So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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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?
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.