May 8, 2015

Prepping for cataclysms, neglecting ordinary emergencies

Our increasingly paranoid and status-striving society has passed a point of no return, where there are more young adults who carry around paracord bracelets and pocket knives to "prep" for disaster, than those who know how to change a tire and carry the basic tools to do so in their trunk.

You'd think that if they're paranoid enough to be prepping for a shit-hits-the-fan scenario, they would also be planning for the smaller and more predictable disasters that a well-adjusted person would worry about -- flat tire, burnt out headlight / brake light, cuts bleeding enough to need a bandage, and so on.

Yet they don't behave like people who are going above and beyond the scenarios that normal people already have covered, they are prepping for the apocalyptic instead of the ordinary.

You might try to rationalize their neglect of mundane duties by saying that the apocalypse trumps everything -- however small the probability, the magnitude of destruction will be more or less infinite, so it deserves sole focus as "what to be ready for".

But Haidt's research on moral reasoning shows that it is typically a post-hoc rationalization of a gut-level intuition. Thus, the preppers have a gut-level aversion to stewardship of everyday affairs, and develop a conceptual excuse afterward -- they're not negligent, they're actually prepping, for, uh, lemme think... for a far more disastrous scenario than those that trouble normal folks. Yeah, that's it.

So, scrupulously carrying a pocket knife, and updating their paracord bracelet to the newest model, serves to pardon them from, say, cleaning out the lint and debris that's clogging their fan or computer, learning CPR, and getting practice as a handyman.

As an example of how frivolous their priorities are, consider what they include in their EDC -- everyday carry, or things that are on them no matter what. Googling "edc" and "first-aid" gives half a million results; likewise for averaging the results for "edc" and "band-aid" with "edc" and "band-aids". Less than half a million hits for "edc" and "multi-tool". Yet "wallet" and "knife" get over a million, and "light" and "watch" get over 50 million.

It's hard to think of something more useless in a doomsday world with no tight schedules to keep, than a wristwatch. If you need to tell time, just look up at the fucking sky like people have for millions of years. Are you really incapable of telling whether it's morning, afternoon, evening, or night by opening your eyes outdoors? And if you don't have a good intuition for whether something happened five minutes ago or five hours ago, you are braindead and won't need to worry about surviving the apocalypse anyway.

Yeah, but how are we supposed to start a fashion contest over looking up at the sky? Wristwatches FTW.

Focusing on the cataclysmic also serves their impulse toward status-striving: prepping for the apocalypse is Real Serious Shit, requiring Advanced Tactical Gear, whereas any fuddy duddy can learn how to test their gas pipes for a leak by spraying soapy water, or carry a first-aid kit in their car in case someone gets cut. Pursuing the fantastic and spectacular is more attention-getting than tending to duties that are realistic and mundane.

Of course that also means that these preppers are just LARP-ers, having little to no training, practice, or experience. But hey, they watched a YouTube series by some guru who served in Gulf War, as though that were tantamount to downloading his brain a la The Matrix. Indeed, for all their rugged outdoors posturing, Neo is closer to their true hero -- someone who can become the ultimate urban survivalist badass by passively and instantly receiving the "content" of some cyber-guru, without having to put in any practice, go through any boot camp, or pass through any other rite of passage. Consumerism doesn't count ("purchasing my first multi-tool").

Perhaps that's another reason why they're so obsessed with watches -- they wouldn't be spending time doing anything real, and would have to engage in some pointless repetitive activity to assuage their anxiety and make them feel like they were getting shit done. Let's just keep glancing down at our watches, and hopefully that will allow us to just wait out the end of the world as we know it. Their "gear" is simply a collection of talismans and fetishes being stroked by the impotent in an attempt to feel capable and powerful.

Normal people recognize how useless these posers would be in a real disaster, but the preppers reckon rank by the upvotes they receive from one another.

Sadly this phenomenon generalizes to all sub-cultures in a striving climate -- ordinary duties are neglected in the pursuit of vanity points in some circle-jerking status contest.

Related post: doomsday prepping in the civic Midcentury vs. anarchic Millennial eras

26 comments:

  1. Neil Strauss, from the PUA scene, wrote a book about how to survive disasters called "Emergency" or something like that. PUA seems pretty clearly tied to status-striving, so the two phenomena - pick-up art and prepping - have the same audience - status-strivers.

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  2. Same audience -- impotents.

    There's the guru who's actually done something, and that there is remarkable enough to the ineffectuals for them to revere him as a guru. Reading his "content," they hope, will be like downloading his experience-derived skills onto their inexperienced brain.

