Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Last Man on Earth Studies: Overview

I will throw some words at you. What do you think of?

"End of the World" Do you think of nuclear bombs? Do you think of death and despair or do you think of challenge and opportunity?

"Apocalypse" Do you think of Mila Jovovich? The Running Man (or as it's now called "The Hunger Games")

How about "Prepping." What comes to mind? A show with rich hippies storing dried food in their million dollar hole in the ground?

"Prepping", as it's called in today's modern culture, has exploded in popularity....and for good reason. Shows. Movies. Books. Video Games. Movies about books. Books about movies. Games about movies and movies about games. Shows about movies and books. Just as vampires have become the muse of women (and some men) everywhere, prepping...I dare say....encompasses even more.

It has become a hobby of mine as well. In fact, a bit of an obsession. I read it. I watch it. I have even written on it. A lot. Like, 1000 pages of End of the World Zombie Apocalypse goodness. But I digress....

So I thought I would share. After all, my wife says I need to do something besides post about fishing! So. Guess what. I decided to start a section of my blog on it!

Combine today's political and social climate with movies and shows featuring everything from the walking dead to invading aliens and you have a new hobby for thousands, maybe millions of Americans who fear anything from nuclear winters to a corrupt government to zombies. Heck, we are already seeing the effects of bath salts, mass shootings, and government oversight EVERY DAY already!

Lately, there has been a rise in reality TV shows specializing on showing how people prepare themselves for the end of the world as we know it....or as some of us Doomsday people call it EOTWAWKI. Ok. I'm making that up. Only us NASA engineers with our acronyms say that.

There is a lot more to it than that. I am talking about simply having the money to hire some outside company to prepare you materialistically with a shelter. After all, having a fallout shelter stocked with 2 years of food and modern conveniences is great. For 2 years. That is, of course, if you make it that long without hanging yourself with your own shoestrings.


This isn't a new hobby of mine. Not even close. But, I haven't had the disposable income that I needed until now. And really, I don't have that much. Especially compared to the people shown on these shows out there. But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking on it. For a very long time. Some of my favorite movies from childhood feature the bleak landscape of the  EOTW. End of the World. There is a wealth of great literature out there to read on as well. As an aside, I find it interesting that, in all the post-apocalyptic media, that one thing is never portrayed accurately, save for "The Road", and that is...that most of the heros from movies like "The Road Warrior" or "I am Legend/Omega Man" have no one to protect and provide for save themselves.

So. Let's get to it, folks.

According to the shows, you need 3 things in their most basic form:

Food and Water
Shelter
Protection

Now, as I have stated earlier, most of the people in these shows have more money than sense, so they pay for what they don't have. They hire some dude with good common sense and a bit of salesmanship who comes in and build them a shelter,  stocks their coffers full, and teaches them how to shoot a gun. By the end of the show, these people are perfectly prepared for the EOTW. Right?

Survey says?

No.

Well, ok. Zach says no. And why? Because, like I said previously, what then? You can't hide in a hole forever....that wealth of literature out there will tell you. Go read "A Boy and His Dog" or watch it. I mean, it's got Humphrey Bogart in it. Or read "The City of Ember." Again, you can even watch the movie if you so wish. It's got Bill Murray. And nothing with the Big BM is ever bad. Except, according to him, "Garfield."

Even Cormac McCarthy's great work of literature "The Road" shows that food and shelter don't matter when the world is dying around you.

So, how does Zach stack up with the 3 Basics of survival?

Do I have a bunker built? Nope. But I have drawings on my desk of a design. And I would be a liar if I said I hadn't researched lead-lined Sheetrock. In fact, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do and how to do it. Alas, I have neither the land, time, or money at my disposal. Yet.

Do I have 3 years of food? Nope. But I have been raised by a family that prides it's self on being outdoorsmen and farmers. This upbringing was bestowed upon me at an early age. Although it never meant the difference in eating or not eating, it sure gave me the tools to provide food if I had to.

Do I have protection? Yeah. I have that covered, at least by the average man's definition. What do I mean by covered? Well, we will get into that. For a little taste, I would say that you need at LEAST 4 firearms at your disposal at ALL times. But, firearms should be least used last resort. What should you use and why? Well, we will get to that.

So, you look at my answers and you say to yourself...."doesn't look like you are very prepared!"  And you would be right. I am working on that. And we will cover these bases at later dates through my documentation. Fact is, I don't have a lot of money. I don't have a farm. But, I can buy a little at a time and I can refine my skills over time.

While my posts on this subject will deal mostly with the physical tools of survival, I offer this for consideration, however. Money can provide all the things that I don't have. What money can't do (at least instantaneously) is provide you the knowledge and skills to do what must be done as the Last Man on Earth...or as I call it. LMoE. Elmo. You know. Like the little laughing red guy.

So, what will we be addressing?  Obviously, the 3 basics already listed. But much more than that, since we have covered, in depth, that simply having these things isn't enough. I will talk on my favorite literature and what we can learn from it. We will cover how to effectively select and use your personal protection. Where to buy things. What books to read. Where you would go after a nuclear strike?  What if you could only grab 1 bag? Well, guess what folks....that's the first thing on our list.

Lastly, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE (DID I GET YOUR ATTENTION YET) to have suggested topics to blog about! So, send them in!