Wednesday, May 23, 2012

book review and fiction- Apocalypse RV

BOOK REVIEW-THE PROFESSION
“The Profession” by Steven Pressfield is a near future tale of mercenary armies.  Lately, what with steroid bulked brain dead idiots spraying fully automatic fire into crowds of Muslim civilians, the name mercenary has gotten a bad name.  So, as if on a mission from God, Mr. Pressfield has set out to sing their glories from the rooftops and can I get an amen, brother?  Not since the late 1970’s when a vet named Brown started a small circulation magazine named Soldier Of Fortune have mercenaries been so revered and used to turn a profit from their authors.  Now, I was one of those little idiots in the seventies, far too busy popping pimples and bemoaning my fate as an inmate in the public school system to pay attention to disco or what I only later learned was the last era of wild and crazy guys, so I immersed myself into saner inner worlds of fantasy to include Dungeons And Dragons and the exciting overseas conflicts populated by mercenary warriors.  I loved mercs, and bought what I thought was their official magazine for many a year.  Nowadays, I’m not exactly a great fan boy.  I could care less how many towel head’s get killed as collateral damage, but I don’t much care for scumbags that help the fedgov disarm those who in theory live in a country that was founded with a document that laid out the rules as had been naturally endowed to its inhabitants, rules which prohibited the government from ever abridging those rights.  But these pricks are taking their thirty pieces of silver to do just that, all the while vigorously rubbing the flag against their junk in a pathetic dance of fake patriotism.
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However, even with my distaste for the modern mercs, one has to honestly portray this book as more of a tale about warriors and their code rather than just a love fest for mercenaries.  After reading this novel, I have to say it seemed a fair treatment of the code of the warrior, so I’ll allow my displeasure to subside.  At one time I had considered myself for the profession, albeit quickly withdrawn due to total unsuitability.  I was also able to withstand over a hundred pages of densely packed acronyms.  The first half of the book is data dumped with both geopolitical back story and a God awful amount of acronyms.  You might think I love those little bastards, using them so much myself ( GRIFFIN, glacial retreat flash flooding or PODA, peak oil dark ages ), but the truth is that I despise them and am poking fun at the insanity.  The military is so bloated with useless add on information that you must process back into standard English, from having to calculate 24 time back to 12, to having to figure out how many miles are in a klick, to translating acronyms, it is a wonder any action takes place as we are all standing there with a blank look in our eyes as our overloaded brain tries to process.  It would be one thing if the initials made sense.  NATO is the actual name of an organization and needn’t be translated if there is no desire.  But the other crap, like MDFRGOR ( I just made it up- I think ) for Multi-Directional Forward Rear Ground Operating Radar is not intuitive and requires too much processing power to stay functional.  How about “penetrating radar”? 
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What I took away from this book was, it is basically sci-fi novel roughly paralleling the non-fiction geopolitical book “A Century Of War”.  Of course, that’s just me.  I doubt the author ever read “Century”.  But beyond the Warrior Elite Tale, I loved the politics and economics and such.  Oh, I could tear apart this book if I wished.  Such as, are you humping kidding me with the reanimation of all oil fields by a wishful thinking nitrogen injection process that allows the whole ball of wax to stay tightly bundled twenty years from now!!!????  And, please, as if we don’t have to worry about a dictator taking over the country and crapping on the Constitution for twenty years???!!!!  That boat sailed generations ago.  But, hey, if you just read it for pleasure, understanding it is a sausage fest for warriors which unfortunately embraces asshat mercs, you will enjoy the story.  Don’t buy the book for a fiction account on Peak Oil or the realignment of political power or any future prophesy, but for a well written tale of a fighter in the mostly modern world.  That’s all it is, and it was done rather well.  If you try to take too much away from all the back story you will just disappoint yourself.  Yes, at times it was uneven.  I had to read small chunks at a time for the first half, the information overload too intense.  And the second half was more conventional.  But all in all, a recommended, well written novel.
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END REVIEW.  SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE.
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Yet another feeble attempt at fiction.  Part One of hopefully a lot more.

