May 24, 2013

Mike Judge interviewed by Alex Jones about "Idiocracy"

Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis & Butt-head, Office Space, King of the Hill, and Idiocracy, has been interviewed a fair amount over the years, but mostly by media hive workers who haven't noticed that he's not a nice liberal like they and everybody they know are. He's a moderately famous creative artist and social critic, so he has to hold the same views as us, right? (For example, here's a substantial profile in the New York Times from 2011 that's completely clueless about his politics.)

The most obviously interesting question about Judge's career is: what the heck happened to the "release" of Idiocracy in 2006? Since we all know that conspiracies, by definition, don't exist, the decision by a shadowy group of Fox insiders to deepsix Idiocracy for unexplained reasons is just one of those things that happen. Why do you want to know more? What are you, some kind of conspiracy theorist?

So, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones turns out to be the first interviewer I've seen who exhibits much sustained curiosity about Idiocracy.

Judge treads carefully, but he's a little more forthcoming than normal.

This is not to get expectations up too high if you haven't seen Idiocracy. It's kind of choppy and a little short, but comedies don't have to be exquisitely made to be memorable [Caddyshack, anyone?]. Idiocracy compares quite well to the other interesting comedy that came out that fall of 2006, Sacha Baron-Cohen's Borat. In complete contrast to Idiocracy, Borat was marketed brilliantly and appealed to various deep-rooted prejudices of taste-makers, so it made a bundle at the box-office. In the long run, Idiocracy seems like the more profound portrait of the Bush Era (although Ramzan Kadyrov and the vibrant Chechen-American refugee immigrants are doing their best to revive the relevance of Borat -- although Kadyrov is more inspired by Baron-Cohen's underrated The Dictator. The Chechen proxy dictator is currently pranking his Instagram followers with the central plot element of Baron-Cohen's 2012 film about a dictator and his double.)

I don't like watching interview videos because they are a slow way to ingest information relative to reading. So, to save you the time, here are highlights from the video "Mike Judge: The Movie They Couldn't Kill," Alex Jones' 36 minute interview with Mike Judge.

Dale Gribble
At about 7:00 in, Judge says that King of the Hill conspiracy theorist Dale Gribble is based in part on Alex Jones.

15:45 Other than The Simpsons, the animated comedies that have really taken off -- South Park, Family Guy, Ren & Stimpy -- are ones where voices are done by the writer-artists rather than by actors.

17:45 Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" persuaded him to get into the guns -- especially Moore's argument about how there is a lower crime rate in Canada with "the same people." Judge leaves unstated why he found Moore's argument about Canada having the "same people" so unconvincing, implying that you ought to be able to figure out Moore's fallacy yourself, but he returns to emphasizing that he's thought a lot about the statistics of crime. "I took graduate probability and statistics courses."

18:40: He got blamed for Beavis & Butt-head causing crime in youth, but, he half-jokes, homicide has been declining since Beavis & Butthead came on the air in 1993.  He then presents his hand-drawn (but non-joking) table of crime rates in 1992 v. 2011 at 20:05.

21:15 Judge imitates Jones' appearance on Piers Morgan's show.

22:15 IRS targeting of conservatives "is going to make me listen to some more Alex Jones."

The last eight minutes from 27:40 onward are devoted to Idiocracy -- Judge started thinking about evolution and the disappearance of predators during the making of the Beavis & Butt-head Movie in the 1990s. Then, in 2001, was in line with his daughters at Disney's Teacups ride, when two women with strollers in the line behind him got into an altercation. Is this what Walt Disney wanted or expected? Then, he got thinking about the movie "2001" and how 2001 hadn't turned out to be everything pristine and advanced, but was instead the Jerry Springer Show and Wal-marts. So just take that chart from then to now and see where it would go in the future.

He owed Fox a second movie after Office Space. He didn't think anyone would make it. Gave the first draft script to Fox. Not much response. Then Luke Wilson wanted to do it, so Judge rewrote it for Wilson. 

Idiocracy's first corporate joke came after Judge drove past a tanning salon whose sign said "Exotic Tan for Men." But that's just low-rent, so it would be funnier if in the future handjob prostitution had spread upscale to Starbucks. He didn't expect Fox's legal department to approve it, but they came up with the suggestion that it would be less legally problematic if instead of just picking on Starbucks, the movie picked on a bunch of powerful corporations. 

(Sounds like my kind of legal department!)

The President of America addresses
the House of Representin'
"At some point I'm sure somebody flipped out, but I was shielded from all that."

This is pretty interesting because one common theory is that Idiocracy's satire of corporations is what sank it with Fox. Yet, Judge's comment that Fox's legal department came up with the idea of skewering numerous famous companies seem to lessen the likelihood of that idea. 

"They didn't really give it a release. There was a contractual obligation that they had to put it in 12 theaters and that's all they did." Judge talks about how Fox did so little to market the release that they didn't bother communicating the title to MovieFone, so if you called up trying to find when and where it was showing, the recording referred to "Untitled Mike Judge Project."

The Governor of California addresses
the State Senate
"What they told me was that it didn't test very well, which a lot of movies don't. Office Space didn't. ... We got 70% very good or excellent, which is a horrible score." He says that weird movies often get a polite "That was ... good" reaction.

He suggests that maybe Fox's horrible release turned out to be a brilliant strategy to get attention for the movie.

At 35:20, the screen then shows Reihan Salam's September 29, 2006 Slate article "The Movie Hollywood Doesn't Want You to See." I would estimate about 97% likelihood that Reihan read my September 3, 2006 iSteve posting "Mike Judge's "Idiocracy:" The movie the Fox studio doesn't want you to see." Also, my review in the October 6, 2006 issue of The American Conservative came out around maybe September 22. And back on March 26, 2006, I had written a profile of Judge's politics, including a preview of the upcoming Idiocracy for VDARE.

I go into this tedious detail because I like to imagine that my one accomplishment as a movie critic is getting the ball rolling on saving Idiocracy from oblivion by getting the younger Washington pundits talking about it.

