Wednesday, August 15, 2012

that 70's show

THAT 70’s SHOW
Now, call me a cynic, but it seems to me that in general survivalist writers today are a lazy bunch.  This could be just a reflection of society in general, and examples abound.  Newspapers, in the few places they are published on the few days of the week they actually come out, “report” UP wire releases and rewritten Internet infotainment and get a printout of city hall meetings they condense and publish as local news.  Corporate CEO’s go to college but apparently learn nothing, since the only thing they seem capable of doing is laying off workers or moving facilities to China.  They make a few million a year and do almost nothing for it.  Congress just rubber stamps any bill put in front of them, then collapse exhausted on the couch the rest of the time, drained from endless fund raising they are forced to do.  Even collecting bribes is too much work for them.  Movie actresses inject plastic in their boobs, lips and ass and make a few million before the next younger Barbie Doll Princess comes along.  Yet, they probably work harder than all the rest as at least they have to memorize their lines.  And it can’t be easy NOT eating all the time although I image if you snort enough cocaine that takes away the hunger pains.  And survivalist writers?  I won’t touch the whole “clueless readers submitting the writing” since I imagine editing is a lot of work, but just the general subject matter makes me think after a few 70’s era survivalist books are read, no more heavy thinking is involved.  Again, don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure learning code so that multiple ads can be crammed into one web page is a lot of work.  I know I can’t begin to understand how a computer works past the mouse button, so I’m definitely not throwing rocks in that glass house.
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If you base all your ideas on forty year old strategies for survival, there are bound to be a few issues.  Back in the Evil Empire days when the Soviets were our only nightmare, you basically had one worry and that was a surprise missile attack.  As long as you weren’t at ground zero ( and, there was plenty of discussion on exactly how close you could get and the engineering standards your shelter required to withstand blast pressure ) you could live and work in an urban area as long as you had a fallout shelter.   Urban crime certainly wasn’t unheard of, there being the 60’s and all, and the 70’s itself saw unheard of amounts of barbarism in the cities, but it was still the era where money could segregate itself safely.  Today folks THINK they can live safely in an upscale neighborhood, but it is no longer the case.  The Yuppies have the illusion of safety behind various tricks such as higher paid police personnel and the widespread new practice of liberal concealed carry laws, but crime is everywhere.  And remember those quaint 70’s marijuana growers?  They used their own product and were mellow and cool.  Today, tweakers are the rule and they aren’t too nice.  They are mostly incompetent, so the illusion is one of safety.  Which, mainly, you are.  Safe.  In your person.  Your property, on the other hand…
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Today, if you relocated to a missile strike safe area, you still might be in trouble.  Are you safe from nuclear power plant grid down fuel rod meltdown?  I won’t claim that nobody will MIRV us.  But the odds are greatly reduced today.  Those nuclear rods ain’t as safe as they used to be.  A lot more of them forty years on.   Yesteryear, employment was not the same as now.  You still had factories and you still had all mom and pop retail stores.  Work out in the country wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t impossible.  Today, if you don’t do telecommuting ( and all the corporations use Indian workers.  The only job open for you now is your own small business ) you don’t have a job outside the city ( other than cooking that crack ).  And owning property certainly doesn’t pay like it used to.  It used to be a path to true independence.  Now, the taxes are so outrageous, you don’t have a chance at survival if you don’t have at least a part time job. 
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Forty years ago, most everything was repairable and made from materials that the craftsman could use.  Leather, metal.  Today it is all plastic.  And microchips.  Even an ace car mechanic has issues on some repairs given the computers in the car.  The great thing about microchips is the lower cost and better performance.  The bad thing is it is a replaceable item, not a repairable one.  The flip side was you used to be able to take your crafts skills with you overseas, should you care to leave.  Today, other than finance or corporate drone, what can you do overseas?  Now, I’m not saying there aren’t niches you can’t exploit.  You can, with hard enough work, hide away from it all, publish online with a satellite, hide from the property tax man, transition back a hundred years in your equipment, etc.  No, I’m saying that most advice today seems unworkable.  Mainly because of the regurgitated advice that was obsolete long ago.  The one thing that still works, throwing enough money at any problem to avoid it, is unavailable to most of us.  Your economics advice is pre-derivatives.  Your government advice is from pre-FDR.  Your relocation advice is based on a culture and economy from the sixties.  Your logistics advice is pre-U.S. Peak Oil ( you know, the age of abundance ).  Most of this is easy to figure out.  Look out the window, see reality, then project things ten times as bad next year.  Instead of listening to wishful thinking of the way things used to be.  Oh, the ammo shortage ended.  Oh, the drought ended.  Oh, government got better.  One day, it doesn’t get better.
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12 comments:

  1. An excellent analysis! You almost make clinical depression sound intellectual somehow. A true testimonial to your writing genius! How the hell are you Jim? the rat

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  2. Ugh! I hate those reader submitted crap articles. Invariably they are crap. Crap submitted to win other crap. I don't even bother reading those site anymore.

