January 1, 2008

Three's A Trend: Velveeta

So the kid didn't come on New Year's Eve, sparing us the whole embarrassment of being exposed on local news as the derelict parents who couldn't figure out the name of The First Baby Of 2008.


Figuring it's exactly the kind of thing I won't have time or opportunity to do the next few months, I finally watched Idiocracy, the Mike Judge movie set 500 years in a corporatized future where people are named after products and pro wrestlers are elected president.

Since its unadvertised release in a few flyover states last summer, Fox has worked hard to keep paying customers from seeing it. Fortunately for them, the Internet makes their job much easier.

I don't know why they buried the film; the chesty Fox News anchors are easily the 3rd and 4th smartest people in the Idiocratic world. And one was named Velveeta.

As it happens, on Christmas Eve day, we took the in-laws for lunch at the cheap Mexican place down the street. As the name conversation rattled on, I had said, staring into the pot of queso, "What about Velveeta?"

I'd have thought nothing of it if the FedEx guy hadn't come while we were out, and with no one to sign for it, I had to make an emergency trip to the FedEx station to pick up the last present. The woman behind the counter, who saved Christmas for me? That's right, Velveeta.

As of now, though, we're still leaning toward the inadvertent name of Luke Wilson's character in Idiocracy, Not Sure. If 16-year-old boys were actively involved in the naming of children, the future'd arrive a lot faster.


Any editorial opinion on Idiocracy? I frankly hated it while watching then afterwards realized just how smart and scary it is. I'd actually like to see it again. That bit with the "unfit mother" yelling at the ATM machine, that's me in almost every interaction with technology I have.

Good luck with a name, and don't worry, one will come along and find your child eventually. I'll tell a funny story about names: a friend named her son True, which I think is lovely, but when the birth certificate was delivered it said "Yes". Yes, that's true, the official birth certificate named the child Yes. Methinks it might have been a denizen of Idiocracy who transcribed the information for the official document!

I saw that movie one very jet-lagged, groggy late night recently while sitting in a hotel room in Reston, and when I woke up the next morning I wasn't sure if I had dreamt it or if it was an actual movie I'd seen. I thought that the movie itself was very cheesy and low-budget, but in an endearing and entertaining way. And in any case, the messages it was conveying (about the dumbing down of our society and our values) were spot on. Everyone should see this movie, starting with the members of the Bush Administration.

[i liked the movie well enough; I think it'd be a lot better on freeze frame, so you could pick out all the embedded jokes. I wish old-fashioned things like plot and acting and writing were a little stronger, though. And ultimately, the movie seems like it should be set in 2015, or 2050, not 2500; it's WAY closer than we think. -ed.]

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