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On the Art of Survival: One Incompetent’s Opinion

and then they were gone...

and then they were gone…

“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” –Aristotle

Anybody seen these shows on T.V. that highlight end-times preppers?  I could never be a prepper, I don’t have the attention span survival requires.  I learned this sad fact while playing Call of Duty 8: Revenge of the Whistleblowers.  It’s a game where-in your character sits in a basement hacking NSA Agents’ twitter accounts pretending to be them and apologizing to their wives for made-up affairs…I know; it’s convoluted.  Anyhow I was sitting there playing about half-way through mission 3: “The Regression of the Phoenix” when I became very bored.  I wasn’t in to it.  It was too much.  And that’s me sitting in my comfortable living room, on a couch, beer within arm’s reach, a toilet just a pause click away, heat, electricity, every creature comfort imaginable.  I was out.  That’s when I thought to myself: “I’m just not cut out for this sort of thing”.  I was born to live in civilized environs.

Who are these people that fetishize the breakdown of society?  What do they have against a heated Japanese toilet with sphincty-rinse?  Who are these people that jump to the idea of revolution at the mere utterance, a muttered utterance, a mutterance (that’s mine), of gun control.  When was the last time you used a gun for something important?  Because I use ice-cold beer and hot and cold running water every fucking day.  Think about what you are sacrificing.

So impatient am I with the concept of survival that I warn anyone who gets into a car with me, before we set out on the journey, that if there is even the slightest car accident and one of them dies, or is knocked unconscious, that I would begin eating them within 15 minutes–tops.  I’ve seen survival stories where people wait days before eating the dead among them.  What is the point?  You’re merely delaying the inevitable.  If we are in trouble and we’re unsure when rescue will arrive I know that I’ll be eating well…and I don’t mean your thigh or ass…I’m going sweet-breads.  For me it’s all about the heart and liver…maybe some brains.  15 minutes that’s my threshold…I don’t care if I hear sirens in the distance…they might not be coming for us…they might not even be real, for all I know they’re a product of my brand-new-concussion-reality that I just received as a gift from the dashboard.

I have a friend who is into this survivalist thing…I mean deep.  He has all of his stuff ready to rock…he has, what they call, a “bug-out” bag; which is a backpack loaded with the essential supplies needed to get to somewhere safe and plot your plan to free the lemmings from the surly shackles of tyranny.  I don’t know all of his plans…preppers are cagy.  But I was with him one time while he was making this bracelet…it was super-cool looking…it was made with braided cord like: three and half million feet of it.  He was braiding it by hand and I asked him about it and he told me it was a survival bracelet which is basically a really convenient way to carry a shit-ton of cord on your person.  It was clear from that encounter that I wasn’t built for survival…on a mental level.  He was sitting there making a bracelet for a pretend day that might never come, and he looked so happy.  He looked like a grandmother knitting a new hat for her granddaughter.  I mean, I think the inner-dialogue was different.  Where the grandmother might be thinking of cold days made cozy with the tender love of grandma’s hands, my buddy was probably thinking about choking out some zombified despot who had the misfortune of stumbling upon his forest-compound, and now my buddy thinks the zombie-wanderer is after his powdered eggs.

And that’s the rub isn’t it?  All these people who are preparing for the end of it look upon people, who haven’t gone to the same lengths of preparation as they have, with disdain.  They think things like: if you aren’t prepping, you’re already dead.  They justify abhorrent behavior, like killing people who have found their hide-out.  So if shit really does hit the fan even at a fraction of the velocity survivalists expect, the earth will be left to re-population by hyper-vigilant, hyper-paranoid assholes whose view of humanity is just a tad bit more hippy than Stalin’s.  I mean if you really want to see if survivalists could rebuild society, you need only put Alex Jones and Ann Coulter in charge of a compound with a population of about fifty like-minded people and see how that works out…I think that’s a very apt simulation…I’d love to see that…there is a reality program that I would feel comfortable calling: “Preppers”.  Just a cross-section of humanity calling each other sheeple and screaming at each other to “wake up” and “face reality”…I figure: “do the math” would be an oft used assholism in that show (this is a pitch by the by, I’m talking to you: Jeffrey Bewkes, and Leslie Moonves.  This is a CW vehicle, to be sure).

That just leaves me wondering: what’s the point?  You work your ass off to survive really horrible shit so that you can be stuck with a bunch of emotionally broken people for less than a generation before society implodes again…and the concentration of crazy is just going to become thicker and thicker…and the gestation period of chaos shorter and shorter.  I’ve seen the exponential rise of crazy on reality television…we all have.  I remember watching the first Real World on MTV and thinking how crazy it was to film the human equivalent of putting two small crabs into a Dixie-cup.  Fast-forward like ten, or so, years and you have Jersey-Shore which is nothing more than an exponential power-up of crazy version of the Real World…an explosion of lunacy that even the most jaded and cynical television exec would have to admit: “I did not see that coming”.

And that is us.

Just a bunch of human crabs stuck in this Dixie-cup fighting over beans and rice, becoming less and less human until our devolution becomes so complete that all that remains is a single-celled organism that splits and kills the other…just a lightning flash of life and death undetectable to the naked eye over and over into perpetuity.  What is the fucking point?

I’m a bit of a prepper myself.  I have my bug-out plan.  Currently, I’m testing various syrups to see which flavor is most compatible with the barrel of a pistol.  Because, even though I know I’ll only have the gun in my mouth for the blink-of-an-eye period one needs to squeeze the trigger to its perch, I do not like the taste of metal.  Plus: I have a strong gag reflex.  It is my strongest characteristic.  Like I said, I’m just not cut out for that sort of thing…

I’m too soft…


About pats0

Pats0 is a writer who is informed by a punk-rock ethos, and a hatred for group-think. He is the founding member of The Pirate-Clown Guild of Free-Thinkers, an aegis from under which he soils the internet with his thoughts. Welcome.

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