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‘Dissin’ Topia

In Should I Even Be Talking About This? on September 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

The end of the world is near! Global warming. Overpopulation!Look Who’s President!Religious Zealots! Super-strange doomsday prepper shows on Nat-Geo! (Are they just extreme pessimists?)

True-the Rapture didn’t pan out – nor did all of those other ‘save-the-date’ dooms-dates  (did we really believe it could be penciled in like a manicure or an oil change?) But have no fear- the next end-of-the-world date is no doubt being written into a slot on the calendar as we speak, and will go viral as soon as the ‘facts’ can be synchronized. (This is done much in the manner of Monday morning quarterbacking and 20/20 hindsight. Work with what you have, then go back and make it fit!)

It’s amazing how many people believe they are special enough to be anointed with keeping the human race going. Have you seen these people, listened to them? What a bunch of Negative Nellies! (I highly suggest that their first order of business be raiding pharmacies for all of the anti-depressants before they expire, then taking double doses)  

Pure, undiluted paranoia is a great base on which to build a new civilization- just think of all the depressing songs! Future teenagers (if there are any) will be set for life. Kurt Cobains and Sylvia Plaths, all of them.  They could play to the seven other survivors living in the caves down the street trail, (who, by the way, are planning to execute you for the three cans of Chef-Boy-R-D  and powdered milk packets you have stashed) We’re talking quality of life!

 

I cringe for the kids born into their parents conspiracy theories. I hope one of these kids writes a book someday- if they’re astute enough to see through the facade of what they’ve been taught. Like the two-year-old kids who hold signs that read ‘God Hates Fags’ for the Westboro Baptist Church- you wonder why- if beating a child is rightly considered child abuse and punishable by law, then-why isn’t whipping and flogging their pliable brains at least a misdemeanor? (I know, I know…because it would cause an avalanche of adults who would then start criticizing your child rearing, because, honestly- we can’t be expected, as full-grown adults, to recognize grey areas, right? It’s the same concept as legalizing marijuana: if we do –god forbid!- we’ll all soon be brain addled, needles sticking out of our arms, unable to decipher between a joint and a meth lab. But I digress.)

As much as I’d like to re-enact ‘The Stand’ (one of my favorite Stephen King books) I have a feeling it wouldn’t be much fun. If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t read ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, I highly recommend it. This book, to me, more accurately paints a picture of what post-apocalyptic life would probably be like. And I was sobbing through most of it. 

Homelessness Squared

Homelessness Squared

 Prepper types must be influenced by comic books, super hero movies and video games (all things they won’t have access to once the infrastructure breaks down, by the way) They put a Hollywood spin on what the end would really be like. They possess a certain naivete that makes them think of it like an adventure. They see themselves as the hero of their deluded blockbuster. In life as it is now- they can’t make a go of it, but once the population diminishes, they transform into Superman. Shhyeah, right!

I imagine spending your days knowing there’s a bulls-eye on your head might lead to some stress. These people already (as of today) are extreme pessimists (not to mention complete narcissists) and they don’t trust anything or anybody. So if-let’s say (and this is a stretch of magnificent proportions)  it all went down as planned…wouldn’t the next logical step be to hunt and kill all of the other preppers? I mean-they’ve got all the stuff. So there’s no way anyone is going to trust anyone, right? And again- this sounds like such a wonderful way to live! Everything’s comin’ up roses cactus!

One summer we had three hurricanes in a row- all within a very short period of time. Saying I know anything about surviving an apocalypse, I’m not- it’s the difference between breaking your leg and losing a leg, but I did get a brief feel for what living without all of our conveniences is like. 

First, there’s the extreme heat (you can substitute extreme cold, depending where you live) The inside of our now completely powerless, blacked- out house was roasting at about 95 degrees, and on top of that, the hurricane shutters close off all daylight. We’re in an oven set to broil. We have a flashlight and some candles, but find that batteries run out of juice quickly, and candles melt at an alarming rate, not to mention you have to keep your eye on them like they’re unsupervised toddlers apt to off themselves lest your dwelling go up in a lick of flames. There’s no going outdoors because of gusting winds, daggers of lightning, and flying debris. You can’t drive anywhere because massive trees lay across the roadway. Not to mention we have to conserve gas in our vehicles, lest we be evacuated.

Time moved at such a slow pace, it felt like it was taunting us. (It was, I tell you!) The food we packed in coolers become soggy by day two, a congealed mess in melted ice. Everything in the fridge went bad. By day two, we’re so stir crazy (after the men gathered together to move much of the manageable debris) that we drive aimlessly around to assess the damage, though much time was spent backing out from impassable roads) We  swoon in the car air-conditioning. (We still have to consider conservation, so these rides and a/c blasts didn’t last long)

The local grocery store is packed. We walk into Publix, which has several generators running for emergency lighting, but is otherwise powerless (Cash only. Exact change. Registers down) The stench of rancid cheese, sour milk and meat is dry-heave inducing. The shelves are practically bare, and people fight over bags of Fiery-Blast Cheetos and the last dented can of No-Salt Added Green Beans like it’s gold. You can slice the tension with a knife. It’s everyone for themselves. It’s clear to see how exceedingly fast it would become a competition, not for prizes but for life! For breathing rights.

Oh- and if you sometimes wish you could bypass all of the traffic lights in your town or city? Don’t ever wish for that again! Driving down treacherous roads into four way intersections that now have to be negotiated over and over with angry drivers whose tempers  are moments away from exploding because they’re thirsty, hungry and hot is lots of fun. And those are the ones who actually stop in the first place.

