It’s a comedy about a slacker named Joe. He participates in a hibernation experiment with the Army, and due to a mistake, wakes up 500 years later to find a society so dumbed down that he is instantly the smartest person in the world. He struggles to be understood. The people get outraged or excited about trivial things, are easily distracted, and refuse to acknowledge concepts of common sense or social responsibility.
The movie, an obvious indictment of society today, is funny. Well, it’s funny as long as one thinks it’s for entertainment purposes only. But based on the events of the past few weeks (the Charleston church shooting, the Confederate flag, same-sex marriage), I’m convinced Idiocracy is a possible version of our future.
I’m not saying people with dissenting opinions are idiots. Of course not. People are entitled to their beliefs. But I think it’s ridiculous to react so fervently and angrily at things that have little impact on your life. It’s idiotic to refuse acknowledging the truth when it punches you in the face. And it’s foolish to constantly allow yourself to be distracted from more pressing issues.
For example, take a look at:
The Media and Conservative Pundits
- Technically, they aren’t stupid or idiotic. They’re master manipulators of public perception. First, after terrorist coward Dylan Roof opened fire in a black church and killed nine people, the media followed the usual game plan of humanizing the murderer and claiming possible mental illness. Amazingly, such considerations are never afforded people of color—no, they’re just sane, violent, scumbag thugs. Imagine if it had been a 22-year old named Ahmad who shot up Joel Osteen’s church. The narrative would have been different.
- Then there were the conservative talking heads refusing to accept it was a racial hate crime. Instead, it was a “crime against religion”. Never mind that Roof probably skipped several white churches on his way to a black one. Never mind that he was an avowed racist and he himself admitted his intention to murder blacks. No, these people would rather search high and low for any excuse other than the fact that racism still exists.
The Confederate Flag
Here’s another trending topic that left me shaking my head.
- After people saw pictures showing Roof wearing Dixie paraphernalia, politicians and retail executives tripped over themselves, trying to be the fastest to remove the confederate flag from government facilities and retail shelves. Prior to this, the same people were content with the flag where it was. It took the deaths of 9 people to make them act? While the removal of the flag is welcome, the same prevailing attitudes and racial ignorance remains. This gesture presents the flag as the cause of the hate, rather than the symptom. Instead of hard, frank discussions or even an acknowledgement of systemic racism in the first place, the removal of a flag is sold as a solution. Oh, wait…it must be election season. This is distraction politics at its finest.
There’s plenty of stupid to go around for this one.
- Some folks were so outraged by the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage that they threatened to move to Canada. Someone should’ve told them Canada legalized gay marriage a decade ago. They should consider moving to Daesh or Northern Iraq instead, where homosexuality can be punishable by death by ISIS. It’s possible these outraged Americans could end up beheaded on YouTube, but at least they’ll spare themselves the terror of ever seeing a gay married couple.
- Not to be outdone, others threatened to set themselves on fire if gay marriage was legalized. The hypocrisy is overwhelming. I’m a Christian. Do I think marriage should be between a man and a woman? Yes. But that’s MY opinion. I’m not going to hate and froth at the mouth because of their beliefs, especially if those beliefs don’t lead them to hurt others, such as shooting up churches and killing people. I may not agree with them but I accept them. If there is any divine judgment to be made, it won’t be done by me. Besides, I have my own issues I need to worry about. I need to remove the plank from my eye first.
- Perhaps overzealous Christians need to stop the selective application of biblical principles to follow only when suitable. If gay marriage is horrible to you, and you throw the bible up as your defense, fine. Be just as vehemently opposed to premarital sex. That’s in the bible, too. And divorce. If you’re sick of your spouse, tough. Force yourself to stick with that nagging, whining wife or that lazy, unambitious husband for the rest of your life. Divorce isn’t an option. God frowns on it. That’s in the bible, too.
- Last, but not least, a big example of idiocy goes to a group of black pastors who vowed civil disobedience if the SCOTUS legalized gay marriage. So let me get this straight. Many Black communities deal with high crime, systemic racism, police brutality, poor economic opportunities, limited access to quality housing and medical care, and now, terrorist attacks against churches. And marching and offering immediate forgiveness is the standard operating procedure.
- But if Linda wants to marry Diane? Oh, no, they can’t have that. Now’s the time to fight the power like Public Enemy. Now is the time to organize and channel that same selfless bravery, courage, and energy used in the Civil Rights movement….to fight gay marriage. I bet many of the same pastors were quick to call for forgiveness for Dylan Roof after his cold-blooded murders, yet they seemingly have less tolerance for a gay couple who want to get married. They can’t use their resources to address more pressing issues? No wonder church membership is declining.
After this past week, I realize we must be in the year 2515 already.
Idiocracy is here.
Yes, it’s been a while since I last blogged.
I’ve had significant life changes in the past few months and I took a break from blogging and promotion activities as I settled in my new life. I’m still working on incorporating some additional life changes, so my blogging has taken a bit of a hit.
Additionally, as I had already published my first novel Partners in Crime, I realized how much time (and money) that the obligatory blogging and promotion can require of new authors. For all of you new writers who are not blessed to be on the NY Times Bestseller list with a team of editors on staff, I can certainly confirm for you that this process is a marathon with constant promotion, blogging, and social media posts/boosts, etc., all to sell perhaps a handful of books. Much of this just ends up being a tax write-off instead of a profitable venture. But I willingly accept it.
Yes, you have to love writing to go through this. Which I absolutely do. You can spend a lot of time and money, but sometimes, all of it can be worth that one email or review from a reader who tells you that he or she loved your story and can’t wait for the next book. Sometimes, that means more than getting a royalty check (especially if I’m not cashing James-Patterson-type checks).
Still, although writing is my true passion, I felt that much of that time and money spent on promoting is time better spent recharging and writing my second book. I don’t have a title yet, but it’s the second of my series revolving around Jefferson Strickland, the hardened Atlanta Homicide Investigator who finds himself entangled in a dangerous case that changes his life forever. I figure that promoting books becomes easier when you have more than one book to sell, right?
Anyway, I’m just checking in with all of you wonderful readers to let you know I’m still around and I’ll be saying hello a little more often.