35:30 Judge expresses pride that the word "Idiocracy" has become part of the language. Commenting on the movie's rise in fame and prestige, Judge says, "Maybe since it came out in 2006 everybody's gotten stupider?"

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

You think there is a chance Mike Judge reads Sailer? or HBD? or some of the alternative right topics?

countenance said...

I'm not a huge Alex Jones fan, and I always caveat emptor when listening to him, which isn't often. But in this case, the squirrel with poor vision found an acorn.

Cail Corishev said...

This movie really grew on me after a couple viewings, which seems to be the pattern with some of my favorites. I think at first I had high expectations from being a fan of Beavis & Butthead, and expected more over-the-top comedy of that sort. It's still not laugh-out-loud funny at many points, but it's a good story that makes its points well. I think it could have been funnier with different leads, especially Rita, but who knows.

"You see, a pimp's love is very different from that of a square."

Anonymous said...

Moar Chechen posts please.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality) said...

HUNGER GAMES may have been written/directed/produced by liberals, but I must say it is the most subversive anti-NWO movie I've seen in a long time.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading some some years back "analysis" of Idiocracy over at DemocraticUndeground. The lefties were assuming the Judge was a lefty and that his movie was basically a satire of the excesses of consumer culture.

Anonymous said...

Alternative right groups debate the issue of ‘what is to be done’, but they're bound to discover there isn’t much that can be done. Why? Because power is inter-connected. For example, alternative right guys might say that white conservatives or rightists need to emulate Hollywood and produce more filmmakers. But Hollywood power is connected with financial power as film-making and film distribution are highly very expensive. And mass entertainment is also connected with political power as TV licensing is controlled by the government. Also, no matter how good a movie may be, it goes nowhere without advertising, and Jews and homos control advertising. Critics may be of help, but critics are produced by the academia that are, in turn, funded by rich people with certain ideological or tribal orientations. Every kind of power links up with other kinds of power. So, the discussion on the alternative right is rather like the discussion among the Chinese in the 19th century. When faced by the Western threat, Chinese wondered what they must do in order to resist the imperialist powers. Some thought that Chinese should build guns like the West. But what allowed the West to fund such vast industrial enterprises in the first place? What made mass production possible in places like the UK? And even if Chinese could build guns like the West, what enabled the West to keep innovating in science and technology so that their guns kept getting bigger, better, and more powerful? There was no single source of Western power. It arose from the confluence and convergence of Western modes of finance, competition, freedom, individualism, innovative spirit, pioneering mind-set, rule of law, social mobility, mass education, and etc. So, unless Chinese fundamentally changed everything about China, they couldn’t compete with the West. They couldn’t just take one aspect of Western power and emulate it to challenge the power of the West because the real secret to Western power was the brilliant integration of economic, cultural, social, and political forces.
'Progressives' have rigged the system so that white power elements are not allowed to enter into any organization of any significant power. We saw what happened to Jason Richwine recently. We saw what happened to Stephanie Grace at Harvard. 'Progressives' have associated all theories about race with Nazism. In other words, because Nazi racial theories have been discredited and debunked, political correctness would have us believe that ALL theories about race have been likewise discredited and debunked. That’s like saying that since Stalinism, Maoism, and Pol-Pot-ism have been discredited and debunked, ALL socialist or statist ideas have also been discredited and debunked.

Anonymous said...

So, is there nothing the alternative right community can do to change people’s hearts and minds? Perhaps the best chance is to hide the politics and create something of great populist appeal, as Mike Judge sort of did. It costs next to nothing to come up with a great or appealing idea. Consider J.K. Rowhling. Or Stephanie Meyer of TWILIGHT fame and Suzanne Collins of HUNGER GAMES. Or the maker of SUPERMAN, which was created with nothing more than pencil and paper. Or consider the screenplay for OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, written by a neo-confederate white guy posing as an American Indian; even many liberals love that movie. While publishing companies have a blacklist order against ‘racists’, as long as a work isn’t obviously stamped with ‘racist’ views, it can slip into the mainstream. The social implications of HUNGER GAMES is pretty subversive of the NWO even though it has been appropriated by liberal Hollywood.

So, maybe alternative right types ought to keep their mouths shut about race and politics and work with pencil and paper to create youth fiction or entertainment. Once their works become popular and widely accepted, it won’t matter if they are then outed as ‘racists’. As so many kids will have become addicted to the product, they will likely remain loyal fans just the same. Furthermore, if a famous and much admired person is outed as a ‘racist’, the notoriety may actually legitimize racial theories in association to his fame. Consider all the kids who became addicted to HARRY POTTER stories. Suppose if Rowhling declared that she is a believer in white power and white survival. Though the media would have turned on her to destroy her, hundreds of millions of children will still love Harry Potter and may even come around to her views out of respect for her.

Steve Sailer said...

Generally speaking, most major movies are pretty far to the right: have you seen, for example, Iron Man 3? But the only liberal critic who routinely notices this fact is Andrew O'Hehir of Salon, while A.O. Scott of the NYT is occasionally nervous about this. Most of the media hive mind is simply oblivious.

The Hunger Games now has potential because the producers fired the lame liberal director, former Clinton speechwriter Gary Ross, immediately after the first episode became a huge hit. If they hire somebody more talented to direct the rest of the series, it could get interesting.

Steve Sailer said...

Here's a way to think about the political division between the movie creative artists and the culture smog generators in journalism. Ignore what candidates they give money to and all that kind of objective evidence and just try to put yourself mentally in the shoes of the following four people if they attended all four days of the annual White Privilege Conference:

- A minor league Entertainment Weekly movie writer
- Critic Manolah Dargis of the NYT
- Shane Black, writer-director of Iron Man 3 and Lethal Weapon
- Robert Downey Jr.

What would they say and what would they think about the White Privilege Conference?