    Their outcome is the same as the preppers, though -- liars and LARP-ers.

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  3. Interesting on the prepper movement.

    I thought it the draw was more due to the divorce of the average person from blue-collar trades (most factory jobs shipped overseas) + the increased diversity of American society, which causes distrust and crime and leads to fears of social breakdown.

    In 2008, when the Great Recession hit---and the bad economic times that have continued since then---the fears of inadequacy in the "real" world and the lack of trust in society were accelerated.

    In the 1970s we had the same phenomenon---the back to nature hippie-commune ideas of the 60s gave way to more fierce ruggedness pushed in men (Jeremiah Johnson, the howling men in the woods by campfires) plus the despair over crime making people turn against hippie-pacifism in the face of savagery (Death Wish, Dirty Harry, the NRA's rise beginning in 1977).

    The 1980s saw improved economic times and a place to channel those fears/dislike ---the Soviets, who Reagan made no bones about opposing openly and militarily, if need be. Men could thus work and join the army and be part of a movement that united us---destroying communism. That unification put more trust into society and therefore less back-to-nature instigation. In short, American society seemed good for us.

    I think this largely driven by disenfranchised men, made inadequate as providers and in comparison to their own fathers and grandfathers. The status-driving you see in hipster-preppers is more the superficial outcroppings of this and not the real driver.

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  4. Preppers/survivalists/rapturers/zombie apocalypse type people don't bemoan the (imagined) downfall of society, they hope for it because they're personally miserable. They imagine a societal reboot would be a clean slate in which they could finally (and to their minds, deservedly) succeed. I think all of us feel that way from time to time, which explains the popularity of the zombie thing. We all get a little charge out of watching The Walking Dead, picturing ourselves in that world and running through escape plans in our head. It's a healthy thought experiment if done in moderation. But the extremists take it to the, well, extreme because they're unhappy. And yeah, focusing on the big and improbable, an externalization of how they personally feel, gives one a charge that attending to the smaller and more likely can't match.

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  5. "That unification put more trust into society and therefore less back-to-nature instigation. In short, American society seemed good for us.'

    As has become increasingly clear over the last couple decades, America has been very, very good to early Boomers and Silents. But late Boomers got into the game after the 30's-early 50's gen had entrenched themselves. Not that late Boomers are self aware of the fact that the problem isn't unfair competition, the problem is the competition itself. Gen X-ers know this and are horrified by the Me-Gen's ambitious narcissism and callous glibness.

    Still, people were having so much fun in the 80's that it made it possible for even Gen-Xers to not dwell too much on things like rising inequality, corruption, greater adventurism and globalism, more and more broken homes, etc. The seeds of America's decay were still being planted in the 80's, people just weren't as naive about doing it as they were in the freewheeling 70''s.

    When people started cocooning again around 1990 and stuff like the early 90's recession, the L.A. riots, NAFTA, the election of a effervescent Boomer good ole boy in '92, the Iraq War posturing, and so on happened people became more cynical and fatalistic angsty lamenting got popular. We thought we had a fighting chance in the 80's but the state of decay was so obvious by the 90's that it made people's 80's attitudes seem quaint.

    Plus it got harder to be cheerful after the 80's because people have weak relationships with each other in cocooning periods. People sure dwell on tragic/epic things like Watergate or whatever but it's not usually put into the context of the social mood at the time. In the 70's and especially the 80's there was enough affection between people that it softened the impact of whatever was befalling us. Whether it was a recession, a war, a scandal, a natural disaster or whatever. My late Boomer mom has a lot of warm memories of the 70's/early 80's. It's not like people acted dragged down and humorless after they found out Nixon was a crook. We tend to ascribe modern affectations to people in past periods. It's frustrating since people in outgoing and/or low inequality periods don't act like emo drama queens.

    You could argue that a lot of people were too sanguine in the 80's (and considering how amiable people were you can't blame them) while we're too angsty these days.

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  6. "think all of us feel that way from time to time, which explains the popularity of the zombie thing. We all get a little charge out of watching The Walking Dead, picturing ourselves in that world and running through escape plans in our head. It's a healthy thought experiment if done in moderation."

