A loyal minion gave a link to the YouTube version of National Geographic’s “American Blackout ( 2013, hour and a half full movie )”. I would normally ignore such shows but for some reason, perhaps because it was a Sunday and that is the no exercise and no writing day so I had extra time, I starting watching it ( on the smart TV which gets YouTube, so it was an easy chair viewing. The resolution blew, but the bigger picture and relaxed posture made up for it ). After a half hour I grew restless ( I hate watching TV during the day, the few times I give in to the urge I regret the time spent and the low quality product. I’ve had LESS reading time since I went to writing full time and bemoan losing even more with daytime television ) and turned it off. Typical writing and production values of the “Doomsday Prepper” genre. But I couldn’t concentrate on other matters as this low quality show somehow had got its hooks into me. I don’t know why. I HAD to go back and finish it.
This was actually one of their few shows that made you think. Not the typical response of “these morons deserve to die”, which I believe is the standard mega-meme each of these shows pushes since it gives the viewers a superiority complex and encourages their return, but more of a tactical puzzle line of thinking. The show had parallel stories and you could dismiss the idiots in the elevator ( it was a Express and had no doors in between. I don’t care for regular elevators on principle but I’d never get on one of those if there weren’t secondary escape doors ) or the Yuppie Scum up top on a skyscraper with no storage water or food who had one stab himself opening a can of peaches with a butcher knife and another go out into the hallway expecting rescuers but encountered a gang. But the one story I thought I’d hate, the bug-out guy in Colorado, was captivating.
Here was your typical quasi-fat macho guy leaving expensive suburbia for an expensive rural retreat, the prototypical prepper plan. He had his mouth breathing son who lived on a video camera ( yes, I know, archival footage of the disaster in the cheap movie style of this day, but irritating nonetheless for its oxygen wasting Facebook user vibe ), a daughter who picked a real winner of a boyfriend ( who one assumes was invited along only to get the grown daughter to come along ) and a typically trophy wife tagalong to, one supposes, cook dinner. You can’t help but dislike these spoiled pukes. Well, almost upon arriving, I believe a mere Day Two into the grid-down ( evil Russian hackers isn’t mentioned but surely implied ), the neighbor comes along to the common fence and begs for some food. If these are typical ass to elbow one to three acre “country” plots you could see how there would still be plenty of those.
The dad tells him to piss off but dumbass boyfriend along volunteers how as they could obviously spare some canned foods ( the “real” food in freeze dried is down in the basement bunker, the cans in the house mere decoys, as explained in the initial tour ). Typical, your stuff is freely expected to be all their stuff. Dad tells the neighbor, no, boyfriend is a dumbass and they can’t spare any. Neighbor is mumbling threats as he leaves. It then degenerates as you might expect with fighting and raids and whatnot. Now, forget about the neighbor having food because he was a country dweller. These most likely were countrified estates more suburban than actual rural. Yuppie Scum overpaying for the illusion of rural but the reality of quick commutes to shopping and entertainment. What I loved was how the neighbor didn’t even know dad was a prepper, he just expected a sharing of the food because they were sited next to each other. He expected “neighborly” without even knowing the guy. He had the same attitude of the boyfriend ( the news was still up in some areas, letting everyone know the grid was down in most places, so the perceived threat was known and most didn’t believe this was merely a short term power outage. They knew it was a cyber attack ). Not of entitlement. I hate that label as it denotes crack head Blacks on welfare, given its users a moral superiority which blinds them to the boots on the ground reality. The same with “income inequality” which fails to separate well paid workers from rich parasites. No, the attitude is one of “never ending abundance” which always assume the next guy can help you if you don’t plan, just because We Can Never Run Out ( true to form, that is how the show ends against all logic ).
Not only that, “you are expected to provide because you are a neighbor, prepper or not”, but the damned if you do and damned if you don’t aspect of it all. If you help, they come back for more and if you don’t they attack. As expected, dad failed to be proactive and let them attack, but that is typical prepper philosophy. He had layers of defense and escape and zero offensive thought. Of course, that turns out to be the correct decision according to National Geographic, a long time Imperial Center Occupant company, since the power magically resumes in something like ten days ( despite all those transformers blowing and the out of control fires, of course ). No one expects you to attack the potentially dangerous neighbor on Day Two, as things could recover soon. But Day Ten? The whole episode highlighted the difficulties, potentials and trials of a semi-secluded retreat and hence is why I’d heartily recommend your viewing of this otherwise silly show. It is indeed Food For Thought, unlike most of its ilk.
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