1. The generic nobody entertainment journalist would likely find the White Privilege Conference thought provoking.

2. Dargis would feel it was intellectually beneath her, but she would be basically sympatico with the overall message and would write a positive piece about the WPC, but with a little subtle condescension included so her smartest readers don't think she's an idiot like #1 is

3 & 4: Black and Downey, I'm guessing, would be scathing about the WPC, but you'd never ever hear about it, although if you spent hours Googling over the years, you'd probably find bits and pieces of quotes here and there that suggest their true responses.

Truth said...

Steve, you are really tarnishing your reputation if you keep insisting that that crap movie was good. They held back the release for one reason; it was shit.

it was puerile, even by Hollywood standards, not funny, not intelligent, the cinematography looked like it was done by Junior College film students, and it just offered nothing.

Sorry, that's the truth.

blog grandiosity said...

Idiocracy is a fun film that deserves its entertainment-value following, but watching 5 minutes into it dispenses with the notion it's an epochal work of art. Steve's monomania for republicizing pet theories reminds me of the post-9/11 Onion headline "Now More Than Ever the World Needs My 'Back to the Future' Fan-Fiction." Also for a paid movie critic he doesn't evince a lot of familiarity with how Hollywood works; the late-summer table-clearing release may have been unfair but it certainly isn't unusual since the conglomerate era began in the 80s. I know without checking the AV Club or Metafilter must have more than one aspie treatise about all the other cinematic masterpieces dealt that fate.

Simon in London said...

From over here it does seem that Hollywood in general is not nearly as far-Left as the New York media complex.

BTW it was pretty amazing how Parker/Stone pulled the wool over the eyes of the Left-wing media here in London just recently with "The Book of Mormon", getting them to give it blanket publicity as what they assumed would be a nihilist anti-Mormon tract, as "Jerry Springer the Opera" was anti-Christian. Only a few of the smarter Lefties eventually realised they'd been fooled... Now the Mormons have their ads all over the London buses and Underground tunnels, taking big advantage of the publicity.

Simon in London said...

"everybody's gotten stupider?"

You've seen the recent confirmation that genotypic IQ is way down in the past 150 years, right? Looks like the decline started as soon as we escaped the Malthusian Trap, the welfare state is just icing on the cake.

Maxwell Power said...

The people I know who claim ideological affinity w/ that movie are uniformly run-of-mill left-wingers. It seems especially popular with the sort typified by some young white Canadian males I used to work with. They loved how it disparaged Fox News

Maxwell Power said...

Sailer, are you of Canadian ancestry by any chance

Ali said...

"35:30 Judge expresses pride that the word "Idiocracy" has become part of the language. Commenting on the movie's rise in fame and prestige, Judge says, "Maybe since it came out in 2006 everybody's gotten stupider?""

Haven#t watched the latest, immensely lazy and creatively bankrupt Star Trek, I'd have to agree about that.

Anonymous said...

Twoof bad mouthing Idiocracy is the best endorsement of the movie imaginable.

Anonymous said...

What would Simon say about Judge?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky9-eIlHzAE

Anonymous said...

To her credit, Maya Rudolph has given her husband, Paul Thomas Anderson, three children so far, and, as we speak, has a fourth bun in the oven.

By contrast, I can't find any evidence that Luke Wilson [who is now 41 years old] has any children at all.

The future belongs to the folks who make the babies.

So you can either get busy making babies, or you can get busy going extinct.

Ain't no middle ground.

None whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

If Mike Judge didn't read Sailer before, he certainly would have picked up that Sailer was the only one making noise about his movie. He does have google, just like you.

Anonymous said...

"Generally speaking, most major movies are pretty far to the right: have you seen, for example, Iron Man 3?"

Most? Really? Compared to what, a Michael Moore film? Citation needed.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality) said...

"The Hunger Games now has potential because the producers fired the lame liberal director, former Clinton speechwriter Gary Ross, immediately after the first episode became a huge hit. If they hire somebody more talented to direct the rest of the series, it could get interesting."

He did a creditable job as director. Ross is no master but a genuine pro or at least a talented hack.

I expected total crap--and it's certainly no masterpiece--but was surprised by how racy it all was.

In the special features section on the DVD, one of the publishers of the book try to associate the meaning of HG's satire with Bush and War in Iraq, but the elites looked like urban liberals and homos, and the victims looked like 'red state' white trash.

One thing that surprised me about HG and TWILIGHT is the moral shading and ambiguity. There is no clear good vs bad in TWILIGHT. There's an uneasy relation between non-human-eating vampires and human-eating vampires. There's an uneasy truce between vamps and wolves, with alliances shifting all the time. The Volturis are sinister but not necessarily evil. They play the role of law enforcer and are necessary in some way.

HG isn't a simple case of total good folks vs total bad folks. The oppressive elite class and urbanites cheer on the games but do feel a kind of sympathy for the gamers(albeit in a very twisted way). Reminds me of FEAR FACTOR episode where a father put his kid in a container and filled with giant roaches. People wanna see people abuse and debase one another on TV but also cheer them on.

The adult managers of the kids in HG are opportunists and whores but also develop genuine feelings for the kids. Woody Harrelson was especially interesting in his role. He goes along with the system and make a living off it, but he also cares for the kids he takes charge of. As for the victims, some of the kids retain their humanity while other relish in the bloodbath.
Also, even the good kids get carried away by the hype and glory.
It's all very sick and demented, but the lack of simple good vs bad dichotomy is food for thought.

For so many yrs, kids were bombarded with movies with good guys vs bad guys. TWILIGHT and HG make kids think a little more about stuff.

Anonymous said...

With no sense of irony and minimal hyperbole:
Beavis and Butthead is my high school years.
Office Space is my career.
Idiocracy is what the world around me is turning into.

Anonymous said...

Idiocracy wasn't a very good film, for obvious reasons. The two smartest characters were picked specifically for being "average" by 200x standards. Everyone else was a moron. What kind of dialog are you going to get out of that? Not much, as it turns out.

But the message was pretty sound.

Maxwell Power said...