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  3. You have accepted a few reader submitted articles yourself - isn't this (speaking of MJ growers) the pot calling the kettle black?

    The nuke issue has changed, but not for the better in all ways. A barrage from the Russians/Soviets is less likely, but more people have them. The biggest plus is that our main rival of the moment, China, seems to actually have a sane policy about nuclear stockpiling- no more than enough to turn the other guy into rubble.

    The biggest change is that 40 years ago we were a lot younger.

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  4. Nightshift adds.....especially the random equipment and gun reviews. I love the review of the $2000 pistol or rifle....Jim, why don't you review those? I like the newbie articles about their 2 week food supplies and the fact that the editors don't vette some dangerous misconceptions too. Sorry Jin, MS Jennie got me ranting. I agree.

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  5. Good analysis indeed. But who are survivalists writing for ?

    Being in survivalism for years now, I don't really need advice on stuff. Bison is right when he advocates to be frugal and stick to the basics.

    But newcomers to survivalism are panicked (weren't we all ?) and don't know where to start. They feel so far behind, especially when reading the Yuppie Survivalist sites & novels, they try to catch up with money.

    But Yuppie Survivalism is the logical entry point. It stands midway between their current lifestyle (iPhones, SUVs, McMansions) and more serious survivalism. Most people will stop prepping soon enough enyway, once their finances dry up after having bought the *best* guns and the *best* survival food there is. "It's expensive but it will last me a lifetime".

    De-programming takes a long time. In the first stages, survivalism IS ONLY psychotherapy. So for a recently demoted yuppie, beans and no car are not going to cut it.

    As a side note, you can compare that to the recently unemployed who destroy the little savings they have by staying in the lifestyle they're accustomed to.

    There is also the novelty factor. New gear, "tactical" stuff is exciting. Having an old revolver or break-open shotgun, sewing your own clothes and gear, or working in your garden even when it rains is stuff not even their grandmother did. It is terribly old fashioned, and when you add the odor of chicken poop you feel like you've retrograded to South Waziristan status.

    I'm sure a lot of South Waziris are content with their lives.

    If only we could have it that good once the S hits TF...

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  6. HEY! My reader submitted articles weren't crap. I gave good advice.-SemperFido

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  7. From what I read, owning property just nails you to a cross that TPTB hold over you. Even when you are done paying for it and own it free and clear, you are obligated to pay taxes and maintain it or risk losing it. Renting is worse - you are paying for permission to park, and the landlord determines whether or not you are worth keeping around.

    To me, it sounds like living full time on boat has a lot of perks. If you don't like what you are watching around you, pulling anchor or take off lines and move somewhere else. The sea is probably ultimate freedom, but you need some definite skills to live in that environment.

    Its hard to tinker with things nowadays. The cost of a single broken part (when can be found) is 1/2 the cost of buying a replacement for entire item. Fixing TVs used to be a viable business - now TVs are far lower priced and replaceable parts are very hard to find.

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  8. russell- guest articles were, 99% of the time, in ADDITION to my article, not a substitute for it. On rare occassions while on vacation I did use the guest article instead of mine. I don't count the weekend guest articles as I would have taken those days off from writing regardless. Yes, more nuke players, but the old Soviet target/downwind criteria are worthless.

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    1. James;

      With Humble Respect, it would be more accurate to state that some of the old Soviet target/downwind data is worthless, however the nomograms and formulas for determining fallout rates, depending on warhead yield, weather, wind and location are still very much valid. Since I do this part-time for a living, it is with authority that nomograms and formulas are still accurate and can be used by anyone with a knowledge of algebra and a light powered T/I Scientific Calculator that is stashed in metal ammo can. While Target information wouldn't be accurate for Griffiss Air Force Base (Since it's been closed for fifteen odd some years now), the targeting information for El Paso County, Colorado (and it's associated defense activities) is especially accurate and could be counted on in the event of a global thermonuclear exchange between the U.S.A. and a ICBM armed opponent. Again with Humble Respect

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    2. hey, remember, if disagreeing it is only necessary to first praise my hair.

      Delete
  9. The pot calls the kettle black.
    Is that racist?
    If so, what is it when the kettle calls pot bellied?

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  10. "Look out the window, see reality, then project things ten times as bad next year."

    You often put things very succinctly!

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