WELCOME TO COSTCO

We finally saw Moonfall the other weekend, not expecting much. Which is always a good thing with Roland Emmerich, today’s Irwin Allen “Master of Disaster” type director. But the sighing and eye rolls and general contempt began almost immediately with hubby.

Even though Star Wars isn’t sci-fi but sci-fi fantasy, whenever Padme (Natalie Portman) hopped into a ship and appeared somewhere across space an hour or two later, I thought hubby would lose his religion. Similarly, in Moonfall, the astronauts’ two-hour trip to the moon was met with unmitigated disgust.

“It would take at least two weeks to get to the moon,” he informed me.

The shuttle flying through space, the vehicle’s rear lighting up with a warm glow from the engines, received a caustic, “The shuttle doesn’t have engines.” (They do at first, but later, evidently at this point, not anymore).

When a gigantic space rock smashed into the outside and the vehicle continued on with no apparent damage, I worried about epilepsy: that’s how far his eyes rolled into the back of his head. “Those things are basically made of tissue paper,” he told me, and released an embittered, bone-weary sigh.

Movies are for entertainment, right? And while our subconscious may know better, our frontal lobe will simply immediately decide, “It’s the future. Must be future stuff.” Most people just wanna have fun at the movies. Unlike my husband, most people didn’t write a letter to NASA as a kid. So, yeah…nerd alert!

When we re-watched Idiocracy the other day, though, the levels of stupidity there, along with some accurate crystal balling of our future (an idiotic president, for one, surrounding himself with a moronic, clueless administration) was simultaneously hilarious and horrifying.

There’s even a word for it, coined as far back as the 17th century: kakistocracy. A government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. I’ve never heard that word before. Which makes me feel like I’m on the way to my own idiocracy!

And it’s not getting any better. Take a gander at today’s headlines. Sarah “What’s the difference between North and South Korea?” Palin is now running for Congress.

Here’s IMDB’s blurb for Mike Judge’s 2006 dystopian movie Idiocracy: Private Joe Bauers, a decisively average American, is selected as a guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program but is forgotten, awakening to a future so incredibly moronic he’s easily the most intelligent person alive.

In my personal opinion, being dumb, unambitious and/or overly greedy, and lacking any sense of propriety began, insidiously, with Married with Children in the ‘80s.

Although All in the Family preceded Married with Children by well over a decade, its MO included outrage against much of Archie Bunker’s behavior, along with discussions of morality conundrums and other various points of view.

By the time we’d reached Married with Children, laughter replaced ideals and high ratings eliminated any hope for principles or integrity. Just chug the Cola and guffaw. Still, we were kind of laughing at Al Bundy and his gang, not with them. Which made them sort of harmless, in a way, but still deceptively dangerous. Why?

Because they paved the way for reality TV. The real villain, in my opinion,  behind the adolescentization of America. And probably many other countries, but I haven’t researched those.

What’s included in adolescentization? (And yes, I made that word up) Chronological immaturity and emotional instability.  An inability to speak coherently (what Idiocracy calls “the low registers of English”) for example, without saying “like” every other word. Cursing as a substitution for thought or reason. Gossip as an art form viewed as a necessary lifestyle component. An inability to laugh at oneself due to an inability to perceive “the bigger picture,” resulting in “hurt” feelings and a distorted sense of righteousness leading to revenge boycotts and cancel culture.

But more than anything, adolescentization’s most disturbing outcome may be that we’re all laughing with reality TV stars, not at them. We’re identifying and commiserating with them. Man, was Andy Warhol right! But 15 minutes of fame was only the tip of the iceberg. Just ask The Real World (on for 29 years), Survivor (21 years) and Cops, on for a surprising 32 years—cancelled after George Floyd’s death, but slowly reinstated back to business as usual (surprise, surprise!) as of 2021.

Meanwhile, in the real world, one headline on nationalreview.com says: Why Johnny Still Can’t Read. And goes on to claim: Public schools are passing students who can’t read at any level — all to avoid blaming teachers, lawmakers, and bureaucrats.