    Great insight here. Art tends to be wish fulfillment for the contemp. audience. Which is why it's generally not very realistic. When people had lives and were having fun in the 80's, characters usually were very jovial. Now that we're fat shut-ins who don't trust anyone anymore, we fantasize about the "hater" inhabited world being annihilated so we can finally go on a big adventure and prove how awesome we are. And of course the super handsome, buff, well coiffed characters of the last 15-20 years reflect our insecurity about how fat, weak, and unstylish we've become since the early 90's. It's also a sign of how superficial people are now. Even in the MTV 80's, guys like the Cars, Phil Collins and Eddie Money had big hits. Since the mid 90's people have become more interested in surface appeal than actual substance.

    The modern sort of posturing was ridiculed in the 70's and 80's when people were unpretentious and tough but basically acted sincere and upbeat for the most part. Ever notice how often characters were told to "be themselves" in 80's movies? Dorky posing didn't really start to happen until the 90's.

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  7. "the divorce of the average person from blue-collar trades"

    If they're divorced from blue-collar trades, what makes them think they'll be able to handle the even more unpredictable, intimidating, and highly skilled way of a lone wolf? Tradesmen have others in a team to support them, while the preppers are strictly wannabe lone wolves.

    That's related to a post I wrote on the DIY movement, where the DIY-ers only want to perform highly skilled tasks and in creative ways ("home improvement," "update your decor"), rather than the less skilled and run-of-the-mill forms of home repair and maintenance. One confers status, the other does not.

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2014/11/wannabes-and-absentees-do-it-yourself.html

    "the increased diversity of American society"

    The most intense arena of prepper LARP-ing is Alaska (Sarah Palin, multiple reality shows about surviving in the final frontier, etc.). Yet only white people live there, and only they will ever live there. Similar vibe to Montana, which is also lily-white.

    Preppers in Texas will certainly have a more racially colored fantasy about the apocalypse, but a race war is not a necessary part of the general prepper vision.

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  8. There was plenty of survivalist fever as reflected in pop culture of the 1980s:

    - First Blood

    - The Day After

    - Red Dawn

    - Slasher movies

    - Other horror movies (The Thing, endless zombie movies)

    - Self-defense / martial arts classes

    - Heavy metal music

    - Mad Max

    And so on and so forth.

    The key difference with survivalism in the Millennial era is that it was more team-oriented back then. A group of teenagers working together to escape, trap, or kill the slasher. A group of schoolmates teaming up against the invading Russkie army. Metalheads being part of a club or scene of dropouts and relying on one another to stay afloat.

    In today's cocooning climate, the preppers are too awkward to rely on others or to want to be relied upon by others. Or they're OK with it, but do not expect the feeling to be mutual by the cocooning majority.

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  9. "I think this largely driven by disenfranchised men, made inadequate as providers and in comparison to their own fathers and grandfathers."

    That's them making excuses. If they want to be as helpful to others as their grandfathers were, they could take the time to learn the things their grandfathers did. Some are too involved to play catch-up in adulthood, but most of them are not.

    Simply funneling money toward your children instead of expanding your retro video games collection, for example. Putting more of your income toward household expenses, rather than individual hedonistic / luxury pursuits, so your wife doesn't have to work outside the home. Learning how to clean, fix, and maintain things around the home so you don't have to call in a contractor to change a lightbulb, or else let the whole place disintegrate for want of maintenance.

    "Disenfranchisement" is usually freely chosen abdication of responsibility and stewardship.

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  10. "There was plenty of survivalist fever as reflected in pop culture of the 1980s:

    - First Blood

    - The Day After

    - Red Dawn

    - Slasher movies

    - Other horror movies (The Thing, endless zombie movies)

    - Self-defense / martial arts classes

    - Heavy metal music

    - Mad Max

    And so on and so forth."

    The aesthetic of this period is still quite cool and fun since it was about resilience and sincerity. You can make fun of it all you want for being "unrealistic" or "cheesy" but it really showed how energetic and creative people were at the time.

    30 years from now, is anyone going to really care about the paranoid misanthropy of the 1992-2025? era?

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  11. 30 years from now, is anyone going to really care about the paranoid misanthropy of the 1992-2025? era?

    Depends. Was great art produced during that time? I'm in the minority here in liking Grunge, so yeah. Unless you look at early 90s as a spill from the Eighties, after which there was nothing.

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  12. A.B. Prosper5/9/15, 12:58 AM

    I do think people under prepare for basic situations and there is a lot of status seeking but I don't think that lower numbers of searches for 1st aid kits area huge indicator indicator. There really isn't much diversity of options for most people, 1 red cross course (or more training if you can manage it) and a bog standard kit is fine.

    watches and such are far more subject to opinion and yes fashion.

