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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Funnies

This Sunday’s Dilbert cartoon shows Dilbert talking to Alice about he concerns about a potential financial meltdown. He’s stocked up on food, water, batteries, flashlights and gold coins. Alice’s preparations is knowing Dilbert’s address and noting his lack of defensive weaponry.

Two things stuck out from that comic. One is that the whole prepper culture has hit high enough common recognition that it’s possible to make a cartoon about it for main stream publication. The second is that if people know about your preps they’ll use force to come and get it.

Dilbert makes two common mistakes. The first is telling Alice, who’s known for using violence to solve her problems. “Must control fist of death!” The second is prepping for a single event: financial meltdown.

Having basic preps is just a good idea. Having the basics of life to sustain you and your family during an emergency is only prudent. It might be a financial meltdown, but is more likely to be a job loss in the family, or a hurricane, flood, or any other disaster, both natural and man made. If you prepare one event and the threat of that event fades, the preps are used up, given away, or sold. That’s why there was such great deals on generators when Y2K fizzled out. The same guy who sold that generator may have been sitting the dark later on during a blackout.

In the real world, most preppers have defensive weaponry. Raiding for supplies is a high risk game. An individual will sooner or later meet someone quicker on the draw. An organized group like a gang stands a better chance, but that only works as long as they can keep their followers supplied and happy. A group big enough and organized enough to do it long term tend to become the government. Where do you think all that Middle Ages royalty came from in the first place?

One of the best survival options may be living in the right community. For example, everyone around me is armed, but I’m not worried about it. They also tend to have more than 3 days of food stored up, and many have gardens. Extended families and good neighbors, make barter and gifts better options. In a community, being able to help each other increases comfort and survival chances for all.

A Mormon friend of mine had an unusual food storage idea. Their religion recommends at least one year’s food supply. His supply was in the form candy canes. After Christmas, candy canes can be had pretty cheap. He knew the rest of the community had stored up on plenty of staples, rice, wheat, and beans. After a few days on that diet, something sweet would be worth plenty in trade goods. He knew his community.

Goes to show you can learn something from the papers -if you read the comics.



  1. In a worst-possible scenario or even in a nowhere-nearly-as-bad-as-it-might-have-been it seems strange to me so much prep attention goes into a lot of high cost alternatives. 50 pounds of pinto beans and an equal amount of cornmeal, for instance, is so cheap it isn't worth having around and would provide bellybulk nutrition for a family without them having to bet on collapse as though it's a pat hand.

    I've wondered sometimes how many survivalists who own Uzis and $100 dollar skinning knives own a case of Bic lighters, a Swiss Army knife and a folding brush saw. A water filter.

    There's certainly a case to be made that one faction or another of the survival oriented is more focused on the potential for exciting gunfights they probably won't survive than in eating without having to kill someone to get it.

    An old friend of mine who survived a helicopter crash in Alaska and had to survive with only a pocket knife until spring used to say when I was preparing for Y2K, "Survival is a state of mind. Without that you'd do better dying in town. With it you can survive anywhere with almost nothing if you're lucky."

  2. Great post. I especially liked the last sentence.

  3. Sixbears,smokes,liquor,weed,pain pills, all crossed my mind as barter items.But America is a nation of Junkies almost all of us like one form of sweets or another.That is a great idea and Legal no contraban involved!I wonder if hershey's still makes tropical chocolate?


  4. So everyone understands I said crossed my mind.I really don't like profitting on someone elses misery now or after collapse.Most of the items mentioned will cause someone misery.Pain pills and antibiotics could be great for folks who are Really in need.I have often wondered what folks like me will do with out certain meds?Scary!


  5. me, the ability to grow,make, or create my own stuff for use or barter has given myself independence from the prepper crowd whom are going to suffer when either they lose their supplies or run out...

    oh future funnies await...