From Idiocracy to Silicon Valley
It seems rare that anyone mentions Mike Judge’s film Idiocracy and his HBO show Silicon Valley together, but it seems to me that the two works are both sides of the same coin. “Elitist porn,” Rick Paulas calls the dysgenics-themed Idiocracy with its brutal mockery of the “low IQ,” which the film in characteristically conventional fashion equates with the “lower class.” However, as it takes up the subject of those that people of conventional mind regard as the “high IQ,” equating this as they do with the “upper class” (or at least, those who might be on their way up into that class, not least “startup”-running IT types), the words “Elitist porn” seem to me to be equally applicable to it — if the fact is even less often appreciated than is Idiocracy’s elitism. Indeed, so far as I know critic Kevin Reed is alone in identifying and making explicit this aspect of the show in his review of its first two seasons, remarking the show’s writers’ “admiring . . . the culture they are criticizing,” and “never bring[ing] viewers to a point at which this peculiar phenomenon can scarcely be questioned” for utter and total lack of any sort of critical social vision, such that “[o]ne could hardly think of a more conventional and shallow approach to the complexities of life in Silicon Valley.” Alas, without such conventionality and shallowness the show would never have been such a darling of the prestige TV-loving critics — and doubtless, Judge not done nearly so well as he must have out of it.
Originally published at https://raritania.blogspot.com.