“How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read?” has become a best seller here, with translation rights snapped up across Europe and under negotiation in Britain and the United States.
“I am surprised because I hadn’t imagined how guilty nonreaders feel,” Mr. Bayard, 52, said in an interview. “With this book, they can shake off their guilt without psychoanalysis, so it’s much cheaper.”
Mike Judge's film "Idiocracy" is available at iO OnDemand, for all you cable subscribers out there. It might be on Netflix too. It's not the best movie I've ever seen - it certainly doesn't hold a candle to Judge's brilliantly inspired "Office Space" - but I did laugh wholeheartedly a few times. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone says "it's a good dumb comedy, like a lost Pauly Shore movie from between Encino Man and Son-in-Law. The production values are barely basic-cable quality." He's right, but who cares? Did anyone check this film out because they were interested in the production values? Oh, wait, I'm sure some of them did.
Have I talked a lot on this blog about my family out west? The ones who never read anything but the bible and have litters of no less than four kids? And then home-school them to protect them from Satan's works in the world? I'll have to check my archives. They live on compounds in the middle of the mountains, like the Amish. They have houses full of guns, for hunting deer, and my uncle thought a hunting trip was a perfectly reasonable excuse for his kids missing school. Everyone in my generation has grown up to be a bus driver or a file clerk or a grocery bagger. No doctors, no businesspeople, no attorneys (which may not be such a loss). They all voted for Bush, and pray for him weekly in church. They all feel that the solution peace in the Middle East is to convert everyone to Christianity (NOT Catholicism!). They think the ultimate pinnacle of human achievement is to become a missionary. Unless you're female, then it's to have missionary babies and cook really well.
Uh, anyway, regarding the movie, here's a fun comment on the Review from Rolling Stone, written by someone who feels he is "2Kool2B4Gotten." (I left his mis-types in, because after seeing the future of idiocy, mildly careless commenters seem rather cute:)
Mike Judge is dead-on about his accessment of the future. More accurately, the present. When the future "idiot" President of The United States is more eloquent than our current president, you know we are currently in deep shit. That is what has been haunting me every since I've watched it. It's not a big leap from what is our current number one movie and TV show to Mike Judge's visions of it in the future ("Ass" and "Ow! My Balls!" respectively).
I'm not sure which movie and TV show he's referring to, but "Jackass" comes to mind, which is both a show and a movie.
My favorite quote from the film comes at the end, when the main character, an Average American Joe, gets elected president, as he is by leaps and bounds the smartest person alive. It's a favorite quote on IMDB as well:
"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 who's ass it was and why it was farting. And I believe that time can come again!"
Yep, stupid people call those of us who speak eloquently and dress well, and show other signs of intelligence and culture "fags." Ain't that funny? Actually, it is, because the joke is on the anti-gay idiots out there. It's their world, I bet they're so proud.
I also noticed a complete dearth of any religious imagery or reference. I saw no churches or religious anything throughout the film. It may be that Judge backed off, but that's hard to believe. More likely, there is a godless comment here, that without a higher power to which we believe we'll be held accountable, there's really nothing stopping us from catering to our most base instincts: violence, random gratuitous sex, gluttony, laziness. The seven deadly sins are more than just things God doesn't want us to do - they are unhealthy behavior patterns that we easily succomb to when we don't police ourselves. The destruction of sprirituality, in all forms, plays a role in the destruction of civilization. Of course, South Park has covered that too. But I digress.
Sometimes, I'm glad the human life span is as short as it is. For all we know, this is the golden age of humanity.