The website calmatter.org says: Results from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress show that only 32% of fourth graders are reading proficiently.

Even more disturbing: “Reading tests have shown that 10 percent of Minnesota`s public high school juniors and seniors are functionally illiterate….”

This was a headline in the Chicago Tribune…from 1987! Right about when…hmm…Married With Children unleashed its brand of slovenly, cackling humor into the world.

In the end, $$ says it all. $$ is the root of all evil. You can’t take it with you (off Earth), but you can’t live without $$ while you’re on Earth. If the US military budget is $782 billion while spending for education in total for all of the country is “upwards to” (their words, not mine, meaning, I assume, it probably often does not reach up quite that far) $79 billion….. well, need I say more?

Actually, there is one thing we could say. What the greeter at the entrance of a popular warehouse store says in Idiocracy.

A paradoxical confluence of fact combined with an abrupt left turn away from said fact, compounding the hypnagogic state we’re all slowly succumbing to, undermining reality by diverting our attention elsewhere with something that has nothing to do with the original thing, but hopefully muddying up the waters enough that, in the process, we forget what we were thinking, especially if it was contrary in any way to what the puppet masters desired. See? Any idea how I started out that sentence? Of course not!

“Welcome to CostCo. I love you.”

32 thoughts on “WELCOME TO COSTCO

  1. This particularly harsh review of MOONFALL –
    https://theithacan.org/life-culture/review-moonfall-is-a-ridiculous-waste-of-time/
    includes the following observation –

    “MOONFALL” isn’t even visually stimulating. The action sequences and special effects appear as though they were made over the course of a long weekend. During scenes that are supposed to be intense — like where Brian, Jo, and K. C. are navigating the dangers of space — all viewers can focus on is how the spacecraft and the meteors are so clearly animated”.

    Vindication for hub!

    Well done Stacey by the way on ‘adolescentization’.
    You completely nailed the description.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugggh. Thanks for the link, Glen. Unfortunately it just hammers in the fact that we can’t get that 1 1/2 hours of our life back. lol !!! Oh, well. At least I can read (still. sort of) lol

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and PS: thank YOU for being one of those holding back the darkness, Glen, as a teacher. Straight up props for that!

      Like

  2. I haven’t seen a new movie (including Moonfall) in at least 15 years, and I never watched Married With Children, so I yield to no one in my ignorance of what you speak…..though I did watch All In The Family a few times, which (IMO) was enough to qualify it for “when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” status.

    However, there was one ‘show’ you mentioned which was truly laughable: Sarah Palin. Back in the day, she was a big joke, but now (if elected) to Congress, she will be just one more clown among many….and, unlike from her home in Alaska, she won’t be able to see Russia from Washington D.C. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m at the point where I feel like it’s a “you can’t fight city hall” feeling. Things feel…inevitable and out of any sort of control. I know control is an illusion,ultimately, but I feel like there’s not even an illusion of control anymore!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • And even beyond the portion of the population that gets even LESS money than others because nobody cares about their education, overall education in this country has plummeted. I feel bad for kids today and where they’re headed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Very nice post and of course many movies count on and receive the viewers “suspension of disbelief”, so long that the film doesn’t violate its own rules. As for Idiocracy, I saw it long ago; but, sometimes feel it is become a documentry rather than a comedy. Married with Children seemed like at least to me–fun entertainment. All in the Family was fun, but had a strong social message during those times. Anyway, excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks! I appreciate it. While I drown in my own tears, lol. And yeah, entertainment vs. messages vs. no discernible reason to exist……. ah, well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Heavens, Irwin Allen disaster movies! I’d forgotten those. They must have a cultish following by now. I’d say they were pretty bad, but I seem to remember watching a lot of them, so lets say I hope my expectations have matured as I’ve got older. I’m afraid I’m also guilty of tossing (metaphorical) popcorn at bad science in Scifi movies.