APOCALYPSE RV
I was going to have to steal an RV.  It was a risky move, because nothing had yet happened as far as the economy taking a big squishy shit and dooming us all to a quick death of civilization collapse.  But of course if you waited long enough to be sure then there wouldn’t be too many riches left to loot, steal or purchase.  And if you acted hastily you might end up in jail which is no place to spend the collapse.  I mean, no one wants to go to jail.  Or maybe it’s prison.  I suppose there is a difference, one being a holding cell run by the county or city and the other a “long term facility” run by a higher level of government.  Something like that.  The short term one isn’t as much of a horror story, or so I’ve heard.  I have my doubts.  Anymore, the private goons hired by the government so they can save on medical and retirement think nothing of shoving their fist up your ass to elbow deep searching for contraband, and you are only in there for a traffic stop.  It would actually be too expensive to hire another clerk to segregate the prisoners according to crime severity or hostility level so everyone gets treated like Charles Manson upon entering.  And, if they are too lazy to spend the money to keep up the façade of civil rights observation than surely they won’t go through the trouble of making sure your red light running ass doesn’t get bunked up with a glue sniffing monkey molesting mass murderer who the very first night pries apart your virgin anal orifice and humps you dry, his groans of pleasure drowning out your whimpers.  Then, five years later you discover you have AIDS and nobody believes you were in prison, or jail as the case may be, because you never got busted for anything more severe than a traffic stop, so obviously you must be an intravenous drug user or a flaming queen.  So, on one pretext or another you get fired, and if not fired only because your boss is himself a bit limp wrested and you can choose to either perform oral gratification upon his person or get terminated, and you lose the wife and kids and can choose to pay child support even if you don’t have a job or go back to jail and so the gruesome circle of Hell keeps feeding on itself because if you don’t pay up you get sent back to jail you might at least have the satisfaction of infecting the butt humper of a cell mate but you still must go through the whole violation part of it again which is absolutely nobodies idea of fun.  And, it might not just be that but the inmate might also shiv you when he is done because his manhood is so undersized that with your previous humping and the advance of years your sphincter has loosened and you aren’t tight enough to deliver any satisfaction to your date for the night.
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So, while prison is bad enough as it is in times of plenty, come the collapse you will be locked up behind bars, with a hurt and throbbing asshole, and soon enough if you don’t die in a racially inspired riot you will die as the water is shut down and food isn’t delivered.  So, post-apocalypse wise, prison is absolutely out of the question.  It simply isn’t an option.  And, really?  An RV?  Who in name of God needs a gas guzzling recreational vehicle when the gas runs out and there is no more propane to run the appliances, you innocently ask.  Well, let me tell you, this beautiful head of hair is much more than a hat rack.  I actually use it once in a blue moon to think, ponder and pontificate.  Have you ever tried to get a group of people together to prepare for the end of the world?  Frankly, the task of herding cats is simple in comparison.  Even if you could find a few folks living near you, no one is worried about the same kind of probable problems and nobody is willing to join together unless they themselves are in charge.  The closest I’ve heard of, and that is a bit of a cheat but at least it lasted long term which almost no group ever does because of the two aforementioned factors, was Rawles ( author of “Patriots” and media darling blogger ) and his college or military buddies.  And they are all scattered about the country so long distant bug outs complicate an otherwise perfect plan ( I’d also wager it worked because one person, the property owner, was by default in charge ).  The typical survivalist you’ll never meet is pig headed independent.  Which makes sense, because otherwise how could they go against societies convictions; buck the tides so to speak, and endeavor to prepare for the end.  Loners do not make for good group members.  If you belonged to the mass of lemmings, only acting in an approved manner by squeezing into suburbia with debt equaling 90% of your wages as a cubicle warrior, you wouldn’t be allowed to stray far enough away to seek a modicum of self sufficiency or independence.  By the nature of its members, groups of survivalists are impossible.
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So I had chosen the much easier route, even if it was far less desirable.  I had provisioned enough supplies for a circle of friends to survive.  Not that I had told them about it.  You tell one person, the balloon goes up and twenty complete strangers show up two minutes later.  You forbid most to enter, the original member feels compelled to defend them, you put your foot down by shooting one to make a point, pretty soon everyone is shouting and yelling and picking sides and it is the OK Corral all over again and you might get hurt.   But time had run out and I was far from ready to provide shelter for everyone.  I wasn’t rich, nor very talented, so I was on a strict regimen of frugal survival preparations.  I had basic foodstuffs and weapons, but I hadn’t yet been able to swing the purchase of a large shelter.  I only had a small eight by eight cabin on my property, and you can’t throw six to eight people in a place that small over many days of freezing cold weather.  An RV was far from ideal, but still a major improvement.  And it was self mobile, a consideration since I was miles from paved road and didn’t have the money for a major purchase at Home Depot.  Hell, an RV being a less than ideal abode was far from the most pressing problem.  As I said, we weren’t in full blown meltdown yet.  Most survivalists are by nature frightened little rodents, nervously poking their heads above their underground entrances, sniffing the air for any sign of large hungry reptiles.  They buy a few cans of freeze dried soybean offal and buy a cool looking plastic carbine and by not paying too much attention to the details they are then convinced that they can survive an asteroid impact followed by a nuclear war followed by stampedes of city folk bugging out.  If they actually thought things through a bit they would stay afraid, and that won’t do.  That curious American trait of pasting on a happy face and pretending all is well.  Okay, that might be a common trait throughout history, all successful empires are full of folks fat, happy and unable to comprehend the coming meltdown as once again yet another agricultural empire overpopulated and used up their resources. 