    Probably the worst offender in this area is guns, honestly most reliable modern guns and ammo perform enough alike that the average user won't know the difference, Its a waste of brain sweat to worry unless guns are a hobby or something.

    The one thing I have noticed though is that the US society is so atomized that among our so called revolutionaries on the Right even the idea of large scale cooperation or worse making people do things, which is what the State is for cause them to metaphorically soil themselves.

    This is good for general stability and almost certainly means no general civil war scenario is really possible unless the States start it or gun confiscation is done however, a rub the idea is starting to filter down that, yes you have to work with others to common goals. If they ever come up with an after plan, than the elite can worry,

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  13. Preppers figure they don't need to fix their cars. They"ll help themselves to a new car when the one they're driving dies on them or runs out of gas. Like they do in disaster movies. If necessary at gun point. Stupid but true, they believe there'll be an endless supply of gas, ammo and food you can help yourself to from shelves in abandoned shops and houses. Or you can just steal stuff. Just as long as you have guns. Ever watched The Walking Dead?

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  14. 'Probably the worst offender in this area is guns, honestly most reliable modern guns and ammo perform enough alike that the average user won't know the difference",

    The fascination with high grade firepower seems to be linked mainly to rising striving, not whether the weapons actually have a practical purpose. When crime was very high in the 70's, how many people (save for a few hardcore West libertarian gun nuts) wanted, let alone owned, a fully auto assault rifle? When striving took off in the 80's and beyond, we've seen more people want more exotic guns. In spite of falling crime since the mid 90's. See also cops carrying more lethal guns in spite of the streets being much safer than they were in the 60's-80's.

    In the 1978 Dawn of the Dead, there's a great scene with rednecks basically partying while they take shots at zombies. If memory serves, most of them use bland hunting rifles with a few shotguns. The heroes in the movie do have police issue auto rifles, but I think that's it for military grade weapons in the movie.

    "The one thing I have noticed though is that the US society is so atomized that among our so called revolutionaries on the Right even the idea of large scale cooperation or worse making people do things, which is what the State is for"

    I think when actual crime/disorder began to rise and people leave their shells, this sort of posturing by paranoid nerds (just owning and shooting guns doesn't make you cool) will level off. Having strong connections with people is more important than any physical object.

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  15. "Depends. Was great art produced during that time? I'm in the minority here in liking Grunge, so yeah. Unless you look at early 90s as a spill from the Eighties, after which there was nothing."

    We've actually praised grunge as (relatively) enjoyable and it certainly had more moments than 99% of music made since the mid 90's. There still were some solos (albeit not as virtuoso as in 80's metal or 70's prog) and the vocals could be passionate without going too overboard on the mumbling or shouting.

    Movies have fared better since they're based partially on craft and intellect whereas inspired music requires unpretentious sincerity and high spirits. The Coen brothers, David Fincher, and Steven Soderbergh didn't let the nerdy post 1990 era stop them from making movies with interesting things to say.

    But when people aren't having fun and they have no soul, no heart, and no wit, and no taste, the music they make is going to suck big time. It started sucking around 1989 and has gotten progressively worse as people fall deeper into their cocoons.

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  16. When crime was very high in the 70's, how many people (save for a few hardcore West libertarian gun nuts) wanted, let alone owned, a fully auto assault rifle?

    Fully automatic assault rifles were banned for manufacture and sale for civilian use in 1985. If you wish to own one legally, you must purchase it from a private party who had a gun registered prior to 1986. As you can imagine such guns are rare and expensive. They also put you on watch lists. Well owning a gun does that anymore, but it puts you on a whole other list.

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  17. Gun enthusiasm seems to trend with inequality. According to Wikipedia:

    "and it has directly lobbied for and against legislation since 1975"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association

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  18. I guess these people (men really) who prep for the apocalyptic while ignoring minor matters assume that if minor inconveniences happen, then they can phone a guy or pop in a nearby shop to sort it out. There's still the ordinary society to fall back on. Or they can go through the inconvenience of getting the stuff they need as and when.

    But if it's a major problem, and The End , they can't just phone a guy.

    Can't believe there are people who actually carry emergency kits around. Not that I doubt it, just seems so weird. The only folk I've ever spoken to about this stuff just thought it was so strange and cool and interesting because of that; not necessarily in a weird hipster exhibitionist way although I don't doubt that either.

    Re: cleaning their stuff, I'd honestly just assume it was unrelated in any direction, but maybe not.

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  19. "cause them to metaphorically soil themselves"

    Or as the kids would say, LITERALLY soil themselves.

