritability of intelligence, then I'm afraid there's no consensus. Intelligence is probably highly polygenic to begin with, and there are a large number of confounding factors (maternal health and nutrition, early childhood nutrition and socialization, etc) that may outweigh the genetic effects in most normal cases.
posted by jedicus at 11:58 AM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well the worst part about Idiocracy was the weird Lamarckian premise; I don't think most fans of the movie seriously think that stupidity is quite as genetic as the movie seems to imply that it is.

The movie is about the world being overrun by idiots; exactly how that might happen is open to argument.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:59 AM on June 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is a solution that has nothing whatever to do with encouraging one group to breed more or another to breed less but instead relies on the natural consequence of improvements in living conditions.

But what if I really like blaming poor and brown people for their problems and hate spending money? Is there a position or political party that thinks of my needs?
posted by DU at 12:02 PM on June 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


So in the apples column, we have a movie about the degenerative effect of lowest-common-denominator popular culture. It is crass and at times funny. Some of its themes are reprised in "Wall-E" an animated feature about a robot that is no-where near as funny.

In the oranges column, we have a comic strip that mines (often) the disparity between assumptions and reality for humour and/or irony. It is sometimes funny and often facile.

I, personally, will take crass over facile. Besides, dude's wrong in this particular strip.

We don't need another he-ero,
We don't need to know the way home
All we need is life beyon-ond nerd thunderdome!

posted by From Bklyn at 12:02 PM on June 29, 2009


THE RULING: xkcd is right, but misses the point. The idea behind Idiocracy and the premise that gets us there are two different things. Frankenstein doesn't depend on us believing that lightening will someday be raising sewn-together corpses from the grave in order to tell its story and make it effective. Nonetheless, the premise is still timely and fantastical. Same is true of Idiocracy.

xkcd is right about the people who took the weird eugenic message away from Idiocracy, though, because those people are likely to assume facts which support their case and also happen to not be true. But Idiocracy doesn't need them to be true.

In other words, failure to state a claim. Dismissed.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:03 PM on June 29, 2009 [12 favorites]


It would awesome if we could have a moratorium on xkcd references. God, that comic is tiresome drivel.

Once again, my friend, we find ourselves in an intractable disagreement. Pistols at dawn, again?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:06 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


1) Whereas, Idiocracy is an overrated film that falls victim to its own premise;

and

2) xkcd is clever, yet I can never seem to work up the interest to check it out unless somebody links to a particularly relevant strip;

and

3) Stupidity is a byproduct of ignorance and ignorance is a byproduct of poverty and poverty is a byproduct of greed and greed is a byproduct of wealth and wealth is a byproduct of industry and industry is a byproduct of progress and progress is a byproduct of intellect + laziness;

then let it be resolved that:

a) Stupidity, as a byproduct of intellect, cannot outbreed intellect;

and

b) Progress and industry, as a byproduct of intellect and laziness, means I deserve a nap.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:06 PM on June 29, 2009 [21 favorites]


My only complaint is that the link to search results for XKCD are now littered by this thread, and there's no easy way (that I know of) to exempt this thread from search results.

Oh, and your favorite "intelligent" comic sucks. Someone had to say it
posted by filthy light thief at 12:07 PM on June 29, 2009


I liked Idiocracy better when it was a 1951 novella by Cyril M. Kornbluth called The Marching Morons.

And thus Astro Zombie fired the opening salvo in the Nerd Thunderdome, beginning it, as nerd tradition dictated, by scorning something currently popular in favor of an ancient and obscure science fiction text. Soon blood would run in the gutters, heads would be on pikes, and Auntie Entity would spin the wheel.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:07 PM on June 29, 2009 [15 favorites]


I don't like xkcd or Idiocracy.

Case is found lacking of merit and dismissed with prejudice.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:09 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I once namechecked "The Marching Morons" in a freshman (HS) paper and my English teacher didn't believe it really existed. Dude, you are proving my point, I wanted to say but did not.

industry is a byproduct of progress

Is it? /strokes beard, puffs pipe
posted by DU at 12:10 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you ever doubt that Idiocracy could come true, spend ten minutes reading youtube comments.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:14 PM on June 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


Is it?

Yes. For purposes of nap-related proofs pulled totally out of my ass without so much as a second's worth of consideration, it is.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:14 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


As birth control is one of the issues I deal with on a regular basis and that is near and dear to my heart (among other places) I would like to propose the following:

1) Those who seek to keep information about birth control out of the public sphere, are doing it as a way of keeping blinders on a group they wish to control.

2)Therefore, those who are more likely to be in controlled areas (or groups) are less likely to have open access to information about birth control or birth control itself.

3)It is not an issue of intelligence at all, just a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is entirely solvable through education.

So there. Education. It solves all of our issues without broaching the sticky subject of how smart someone is born.

Also: Dude, I know it's hot as fuck-all here, and the stupidity in the air is actually thicker than the humidity in this state currently, but really, this post? I mean, really? Have a cold beer and chill. As with many things, it'll be better in November.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:16 PM on June 29, 2009


All I know's that comical strip just reads like you-know-what talk ta me
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:21 PM on June 29, 2009


I don't think most fans of the movie seriously think that stupidity is quite as genetic as the movie seems to imply that it is.

Indeed, there are many, many things I love about the movie Idiocracy, but neither I nor anyone I know are about to agree with Stick Figure #1's opinion; the joy of the movie is in lines like, "welcome to Costco, I love you."
posted by Greg Nog at 12:23 PM on June 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


So the verdict is: we are getting stupider but not because stupid people breed more and we never thought that anyway and one or more of these things may suck or may not hugs?
posted by ND¢ at 12:25 PM on June 29, 2009


Pardon my hysterical laughter at your all-male supreme court's futile, feckless consideration of breeding theory among geeky pop culture offerings.