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I mean, look at these assholes.  Every best selling survival author, and it is far more than just finances anymore like it was in the seventies with Howard Ruff and the like- now you have cool stuff like global warning and solar flares and super volcanoes and what not to worry about- every swinging dingus out there follows the same tired bull of first presenting the problem and them telling us how to change our behavior to make sure we all experience a safe if bumpy landing.  And the behavior we are asked to change is fundamental human behavior.  You can’t change that kind of behavior because it has been evolutionarily hard wired into us.  Oh, a few groups here and there might succeed in mimicking the called for changes and actually get away with it because they were accidentally bypassed by the surrounding bandits, but the majority of people will follow the basic script.  Overpopulation and resource depletion was what brought them to power in the first place and the those same two actions which are causing the collapse are the hair of the dog that is going to save you from yourselves.  Dirty Hippy Harry, author of “Hug A Tree And Save The World”, thinks that if we can only just hug each other around an old Wiccan burial site, our glorious manes of hair fluttering in the breeze as we sway to the music of Gaia standing about in our Birkenstocks after driving there in our Prius electric cars, and solemnly pinkie promise each other that surely we can all just get along, and if we change our light bulbs to fluorescents run by solar panels we can all indeed live happily ever after in an orgasmically groovy paradise of earth.  Newsflash, Harry, our country was founded by uptight religious pricks that met every Sunday, took turns shoving broomsticks up each others asses to ensure the proper level of piety, found the proper passage in the Bible that preached indigenous population genocide, and stole this country jam friggin packed with enough resources to last a hundred lifetimes.  God indeed was good and generous, but only if you wore a shoe buckle on a funny looking hat. 
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Seriously, who was the designer these guys paid?  A buckle on your hat?  Was this because you might need a back up one day?  You just got done punishing a wicked transgressor against the supreme will of Baby Jesus, the evil bastard deciding that it was okay to clip his toenails on a Sunday, and all the physical exertion forcing him into the stocks so the faithful could pelt Lucifer’s Minion with rotted fruit and farm animal offal, why, you done popped the buckle off your shoe.  Fearfully, you quickly take the back-up off your hat so you could re-attach your footwear.  One can never be too careful keeping ones thoughts pure so it is best to never show any foot flesh, least ones peers experience lustful fancies.  A buckle on your hat just doesn’t make any sense to me.  Of course, what sense is there in today’s fashions?  A vest, perhaps.  I think the only function that it had at one time was to hold ones pocket watch ( “I say, Frederick, it’s almost been twelve hours.  We simply must water the peasants on the factory line or the simpletons might pass out and damage some piece of equipment” ), but let’s make a stretch of things and assume one could use it today as, say, another layer of clothing to stay warmer in the winter.  If you are a highly paid big muckeemuck in an investment firm, it simply won’t do to allow the cubicle hired help to see you in an unsightly ensemble of a bulky down jacket over your Brooks Brothers suit.  You must appear above the human mass, a deity all your own, unburdened by such trivialities as the cold.  The vest allows you to maintain this illusion.  Your torso has the added clothing, you stay warmer.  The peons, seeing you manly brave the elements, actually start to assume that paper currency is actually wealth and that growth can last forever.  The vest is an awesome swath of fabric.  Now, the tie.  The tie, she is a bit of a mystery.  All it does is restrict the blood flow to the brain.   No, I don’t have scientific proof, but look at the results.  You wear a tie.  Essentially this marks you as a Charles In Charge.  You are a step above your peers.  And ninety nine times out of a hundred, you are a complete moron.  You blindly follow the rules some asshole wrote down a hundred years ago.  Here he was, a stopwatch in one hand and a clipboard in the other, timing the task each assembly line worker performed.  You really think that was an accurate reading?  Do you think that pace was sustainable for a twelve hour shift?  Remember the movie Schindler’s List?  Myself, I thought the whole thing was a Heeb piece of propaganda.  Not that I have anything against Jews or the state of Israel.  I actually admire their willingness to fuck anybody up that so much as hints at being a threat.  It only took them a few thousand years to grow a set of testicles ( a few nuclear tipped missiles, I’m sure supplied by us, surely helped in that growth ).  What I find annoying is the whole “we’re the globes number one class of victims, feel sorry for us” schtick.  You have your own country, you have a fleet of subs that will fuse any attackers into a radioactive sheet of glass, your army usually wins its wars.  Stop whining about the Holocaust.  You are just embarrassing yourself ( I’ll leave alone whether the thing actually happened ).