    If adolescentization isn’t a word, it should be. It describes so much of what we see now in the UK too. I’m not too familiar with the shows you mention but I get the drift, and we certainly have our equivalents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Irwin Allen–I know, I know! A staple from my childhood. REALLY corny looking back now, ha ha.
      And I imagine that bread and circuses is a pretty universal, under different names, everywhere.

      Like

  6. We HAVE seen it, Widds. I recommended it to anyone I could find. So right on target–it was extremely disturbing, to say the least, and completely believable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Howdy! Um…yeah, ha ha, to say the least! I would even venture it was the work of a DRUNK six year old monkey! Hubby agrees with you 100%, btw (I just read your comment to him). Hey, Chim Chim, lay off the sauce !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I sort of smile when you tell how your husband criticized the mistakes the makers did in the movie, well it may be a Science Fiction movie, but regardless, they have to make it believable, otherwise people will notice, and you are thinking this movie was made by morons!
    And maybe that’s linked to the part you complain about not spending enough on education, it reflects everywhere, even in a movie badly made.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, B.H.. Yeah, lack of education or knowledge plays into moviemakers’ hands, because I’d wager most of THEM are fairly educated. But they can get away with little or no research or facts because the audience at large won’t care, lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess they are there only for the money, and very likely most of them they only care if it will sell well to the public, bottom line they care for their own pocket, not on the small details, that maybe few like your husband can catch.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So true. Married With Children opened Pandora’s box. I thought so at the time and I still think so. My husband loved the show. He shrugged off negative cultural significance with, “it’s just raunchy, goofball humor. Nothing new.” I thought it crossed not a line, but a trench that protected society from gorging in mass on base entertainment for the sake of gorging in mass on base entertainment.
    The same thing happened when 7-Eleven unleashed the Big Gulp on society. The next big thing? All you can eat buffets and all you can drink sodas in slews of restaurants and the obesity epidemic.
    Was there anything redeeming about Married With Children? Ed O’Neil and Katey Sagal managed to disguise chicken shit as truck stop chicken salad with their acting skills–that’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, man. Eloquently and succinctly said, Pam, as per usual. Thought-provoking take on the Big Gulp and what door that opened, too. Never thought of it that way, but absolutely makes sense. Hope you and yours are doing well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post 🙂 The problem with not only reality tv, but our elected officials (or those with aspirations) is that most of the time, they say ridiculous things for attention, whether they mean what they say is not so much the problem (though that is part of it), it is that they come off as hollow. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi, John. Thanks!! Boy, are we on the same page. And “hollow” is kinda a nice word, considering some of the outcomes of their behavior.

    Like

  14. I Enjoyed reading your humorous perspective of modern times, referencing the great Idiocracy and other shows along the way😄 Haven’t seen Moonfall, but based on you and your Husband’s review i think I’m better off just rewatching Independence Day🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi, E.F., and glad you enjoyed it. Hey, for sure, if you’re gonna go Emmerich, go old times! Independence Day was more fun since it wasn’t trying to be “factually” correct. Kinda a cheesy classic, right?! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Independence Day is a good cheesy classic! And I know you mentioned the shoddy special effects in Moonfall… Independence Day actually has some of the best special effects ever. They melded together the best of both worlds – real life miniature models (like in Star Wars) and digital CGI. It took a ton of love and time. I love the 90s! Haha

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I haven’t seen a Bond movie since Pierce Brosnan Tomorrow Never Dies, 97 or 98, can’t remember. It lost its watchability for me after Roger Moore disappeared into the past. I haven’t seen the other ones you mention. I should join you in the present, but I prefer peeking from the back.
    By the way, brilliant and original review as usual Sel 😊👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Aw, thanks, I appreciate it, John!
    That’s interesting that you lost interest after Moore! Hubby HATES Moore and thought he was the worst, lol!!
    I never was into Bond…but later in life I DID like Mr. Connery. I miss him. (I act like we were best friends, lol)

    Like

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