/Bene Gesserit
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


so wait, did NDcent really just disappear? I mean, I'm still not sure what he posted this for.
posted by shmegegge at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2009


oop, never mind? or maybe... wait, so what are we here for? i'm so confused. someone help me before I breed!
posted by shmegegge at 12:27 PM on June 29, 2009


Related note, why is Dune so much in the zeitgeist right now? I see references everywhere but I don't think I always did. Now everyone is Imperial Sardaukar this and Shai-Hulud that. What is causing this resurgence of interest?
posted by ND¢ at 12:33 PM on June 29, 2009


why is Dune so much in the zeitgeist right now? I see references everywhere but I don't think I always did. Now everyone is Imperial Sardaukar this and Shai-Hulud that. What is causing this resurgence of interest?

Mezcal con gusano.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:36 PM on June 29, 2009


Pardon my hysterical laughter at your all-male supreme court's futile, feckless consideration of breeding theory among geeky pop culture offerings.

/Bene Gesserit


*puts hand in metatalk*

OW OW OW OW OW
posted by Greg Nog at 12:37 PM on June 29, 2009 [20 favorites]


Randall Munroe is a charmingly romantic idealist.

HI THERE. WHEN I SAY SOMETHING AS CYNICAL AS THAT IT PROBABLY MEANS SOMETHING.
posted by loquacious at 12:44 PM on June 29, 2009


^ND¢: "In the law game, this is what is known as a split in the circuits, and requires a decision by the Supreme Court, hence this MeTa post."

'Kay. Number one your honor, just look at ND¢. And B, we've got all this, like, evidence... And I heard that he doesn't even have his MeFi tattoo... I know!! And I'm all, "you've gotta be shittin' me!" But check this out man, judge should be like, "Guilty!"

Peace!
posted by not_on_display at 12:47 PM on June 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


Idiocracy is funnier than you are. So is xkcd.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:47 PM on June 29, 2009 [12 favorites]


If you really want to do this right, you need to code both the idiocracy references and the xkcd references, to establish who in fact belongs to each of your argued subsets; then, working with only those true subsets, determine who, if anyone, has actually established him- or herself as a member of both groups. And then send out some mefimail to the concerned parties so they can let us know via the contact form that they're getting creepy mefimail.

What is causing this resurgence of interest?

Its meme is a killing word. The cliche has awakened!
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:51 PM on June 29, 2009


Idiocracy is funnier than you are. So is xkcd.

Dune isn't though.
posted by ND¢ at 12:52 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


So is xkcd right or wrong? I assume that it's true that there's a correlation between education level and number of children (more education, less children), and I assume that there's a correlation between the education level of the parents and the intelligence of the children. Are either of these assumption easily shown to be incorrect? I realize that there's problems with arguments from correlation, and intelligence isn't easily measured or defined, but xkcd seems to be saying that there's a non-subtle reason why these assumptions are wrong. What am I missing?
posted by diogenes at 12:52 PM on June 29, 2009


Related note, why is Dune so much in the zeitgeist right now? I see references everywhere but I don't think I always did.

You're not alone in this. When even Alton Brown is making Dune references in Good Eats episodes, there's something weird going on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:53 PM on June 29, 2009


The spice must Flo.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:54 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


jessamyn: "Idiocracy is funnier than you are. So is xkcd."

That's not really an answer. Permission to treat the witness as hostile, your honor.
posted by Plutor at 12:55 PM on June 29, 2009


Permission to treat the witness as hostile, your honor.

HOSTILE ALL MY LIFE!

go 'way... 'batin
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:59 PM on June 29, 2009 [15 favorites]


What is causing this resurgence of interest?

THE SPICE MUST FLOW.

Oh, I don't know. Science is getting more and more sciencey, tech is more techy and, well, Herbert was pretty prescient stealing all those ideas from the Islamic and Arab worlds. I mean, has anyone gone up against Afghan guerrilla fighters holed up in desert caves and not had their ass handed to them?

Could you imagine a whole desert-planet full of such fanatics? Now imagine a whole planet where all of them so hopped up on a psychedelic, future-seeing, life-extending drug that their eyes turned blue and they started accidentally fucking with causality? And led by a long-prophesied living God, and later his son, a child-worm-God that lived for a few thousand years?

For fuck's sake they ride fucking giant sand worms and make ninjas look noisy and clumsy.

I'll take Sietch Tabr and try my lot with the Freman over Heinlein's juvenile swashbuckling "I'm so awesome I'm screwing my girlfriend's Mom and wife-swapping with my Dad while making omelets for the other twenty people (and one Martian) I screwed last night" warped ubermensch fantasies any day.

Herbert's Dune is quite mature and realistic by comparison.
posted by loquacious at 1:00 PM on June 29, 2009 [16 favorites]


why is Dune so much in the zeitgeist right now?

John Hodgman?
posted by ODiV at 1:01 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I fear he is but a symptom.
posted by ND¢ at 1:02 PM on June 29, 2009


The existence of fetal alcohol syndrome alone completely refutes the premise of "Idiocracy."

Say you are a woman who comes from a long line of mothers who drank to excess every time they were pregnant.

If you are even minimally functional-- as many of the sibs of your foremothers certainly were not-- chances are you had the the genetic potential, sans alcohol exposure, to be highly intelligent, very possibly a genius.

The same argument can probably be made for many forms of malnutrition, as well as other exposures to toxins, such as lead paint in substandard housing and living in proximity to toxic industrial installations.

