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Watering the plants with electrolytes

Published: 
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

For some, the holiday season brings time that can be spent on old and new books and movies. This year, I broke with tradition and skipped The Sound of Music, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Finding Nemo.

Instead, for about the sixth or seventh time, I watched the 2006 dystopian comedy Idiocracy, and, because I was anxious to explore what was behind its prophetic storyline, I got myself the 1951 science fiction novella The Marching Morons, by Cyril M Kornbluth.

Idiocracy did not do very well at the box-office when it first hit American cinemas, but I am sure it is now picking up in popularity.

Hopefully, the movie will inspire adaptations by some of our creative folk right here in T&T in this era of chaos, dysfunctionality and sheer stupidity.

Idiocracy tells the story of two 21st century people—a male army corporal and a female prostitute—who become part of an army experiment in human hibernation. However, because of several mishaps the two are awaken more than 500 years later in a world occupied and run by greedy, sex-crazed, dumb people.

Cpl Joe Bauers’ lawyer binge-watches testicle-crushing video clips and, when Joe visits a spaced-out medical doctor to check on his general disorientation, he gets a huge bill with neither diagnosis nor treatment.

Bauers is arrested for not having an identity tattoo and comes before a judge with an over-sized gavel and quick temper leading a cantankerous, jeering jury shouting “fag, fag” when they hear the corporal speak in hifalutin’ English.

Bauers’ lawyer joins in declaring his client’s guilt and he is carted off to a disorderly, overcrowded prison manned by officers he easily outwits in order to escape.

While in custody, though, Bauers takes an IQ test he aces—a feat that eventually takes him to the post of Secretary of the Interior, tasked with finding the solution to a severe food crisis, as the smartest man alive.

The president, who appoints Bauers, is in office mostly because he is big and bad, is good with the ladies and can dance and rap well.

The storyline borrows heavily from The Marching Morons which tells of smartman salesman, John Barlow, who awakens in the year 7-B-936 after being given too heavy a dose of dental anaesthetic.

The world he wakes up to has a population of three million “highbred elite” (people who can read and write) and five billion morons. The average IQ on the planet is 45—a score of 90-110 is considered to be “average intelligence” nowadays.

In both Idiocracy and The Marching Morons, there is the triumph of stupidity over common sense, good taste and decency.

In Idiocracy, people engage in groin and butt-kicking voyeurism 24/7 while fast food outlets and coffee shops offer deals on sex. Crops are watered by an energy drink “because it has electrolytes” and food mysteriously becomes scarce.

Water is meanwhile used only for flushing toilets. Bauers finally gets the authorities to use “toilet water” to irrigate the fields. He succeeds and you will have to watch the movie to see how it all ends.

In Barlow’s case, he finds a way to slow the multiplying of morons by using his skills as a real estate salesmen to convince people to travel to Venus on spacecraft which never return.

Yao Ramesar, Michael Mooleedhar et al, there is work for you to do. I can also see Kevin Baldeosingh finding company for Paras Parmanandansingh in the year 7-B-936 and Raymond Choo Kong producing the novel for the stage. We are watering dem plants with electrolytes and need that ride to Venus.

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