Friday, September 29, 2017

new boss


I know you all don’t appreciate me reviewing books or movies.  I try to minimize it.  I hope you won’t mind if I bring up the TV show “The Walking Dead”.  I promise I’ll merely use it to make my point, and I won’t, much, have review like blathering.  I’m not a FanBoy of the show.  I can’t watch the episodes more than once, so I harbor no trivia that someone who studies it exhaustively would.  I can barely remember one or two of their names.  I just enjoy the heck out of it as it is such a relatively good mirror of human nature ( relatively, since it has to fight the uphill battle against PC and BitchesLib and whatnot and such.  It just does it better than most other entertainment venues ).  Some seasons dragged too long, not doing much but treading water, but they were always good enough.  I experimented with season one, having no idea of its merits, and that was awesome enough to buy seasons two through four on DVD.  By season five I was getting Netflix, so there was no reason to buy anymore.  I just enjoy them when I can. 


Well, season seven was a huge jump in quality.  Rather than the standard fight against other settlements, with all those road trips, suddenly we got ( spoiler alert.  None of you seemed too excited when I announced the new Netflix season so I’m just assuming you don’t care for it or already watched it on cable or got it on DVD.  Am I really surprising anyone here?  Okay, here goes ) a twist.  Rick’s group ran into a New Big Dog that they couldn’t handle.  Now, of course, to me this isn’t just a way to keep eyeballs watching ads, it is a turn towards a better reflected reality.  The old seasons?  They were wish fulfillment fantasies where all the billy bad ass preppers got to be King Of The Hill, no need to prepare, just scavenge and fight for your little space.  Which, truthfully, is really a bad form of fiction for post-apocalypse.  It chaps my ass something fierce.  Even accounting for zombies, so much of the premise is flawed.  Gasoline untreated, which is most gasoline and with ten percent ethanol the crap is the crappiest crap and stores for crap, doesn’t last for years.  With Just In Time Inventory, everything is built or grown as needed and shipped, several times around the globe if needed, and inventory is nearly non-existent and even with far fewer mouths to feed I’m sure it isn’t as easy as the show makes out.


So, shelf stable food inventories?  I’m not feeling the surplus that is depicted.  Nor the ammunition.  These guys might take out zombies with melee weapons, but they sure buzz through the ammo fighting each other.  Which they do, a lot.  And when they grow food?  Gardens.  Fields, not so much.  If the writers didn’t do such a good job on sociology/anthropology, their weak grasp on survivalism would have turned me off long ago.  So, we can ignore all that is wrong with the plots.  What they got right was introducing warlordism into season seven.  Before, it was just little bitches fighting each other in defense.  Walter Mittey minds thinking they are Warrior Kings.  But they never were, were they?  Even Rick, who as a former cop had that prevalent attitude that he was Captain Enforcer, Morality Police ( few cops are Peace Officers-not necessarily their fault, with the System the way if is ), was never burdened with doubts as to his right to take what he needed, even he was just playing at the leadership game.


And then he met his match.  The new warlord in town is nothing special.  No new weapons or tactics.  No extra men.  Just that attitude.  He isn’t burdened with the pre-collapse civilized behavior norms.  All these other little wanna-be tyrants were never truly ruthless enough to equal the new guy ( I’m going to say “Keegan”.  I might be off.  I have zero desire to look it up.  I’m going with it for now.  Hey, I’ve only watched three episodes so far.  Bite me, doughboy ).  The old bad guys, sure, they’d harvest you for meat or kill women and children, but they didn’t have the vision of Keegan, who isn’t just expanding, isn’t just defending against start-up dictators, he is starting a new Rome.  He is defeating his enemies not just in battle but mentally.  After he demoralizes them to the status of a dog shaking in utter pain, as if passing a peach pit, then he has a new subordinate that works for Keegan rather than himself.  He went from the norm of petty local thug to an expanding empire where the colonies send tribute, doing all the work. 