Therefore, the 'lower classes' are actually being bred for higher intelligence than the 'higher classes'.
posted by jamjam at 1:03 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


HOSTILE ALL MY LIFE!

go 'way... 'batin


Kull wahad!
posted by loquacious at 1:04 PM on June 29, 2009


*puts hand in metatalk*

OW OW OW OW OW


Wimp. That was just the itchy-tingly phase. We haven't turned on the blowtorch yet.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:05 PM on June 29, 2009


My issue with the strip is that it's refuting an argument the film isn't even making. The leads of Idiocracy aren't some high class educated types at all -- they're a mediocre soldier and a streetwalker. It's explicitly stated they are people of average intelligence. I have this funny feeling the cartoonist hasn't actually WTFM.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:07 PM on June 29, 2009


John Hodgman is the Kwiseass Haderach.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:09 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


It was just Dune's turn to be the Internet Cult Movie that was once hated or ignored. In ten years' time, it'll be Freaked.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2009


Now I'm sad because Jessamyn said I'm not as funny as a box office flop.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:14 PM on June 29, 2009


THERES A MOVIE???
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:14 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


My issue with the strip is that it's refuting an argument the film isn't even making.

Actually, it makes the argument in a long, explicit monologue filled with stereotypes and diagrams at the beginning of the film. Still, it's less didactic and smug than a great many XKCD strips, so I'm willing to forgive the opening in order to get to parts like "Why come you don't have a tattoo".
posted by Greg Nog at 1:15 PM on June 29, 2009


It was just Dune's turn to be the Internet Cult Movie that was once hated or ignored. In ten years' time, it'll be Freaked.

Movie? What movie? Are you talking about that music video made by Sting, Toto and Brian Eno?
posted by loquacious at 1:15 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now I'm sad because Jessamyn said I'm not as funny as a box office flop.

Do you and ND¢ share an account?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:16 PM on June 29, 2009


I never could figure out why David Lynch was directing a music video with Sting or Toto in it, anyway. Eno works well with Lynch but for some reason he only had a bit part in it.
posted by loquacious at 1:18 PM on June 29, 2009


You dis me, you dis my whole crew!
posted by ND¢ at 1:19 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


*lurches after loquacious with a tank of nitrous and a twelve of Pabst Blue Ribbon*

FACE IT, IT'S DAVID LYNCH THAT MADE DUNE SUCH A FUNNY CULTURAL REFERENCE, WITH THE OVEREARNESTNESS AND THE KYLE MACLACHLAN AND THE KYLE MACLACHLAN OVEREARNESTNESS.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:19 PM on June 29, 2009


jessamynAdmin: "Now I'm sad because Jessamyn said I'm not as funny as a box office flop.

Do you and ND¢ share an account?
"

I'm starting to wonder about AV in general, since she made these two comments at the same time.

what's the story, AV? if that's your real name.
posted by shmegegge at 1:21 PM on June 29, 2009


jamjam: Have you, by any chance, been eating lead paint, lately?
posted by ODiV at 1:21 PM on June 29, 2009


> There have been 205 comments on Metafilter as a whole mentioning...

This post just blew your stats out of the water. Please recalibrate.
posted by ardgedee at 1:22 PM on June 29, 2009


,,,,

Just thought I'd add a few more commas.
posted by ODiV at 1:24 PM on June 29, 2009


*points finger at thread; makes PEW PEW PEW noises*
posted by Kwine at 1:26 PM on June 29, 2009


jamjam: Have you, by any chance, been eating lead paint, lately?

No, but my ancestors did.
posted by jamjam at 1:27 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually, it makes the argument in a long, explicit monologue filled with stereotypes and diagrams at the beginning of the film.

Yeah, I dunno. It certainly seems to be having as much fun with its whiny-yuppies-who-read-The-New-Yorker stereotype as it does with its trailer trash stereotype. I don't think it's really making a case that one is superior to the other.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:34 PM on June 29, 2009


Now I'm sad because Jessamyn said I'm not as funny as a box office flop.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:14 PM on June 29 [+] [!]


THERES A MOVIE???
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:14 PM on June 29 [+] [!]


Do you and ND¢ share an account?
posted by jessamyn at 4:16 PM on June 29 [+] [!]



Yea... somethin.... funky... going on.
posted by odinsdream at 1:36 PM on June 29, 2009





Yea... somethin.... funky... going on.


The "box office flop" comment on 4:14 was a reference to Idiocracy.

The "THERES A MOVIE???" comment at 4:16 is a question about Frank Herbert's novel Dune.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:47 PM on June 29, 2009


You know what I blame this on the downfall of? Society.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:47 PM on June 29, 2009


I told you guys I was Bene Gesserit but you didn't get it. Fortunately for you, your poor reading comprehension and worse manners mean you'll be free of my interest and influence and can knock up whomever you like, so nbd.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:47 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


posted by Ambrosia Voyeur THERES A MOVIE???

Not yet. But I am writing a three-act play: The Admin Cometh. Admission will be $5.00 and members of the audience will be encouraged to run up onstage and act, or simply remain seated and yell comments or have noisy arguments with other audience members.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:48 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, except everything I just said was wrong. Wrong. False. The opposite of true. You're like the religious zealots who are burdened by their superiority with the sad duty of decrying the obvious moral decay of each new generation. And you're just as wrong.

There's that fag talk we talked about.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:55 PM on June 29, 2009 [16 favorites]


Most of the time, I see involved, hostile critiques of XKCD and think, "wow, these critics sure take this comic strip pretty seriously! Time to relax, people!"

The XKCD strip you posted made me think, "wow, XKCD guy, you sure take a movie from the Beavis and Butthead guy pretty seriously! Time to relax, XKCD guy!"
posted by thisperon at 1:56 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Do I understand?
posted by Meatbomb at 1:57 PM on June 29, 2009


Is there an app for this?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:03 PM on June 29, 2009


ROU, you just encapsulated Idiocracy's humor vs. XKCD's in one fucking awesome post.
posted by thisperon at 2:05 PM on June 29, 2009


I don't like XKCD. It talks like a fag.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:06 PM on June 29, 2009


Shit, ROU beat me.

