Tuesday, 18 October 2016

09:20 – Barbara and I have started rewatching The Walking Dead. We’d started watching this back in 2011 and got through only the first season. I liked it, but Barbara was turned off by all the gore.

Netflix now has seasons one through six available streaming, and I convinced Barbara to give it another try. She says she can tolerate one episode at a time, and as long as we interleave it with more peaceful stuff she’ll even watch two episodes in an evening. She just doesn’t want to binge-watch it.

I told her the other night she shouldn’t let the gore upset her because the Walkers weren’t human. I suggested she think of them as progressives or politicians or Obama/Clinton supporters, with whom after all they do have a lot in common. They’re slow, stupid, ugly parasites, who feast on (mostly) middle-class whites. Good people kill them on sight by shooting, stabbing, or bludgeoning them. What’s not to like?

The series is full of people doing smart things, dumb things, vindictive things, kind things, generous things, stingy things, brave things, craven things, and so on. Sometimes the same person doing all of those. In other words, people behaving like real people. This series is very popular amongst preppers. Not because the characters were well-prepared for the zombie apocalype, but because they weren’t. Instead, they have to deal with it, improvising as necessary and often paying the price for their lack of preparation.

Interesting comment yesterday:

ayjblog says:
17 October 2016 at 12:11

Reading I just realized that my grandfather was a prepper, awesome, storing canned milk flour and so on. in the sixties and here

well, he survided Spanish Civil war, Franco concentration camp, and was born in a little village in Spain, maybe is genetic

Nearly ALL of our grandparents were preppers, as were all of their ancestors. The concept of NOT prepping is relatively recent, and if a catastrophe does occur a lot of people will pay the price for not being prepared.

Up until about 1950, everyone prepped from necessity. City dwellers just as much as rural people. Pretty much everyone had a deep pantry, simply because most food was still grown locally, and winter was still something that anyone with any sense prepared for. Power generation and manufacturing were also still largely local, which made communities tremendously more self-sufficient than they are today. People ate mostly what was in season, because not much was shipped long distances. My parents’ generation, born about 1915 to 1930, were less self-sufficient than their parents had been, but they could still get along with only local resources if they needed to. My generation became less self-sufficient than our parents, but that was offset to some extent by the fact that we grew up with the constant threat of nuclear war. We did shelter drills and hid under our desks at school and watched our parents build and stock fallout shelters. Barbara actually spent one night while she was in elementary school sleeping in the bomb shelter and eating survival crackers. I find it hard to believe that anyone our age can NOT be a prepper, given this kind of background.

It’s all down to Normalcy Bias. People think, subconsciously and even consciously, “It hasn’t happened in my lifetime, so it can’t happen.” The problem with that is that it HAS happened in their lifetimes. Not a year goes by that a catastrophe doesn’t happen somewhere. Catastrophes are ongoing this moment all over the world, from Haiti to the Middle East to Africa to Asia. It’s the height of arrogance to think it can’t happen here. Anyone who understands anything about history knows that just before every catastrophe the average person was thinking that it couldn’t happen there. Until it did.