    "they believe there'll be an endless supply of gas, ammo and food you can help yourself to from shelves in abandoned shops and houses."

    That's a great point -- they dream of being scavengers rather than producers, providers, protectors, or stewards. Society is going to crumble into one great big ruin, so we might as well prepare for ransacking the remains -- not as a team, but every hyena for himself.

    Post-American Pickers.

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  20. "There's still the ordinary society to fall back on... But if it's a major problem, and The End, they can't just phone a guy."

    Except their whole philosophy is self-reliance and rugged individualism. How self-reliant is someone who can't change his own tire, replace a busted doorknob by himself, and so on?

    He either concedes that he needs others for the simplest tasks and calls someone in to help, or he stubbornly sticks to his self-reliant persona and allows all of those mundane parts of his world to decay.

    From what I can glean, they tend to opt for denial and decay. Screenshots from their home / garage / etc. don't look like they're well-maintained bunkers, but have clutter all over the place, devices and appliances that never get cleaned or serviced, random spots on the walls -- an altogether pig-sty atmosphere.

    Most of the younger ones aren't even attached to or rooted in their dwelling -- probably renting for less than five years, with no expectation of remaining there for the next five years. That doesn't say "fortifying the castle" or "holding down the fort," but "temporarily squatting in this dump until a better dump becomes available (and not fixing up this dump before I abandon it for the next one -- let the landlord keep my security deposit)".

    They may believe that they can't just call a guy to solve the apocalypse, but again that shows how they're grasping to rationalize their abdication of responsibilities. They'll just call a guy to change a bulb in the ceiling light because they don't know "righty tighty, lefty loosey" in order to remove the fixture. But surviving the end of the world as we know it? -- nah, I've got that covered on my own.

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  21. "Gun enthusiasm seems to trend with inequality. According to Wikipedia:

    "and it has directly lobbied for and against legislation since 1975"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association"

    The goal of manufactuers to make and sell as many guns as possible regardless of who ends up with the guns seems to smack of unbridled greed. I'd love to pin this on the Me generation but the NRA in the 70's had a lot of Greatest Gen figures.

    "The NRA supported and opposed parts of the Gun Control Act of 1968, which broadly regulated the firearms industry and firearms owners, primarily focusing on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers. The law was supported by America's oldest manufacturers (Colt, S&W, etc.) in an effort to forestall even greater restrictions which were feared in response to recent domestic violence. The NRA supported elements of the law, such as those forbidding the sale of firearms to convicted criminals and the mentally ill."

    I suppose the gun companies were more reasonable before Silents/Boomers took over and ruthlessly shoved anyone/anything out of the way so as to cash in on huge profits.

    It seems like around the 70's, due to growing liberalism a lot of wealthy gun buffs/hard righties became really paranoid about the gubmint kicking in their doors and taking guns. Really, though, it seems like a "no-duh" thing that gun control is going to be more common in more multi-cult/urban places. And in times of greater social unrest. Unrest often coincides with high striving. And rootless/chaotic metro areas like NY are particularly prone to gun control. Vermont is very liberal but also highly white and reasonably rooted so people have a more lackadaisical attitude towards guns.

    Sailer has posted about the number of gun buffs in Hollywood. People might scoff at these "liberals" but let's not forget that most Hollywood types are well aware of what a multi cult mess California is. And these older Me Gen types would rather have big houses, nice cars, servants, and tinker with guns than actually put effort into improving California.

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  22. A.B. Prosper5/9/15, 3:55 PM

    In fairness, the really retarded survivalist- prepper crowd is mostly the one we see on stupid shows like Doomsday Prepppers. The smarter well prepared guys are out there and well equipped and quiet. I know tons of people who have set aside the basics and a little more.

    Also even people who are prepped for doomsday can be well prepped for everyday issue, supplies are supplies.

    There are vultures and would be raiders out there of course but they hardly make up most of them.

    Also there are a growing number of militia groups like the Oathkeepers who are a private, well trained and well equipped groups who work well together and with others.

    Even the people at Bundy Ranch who are of the same social set as the Preppers more or less are orderly, martial and efficient.

    Also as mentioned early, the scene is changing a bit. The idea of organization and building groups resistant to subversion is filtering down. The later is I'd say a pretty issue, the USG basically lives off subversion and building resistant structures larger than cells can be tricky.

    It kind of goes beyond simple atomization as Americans have little freedom of non association left.

    It took little effort to subvert Occupy or the Tea Party for example.

    To something Feryl said about fixing California . A great many Americans whether they know it or not are adherents of Claire Wolfe, It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.

