Monday, January 23, 2012


I like reading survivalist blogs of various sorts, have a wide collection of how-to books, and dream of having my own small farm someday for this very reason, but it's nice to see some analysis of where it comes from. This, surprisingly from a Reuters report about preppers:
"With our current dependence on things from the electric grid to the Internet, things that people have absolutely no control over, there is a feeling that a collapse scenario can easily emerge, with a belief that the end is coming, and it is all out of the individual's control," [Patty Tegeler] told Reuters. She compared the major technological developments of the past decade to the Industrial Revolution of the 1830s and 1840s, which led to the growth of the Millerites, the 19th-Century equivalent of the preppers. Followers of charismatic preacher Joseph Miller, many sold everything and gathered in 1844 for what they believed would be the second coming of Jesus Christ.
"Most people have a gut feeling that something has gone terribly wrong, but that doesn't mean that they understand what is happening," [Michael T. Snider, who writes The Economic Collapse blog] said. "A lot of Americans sense that a massive economic storm is coming and they want to be prepared for it."

Sometimes I think people always feel like something has gone terribly wrong, or is about to. It's a totally normative response to the fact that we never know what's coming because we can't know the future. Annnd...this is a scary time to live in; in general, Americans are only experiencing the smallest waves of the truly horrific shit that is happening in this world right now. 

And then again... this appeals to my practical nature:

Tegeler, who recalls being hit by tornadoes and floods in her southwestern Virginia home, said that none of her "survival center" products will go to waste."I think it's silly not to be prepared," she said. "After all, anything can happen."

I seriously know how to skin a squirrel.  When the zombies* come, who are you going to take with you?

No, I seriously have this edition of The Joy of Cooking.

*it occurs to me that zombies make a great fill-in for the big, scary unknown that is coming. My handy and reliable research source tells me that zombies were big in the 20's and 30's, in the 50's, and of course intermittently since the '80's. Maybe zombies stand for that thing that is unspeakable, too big and too frightening for us to name: an approaching world war, an economic depression, nuclear bombs. Zombies are the thing that are human and not-human, alive and not-alive. They live in the uncanny valley with that Polar Express movie. But they are inexplicable and thus scary. Hm.

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