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Anyway, the part of the movie I enjoyed was when the worker was timed by the concentration camp commander in some task.  The worker, thinking if he didn’t hustle the commander would feed his testicles to the German Shepherds, performed in record time.  The commander then wanted to know why his whole shift performance wasn’t as speedy.  I think the commander had him killed then.  Of course, this was pure propaganda, as was the scene in which a random prisoner was shot by the commander.  The message of course was that the commander was a psycho little freak,  but it totally ignores the culture of the Germans.  You did as you were told, and you were told in detail, and usually you enjoyed it.  The whole point of the camps was not to get rid of the Jews, although that was certainly a huge bonus as those boys didn’t want the gene pool contaminated ( which of course bit them on the ass since all the Jews developed the atom bomb ) but to exploit all that free labor.  Free labor substituted for lack of fuel.  Work them to death, strip the corpse of valuables, then burn them for hygienic reasons.  If you’ll remember in the movie, all those piles of gold teeth fillings,  the piles of shoes and clothes?  Nothing was wasted, because the war machine needed everything.  So, if nothing was wasted, and if meticulous records were kept of everything, what makes you think the commander would be allowed to waste valuable workers by killing them for fun, then lying about how they died?  Those were not his instructions.  If you are going to spend fifty million bucks on a propaganda piece, can we at least get one that follows its own internal logic properly?  Am I asking too much?  Now, even though those evil Nazi pricks starved all those poor defenseless workers ( I’m not trivializing the suffering of the victims, but it bewilders me that so few Jews fought back.  Even to this day, look at the number of pampered protected Jews who embrace the new Fuehrer and trust him enough to actively call for gun control.  The stupid fucks have learned nothing from history ), and being starved certainly effects your cognitive powers, surely some of them figured out to limit their performance under their abilities.  It just makes sense.  If you get sick, do you want the boss to see you lag in performance?  No, your speed should be 50%, then if you are injured or sick, you can still achieve that same benchmark.  I’m sure those poor bastards that survived the camps had this figured out ( well, it was that or be a snitch or turncoat ).  And I’m sure that American workers had this figured out when that jagoff wearing the tie was around.  And yet the modern managers all worship their predecessors who came up with these studies.  See?  Proof positive that ties make you a damn idiot.
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So, between tie wearing managers, survival gurus who claimed that by changing our spots we could all survive forever after, because their publisher was one of those idiots wearing a tie and demanded that all doom and gloom books carry a positive message on the end because hermits living in a cave will buy zero books in the future, and our natural inclination to both cling to the status quo because of the past financial bets we made, plus the males need to procreate even if it ends his life and the females need to look successful and desirable above all other rivals,  almost nobody really wants to prepare for surviving the end of their civilization.  They might make feeble gestures, then congratulate themselves vigorously at their efforts no matter how inappropriate or pathetic, but for the most part nobody wants to really put much effort into things.  They will go overboard once the collapse is evident, but none will take the actions truly necessary beforehand.  That is were I planned on beating the herd.  Because those hundreds of years of resources our Pilgrim ancestors stole fair and square from the indigs ( despite such movies as “Dances With Wolves”- a wonderful flick but a bit on the Wishful Thinking That The Nobel Red Man Was A Tree Hugger- the Indians were no different than the white boys.  They used up their resources by overpopulating and then used warfare to steal their neighbors food to stay alive ) was pretty much already done used up and gone the way of the Dodo bird.  Even if we all put solar panels on our McMansions we were going to hit Peak Everything ( and have already hit many resource peaks.  Coal, as measured in delivered BTU, peaked a decade ago in this country.  We might mine twice as such as before, but the energy it delivers is in aggregate less because we only have low grade coal left.  Peak Oil for the US was in 1971.  Even adding Alaska, The Gulf and North Dakota, we are pumping far less than before.  And Saudi Arabia won’t save us as they are at peak themselves.  Even if Abiotic Oil theory is correct, if the replenish rate is far below use rate it is still Game Over.  Even Peak Phosphorus in the 80’s which is needed in agriculture ) and that is the end of Pax Americana.  The richest won’t survive.  Their comprehension of necessities verses luxury is so skewed that both their supplies will be lacking as well as their fortitude.  Only those willing to go Genghis immediately, with a proper grasp on strategy, and the proper location with a large dash of luck are going to survive the coming collapse.  You must be at the right place at the right time, and then have enough intelligence to not fuck up your one opportunity.  I could still fuck up this wet dream ( how do you fuck up a wet dream?  Wake up and jerk off ) but I planned on giving it my best to survive, which wasn’t by wearing Birkenstocks and a peace necklace listening to the Grateful Dead as I hoed my asparagus.  How these brain dead humps can imagine that they will be left in peace while the world starves is beyond my comprehension.  Nobody, once hungry enough, will observe another’s property rights.  The human race has survived by forceful limited resource redistribution.  I might be too old to care if I live or die in the process, but I’m sure going to have fun playing the game.

