More than a year ago, I watched the movie Idiocracy, eager to devour the future-forward, culture-skewing comedy from Beavis and Butthead/Office Space creator Mike Judge. What I got was both a nuanced and infantile bashing of current pop culture, set forward in time. Entertainment like Ass: The Movie and Ow, My Balls! on the Violence Channel reigned supreme, while ex-athlete Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho rose to the ranks of U.S. President.
Today, while we have a charismatic and — dare, I say it, intelligent — man as president in Barack Obama, one of the signs of the pending idiocracy has come true, and that is in the form of the television show MANswers.
Ever the purveyors of mature, sophisticated media, Spike (“The First Network for Men” — never mind The Playboy Channel and every other network not containing the word “Lifetime”) has saw fit to crush the stereotype that there was a bottom to the trough that the lowest common denominator feeds from. MANswers aims for the beer-chugging, Maxim-obsessing, fratboy-perpetrating, law-breaking, horndog-exuding, UFC/homoerotic sport-viewing Alpha Male, and hits him square in the testicles.
Charging forward with the most amped-up announcer since the ShamWow TV guy swam in a cocaine vault like Uncle Scrooge’s money room, the most idiotic questions are shouted at the audience, questioning whether the writers of the show are either woman haters or 14 years old. Wonder “what’s the best way to have sex while scuba diving”? Ever think to yourself, “Does spanking lead to horniness?” At your local MENSA meeting, do you address your intelligent peers with the genuine quandry, “Are natural boobs getting bigger?”
Want to see an example? Do you REALLY want to? Check THIS and try not to say a prayer for humanity.
Seriously, these are all true, and they are accompanied by gratuitous sound effects and graphics — with greased-up models, fast-forwarding/rewinding stock footage and frightening screams being passed off as throes of passion. I didn’t know whether I was supposed to be aroused or call the police.
Show topics boil down to the basics: belittling the opposite sex, bowel movements and how to break the law. A quick scan of the episodes can fit into one of these three categories:
* What’s the safest, and best, way to have sex underwater? – Sex
* What are three ways to make money with a dead body? – Breaking the law
* Which animal is the gassiest – Bowel movements
* How can you literally get drunk on Grandpa? – Breaking the law
* Sign your lady up in this military and she can get breast implants for free! – Sex
* The sure fire way to escape from handcuffs – Breaking the law
* Find out which country’s ladies love to dole out oral sex – Uh, sex
* How to save lives with your poo – Bowel movements
* Find out how to stretch your weed dollar by getting the highest you can – Breaking the law
* Could those boob implants stop a bullet? If they can’t, how about a samurai sword? – Sex/Dumbassness
* CPR is down right nasty if it’s on your buddy. Can you save him with just your farts instead? – Sex (Homophobia)/Bowel movements
The worst aspect of this show is that it has no respect for its audience. Their attempts to back up their facts with “experts” look like models hired from Ashton Kutcher’s College of Douchebaggery. And while the topics and imagery are tailored to chauvinists, degenerates and Freepers (Free Republic readers), it makes no effort to instill anything of sustenance, being the video equivalent of a bag of Funyuns. And if learning how to spot a narc or fixing their bitchy girlfriend is necessary to navigate their life, that viewer has bigger problems. Entertainment doesn’t have to be educational, but hell, even Thundercats had a lesson at the end of each episode.
Sadly, the only lesson learned from MANswers is how to cultivate a community of morons. The “Comments” tab on the show’s webpage amazingly revealed even more stupefying — and somehow, awesomer — questions and poorly strung-together thoughts than the show — a feat that, judging by the show it represents, should not be possible by a room of one-fingered monkeys typing on Speak and Spells.
Here are some examples from the kids in the “boiler room” classroom:
* Are there ANY side effects to (chronic) masterbation?
* Are there really boobie-traps in ancient ruins, like in Indiana Jones?
* How fast do you have to drive, with your arm stright out the window, to break it at the elbow?
* What are the best ways to get with hot girls that dont like you?
* is women on pms an excuse to get mad or is there a science behind it?
* whats the best way to ask your gf/wife for a 3some without her flipping a bitch and cutting you off or dumping you?
* how to increase a mens size?
* is it true that if you put lemon jiuce on girls vagina and if they react like jumping in a pool of cold water they have std’s?
The mind wobbles. Honestly, watching the show and reading the comments, it is like rewinding an educational video on the evolution of man into its primate form.
While the true signs of idiocracy are still well off — Costco has not built a university yet — the seeds are being laid by shows such as MANswers. There is a market for TV junk food that titillates and entertains, though it comes at the cost of degrading the views of “Joe Six-Pack” even more.
I’ll admit to fascination with bottom-feeding culture and its vittles of interest, and in that aspect, MANswers is chocolate-coated kryptonite. But in a cultural sense, this show is the tip of the stupidity iceberg, with even murkier findings yet to submerge.