As I remember the grist for "Idiocracy" primarily consisted of red-state things. The profane wrassler President might be a jab at low-info Democrat base (or Jesse Ventura?) but doesn't illuminate Judge's politics. He seems like an intelligent off-white-collar outsider, perceptive but not partisan. "King of the Hill" was also satire of flyover people, albeit informed and affectionate satire. Beavis & Butthead while strongly anti-PC anti-SWPL in gestalt didn't spend time on heavy-handed didactic Ayn Rand messaging--there's "South Park" for that.

Anyway I did like the movie, especially the Carl's Jr. barker voiced by Spongebob, but found it more deviously candid than profound on the Zeitgeist meter. If the current crisis in the world is that knowledge workers like Jessica Valenti or Alex Pareene or whatever don't want to have children I'm not too disturbed by that

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

I'm repeating myself from one of Steve's prior Idiocracy threads, but what the heck.

I sometimes rent movies from a very hipster-SWPLish video store in a gentrified neighborhood. To its credit, it's a damn good store and the staff know their stuff. But I'd imagine that nearly all of them are far left Occupy-types with maybe a few nerdy libertarians.

The interesting thing is that the individual workers will put stickers on the movies they like ("Ingrid's Pick!", etc.). Idiocracy is positively festooned with them.

The genius of that movie's appeal (such that it is) is that it makes a very subversive point about HBD while also letting SWPLs flatter themselves about how important they are to the future.

Eric said...

You've seen the recent confirmation that genotypic IQ is way down in the past 150 years, right?

Confirmation? I think there was a professor opining publicly on the subject a few months back with a complete lack of evidence. What confirmation are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

"Steve, you are really tarnishing your reputation if you keep insisting that that crap movie was good. They held back the release for one reason; it was shit.

it was puerile, even by Hollywood standards, not funny, not intelligent, the cinematography looked like it was done by Junior College film students, and it just offered nothing."

I have to hand it to Uncle Truth for often helping to bring us back from the brink when we've overstepped, but this criticism is way off base. Not only does the satire nail its targets, it was hilarious. As a satire, it had me laughing a lot more than something like Dr Strangelove, for example.

Svigor said...

This movie really grew on me after a couple viewings

The funny thing about Idiocracy is you need a relatively high IQ to get it.

Truth sed: Steve, you are really tarnishing your reputation if you keep insisting that that crap movie was good. They held back the release for one reason; it was shit.

I rest my case.

I remember reading some some years back "analysis" of Idiocracy over at DemocraticUndeground. The lefties were assuming the Judge was a lefty and that his movie was basically a satire of the excesses of consumer culture.

Selling their fat asses right back to them.

But Hollywood power is connected with financial power as film-making and film distribution are highly very expensive.

No, it's just that anyone who's good at filmmaking has every incentive to sell out. Making movies isn't all that expensive, per se, but if you're a good writer or director or other key creative type, why would you bother suffering in poverty when you can sell out for great money?

But your point is well-made nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

"You've seen the recent confirmation that genotypic IQ is way down in the past 150 years, right?"

A few problems with this.

First, the author of the study admits that environmental factors have more than made up the drop(if it exists to the extent he suggests).

But he treats 'genetic IQ', as he puts it, as more 'real' than the IQ raised by better nutrition, health.

Which is a fallacy. IQ is IQ. End of story.

Second, did he control for demographics?

Third, the slowness of innovation began already by the 1950s to the 1960s and solidified for sure by year 1970.

This means that blaming 'mass culture' or stuff like that isn't going to cut it.

People born in 1940 grew up in 1950s America, which many on the right tend to idealize and they have not been nearly as productive as people born, say, in the 1920s or further back.

So, in short: IQ is IQ. If the average IQ is raised by better nutrition that matters a lot. The study's author make a ficticious division in various 'kinds' of IQ to justify his result.
Second, demographics. The Western world, and certainly the youth, are not the same people as they were 140 years ago, especially in America.
Third, the slowdown began when the population pressure was still quite significant. (World War 2).

I think he's basically wondering where all the innovation has gone, much like Peter Thiel, but he has to torture his statistics and omit important pieces of the puzzle to get there.

A final word on Mike Judge:
He probably has some differing political viewpoints but he's annoying because he's essentially a wimp. I get that he wants to have a job but it still annoys me when someone lacks any fundamental principles.

And I've seen idiocracy. It was a pretty shitty movie as 'Truth' pointed out(one of the rare times I've agreed with him). Also cowardly to just attack the white working class (surprise surprise!) when we all know that that demographic isn't driving this in America.

More of Mike Judge's cowardice. If you want to make art, make it meaningful. Make it truthful. Or don't make it at all. Idiocracy will not be remembered because the message is obscured by Judge's spinelessness and unwillingness to make a clear argument.

Also, this is tangental, but I remembered I watched Beavis and Butthead as a kid and I found it enormously stupid. I did get the subtle jabs at popular culture but the form was nonetheless idiotic. I kept thinking to myself 'whoever made this is an idiot'. I haven't changed my mind.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Twoof bad mouthing Idiocracy is the best endorsement of the movie imaginable."

Quite true. It is evident from his posts that he has no taste, and an idiot's sense of humor.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Thanks for doing the partial transcript of the interview.

I tried watching it but after first 5 minutes, of which 1 and half minutes were intro to the amazing Alex Jones and irritating interruptions of various animated shorts(including South Park?) , I lost patience.

Idiocracy was lesser movie than Office Space but that was not really Judge's fault as it was beset with problems from the get go.
When people complain about bad taste and bad cinematography-they miss the point. People of low IQ tend to have rather bad taste but then people with high IQ often go for that modern art, so thats a toss.

I personally like it a great deal ,despite being clever it is actually quite entertaining.
If it had been marketed better, it would most likely wouldve been a hit.

Sailer:
Generally speaking, most major movies are pretty far to the right: have you seen, for example, Iron Man 3? But the only liberal critic who routinely notices this fact is Andrew O'Hehir of Salon, while A.O. Scott of the NYT is occasionally nervous about this. Most of the media hive mind is simply oblivious."

