I am gravely disappointed. Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war.
Once again I’m back with another installment of Wasteland Food For Thought. People often mock me because of my affinity for all things neo-paleolithic but I don’t mind. They’ll probably be the first ones to die. Preparation is the key to being able to survive in a world where every facet of modern society has been stripped. Remember these tips and maybe we’ll run into one another when the dust settles:
Martial Arts = Good – So you’ve managed to survive the bombs or natural disasters. Now what? With no distinguishable authority to deter the thugs and short-necks everyone becomes a likely target. Depending on how desperate the situation is you can find yourself being hunted for any number of reasons that’s why learning some form of martial arts and/or weapon training is a must. If you can’t defend yourself then you’re not going to last long in the wastelands. Bear in mind while it may be cool and flashy to be a marksman or crack shot, bullets and guns in general will be hard to come by so think outside the box. When in doubt, walk tall and carry a big stick (or sword if you prefer).
Being a woman isn’t easy – I know that goes without saying but sorry ladies, once the world gets flushed down the toilet so does all the progress you’ve made over the centuries. Remember how you used to balk about chivalry being dead? Well you ain’t seen nothing yet. Rampaging hormones will be your biggest threat as throngs of horny, filthy bastards with no restraint will be let loose upon the world. You have to have bigger balls than them in order to keep your sanity (and not to mention body) intact. Work twice as hard to get half the recognition. Same story as now but about a million times worse. Imagine being instantly thrust back to 400 AD. Not too many career opportunities in the wastes. Popular choices seem to be hardcore bitch-freaks or slave girls with an occasional tough-as-nails adventurer once in a blue moon.
If the shoe fits…– Yeah it may seem like a given but try putting a pair of shoes through heavy constant daily abuse and see how long they last. Heck, I know I have a pair of gardening sneakers that are pretty much sandals at this point in time and that’s only after a summer’s worth of use. Imagine walking the devastated wastelands for years on end. If you’re lucky you fall into that bracket of the “most common shoe size” of 9 – 9 1/2. Unfortunately for Sasquatch like me finding a decent pair of size 12’s will be a hassle and a half.
Cherish the little things – When the world economy finally goes bye bye the wonderful art of bartering goods and services will come back full steam. With everything either destroyed or in shambles this puts a premium on intact items. You’d be amazed at would would be valuable when everything is gone. Don’t underestimate anything. Even a wet nap would be considered an item of value. Beware though, the risk of people forcibly taking what little you have is very high as well so be wary of what you carry and how you carry it. Remember, the object is not to draw attention to yourself.
God is not going to save you – Whenever traumatic events occur, people turn to their faith. They gather together in masses and pray for salvation in the face of annihilation. Once the fires burn out however and the waters recede and the radiation levels become tolerable God – or whoever he or she may be in your respective faith – will not be there. There will be no miraculous all-powerful Dr. Manhattan who will protect you from the crazies and nasties of the badlands. All you’ll have is yourself. I’m not saying you can’t have faith. Geez, people will need something to believe in just to get through the days and we all know faith is a helluva motivator. I’m not trying to stir up a hornet’s nest by saying any of this but let’s put it this way, after the shit goes down we can discuss theology over a nice hot cup of irradiated water and some barbecued rat and figure out who’s right or wrong.
Smart people will rule – This prospect seems almost too good to be true. No more idiots at the helm. Hell yeah! Sadly though, like the cockroaches, even the intellectually challenged will survive an apocalypse. The only difference will be that they won’t command as much power as they used to. This is not to say intelligent people will be much better. Let’s not forget the atomic bomb was proudly brought to us by smart people as well. Before I’m brought before the firing squad for saying that let me reinforce the fact that power corrupts even the noblest minds however I’d be more willing to play the odds and take my chances with an astute person as opposed to Yosemite Sam. Skills people. If you have some kind of worthwhile skill like carpentry, medical training or even public speaking you’ll go far in the New World. The unwashed masses will flock to you in droves or at the very least, you’ll have a coveted spot in some upstart community.