    Simply I think people know or think there are no political solutions to our problems and no point in trying till the systems own rot weakens it enough to defeat it or to opt out.

    You can't talk it out with people who speak in place several hundred languages and whose own culture is so bad even the mess we have is preferred anyway and people simply don't want to pay the price required for the ideas we have.

    Heck the only group I've seen with a coherent ideology and a workable if somewhat atrocious idea is the Northwest Front who are basically costume Nazi's and have a tiny and highly dysfunctional membership.


    After all we are as a people rather short of replacement ideas, good, bad, otherwise. Its hard to set up something different if you don't know what you want and even if you win you might lose.

    Since everyone wants to be Cinncinatus and than run home to Monticello 2.0 to read Ayn Rand, nothing can be done,

    Better to wait it out and that is what people do.

    And yes I know the rioters are out there, a lot of people on the Left want to use them as a hammer to resolve problems. No one asks the rioters what they want which is I suspect money mostly and maybe to be a bit less afraid.

    Good luck getting that though after burning down a city. we as a society don't want to pay smart hard working people a living wage much less anyone else.

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  23. "To something Feryl said about fixing California . A great many Americans whether they know it or not are adherents of Claire Wolfe, It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

    Simply I think people know or think there are no political solutions to our problems and no point in trying till the systems own rot weakens it enough to defeat it or to opt out.

    You can't talk it out with people who speak in place several hundred languages and whose own culture is so bad even the mess we have is preferred anyway and people simply don't want to pay the price required for the ideas we have

    I was mainly calling out Silents and Boomers for not doing more to protect California. It didn't go to shit overnight; it took a lot of negligence, apathy, and corruption for it to get to this. To this day, the elites could do a lot more to protect "regular" Americans in the state but instead it's fundraisers for Obama.

    Boomers believed from day one that white people are the root of all evil. So even as diversity rots America they still bend over backwards to score status points by being glib about the very things that have destroyed places like California. Look at George Lucas' embarrassing piece of sentiment Red Tails. No matter what devastation is wrought on America by diversity, we've still got to guilt trip increasingly scarce and old white people about the horribly "racist" past.

    At the end of the day, a dyed in the wool gun toting post war child of affluence like Steven Spielberg got to enjoy the beauty of mid century America and the heady excitement of climbing the ladder in the later 60's and 70's before the ladder got coated with grease and venom in the 80's. He got his; he might realize what a mess things are but it never occurs to Boomers like him that it was their hubris and greed which got us here. It's always someone elses fault.

    Some late Boomers like Sailer do point out how still entrenched early Boomers (and Silents) are still despoiling the commons. But that's mostly out of jealousy and bitterness; later Boomers would be more than happy to commit most of the same sins but they just didn't get the same opportunities to do so.

    Meanwhile, Gen-Xer's have a sincere and wholesome hostility towards the arrogant misadventures that the Me Gen has been going on for about 55 years at this point.

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  24. "He got his; he might realize what a mess things are but it never occurs to Boomers like him that it was their hubris and greed which got us here. It's always someone else's fault."

    Or someone else's problem. Agnostic has pointed out how uncommon it is in mid century TV shows for kids to actually be doing chores. It's always dad mowing and mom ironing. So they were sent the message early on that they were above much of the heavy lifting. Is it any surprise that those born from the late 20's-50's have presided over the loss of so many blue collar jobs in America? They don't "get" why these jobs count; who wants them anyway when you can be rock star, or a journalist, or a lawyer, or a CEO or whatever. Honestly, they practically think they're doing people a favor. How often have you heard people born from about 1930-1960 express any sort of skepticism for the glut of elites/wannabe elites while also being concerned about the raw deal that lower class workers have gotten since the 70's?

    It's always "unions suck", "if you don't like the job quit", "don't complain work harder", "go to college"/"go do more years of college".

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  25. advancedatheist5/9/15, 6:20 PM

    Speaking of ordinary preparedness: I work in the hospitality industry, and it amazes me how many employed people whose reservations I take have no savings. Just about every week someone tells me not to authorize his debit card for about $100 until he can deposit his next paycheck, or else it will cause a financial crisis in his life.

    I feel like telling these people that they have a more serious problem than their foolish need for a week end getaway, namely, that they need to become financially responsible.

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  26. Thing is, the "lone survivalist" type they LARP as is the least likely to have a plan ahead of time. The archetype they aspire to is a pragmatic, flexible reactive type. If he has a tool for everything it's because he's been through everything at least twice and the tool worked both times.

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