Ah but these critics see right wing subliminal messages in pretty much everything.Another example is Manohla |"Batman is Fascism" Dargis

I think Jerry Bruckheimer,Michael Bay and Don Simpson are national security conservatives or muscular Democrats of yore.
I personally find the blowing stuff up type of movies rather tedious unless its done well. Only James Cameron,Christopher Nolan,Ridley Scott and Michael Mann are able to do it without putting me to sleep.

Make what you will out of this-only one of them is American -Michael Mann but he attended film school in London.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


HUNGER GAMES may have been written/directed/produced by liberals, but I must say it is the most subversive anti-NWO movie I've seen in a long time."

In such cases, its either a Nixon goes to China scenario or the creators are not as liberal as they think they are.

D said...


No, it's just that anyone who's good at filmmaking has every incentive to sell out. Making movies isn't all that expensive, per se,"

Of course are movies that made so cheaply marketable? Not all movies share the desirable fate of Paranormal Activity.

To be sure , the ridiculous salaries of George Clooney,Brad Pitt ,Will Smith et al cant be really be justified if one takes into account only domestic markets(foreign audiences go more for name recognition than domestic)
Due to the increased market share of foreign audiences, marketing costs have skyrocketed over the recent years and can often match the production costs.






but if you're a good writer or director or other key creative type, why would you bother suffering in poverty when you can sell out for great money?"

John Sayles often did utter B grade trash (like writing for Piranha) so that he could afford to make the movies he really liked.

Michael Caine did all sorts of utter crap including an awful Steven Seagal movie. His justification was simple- I grew up poor , poverty sucks, I would like to have more money acting is a job like any other, pay me I will do the job.

I admire his honesty.
I find A listers to be richly hypocritical when they say they are choosy about the scripts. Its notscripts they are choosy about,its the money. Not everyone can afford to pay them $30 million (plus a percentage of profits) and those who can tend to have decent scripts.


Anonymous said...

Idiocracy is a one-joke movie but the lawyer guy and courtroom scene are classics.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0O7_3o3BrI

Anonymous said...


Idiocracy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHSiqQpg7Uc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnxBFt0spIs

Big ass gulp.

Dave Pinsen said...

That new Star Trek movie was pretty bad. Several years ago, I got to see Wrath of Khan on the big screen for its 25th anniversary. That remains the high water mark of the franchise, by a long shot. The 2nd flick with the TNG crew (First Contact) was pretty good, as was the first in this reboot series. But this one was a tasteless rehash of old material better handled before, with some gratuitous 9/11 / war on terror allusions tossed in.

Jokah Macpherson said...

It's funny he mentions Bowling for Columbine because Michael Moore's "Canada" thesis was partly responsible for me winding up as one of your readers. I kept poring it over in my head and something just didn't seem right with the movie's conclusion and when I started searching around on the internet I realized what I was missing.

Truth said...

"The funny thing about Idiocracy is you need a relatively high IQ to get it."

"Quite true. It is evident from his posts that he has no taste, and an idiot's sense of humor."

A relatively HIGH IQ? Well, let's put it to the jury; Quotes from this wonderful, highbrow comedy:

"Pvt. Joe Bowers: [addressing Congress] ... And there was a time in this country, a long time ago, when reading wasn't just for fags and neither was writing. People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!"

"

Doctor in Waiting Room: Clevon is lucky to be alive. He attempted to jump a jet ski from a lake into a swimming pool and impaled his crotch on an iron gate. But thanks to advances in stem cell research and the fine work of Doctors Krinsky and Altschuler, he should regain full reproductive function again.

Trashy Guy: [in the background] Get your hands off my junk!"

Interesting, I'll try to get Stephen Hawking to explain them to me.

"Doctor: [laughs] Right, kick ass. Well, don't want to sound like a dick or nothin', but, ah... it says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded. What I'd do, is just like... like... you know, like, you know what I mean, like..."

"Doctor: Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now."

Truth said...

...Maybe afterwards we can sit down with Christopher Langham and discuss the subtlety of Larry the Cable Guy.

Chubby Ape said...

Steve Sailer said...
.......
The Hunger Games now has potential because the producers fired the lame liberal director, former Clinton speechwriter Gary Ross, immediately after the first episode became a huge hit. If they hire somebody more talented to direct the rest of the series, it could get interesting.


The capital city in the Hunger Games world might be showing us what happens when Richard Florida's "creative class" merges with the sort of cleptocrats you showed us in "Photos of how rich white Mexicans live". Maybe over the next few generations the loveable nerds of Silicon Valley will fall away as their Tiger Mom wives become Dragon Ladies? Will Mark Zuckerberg's new wife become the Empress dowager of Silicon Valley's Forbidden City?

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdg6bUD5aMs

Simon in London said...

anonymous:
"Third, the slowness of innovation began already by the 1950s to the 1960s and solidified for sure by year 1970.

This means that blaming 'mass culture' or stuff like that isn't going to cut it. "

I agree - I blame the ending of the Malthusian Trap, ca 1820. It's the inverse of the 'Farewell to Alms' hypothesis - as soon as we exited the Malthusian Trap, stupid people could have as many children as they liked, and most would survive, because there was always enough food for them.

Scharlach said...

As you've mentioned, Steve, very few critics understood District 9, either. Here's the only reviewer who caught the smell of something fishy:

http://newsblaze.com/story/20090807123235mill.nb/topstory.html

"The distasteful joke here being perpetrated by director Neill Blomkamp, is that he fooled his subjects into talking about their aversion to the swelling immigrant population from other African countries, particularly Nigeria, and then, so to speak, photo-shopped them into his politically odious victims-as-villains movie. Clever."

Anyone who has listened to Blomkamp's interviews or the District 9 DVD commentary would catch onto the fact that the movie was not quite a, err, "apartheid metaphor."

I can't wait to see Elysium.

Jeff said...

