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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Long dark dreams of the Apocalypse



Apocalypse has already happened. It's been estimated that up to 95% of the native population of the Americas died from introduced diseases. If that's not an apocalypse I don't know what is.

Disease destroyed whole civilizations, often well ahead of the white invaders. By the time explorers and exploiters arrived, complex societies had collapsed. There weren't enough people to keep them going. All that were left were scattered bands of hunter gatherers. This is an over simplification, as collapse is complex, but it's good to be aware that big complex societies have fallen before.

I wonder how many people secretly dream of apocalypse? They imagine themselves as some kind of road warrior or zombie killer. Maybe they read a few too many survivalist books and cast themselves in a leading role.

They hate the life they are living, but it would take the end of the world as we know it for them to change. How many jobs are filled with the dead eyed masses? Have most resigned themselves to the dull routine of pointless work, TV, games, and Internet porn?

Maybe they even think they have the skills. It is surprising how many people people think they'll live off the land, but have never hunted, fished, or eaten wild plants. The more real world survival skills you acquire, the harder you realize this stuff really is.

I've watched quite a few of those survive in the wild type shows. They almost all focus on getting rescued or making it back to civilization. Making the wilderness your home is a whole different process.

Some think they can just go live like a wild Indian. Yes, that might work. Take your typical pre-colonial Native American hunter. He's skilled enough to be able to kill a deer with a bow. That's not an easy task, but he's trained for it all his life. When he does get a deer, it's a big deal. However, most day to day calories were provided by the women of the tribe. The were busy gathering nuts, berries and wild plants. Acorn soup might not be as great as roasted venison, but it'll keep you going. If you want to live like a wild Indian, you'd better have a tribe with you.

Maybe people want change in their lives so badly that even an apocalypse would be greeted as an improvement. It's sad when you think about it. Finding a life of adventure isn't something they can just go out and do. They haven't given themselves permission. Besides, their friends and family would frown on the whole idea.

Of course, the romantic idea of the post apocalyptic hero is better than real adventure. Real life is often too hot, too cold, too buggy, and the meals can be poor and irregular. Do they think that if they were sudden forced into such a life it wouldn't be so bad? Maybe the mosquitoes wouldn't bite as hard? Perhaps they would suddenly become taller, smarter and stronger?

Do you want to live like Mel Gibson in The Road Warrior? Let's start with the basics. Get yourself a case of dog food and live off of that for a while. Romantic, isn't it?

As far as I'm concerned, the world has enough adventure in it without an apocalypse. Are you so stuck in your life that it would take seven angels blowing trumpets of doom to change?

-Sixbears

24 comments:

  1. Excellent piece; there's a lot of pie-in-the-sky survivalists out there. I'm doing the best I can to plan ahead, will try keeping put, keeping in touch with others and doing a LOT of praying!

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    1. Thanks Gorges. Sometimes all we have left is faith.

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  2. Boy oh boy, I don't know what brought this one on....but you sure nailed it.

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    1. I've got my moments. Thanks Warlock.

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  3. Most people I know couldn't survive a week without their telephone, TV or electric can opener.

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    1. I'm surprised at the number of people who can't even make mashed potatoes -from potatoes!

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    2. Wow Chickenmom, I don't think I've ever seen an electric can opener...

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  4. Taking away the internet alone would cause a world-wide WTF?! It must be easy to imagine a world of adventure if one's life was stuck behind a the prison of a cubicle, or even worse, not even being able to get a meaningless job.

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    1. We've become pretty dependent on the 'net, that's for sure.

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  5. If you haven't spent a lot of time living off the land in the past for fun or sport or what-ever, it will be tough for you to start after an unexpected apocalypse. Some of us have been practicing all our lives. When I was a kid, out the door I would go headed for the woods and wouldn't return sometimes until after dark. Love the woods at night!!

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    1. In my younger days I've lived off the land -and gained weight. That's when the berries were in season and I ate way too many of them.

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  6. Real life can be a whole new universe for some folks!

    I don't think that many could even make a fire without a match, much less find food and water!

    Good post, Sixbears!

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    1. Thanks Hermit Jim. Know how to make fire many different ways is a life saving skill.

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  7. Oh, how I agree. Life is tough enough as is...

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    1. Indeed it is. Thanks for dropping by, Stephen.

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  8. Yep, I'm thinking some sort of apocolypse would be mighty unpleasant. I have only gotten so far in my prep learning curve to garden, and I KNOW we couldn't live off what we managed to keep the bugs and critters from getting to first this year. Have you watched the show NAKED AND AFRAID on TV? Every single one of those folks have backgrounds in 'survival', but they all lost a LOT of weight during the time they had to survive on their own. Not fun.

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    1. Haven't seen the show, but I'll see if I can find it.

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  9. Thanks for this....I get so sick of the 'old ways/old times' idiots who think life would be better with no power, no antibiotics, no clean water, not to mention no running water or working plumbing.

    I've lived rough. It is called that for a REASON.

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    1. You are welcome. Living rough is great to look back on, not forward to.

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  10. P.S. Oh, the Herlander REfugee is no longer me, blogger sold the name and it is on about its third incarnation of who-the-hell-are-you now!

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  11. If the Apocolypse comes I am toast and I know it. I have a hard time making a good fire with a box of matches and a newspaper. If the big EMP hits 98% of humanity would be dead within 2years.

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    1. No, let me walk back that 98% number. Much of the world is living in primitive conditions so they would be alright. It would just be 98% of the US that would die in that situation.

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    2. Maybe not. It doesn't have to be. There are people with skills to share and lots of incentive to learn quickly. All depends on having the right attitude.

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