My shit's all retarded.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you dig back far enough in the archives, and I have 100% confidence you won't, you can find me saying almost exactly what that strip did like three years ago:

The premise of the film is fatally flawed. Not only is it provably false and dishonest in its use of "white trash" to avoid the staggeringly racist implications, it's just really mean-spirited. Which is why the movie, despite being made by a very very funny man, utterly fails as a comedy.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Idiocracy would have been better had it been about thirty minutes long. And XKCD brings the funny about six times out of ten, so I can't complain. Penny Arcade, though? Steaming pile of crap. Not that anyone mentioned Penny Arcade. I just wanted it known that I think it's a steaming pile of crap.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:08 PM on June 29, 2009


The thing about Dune as far as I can armchair-reckon is that the movie and the book managed to both become lasting cultural icons while having surprisingly little to do with each other, and that's a rare trick. Usually you just get a book that was better (or bigger) than the movie, or a movie that was bigger (or better) than the book.

Maybe you'll get the two tightly bound in a sort of co-momentum thing—2001 as Kubrick & Clarke double-header, say, or with like Fincher's Fight Club more or less putting Palahniuk on the national map.

But Lynch's film is such a weird fever-dream tangent to Herbert's book that it's not like one promoting the other or the two doing differingly adequate takes of the same story: Lynch just went and made a completely different movie, and did a wonderful job regardless of how terrible the result as (a) a piece of coherent filmmaking or (b) a treatment of the source material it might be.

And all that Kyle MacLachlan earnestness. God but I love some Kyle MacLachlan earnestness.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:10 PM on June 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


I really hated Idiocracy. Now a Birthright Lottery, there's a eugenics program I can support.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 2:14 PM on June 29, 2009


If you dig back far enough in the archives, and I have 100% confidence you won't, you can find me saying almost exactly what that strip did like three years ago:

You have severely under-estimated my willingness to look things up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:19 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


xkcd, Idiocracy and viking Ralph Wiggum are all on a plane that's on a giant conveyor belt. . .
posted by starman at 2:23 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not only is it provably false and dishonest in its use of "white trash" to avoid the staggeringly racist implications

What about President Camacho?
posted by electroboy at 2:27 PM on June 29, 2009


This is probably a good place to talk about the time my wife text messaged me that she was pregnant.

"The test is totally positive"

"Shit! Ain't you on the pill or some shit?"
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:32 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


My shit's all retarded.

Relax, scro. Have a coupon for a "latte" with "foam."

The movie is not very good as a movie, but excels as a disconnected set of moments.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:32 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Welcome to Metafilter, I love you.
posted by electroboy at 2:51 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Note: When you dis Dre, you dis yourself!
posted by ignignokt at 2:55 PM on June 29, 2009


Most of the time, I see involved, hostile critiques of XKCD and think, "wow, these critics sure take this comic strip pretty seriously! Time to relax, people!"

Man, I tried to bite my tongue on this, but really, I don't think it's always hostile critiques on the merits of the comic alone or that they're taking the comic itself too seriously. I know it's hilarious that I'm about to go on a mini rant in response to someone saying something is being taken too seriously, but whatever. I mean, I don't dislike xkcd particularly or have any real beef with the content , but I’m sorry. xkcd's become like Buffy to me. Just having it shoved in my face by people who just LURVE it actually makes me avoid it. It's not the comic that kills me but the stuff that comes attached with it. In part, it’s kind of the problem I have with webcomic fandom in general, but specifically with xkcd where there’s a hardcore fanbase totally enamored in their identity and the identity that the comic's content panders to and they become obsessed with how every damn thing from life has to become a "this reminds me of an xkcd comic" moment and "OMG it's so funny because it's TRUE. LOOK there’s MATH in it. We’re SUCH nerds and geeks amirite??"-ness in every single one like that coworker that just has to show you that clipping of the Farside or Dilbert that he cut out from the paper that’ll join its brethren that plasters his cubicle walls cause he’s such an off-the-wall and subversive cubicle worker. I guess the whole “web” part of webcomic makes it worse because it makes sharing so much easier.

I don't mind recommendations to check something about, and I do read webcomics, so I'm not even saying I'm like above all this or something, but I find it increasingly harder not to roll my eyes whenever I'm in some online conversation with someone and they're all "omg, wait" after something I said or they said only to send me a link to an xkcd comic. Or, holy shit, when it's a conversation in real life and they giddily tell me they need to link me to this xkcd comic when they get back home, because yea dude, I totally want to read that one panel or three-panel comic that sort of kind of reminds you but not really because it's just ironic in an Alanis Morisette way from a conversation from six goddamn hours ago.

This isn't really bad in and of itself, but sometimes it's like some people have every xkcd comic ever committed to memory for just the appropriate moment. ALL THE TIME. Like a nerd/geek Precious Moments or Hallmark card from Hell. Like it's some comic from months ago and it just makes me go, "Wow, how long were you waiting to pull out that one?" Even when it's more recent it's worse when it's something that kind of tangentially relates to what was said or, worse, just rehashed what was said already so that I have to do that "Ha...yea. I see what you did there. We just had that conversation. It's funny someone else had the same thought and decided to draw it" (usually abbreviated to a simple “lol,” and moving on). Dude, I'll fully admit that maybe I'll have snickered for a minute or two if I came across it on my own, but when it just punctuates conversations all the damn time it kind of kills it because it puts you in a position of “Oh, good one…” and you kind of don’t know what to follow that up with. Another link to another xkcd comic and you just enter some infinite loop?
posted by kkokkodalk at 2:58 PM on June 29, 2009 [13 favorites]


Ambrosia Voyeur: FACE IT, IT'S DAVID LYNCH THAT MADE DUNE SUCH A FUNNY CULTURAL REFERENCE, WITH THE OVEREARNESTNESS AND THE KYLE MACLACHLAN AND THE KYLE MACLACHLAN OVEREARNESTNESS.

