Friday, March 30, 2012


Two of the hot new programs on TV are concerned with the subject of doomsday prep. The idea is that sooner or later, all of modern civilization will go to hell in a handbasket, and a few people are getting ready for the worst. "Doomsday Preppers" is a program on the National Geographic TV channel, and "Doomsday Bunkers" is on Discovery. One features the extremes folks can go to be "prepped" and the other focuses on their underground fortresses tricked out for self protection. Portions of both programs can be found on

Preppers is about all the preparations these folks are taking. Some have exit routes planned for their great escapes from cities, some have food stored in massive bunkers to keep themselves fed for years in case of catastrophe. Nearly all have guns, lots and lots of guns.

In the photo shown above, a "prepper" from the National Geographic series is shown with guns and dogs. He grows his own food, has it stored by the ton, and with his dogs standing guard, will shoot anyone who tried to take it from him if the more likely heart attack didn't take him out first.

In other words, some invest heavily in preparing for a future which may not come while neglecting to resolve real physical problems far more certain to cause an early demise.

Human civilization has always been somewhat vulnerable. We can see clearly that there are problems on the horizon.We have had dramatic effect on the world's climate, and the world's population is expanding beyond the powers of the planet to provide. Are the preppers crazy or not? That seems to be the question that many viewers ask. We know that through self-talk or just listening too much to others without testing, we can convince ourselves of just about anything.

However, I suggest that it is never crazy to develop skill. It is better than money in the bank. It is never crazy to contemplate the real world or to learn to take reasonable action within it.  I think in the long run we will be best served by attempting to tackle real problems through cooperative problem solving. We might even develop the capacity to put doomsday to rest. Learning to work together in teams doing things that involve the development of skilled hands seems to be a course that would serve well even if things don't fall apart. Doomsday fears or not, schools should play a role in all this. As suggested by Torsten Rudenschöld and quoted just two days before in this blog,
"It is becoming more and more universally acknowledged, that in the elementary school the children are overburdened with continual reading lessons, which they have not had sufficient time to digest, and the result of which is a valueless memory knowledge. That the mind and the body are to be developed at the same time, is gradually coming to be more and more understood... we do not propose to make mechanics or physical workers of all our children; yet no one can tell the future of his child. In real life, everything rests upon an uncertain and ever changing basis."
"Children of the best families, no matter how high their social position may be, will receive much benefit from an early training in physical work, as we constantly hear the complaint that they are too weak, and seek only the pleasures of life and its expensive diversions. They will learn for themselves that in corporal work there is more true satisfaction, and will prefer it as a refreshing pastime."
Perhaps a bit more reasonable of heart and mind would be a project started at the University of Arkansas, and thousands of communities and neighborhoods throughout the US. A community garden. No guns, ammo or concrete bunkers required. Start a garden, make friends and learn survival skills at the same time. There is no better solution to tough times than having good friends who know how to do real stuff.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:23 AM

    After a catastrophe of some sort, the best and the worst in people seems to appear. New Orleans after Katrina is an example. Doomsday scenarios have been around for a long time, and someone like the man in your post isn't looking for community.