Something that I hope to eventually write about on this blog is a problem that started some time ago but has become endemic in Hollywood moviemaking–and also goes a long way in explaining why the American public has grown even more reactionary against movies in general, no matter which umbrella of the political spectrum they fall under.
The problem is that filmmaking has become increasingly subversive, in the sense that movies have been less about telling a decent story or entertaining audiences than subversive tools of propaganda. When it comes to subversive propaganda, it doesn’t get any worse–or more devious–than Idiocracy, and it does it by using a technique known as the bait-and-switch. Baiting and switching, in terms of screenwriting, is the tactic of attracting an audience based on a specific premise or theme, then–when you have its full undivided attention and trust–doing a complete 180 on the very thing you used to attract them with.
Although the bait-and-switch sounds devious, it can sometimes be used in the service of something noble. For example, imagine a movie that glamorizes prostitution by showing a group of young girls living it up with designer clothes, lavish penthouses and famous celebrities as johns, only to switch things up in the Third Act as–one by one–they either get brutalized in some way (raped or killed), succumb to drug addiction or get knocked up and have their kids taken from them by the state. In this case, the bait-and-switch is used to teach impressionable young women in real life about the harsh realities of prostitution.
In the case of the movie comedy, Idiocracy (2006), the bait-and-switch was used for a sinister purpose: to pretend to address the concerns of people worried about a specific social crisis (the dumbing down of America), only to then flip the script to hook the audience onto one of the most evil pseudo-sciences of the 20th century (eugenics theory). To show how the movie did this, I’m going to have to first explain what is meant by the “dumbing down of America”, as well as talk briefly about this pseudo-science, known as eugenics.