Aw, you just made Potato-Faced Boy cry. Whyja have to do that?
posted by Pronoiac at 3:01 PM on June 29, 2009


Just having it shoved in my face by people who just LURVE it actually makes me avoid it.

In short, as I have heard said of Canada's The Tragically Hip: "It's not the band I hate - it's their fans."
posted by GuyZero at 3:03 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am just hear to agree with bitteroldpunk that penny arcade is a steaming pile of crap. Like you are waking to work through an alley in the bad part of town and a sickly old stray dog is taking a crap and it LOOKS RIGHT AT YOU and he's sad because he knows he's unhealthy, plus, it's in the morning so the air is cool and sun's slanted rays emphasize the steam rising in whisps from said crap. (brought to you by Carl's Junior)
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 3:07 PM on June 29, 2009


Metafilter: none of us is as hateful as all of us.
posted by HumuloneRanger at 3:08 PM on June 29, 2009


Man, if ND¢ and AV are the same person and they just dhoyt-ed (him|her)self, this thread just got a whole lot better.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:08 PM on June 29, 2009


cortex: You have severely under-estimated my willingness to look things up.

That's dddrjimmy11, with three d's for a triple dose of "damn, he really hates this movie."
posted by Pronoiac at 3:12 PM on June 29, 2009


Penny Arcade is actually very good but has, as a result of it's goodness, been treated as something other than what it is 90% of the time, which is a niche comic. It is often excellent but only if you have any specific reason to want to be reading it.

Gabe can draw like a motherfucker these days and Tycho is a man who understands that words are something a person might occasionally have elaborate romantic fantasies about. These are excellent qualities. It just that, in this particular universe, these qualities are generally exercised in pursuit of making light of nerd-ass inside-baseball video game gossip shit, and if you don't give a damn about that stuff the comic is probably not going to bring you much joy.

And if the comic doesn't bring you much joy, and yet people thrust it ever upon you, you may understandably get annoyed at the situation; and you might, further, displace what should be annoyance at those who are amidst their joyful thrusting misreading your preferences (or annoyance at the world in general or the compromises required of your general reading habits, if these things are not being thrust specifically at you so much as just being mentioned and favored in general writing) onto the source material itself. Which is a wack thing to do.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:21 PM on June 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


So is xkcd right or wrong? ... I realize that there's problems with arguments from correlation, and intelligence isn't easily measured or defined, but xkcd seems to be saying that there's a non-subtle reason why these assumptions are wrong. What am I missing?

What I think you're missing is ... that's not really the point xkcd is making.

What the xkcd strip is saying, is that all the starting points of the film's apparent arguments are wrong right now.

* It used to be that the intelligent, upper classes had more children. FAIL. Lower classes have always had more children, for various socio-economic reasons. It would then stand to reason that we'd all be blithering idiots today, but we're not.
* IQ scores are going down. FAIL. IQ scores are going up, although we don't really know why, or if we're measuring things correctly.
* Average education is going down. FAIL. Worldwide levels of education haven't trended downward since we started recording it.

Things are getting better, not worse. When the gun goes off, the "smart people don't breed, so it's just going to get worse" argument trips over its dick at the starting line.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:26 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


All the recent Dune-Squeeee is likely a result of some initial viral shilling in preparation for the new movie due to come out next year. Paying or pressuring a few people to reference Dune opens a space for all those who recognize the references to add their own nerdpatter about folding time and flowing spice until the Dunetalk attain enough mass to become enough of an identifiable part of current culture. People who don't know much about it other than the, hopefully, ubiquitous references will want to see what the fuss is about, and those that are familiar with the books will be geeked enough by all the hub-bub to go see the movie and make it into a gigantic tent-bearing, sequel spawning event. In advertising, the beginning of an ad campaign is a very delicate time. Know then, that is is the year 2009. The known universe is ruled by Marketing. In this time, the most precious substance in the universe is word of mouth. The word of mouth extends a film's life. The word of mouth expands consciousness. The word if mouth is vital to profitability.
posted by mr.grum at 3:26 PM on June 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


The premise of that xkcd strip appears to be:

Guy 1: "Man, Idiocracy is right, people are so dumb."

Guy 2: "NO UR DUMB!"

Exeunt
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:33 PM on June 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Gabe can draw like a motherfucker these days and Tycho is a man who understands that words are something a person might occasionally have elaborate romantic fantasies about.

Pvt. Joe Bowers : There was a time when reading wasn't just for fags. And neither was writing. People wrote books and movies. Movies with stories, that made you care about whose ass it was and why it was farting. And I believe that time can come again!

Which is to say, I agree completely.
posted by quin at 3:37 PM on June 29, 2009


Paying or pressuring a few people to reference Dune opens a space for all those...

Whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA!

I could conceivably get PAID for making random DUNE references online? Which I already do anyway?

*rubs hands together*

Where do I sign up?
posted by zarq at 3:40 PM on June 29, 2009


It just that, in this particular universe, these qualities are generally exercised in pursuit of making light of nerd-ass inside-baseball video game gossip shit, and if you don't give a damn about that stuff the comic is probably not going to bring you much joy.

what's weird is that I am totally into that shit, working in a related industry and all, and even I don't really laugh at their comics much anymore.

this isn't a criticism of them, though. not at all. I still read it and enjoy it everyday. But I think that, after years of reading it, the basic format is now nested in my brain somewhere and I don't find it funny since I can kind of see it coming. Mostly, I just read it as commentary. editorial on the stories I've been reading about all day on the gaming blogs.

but, the other day, they did this great strip about prototype. it's certainly not mind-blowingly original or anything, but I laughed out loud, regardless. someone at work was like "what's so funny?" sent him the link, and he liked it, too. somehow, he had miraculously never heard of penny-arcade. for the rest of the day, I could hear him laughing at strips as he went backward through the archives until he got tired of it. he was laughing at strips I hadn't laughed at, mostly because they fit the standard penny-arcade tropes. but since they were new to him, he thought they were hysterical.

which just goes to show something or other, i swear.
posted by shmegegge at 3:44 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


All the recent Dune-Squeeee is likely a result of some initial viral shilling in preparation for the new movie due to come out next year.

