If you’ll remember my passing comment on John Ringo’s first in a series on zombie-apocalypse books, it was a glorious science fiction action novel but had about zero post-apocalypse appeal. It could easily been an Alien Invasion genre. Now, when I first read it, the first chapter or two had a comment that stuck in my mind and was burrowing in like a parasitic spore. So I went back to re-read it and planned an article on it so as to purge it from my system. As the dad of the survivalism family was going about his business of day-to-day work, he gets a text from his brother that, in code, proclaimed a zombie apocalypse had erupted and immediate evasive action was required ( all the characters are either ex-special forces or high muckimucks in positions of power- you know, like the rest of us are so we can easily relate ). As he is scooping his daughter out of school is about the only part of the book survivalism related ( the rest strictly shoot-em-up ). Dad is reflecting on where they live, suburbia. In his mind, all those silly willies who move out to the boonies to their retreats are, well, to be chartable, just not right! Why, only here can you attain a decent income!
This harkens back to an interview with Jerry Pournelle, one of the co-authors of the best post-apocalypse novels of all time, Lucifer’s Hammer. He proclaimed his choice of domicile, Los Angeles, justified on the grounds of culture. Why, the provincials can’t live a decent life without museums and other high brow attractions such as opera! Now, I can relate to, say, a fellow fifteen years into a civil servant position gambling on staying in the city. With a pension ( just five more years! ), you can move anywhere, no nearby job required. It is worth taking the chance because if he makes it he gets to a much safer area. One unlikely to fill up due to the economy in the crapper. But to tie your wagon to high incomes or high brow doesn’t really justify the risk, does it? Because you have no plans to leave. It is just an excuse. The high income might justify the retreat, but it rarely leads to actually moving ( I’m speaking of the majority ). Because the income is both addicting, but it also usually attracts the kind of mate who will NEVER move with you. You are lucky if you get to buy the high income status symbols like the plastic carbines. So, my question becomes, why are you bothering? If I lived amidst a few million people with only a few roads leading away from them, no amount of freeze dried foods or souped up rimfires would allow me to sleep all that well at nights. I look back at my days living amongst the savage urban masses and smile at the thought I ever believed I had a snowflakes chance in hell of surviving.
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