Thursday, April 24, 2008

Planning for the end

I had an interesting conversation with a few friends yesterday while we sat around a crackling cooking fire, enjoying the fine weather. We were helping one of said friends to shave his head, using nothing but cheap plastic razors and a bottle of water (not a recommended method, by the by), when the subject of apocalypse came up.

You know, light-hearted chat.

When I say "apocalypse," I mean it in the actual definition of "a great disaster," and not necessarily the end of everything. The friend getting his head shaved asked us all to name what tool we would each try to build first upon such a disaster. My first thought was to create some sort of water purification system. After all, we can survive without lots of things, but water isn't one of 'em.

The conversation then drifted into a discussion of how we might manage to survive if society as we know it crumbled. I'd like to think I could hack it, but in truth we'd all probably be pretty screwed. Still, the whole thing got me to thinking: is this a common theme within my generation? Does it span generations? Do we all secretly (or, in the case of paranoid survivalists, not-so-secretly) ponder the possibility of a Mad Max-like existence some day in the not-so-distant future? Or is it just me and my crazy friends?

So, I'm putting the question out there: have you been secretly preparing for a meltdown? Maybe just regularly entertaining the notion of the possibility that the world may be a vastly different place when you're older? What do you suppose your reasons for this are? Let's call it an unscientific sociological poll.


John A said...

I was born in 1976, so I really got the tail end of the whole cold war era. I remember the constant underlying theme of "them sumbitches have their fingers on the button and we're all gonna fry." I remember The Day After feeling more like a documentary than just a cheesy special effects show. So the thought of a post-apocalyptic hell has always been just under the surface. Happy times.

At this point though, I'm just reasonably sure I'd be screwed. I'm not very well adapted to self-sufficiency in an everythings-gone-to-hell scenario.

So, while I constantly predict a meltdown, I'm just hoping it'll happen on the east coast and leave flyover country alone.

3rd Way said...

After what happened in New Orleans after Katrina contemplation of what would happen if our society collapsed should have been pondered by everyone.

The things that scare me is the fact that there are more guns than people in this country. I have to admit a firearm might be the most valuable tool in post-apocalyptic America.

Fair Play said...

No, not at all.

Emily said...

JOHN A - I don't know, if "Red Dawn" is any indicator of what might happen in a global war/meltdown (and I think it is), we in the Midwest might be just as screwed. Cubans and Russians in Denver, by gum! ;)

3W - I hear you. A firearm would be useful if for no other reason than hunting.

FP - Really? I envy you.

Madison Guy said...

I used to worry a lot about apocalypse when I was younger, now not so much. Not sure that's a sign of progress. It may just be numbness. I touched on this in this post awhile back: Dr. Strangelove, please keep an eye on your toys. Your grandchildren are getting forgetful

The Lost Albatross