Liberals think this is a liberal movie for the simple reason that liberals believe that they are the smart ones and conservatives are the dumb ones.

Luke Lea said...

Idiocracy -- a great premise, but, alas, the movie itself suffers from what it is making fun of.

Cail Corishev said...

"The funny thing about Idiocracy is you need a relatively high IQ to get it."

I hate to agree with Truth, but I don't see this. Yeah, a high IQ will help you keep up and catch all the sight gags and background jokes, but that's true of any movie, especially comedies. For instance, when Joe starts talking about going back in time and starts arguing with himself about the paradox -- if he goes back and tells himself not to do the experiment, then he won't come to the future, and won't be able to go back in time and tell himself.... -- that's probably funnier if you're smart enough to follow it (unlike his lawyer), especially if you're the sort who's familiar with the time paradox from endless Star Trek examples. But we're not talking high IQ to be able to grasp that, I hope.

In the opening, the high-IQ couple are hilarious if you've lived in that world, because they're just like that. I've heard the exact same arguments for putting off childbirth, right from people's mouths. But the scenes with Cleavon and son impregnating the trailer park are also funnier if you've been there, because those are pitch-perfect too. Maybe you have to have spent time in both worlds to really get it.

One thing that bugged me about the movie is that Joe is supposed to be average in every way, but he seems a lot dumber than that. Maybe that just means my social circle is above average.

pat said...

There is another aspect to the Hollywood's reception of 'Idiocracy'. Hollywood isn't fond of stupid people. Too may Jews in management?

The movie that absolutely everyone everywhere loved was 'Tremors'. But none of the sequels was any good at all. The reason was simple. Tremors was a buddy movie - two stupid buddies who triumphed over very formidable - if improbable - minsters.

If they could have reassembled the team of Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward they could have made a dozen boffo sequels. But Hollywood thought Tremors was a big worm movie when it was really a buddy movie. So we got more big worms but the no more buddy chemistry.

The charming pair of Bacon and Ward were idiots. They would have fit right in in the Idiocracy future.

Hollywood suffers under the delusion that its movie stars must always be portrayed on screen as geniuses. So in Will Hunting they have Matt Damon portraying a polymath. Matt Damon???

I think the public is hungry for some working class hero who doesn't know who the Vice President is. Who dropped out of Junior College. Maybe a brave guy who couldn't get into the Marines because his score on the entrance exam wasn't good enough. Or maybe some average schmo who wins the cheerleader away from the valedictorian.

Why have I never seen a movie based on one of these ideas? Prejudice against the stupid.

Albertosaurus

pat said...

Speaking of movies, I was thinking about some future movie technology. There was some new movie coming out that looked good except for its inclusion of Morgan Freeman.

Freeman is definitely over-exposed. Like Peter Sellers around 1970.

I would prefer that Freeman's role be cast with say - Max Von Sydow Or possibly Donald Sutherland.

That should be possible quite soon. When most live actors put on motion capture suits and cavort on green screen sets, it should be possible to offer the paying customers a choice of 'skins'.

Think of it. We could watch Nicolas Cage movies without having to actually watch Nicolas Cage.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Judge is a populist and too loving of his idiots to really condemn them or the idiocratic order.

I find Beavis and Butthead endearing.

Anonymous said...

"Woody Harrelson was especially interesting in his role. He goes along with the system and make a living off it, but he also cares for the kids he takes charge of."

Humanity sprouts from within the cracks of inhumanity.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

And I've seen idiocracy. It was a pretty shitty movie as 'Truth' pointed out(one of the rare times I've agreed with him). Also cowardly to just attack the white working class (surprise surprise!) when we all know that that demographic isn't driving this in America.

More of Mike Judge's cowardice. If you want to make art, make it meaningful. Make it truthful. Or don't make it at all. Idiocracy will not be remembered because the message is obscured by Judge's spinelessness and unwillingness to make a clear argument.


Svigor:

No, it's just that anyone who's good at filmmaking has every incentive to sell out. Making movies isn't all that expensive, per se, but if you're a good writer or director or other key creative type, why would you bother suffering in poverty when you can sell out for great money?

Svigor is right. Judge isn't some biblical prophet. It's not his duty to offer himself as a martyr for art, conservatism or whatever.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality) said...

One reason why HUNGER GAMES will fail in its satirical intent is it's been appropriated by mainstream entertainment. If Hollywood had refused to make a movie of it, a cultish aura might have grown up around the book as a dangerous work that no one wants to touch.

But HUNGER GAMES is handed out as reading assignment in schools all across the country and it's been made into a popular movie, which, despite its satirical content, is also action-packed thriller.

So, in some ways, it's a case of subversion turned into something safe and mainstream. Despite its anti-NWO-ness, NWO made it fun-for-everyone.
And despite its social message, its core appeal is in the action, game, violence, and suspense.

It's like so many Hollywood are officially anti-corporate in their message, but it's really a case of corporate Hollywood appropriating populism and using it to rake in big money from the people for corporate Hollywood.

So, I don't think HUNGER GAMES will have any real social impact. It's not so much satire against the system as satire appropriated by the system. And you have to pay the system to see the next installment.

Anonymous said...

Idiocracy is very reminiscent of The Marching Morons by C.M. Kornbluth.

From the Wikipedia entry:
""The Marching Morons" is a science fiction story written by Cyril M. Kornbluth, originally published in Galaxy in April 1951. It was included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two after being voted one of the best novellas up to 1965.

The story is set hundreds of years in the future: the date is 7-B-936. John Barlow, a man from the past put into suspended animation by a freak accident involving a dental drill and anesthesia, is revived in this future. The world seems mad to Barlow until Tinny-Peete explains the Problem of Population: Due to a combination of intelligent people not having children and excessive breeding by less intelligent people, the world is full of morons, with the exception of an elite few who work slavishly to keep order. Barlow, who was a shrewd real estate con man in his day, has a solution to sell to the elite, in exchange for being made World Dictator.