Government will always be around – Maybe not the way you see it now but there will always – I repeat always – be a governing body of individuals who will dictate how to live. They’ll have the better weapons, the bigger armies and be the most organized. You may not like their rather ruthless policies but at least you’ll have plenty of a choices in who directly affects your livelihood. If you’re truly fortunate you may find a righteous community or even get to form your own little settlement and be the head honcho. Be mindful though, there’s always going to be someone who wants what you have so if you do come to power be ready to defend it. It’s either conformity or the nomadic life on the road. So to all of you out there who like to bitch in your blogs about government and how oppressed you feel while you sit in your hip & trendy coffee shop sipping your caramel mocha latte checking facebook statuses of your pretentious little friends and tweeting about how marvelously busy you are remember that it’s nowhere near as bad as it’s going to be. Be thankful for what you have in place because the alternative isn’t going to be very uplifting.
Fashion is subjective – If post-apocalyptic movies and books have taught us anything it’s the fact that fashion will not die a faint merciless death but in fact be reborn and mutated and bring forth a new age revolution of ultra-grunge meets Sado-Masochism. It’ll be Saturday night in Greenwich Village everyday! Only here can you stroll the debris strewn ruins of the old world with leather chaps and shoulder pads and no one will even bat an eye at you. If you’re lucky enough to live in a hovel you may even have a stylish wardrobe of tattered leftovers in various shades of browns, blacks, greens and grays. You’ll never have to go shopping again. The world will be a veritable shopping mall of variety!
Hygiene is obsolete – No fresh water means no hygiene, plain and simple. Let’s not forget all the wonderful processing plants that give you your not-so fresh water are gone. Poor sanitation and filthy personal hygiene lead to devastating plagues in the past and quite certainly history will repeat itself. True, we are wiser now and can attempt to stave it off with some semblance of cleanliness but unless you have a constant source of fresh water how clean can you really expect keep yourself? Diarrhea and dysentery, typhoid, croup, bronchitis, pneumonia, and tuberculosis and skin diseases such as scabies and ringworm would run rampant not to mention stagnant water sources being breeding grounds for Malaria and dengue. Let’s not forget we can’t just pop on down to the local pharmacy anymore.
Bad time to be sick – This kind of ties into the hygiene issue. In the wastelands disease is perhaps an even greater adversary than any human (or sorta human) can pose to you. End of the world means no more big pharmaceutical businesses. That translates to no production and a limited supply of what wasn’t already destroyed. To say medicine would be a hot commodity would be an understatement. This unfortunate reality is just for the somewhat healthy. The poor medically dependent souls out there won’t last very long at all. I’m sorry my lovely wife. I will have my minions build a monument in your honor in the town square and the people will be forced to pay tribute to you as their patron saint.
People will turn on you in a heartbeat – The wrongfully executed series Jericho showed us a prime example of what a catastrophic event would do to seemingly normal people. In it a series of terrorist attacks send the United States back to Stone Age forcing citizens to deal with the new reality. Once friendly neighboring towns of Jericho and New Burn end up becoming bitter rivals as each tries to hold on to what resources they have left. You see events like that happen even now. It just goes to show you that trust is just a word when situations are dire. Self preservation is a defining trait in mankind but it also runs hand-in-hand with selfishness. Too many people confuse the two and that’s what leads to unhappy endings.
When in doubt, kill everything – Above and beyond anything else the post-apocalyptic world makes you James Bond with a license to kill. Compassion is fine but when all else fails nothing makes a statement like pushing the button on the whup ass machine. Nerds, geeks, and doormats of the world unite. Release your inner Duke Nukem and unleash hell on all those who would sooner try to step on you then give you the time of day. The neo-paleolithic world is the ultimate cheat code for you to be as bad ass as you want to be.