A third Dune movie? Are you fucking kidding me?
posted by eyeballkid at 3:52 PM on June 29, 2009


This comment brought to you by Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr... "Fuck You, I'm Eating!"
posted by not_on_display at 3:54 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Everyone loves Dune.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:59 PM on June 29, 2009


In short, as I have heard said of Canada's The Tragically Hip: "It's not the band I hate - it's their fans."
posted by GuyZero at 6:03 PM on June 29


That had better be intentional Canuck-trolling, sir.
1. That's a line from Sloan's "Coax Me"
2. It's about Consolidated.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:09 PM on June 29, 2009


I will award summary judgment to Idiocracy, on the grounds that XKCD failed to include a joke. That guy needs to take a lesson from Watterson, who got preachy but still included punchlines (well, up until the last year or so, at least).
posted by equalpants at 4:14 PM on June 29, 2009


A third Dune movie? Are you fucking kidding me?

Now with more MOLECULES!
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:15 PM on June 29, 2009


There was a kid at the pool tonight sitting on a bench reading Dune. He might have been 18. I thought it seemed a little retro.
posted by Hildegarde at 4:18 PM on June 29, 2009


That had better be intentional Canuck-trolling, sir.

Sloan is all find and good but I will have to admit that I am not a gigantic fan so I can't remember every line, even lines from the ubiquitous "Coax Me". I make no claims on the line's originality, that's just the first time it was said to me. And as for the Hip, it's soooo true.

They are from the town where the local university's homecoming has involved car-tipping the last few years, so you know, nayh nyah Queen's grads.
posted by GuyZero at 4:21 PM on June 29, 2009


For all the hyper-intelligent elitists that love Idiocracy -- Mike Judge hates you, too, you don't even survive the opening credits. The movie was a paean to mediocrity. Mike Judge's work taken as a whole shows a love for the average guy, the middle class, the normal. He doesn't have very much time for the over-educated or the pretentious.

As to the controversies in the thread:

XKCD is funny, touching and overly precious, sometimes all at the same time.

Idiocracy was hilarious and inventive, but it's central premise was wrong.

The Penny Arcade guys are wasting their obvious talents.

Dune is still popular because it's still relevant.
posted by empath at 4:25 PM on June 29, 2009


I'm under the impression that that XKCD dude just broke up with a girlfriend or something, because his last few strips have been really bitter.

Idiocracy was funny. It wasn't brilliant and insightful. Or even close to a great movie, even. It had some great bits, though.
posted by graventy at 4:25 PM on June 29, 2009


We have pigeon cameras. By now they could be anywhere.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:34 PM on June 29, 2009


Hey, do you know how XKCD is pronounced?
It isn't.
posted by tellurian at 4:47 PM on June 29, 2009


Idiocracy was brilliant. It changed the way I see the world. The message I got was not "Oh my god, the wrong people are reproducing!" or "Oh my god, poor people sure are dumb!" It was that this is what the world would be like if it was run by, not the best and brightest among us, but by people you'd like to have a beer with or by those who win reality TV shows. It was the perfect film about the Bush years and it articulated so clearly what is fucking wrong with America. For the first 8 years of the 21st century, we as as a people have become so lazy and insecure that we'd rather shout down and make fun of anyone with intelligence and vision than be challenged to do better. The protagonist, a perfectly apathetic average joe in the present day, by the end of the film has been transformed into someone who cares and wants everyone else to care as much as he does.

Is the premise of Children of Men any more biologically plausible? I saw that film the same week I saw Idiocracy and in many ways, Mike Judge's dystopia seems more depressing, and more likely, than Cuaron's.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:56 PM on June 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


Is the premise of Children of Men any more biologically plausible? I saw that film the same week I saw Idiocracy and in many ways, Mike Judge's dystopia seems more depressing, and more likely, than Cuaron's.

Regardless of biology, Children of Men was a great movie, but had its fundamental economics completely upside down, which pretty much ruined the movie for me.

If there's less and less people each year, people become more valuable each year. If the crisis is happening everywhere at once, the film's view of a society turning turning monstrously xenophobic as a reaction is way, way, WAY off the mark, from my personal suspension of disbelief.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:03 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


All the recent Dune-Squeeee is likely a result of some initial viral shilling in preparation for the new movie due to come out next year. Paying or pressuring a few people to reference Dune opens a space for all those who recognize the references to add their own nerdpatter about folding time and flowing spice until the Dunetalk attain enough mass to become enough of an identifiable part of current culture.

In all honestly, I've not noticed any increase in Dune-talk at all. It's been part of the general environment of nerd culture for as long as I've been a nerd. It's also always been a part of the pothead/acidhead (and rave)sub-culture for decades. I don't think anything has changed recently.
posted by empath at 5:11 PM on June 29, 2009


Yes but now people that I would listen to are talking about it.
posted by ND¢ at 5:19 PM on June 29, 2009


My only knowledge of Dune comes from the video game on the Amiga. I think the plot was pretty much like M.U.L.E. except with blue-eyed people instead of amorphous robots. I can't figure out if I'd get any geek cred for referencing "The Harkonnens are attacking us!". I mean it's about as obscure as anything else in the Duniverse. That's what matters, right?
posted by team lowkey at 5:28 PM on June 29, 2009


I will award summary judgment to Idiocracy, on the grounds that XKCD failed to include a joke.

Not so fast. Idiocracy also failed to include a joke.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:32 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Idiocracy also failed to include a joke.

Man, I hate it when movies don't have any jokes in them! It's like, how is this funny? There's not even any punchlines! Gee, I sure hope 102 Wacky Knock-Knock Jokes: The Movie is coming to a theatre near me!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:16 PM on June 29, 2009


Yes but now people that I would listen to are talking about it.