Several controversial ideas give rise to the future world envisioned in "The Marching Morons". The story postulates a future result predicted by the theory of eugenics - the idea that intelligence is inherited and that it can be promoted or retarded by selective breeding (whether intentional or not). A further expansion of that idea in the story is that intelligent people naturally select intelligent mates, while "morons" select "morons", eventually resulting in a society stratified by levels of intelligence. A third controversial idea in the story is that less-intelligent people tend to have more children than more-intelligent couples, which resulted in a future with many more "morons" than intelligent people."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marching_Morons

Funny thing is, Kornbluth was a Marxist.

Anonymous said...

"One thing that bugged me about the movie is that Joe is supposed to be average in every way, but he seems a lot dumber than that. Maybe that just means my social circle is above average."

I thought that Joe appeared smarter than average in some ways. 100 IQ is just average. Does your circle of friends have college degrees?

Svigor said...

...Maybe afterwards we can sit down with Christopher Langham and discuss the subtlety of Larry the Cable Guy.

I don't think Idiocracy is subtle, and I don't think I suggested it was.

Svigor said...

"Doctor: Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now."

Actually, on second thought, that is kind of subtle. Stupid people won't get it at all. The average person will probably get that pilots need to be smart, and find the idea of a 'tard as a pilot darkly humorous. The smart person will get that the "it's all good" mentality is being lampooned.

Doctor in Waiting Room: Clevon is lucky to be alive. He attempted to jump a jet ski from a lake into a swimming pool and impaled his crotch on an iron gate. But thanks to advances in stem cell research and the fine work of Doctors Krinsky and Altschuler, he should regain full reproductive function again.

Stupid or average people will not get this.

Svigor said...

"Doctor: Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now."

Also, smart people are familiar with being misapprehended as stupid by stupid people (who cannot understand irony).

Svigor said...

Doctor in Waiting Room: Clevon is lucky to be alive. He attempted to jump a jet ski from a lake into a swimming pool and impaled his crotch on an iron gate. But thanks to advances in stem cell research and the fine work of Doctors Krinsky and Altschuler, he should regain full reproductive function again.

Again, this works on multiple levels. Stupid people will find the first sentence amusing, but no more. Average people will understand the irony of smart doctors restoring an idiot's reproductive function (and the reference to the opening sequences). Smart people will get the Jewish joke, and reflect on the meaning and implications of the aforementioned irony, which are very real.

Cail Corishev said...

I thought that Joe appeared smarter than average in some ways. 100 IQ is just average. Does your circle of friends have college degrees?

Some do, some don't, but I think most of them would have figured things out faster than Joe did, and been better able to baffle the idiots and get their way.

It's a minor quibble, though; just an off note that kept me from liking the movie as much the first time as I do now.

For those who think Judge took no risks: please explain President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. What other show would have a black character like this guy?

JohnSmith said...

Obviously the example Judge used of dysgenic breeding had to involve a trailer park type of white person. This was necessary. He couldn't have contrasted the high-IQ white couple with low-IQ blacks. But I think he made the racial point with the black president. If I had been Judge, I would have contrasted a high-IQ professional black couple with some stereoptypical trailer trash white people. The cognitive dissonance among the SWPLgentsia would have been wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Pat - I dont think Bacon & Ward were playing morons in Tremors, just regular, average guys doing their best in a weird situation.

Anonymous said...

Michael Caine did all sorts of utter crap including an awful Steven Seagal movie. His justification was simple- I grew up poor , poverty sucks, I would like to have more money acting is a job like any other, pay me I will do the job.

He definitely sells himself as a worker. He has said that once he has signed on to a production he doesnt quibble about the size of his trailer, he doesnt storm off the set or refuse to show up or turn up late. The director (and producers) know what they are getting.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Idiocracy is a fun film that deserves its entertainment-value following, but watching 5 minutes into it dispenses with the notion it's an epochal work of art. Steve's monomania for republicizing pet theories reminds me of the post-9/11 Onion headline "Now More Than Ever the World Needs My 'Back to the Future' Fan-Fiction." Also for a paid movie critic he doesn't evince a lot of familiarity with how Hollywood works; the late-summer table-clearing release may have been unfair but it certainly isn't unusual since the conglomerate era began in the 80s. I know without checking the AV Club or Metafilter must have more than one aspie treatise about all the other cinematic masterpieces dealt that fate"


I agree with this assessment. I think Steve reads too much into Fox.
It was a Mike Judge movie whose last feature Office Space was released 6 years prior was a box office dud ,despite its later cult status.
There are many examples of studio execs having cold feet on what they percieve to be a weak film and try to either "fix" it ,delay it to to a less competitive date or if they can afford to -forget it ever existed.

Before going on and on about conspiracies I wish Steve would reflect on what he stated about his tastes being against the mainstream.
Therefore if he loved Idiocracy, it was only inevitable that it wouldnt do well.
My record of judging whether something would be successful is mixed. I saw Idiocracy on DVD in mid 2007 without any foreknowledge of its botched release and its poor BO performance.
Again I liked but not THAT much , I was just not sure how this would be recieved as it seemed more suited to be a TV production. Mike Judge is not terribly cinematic and TV guys seldom realize more is need on the big screen.
IMO thats what did Idiocracy in, they hired a TV guy to do a sorta kinda big budget edgy yet conventional comedy. This was confusion from the get go. No wonder it failed.

Anonymous said...

I've been a Jones watcher (not a cult idiot follower) since he put out "endgame". More so recently. I could write a very long piece on him. He has good and bad attributes. Their probably is a little bit of WWE conspiracy huckster in him. He will constantly talk about the TSA but will almost never bring up legal 3rd world immigration. THough he will say stuff about PC and whites being demonized occasionally. He constantly promotes writers and speakers many pegs bellow the intellect of Sailer or Brimelow or Richard Spencer (Max Keiser, Jesse Ventura, or straight con men like Lindsay Williams). I wonder if he's ever read i steve or alt right or vdare. he sure stays away from our sphere. he knows what will get him and his money in trouble. However, he is charsmitic and entertaining. Much more amusing than neo cons like Michael Medved or Beck. Some of his theories have some merit (population control, technology is something i wonder about).