A friend Kelly and I  shop at Target with the flashlights they’re issuing at the door, just because we see the doors are open. It’s creepy. Shadowy mannequins and the irony of the Coleman section. We talk about ‘Night Of The Comet’ and wonder when ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ will start playing for our ‘ditsy-in-the-abandoned store’ montage. I tell Kelly her dermatologist is dead, let’s go hoard the Clearasil.   We can’t buy anything because we don’t have exact change. Afterwards my friend points out we could have pocketed a few things, what with security sensors down, but of course, we didn’t (and wouldn’t) I wonder how many people might have.

And oh,  how quickly your standards go down in a state of emergency. Any fast food joint that opens its doors two days in is overrun by crowds of hungry people swarming like locusts. No one questions the safety or freshness of the food, and people fight over 99 cent burgers like they’re crab legs and caviar. Because in a way they are.

Luckily, we still have running water in our home, but for those who don’t the FEMA lines are 12 miles long for a few gallons of water. Blue tarps sit atop every other roof in the neighborhood, in an attempt to protect worldly possessions from leaky roofs. Patio furniture sits bizarrely in the middle of intersections, awaiting its rightful (or new) owner. Do you know how wrong patio furniture looks in the middle of a four way? Trees have been blown down everywhere by the storm, and (though we don’t know it) it will take 5 years for the replanted trees and foliage to grow back. 

Needless to say, we learned a lot by the third hurricane in eight weeks, and are now much better prepared for such things. We have a wall air conditioner in our largest bedroom, a heavy duty generator that can run the a/c, the fridge and the television, and a light or two- but that all hinges on how the house itself fares. (Our hurricanes were nothing compared to massive Cat 4 storms like Hurricane Andrew, and Katrina) Still- generators are loud (announcing your location to marauders and generator thieves?) and food only lasts so long.

I ‘get’ that planning for disaster is smart, normal process that is for the short term. But here’s the thing: When crisis hits, more often than not, people get bitchy and petty and rude and mean. And dog-eat-dog selfish. And that’s for a situation as temporary as a week (for power to be restored, shelves to be stocked)

So, imagine the joyousness of surviving an apocalypse with a small group of paranoid, overly-suspicious, self appointed geniuses (and the mere fact they believe they are geniuses disproves their theory entirely), who have supplies, and now have to hoard them, and guard them, so that their families can sit in a stuffy bunker and twiddle their thumbs until what? Until all of the vegetation is eaten by the animals, and all of the animals are eaten by each other, and then- well, guess what happens then? Hello, Donner Party! This, to me, doesn’t qualify as a life that would be worth sacrificing for the one I have right now. I don’t want to obsess over and plan for something that can’t be planned for

If you have any ‘stuff’ after this imaginary disaster goes down in the way you predict (which it won’t)- then your life will become all about your stuff! Guarding  a can of beef ravioli like it’s the Hope Diamond, jumping at every snapped twig, sleeping with your eyes open.

And here’s another thing: All of these wackos who spend their life planning for this disaster- they are going to impose their insane ideas on you (that is, if they don’t  off you first) and there’s no one left to stop them! There’s no law, no court, no rules.  My luck, I’d be one bunker over from some religious fanatic wrapped in a rebel flag who makes love to his guns under a poster of Ted Nugent with Kid Rock on the tinny am radio hooked to the car battery. Again- what kind of life would this be? 

I have it on AUTHORITY that the end of the world is near!

I have it on GOOD AUTHORITY that the end of the world is near!

 The only thing I might be good for in such a situation, is for keeping records, the kind that are heavy on snarky comments in the margins, until I’m taken out for wondering out loud how Kid Rock went from rap/rock to redneck Republican. I’d take notes   just in case the planet ever gets rolling again (and assuming the English language is still spoken- like in ‘Lost In Space’ where every metal-colander wearing Space Mutant is a native English speaker, no matter who lands on what planet from wherever-Because: USA! USA!)

Which brings to mind an episode wherein Dr. Smith has his eye on a mirror made of pure platinum, which he plans to steal, then bring back to earth and sell, becoming a ‘billionaire’  Dooms-day preppers remind me a lot of Dr. Smith- in that they are incredibly self-involved at the expense of everyone else, and like Dr. Smith, they are rubbing their hands together over imaginary scenarios in which their own foresight will deem them the most  clever-and special- of all. Even when the odds of actually cashing in, is as unlikely as it is futile.

That Dr. Smith is still obsessed with earth money in deep space, makes as much sense to me as preppers do. The life you are actually given marches by, unappreciated. All of it squandered. (and may I add, completely off subject:- in shows like ‘Lost In Space’-why are they always trying to get back to earth? Can you imagine how boring our world would be to them after experiencing life on the Universe’s Route 66? What are they going to do, go back and work in an office? Idiots!)

'Night Of The Comet' puts a comedic spin on the Apocalypse

‘Night Of The Comet’ puts a comedic spin on the Apocalypse. A real apocalypse does not.

Everyone has the right to do as they see fit. But I can’t understand putting all of my eggs in a basket that is so iffy, unpredictable and bogged down with sour grapes.  And disasters always seems way, way cooler in  the movies, where they can edit out everything just so. And the good people-not the selfish and greedy, always prevail.

Distope8

  1. If I could have “liked” this oh, 70 or 80 more times…I made the error of turning on one of my usual channels, thinking that something about planets or puppies might be on. This day it was the show about the family building their doomsday castle out in the woods. Uh, yeah.

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