So stop talking about it.
posted by loquacious at 6:24 PM on June 29, 2009


Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.
posted by orthogonality at 6:30 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't know Idiocracy was a Mike Judge joint. Now I will hasten to Netflix to, eh, Netflix it!
posted by Mister_A at 6:41 PM on June 29, 2009


Metafilter: a space for all those who recognize the references to add their own nerdpatter.
posted by nevercalm at 6:42 PM on June 29, 2009


For the record, I loved Idiocracy. Best comedy I've watched in a long, long time.
posted by thisperon at 7:02 PM on June 29, 2009


cortex: And all that Kyle MacLachlan earnestness. God but I love some Kyle MacLachlan earnestness.

Yes, but is he naked? Having read the novel recently for the first time but never seen the movie, I must know if Agent Cooper is in the buff at any point. This will determine whether or not we Netflix it.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:18 PM on June 29, 2009


Oh and you nailed me O.C. I am totally also Amanda Voiture. Scandal!
posted by ND¢ at 7:28 PM on June 29, 2009


COMES NOW Intervenor Dr. Zira, and respectfully requests MeTa to dismiss Petitioner's request for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. In support of her motion, Intervenor alleges as follows:

1. xkcd is for cattle and loveplay.
2. Dune needs to be remade until someone can do it properly.*


*Intervenor will stipulate to the fact that Sting in a Harkonnen bikini is not a bad thing.

WHEREFORE Intervenor cannot be arsed to bother with a conclusion.

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING


This is to certify that on this, the 29th day of June, 2009, a true and correct copy of the above and foregoing instrument was sent via teh Internets to the following:

MetaTalk
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:37 PM on June 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Sentenced to 150 years!!!


*bam* case closed
posted by edgeways at 7:37 PM on June 29, 2009


Oh and you nailed me O.C. I am totally also Amanda Voiture. Scandal!
posted by ND¢ at 7:28 PM on June 29


You have to admit it was pretty weird.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:46 PM on June 29, 2009


I'll take Sietch Tabr and try my lot with the Freman over Heinlein's juvenile swashbuckling "I'm so awesome I'm screwing my girlfriend's Mom and wife-swapping with my Dad while making omelets for the other twenty people (and one Martian) I screwed last night" warped ubermensch fantasies any day.

Sir, I have had one ass-fucker of a day. A no-shit, carried-three-pocket-handkerchiefs horror show of a day. I'm about an hour away from bed, and you just gave me a laugh that reached all the way back to puberty. I needed the hell out of that. I thank you.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:05 PM on June 29, 2009


cortex: And all that Kyle MacLachlan earnestness. God but I love some Kyle MacLachlan earnestness.

bitter.girl.com: Yes, but is he naked?



....


....Um, Sting's almost naked....I rather liked that.

Dune came out when I was only about 13, and I think that seeing this is what started puberty for me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:20 PM on June 29, 2009


Dune came out when I was only about 13, and I think that seeing this is what started puberty for me.

So the aerodynamic underwear didn't completely ruin the effect for you?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:23 PM on June 29, 2009


So the aerodynamic underwear didn't completely ruin the effect for you?

I was too distracted by the sudden epiphany that the parts that weren't covered by the flying underpants.... looked pretty damn good, actually.

(Seriously -- I was just barely out of the "boys=icky" stage.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:29 PM on June 29, 2009


To be honest, I was the same age when I saw Dune, and my reaction was to ask to be taken to a hair salon and have my hair done like Sting's in the movie. Took an awful lot of mousse, I remember.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:33 PM on June 29, 2009


Watching Dune was like staring into the future, because that was the first time I realized exactly how much Sting was going to become a parody of himself.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:36 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos no longer needs the weirding module!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:03 PM on June 29, 2009


Welcome to Metafilter, I love you. Welcome to Metafilter, I love you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:06 PM on June 29, 2009


XKCD is unfunny people's favorite comic.
posted by Damn That Television at 9:19 PM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm indecent, but it's a homophone.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:26 PM on June 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


If there's less and less people each year, people become more valuable each year. If the crisis is happening everywhere at once, the film's view of a society turning turning monstrously xenophobic as a reaction is way, way, WAY off the mark, from my personal suspension of disbelief.

It's better explained in the book, actually--I have my own issues with the book, but that aspect made more sense than it did in the movie.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:34 PM on June 29, 2009


I liked Idiocracy better when it was a 1951 novella by Cyril M. Kornbluth called The Marching Morons.

Monty Python precedes everything. It's nothing less than ground zero for all humor that speaks the truth (call it satire), a self-sustaining chain reaction of good clean fun, withering insight and laughing-at-people that hasn't just affected EVERYTHING since its 1969 premiere, it's also, through some weird and thus far inexplicable quantum mechanical pulse, managed to impact all preceding history as well.

This is true.
posted by philip-random at 12:20 AM on June 30, 2009


Dune would be a great movie if it was set in the jungle, and instead of fremen, there were lots of bikini weightlifter babes. And instead of a sandworm, an evil hot chick who lives underground. Yeah, that would be good.
posted by Mister_A at 4:57 AM on June 30, 2009


Dune would be a great movie if it was set in the jungle, and instead of fremen, there were lots of bikini weightlifter babes. And instead of a sandworm, an evil hot chick who lives underground.

Wasn't Bill Maher in that one?

Also, the whole theory about stupid people reproducing more is nonsense. The dumbest guy I know of only has two kids, and probably would have only had one if Laura hadn't had twins.
posted by TedW at 6:35 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Watching Idiocracy, I had one question. Who built all this stuff?