Anonymous said...

a note on Jones, he can be a PC coward or worse at times.

for instance he described Dr. Watson as "the head of the laborotory who called blacks sub human".

however, today regarding the UK beheading he said something like "well it's ok cause he's white they probably think, just throw all the whites into the wood chipper" during a interview with chuck baldwin.

also fyi, Jones is in the process of giving himself diversity cover against his attackers by hiring blacks and latinos like Jakari Jackson from his reporter contests. he knows the game. he knows what not to touch on often. he'd rather have on David Icke to talk about repitilians than Peter Brimelow on demography. i suspect among other reasons he knows many blacks and latinos love their anti elite conspiracy theories. he's in a growth industry.

Anonymous said...

regarding the "what is to be done" comment. my suggestions: hide your politics as much as need be to be liked by people of all political stripes and races and be succeful in your field. Rise up and get rich and have influence like the Nolan Brothers. No need to get depressed b/c there is no quick fix. Just don't be a coward. Don't be part of the problem. if you have influence in DC don't use it to purge the next Richwine.

the money problem. how can we make it safe for rich people to donate to isteve and other pro preservationist causes? Maybe a tech wizard on our side can develope some bitcoin-esque digital solution for non traceable contributions.

personally i think more and more about leaving America and the west (as it becomes more and more like the E! channel and the land of Kardashian). I think of Canada.

Anonymous said...

re Hunger Games. I didn't like the male charchter they casted to be the representive along side the main girl. He was unattractive. not good looking, kinda lame (which i think they wanted as part of a large media influence plane re r.m.).

btw, i predicted an hour before that the black guy would save Jennifer Lawrence just like he does from the evil, tall, buff evil white guy.

the evil white guy meme is so obvious i think snl might use it soon.

JohnSmith said...

Just rewatched Idiocracy. I think it's worth pointing out that Judge makes heavy (very heavy) use of non-white extras in Idiocracy's dystopian future. And also note that ALL of the smart scientists were white. I doubt this was coincidental. Can't believe I was the only istever reader who noticed.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Pat - I dont think Bacon & Ward were playing morons in Tremors, just regular, average guys doing their best in a weird situation."

Quite true. They were portrayed as decent, resourceful, regular guys. It was a good movie.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality) said...

"I didn't like the male charchter they casted to be the representive along side the main girl."

Fool! He was one of the best things in the movie. And he was good-looking but more than a pretty-boy type.

I like how he understood the nature of the game and picked up what he had to do. He plays the crowd masterfully with a combination of charm and cunning.
His likableness is part of his strategy. He's able to win the trust of all sides.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality) said...

"a note on Jones, he can be a PC coward or worse at times."

He's to be appreciated as showbiz and personality if at all.
His stuff about GMO foods kills me.

Potato chips as part of the grand conspiracy. Funny since he's a chubberoon.

gubbler, champion of all things checheny(except criminality) said...

"btw, i predicted an hour before that the black guy would save Jennifer Lawrence just like he does from the evil, tall, buff evil white guy."

Be that as it may, the Negro wasn't particularly likable either. And he only spared the heroine because she was friendly with little Negress.

Even though the blonde buff guy is nasty, the two leads is a redneck-looking girl and a blonde golden boy who looks like one of the astronauts in the 1960s.

Cail Corishev said...

The movie that absolutely everyone everywhere loved was 'Tremors'. But none of the sequels was any good at all.

Them's fightin' words. Tremors II is excellent, maybe as good as the first one. It's not as much of a buddy movie, true, but Burt and his overkill make up for it. The third one, on the other hand, has too much Burt and suffers for it, and the fourth one is best forgotten about.

Svigor said...

Just rewatched Idiocracy. I think it's worth pointing out that Judge makes heavy (very heavy) use of non-white extras in Idiocracy's dystopian future. And also note that ALL of the smart scientists were white. I doubt this was coincidental. Can't believe I was the only istever reader who noticed.

You weren't. Even a non-HBDer friend mentioned this to me. The Idiocracy is quite beige.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


a note on Jones, he can be a PC coward or worse at times.

for instance he described Dr. Watson as "the head of the laborotory who called blacks sub human".

Maybe perhaps maybe he did that because it was the right to do ie criticize people who refer to blacks as "sub human"

to refer to this action as PC cowardice says a lot more unpleasant things about yourself than him. And Im certainly no fan of that crackpot.

Anonymous said...

Could you review Mud please? I really liked it just as a movie. But it probably has some interesting aspects of different from typical Hollywood.

Mr. Anon said...

"Dr Van Nostrand said...

""a note on Jones, he can be a PC coward or worse at times. for instance he described Dr. Watson as "the head of the laborotory who called blacks sub human".""

Maybe perhaps maybe he did that because it was the right to do ie criticize people who refer to blacks as "sub human"."

Except that Watson never said any such thing. He said that Africans are, on average, not as intelligent as whites. He did not say, nor imply, that they are sub-human. Perhaps, before critizing others, YOU ought to find out what you're talking about.

20th Century folk/Fox conspiracy-proverb said...

"Nobody Knows Anything"

Wild Bill Goldman said...

The captcha on my last comment was actually "theories"--wow!! Anyway I'm glad to read other people besides me have warm memories of the 1st "Tremors" (frankly can't remember anything about the sequel, I think at the time was either abroad or in high school). Have we isolated the HBD angle in that yet?

Tom said...

Mr. Sailer, I do believe you are correct that the Slate article was a scoop on your prior piece about Idiocracy, where the Slate writer was hunting the 'alternative right' universe for something interesting. Good thing he did, because that Slate article is how I discovered near-brilliant subversive art of Idiocracy and the intriguing story around the film. Hopefully Mr. Judge will deliver some sort of similar and more explicitly political magnum opus before the end of his career.