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End part one.
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By the by, all my writing is copyrighted.  For the obtuse out there.

6 comments:

  1. This is exactly why I've decided on an RV. After the whatever, causes the normal system to break down. Property rights will be meaningless !
    Best bet... Have all your shit ready to transport to that other guys survival nest. He'll still be in town still trying to make the mortgage. Or better yet just scope out all the Lib Berkinstock crowd that have nice country houses and don't believe in weapons he he.
    Being mobile is the only way ta go. Mostly because no one has a clue as to how this house of cards is going to crumble. One must adapt as it comes.

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  2. I reviewed it a while back. Pressler is channeling Augustus Ceaser and a bunch of other antiquities type folks. He is essentially paralleling the fall of the U.S. democratic-Republic with the replacement of the Roman Republic with the Roman Empire.

    You have a RPVs, tac nukes, terror nukes, and a high level of mayhem. I tend to think of it as slightly plausible action adventure inspired by classical history.

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  3. Link on passive cooling techniques that includes a section on earth tubes (cooling and heating) that you may find useful?

    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooling/passive_cooling.htm

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  4. Just because a Motor home has a motor doesn't mean you have to go anywhere. Everybody always thinks bug out. You have touched on a important fact. After you get where you need to go, there is your cabin, already built with storage tanks and a generator and solar and radios. Simple, quick. I still have mine parked at the side of my regular house just in case.

    the rat

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  5. Sierra Hotel rant as usual, congrats is not sufficient. Look at these counter measures for the common man in a linked article titled "Low Tech Solutions to High Tech Tyranny". How many are realistic for the informed to use?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-low-tech-solutions-high-tech-tyranny

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  6. Your comment about "Schindler's List" reminded me of something I read(or heard on the radio). Thomas Kenneally's book and Spielberg's film kinda sorta made Oskar Schindler out to be a gentlemanly type...not to belittle what he did, one woman, one who he rescued said that he had the uncanny ability, when he had to deal with people, of being able to judge exactly how much of a bribe he'd have to pay, to get his way. So, I guess a more raffish, rough and tumble, wheeler dealer type of guy.

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