I can buy the idea of a computerized completely automated idiot-proof world, but who's making all the money? Or rather, who owns all the machines? Did the original inventors of the super-convenient-all-inclusive network just die off and now everyone is just playing with the system they left behind, or is there some floating space station of the super rich and more-or-less-smart who spend the buckets of money they make off the culture below on buying hand-made, all-cotton-100% organic t-shirts and real, grass-fed steaks?
posted by The Whelk at 7:26 AM on June 30, 2009


Did the original inventors of the super-convenient-all-inclusive network just die off and now everyone is just playing with the system they left behind

I'm going to go with that, as evidenced by the fact that everything is dirty and kinda broken, and the opening image of the skyscrapers held up with cables and duct tape.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:52 AM on June 30, 2009


Speaking of movies and terminal stupid, this is my favorite review of Transformers II yet:
"The problem with Bay is that he hates you. He thinks you're a moron and then you go about proving him right by making his movies obscenely popular. He also hates the Transformers as a cultural relic, having them fart and piss and shit and, in a fairly embarrassing moment in an embarrassing film, sport a pair of giant testicles."
As Joel and those other 'bots put it once "What would you know about dignity, Mr. B?"
posted by octobersurprise at 8:46 AM on June 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Scary bit: due to an unfortunate dye accident, my hair is currently the color of Sting's in Dune!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:55 AM on June 30, 2009


"What would you know about dignity, Mr. B?"

Mr. B was confusingly hot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:13 AM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


CONFORM CONFORM CONFORM CONFORM
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on June 30, 2009


Shit. I know shit's bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:14 AM on June 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can buy the idea of a computerized completely automated idiot-proof world, but who's making all the money? Or rather, who owns all the machines? Did the original inventors of the super-convenient-all-inclusive network just die off and now everyone is just playing with the system they left behind, or is there some floating space station of the super rich and more-or-less-smart who spend the buckets of money they make off the culture below on buying hand-made, all-cotton-100% organic t-shirts and real, grass-fed steaks?

I have a suspicion that Mike Judge's first draft of Idiocracy was a satire of Wells' The Time Machine. Our time travelling hero lands in a world where the faggy geniuses have moved into deep, underground caves, popping up every now and again only to snack on a Frito Pendejo or two, and Wilson has to outwit them to try to haul his ass back home. Or maybe the dumbasses are the Morlocks, and the fag talkers are the Eloi. I dunno. This shit is, like, confusing. At least, that's how I'd write the sequel.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:21 PM on June 30, 2009


Our time travelling hero lands in a world where the faggy geniuses have moved into deep, underground caves, popping up every now and again only to snack on a Frito Pendejo or two, and Wilson has to outwit them to try to haul his ass back home.

So, like, Demolition Man, then?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:26 PM on June 30, 2009


Oh man, Transformers 2? Whenever the 'bots were onscreen all I could think about was if somebody had taken the back off a complicated watch and then zoomed in and filmed the cogs moving about, that's what that would have looked like. Bay's version of the Decepticons have to be the least-threatening villains in the history of cinema. And even with a pair of writers - that's 100% more writers than the vast majority of other films - the plot was, shall we say, a violent shambles of spastic bullshit.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:45 PM on June 30, 2009


the plot was, shall we say, a violent shambles of spastic bullshit.

I was supposed to care about the plot?

Yeah, I saw Transformers 2, and liked it. Because it has trucks and cars and motorcycles and planes that turn into giant robots, and fight. That's pretty much all I wanted or expected out of the movie, and I got it in spades, so I was happy.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:17 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


you know what sucks? i never know if DevilsAdvocate is being sincere, and it's entirely because of his name.
posted by shmegegge at 4:18 PM on June 30, 2009


That's OK, most of the time I don't know if I'm being sincere either.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:49 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Frito Pendejo


I think I know someone who will totally love this nickname.
posted by The Whelk at 6:34 PM on June 30, 2009


Or rather, will totally love their new drag name.
posted by The Whelk at 6:34 PM on June 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks to Transformers 2 I now know that the hanger doors in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum open up to Arizona. Also Israel and the Sinai Peninsula don't seem to exist.
posted by Tenuki at 9:44 PM on June 30, 2009


Yeah, I saw Transformers 2, and liked it.

I'm watching it now, and it's confusing that The Fallen is a Vortigaunt.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:08 PM on June 30, 2009


Hey, do you know how XKCD is pronounced?
It isn't.
posted by tellurian at 7:47 PM on June 29 [+] [!]


Heh. Zzk’du. Heh.

A shame neither are valid options. There are rules in English regarding when consonants should be silent.

This ends your edition of Pedant's Daily. Tune in tomorrow when I address the proper use of "affect" and "effect" in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. ;)
posted by zarq at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2009


Anyway, Idiocracy is actually a film about the ongoing vulgarisation, crass commercialisation and pandering to the lowest common denominator of American culture. It just has a confusing eugenics-y introduction. I'm not an American so I can't comment on what is or is not happening to culture. But that was very funny film.


Are we talking about the one written by the Beavis and Butthead guy? And the King of the Hill guy? Clearly, you miss the point. The point of the movie was to mock the smug satisfaction people get out of belittling anything American or mass appeal. "oh, look at me, I'm so hip that I don't follow the trends. I'm not going to be one of those jerks. I'll be wearing my converse and t-shirt with the funky pattern that's ironically larger than the shirt so you have to look at me for a moment to get what my shirt really means and I'll be wearing my iPod and not getting viruses on my Mac, and finding ethnic neighborhoods with cheap rent to destroy and then complain about the high rent and consumerism and all the Starbucks', so I won't even notice it when the rest of the world does turn all gross."
posted by gjc at 5:07 PM on July 2, 2009


The point of the movie was to mock the smug satisfaction people get out of belittling anything American or mass appeal. "oh, look at me, I'm so hip that I don't follow the trends"

I'm not sure where you got this gjc. I don't recall anything like this in the movie at all.

This sounds more like the theme of that "Stuff White People Like" blog.
posted by thisperon at 11:00 PM on July 2, 2009


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