What makes this guy so appealing ( I can’t remember if it was T-shirts or just social media graphics being passed around like a cheap whore, but there have been for a year or two the pro-Keegan propaganda accompanied by the drawing of the barbed wire bat )?  Granted, as I said I’ve only watched three episodes, and I have no idea what is going to happen between me writing this and you reading it, but so far it just seems that the appeal is, Keegan is one happy humper.  He doesn’t come across as a psychopath ( of course, if that is just my exclusive observation, that doesn’t say very good things about me, now does it? ), but rather simple a guy making lemonade out of lemons.  He knows what has to be done to make things work ( a widespread monopoly on violence encourages trade and a centralized military lowers the cost of defense ) and sees no reason to allow the carrying out of those necessary tasks a burden or a worry.  He is, in short, not only more effective at his job, he enjoys the apocalypse not because he is an asswhore but because he is just a person enjoying life.


Okay, all well and good analyzing an entertainment fictionalized account.  Now, how is this related to your soon to occur reality?  Well, think about this.  You will be, 999 times out of a thousand, just a petty local thug.  You won’t be a warlord.  I don’t care if you are a religious nut job, where Jesus speaks at you every night ( “smite the wicked heathen, as they are unworthy of inhabiting this earthly paradise.  You have my blessing, and I shall guide your sword hand” ), or a farmer trying to mind your own business but the neighbor keeps being unreasonable ( “bastard won’t help us defend against raids” quickly turns into “I’ll tell the raiders his weak points, the bastard” ), if you survive any length of time it will partially be because you emulated thug behavior ( regardless of the justifications you used ).  I’m not trying to get into another argument justifying banditry.  That is just reality, whereas Love Thy Neighbor Co-Operative Hippie Dippy Bull is not.  Everyone turns into bandits fighting bandits until the strongest and smartest one wins and forms a large enough government that he can reduce his amount of plunder to taxation levels and the violence is greatly reduced.  That is just “nature abhors a vacuum”.  What I am saying is that only those ruthless enough survive.  Libertarians and Religious types and Love Children might preach love and happiness but Realpolitik will kick their glazed eyed asses.


But being realistic enough to perform badly at times STILL isn’t enough.  That is what Rick thought, that he was providing adequate leadership services.  He had the cop outlook, that if you carried a big stick no one would mess with you.  His was, in effect, a defensive attitude.  Keegan, he was more a student of human nature.  He understood true leadership requires your people to fear you to the point of carrying out your wishes willingly.  Not just fearing your wraith if they messed with you, but performing exemplary service to avoid that occurrence, ever.  It was a “above and beyond” level of subservience.  Hell, the season makes no effort to be subtle about all this.  They spell it all out so even those of less attention spans understand it.  I’m not doing any extra work here.  If you read the bare minimum about the Mongols, you get the gist of this already.  What excites me about this part of the show is that it highlights how most folks going into the collapse have no clue to be anything other than Rick.  There are far fewer Keegan’s out there.  How do I know?  Because the default attitude is we are all destined for leadership after the collapse.


We all think because we were smart enough to prep that we both deserve to lead and have the ability to do so ( I think one minion has always said, look to be the man behind the thrown, not the ruler.  Be an advisor only.  He gets it ).  We are dumb asses.  I’m just as guilty.  I know what needs to be done but I have no ability to force others into doing it.  I have no will.  Like most of you, I’m only wanting to be left alone and base my planning around that.  Defensive.  If I survive that, a doubtful proposition, AND if I can transition to offensive, I MIGHT have a chance of long term survival.  All the ammunition and semi-auto’s in the world do you little good if you stay defensive.  You have to be smart enough to realize the limitations of your lifetime conditioning as a serf.  And, if you do, you then have to be smart enough to plan and think and execute on a centralized scale rather than a decentralized one.  Granted, there are resource constraints ( something the show Walking Dead never considers ), which place a ceiling on how centralized you can go.  But you still need to be able to think within that maximum structure.  Leaders aren’t necessarily warlords.  If you don’t like history enough to study the Mongols, look at today’s African warlords.

END ( today's related link )
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  1. I watch very little in the way of modern television, mostly due to the overly prevalent SJW themes in just about everything produced today, so I have never seen this show, but I think I get the gist of what you’re saying.

    Cops, politicians, etc, would probably make terrible leaders in a post-apocalypse society, since they’re heavily dependent on working within the support network of an overly complicated existing system. I think that you’ve given similar examples with regards to our current military, so it’s the same thing.

    Sounds like the new dude Keegan is a true Alpha (They’re out there, albeit rare).

    1. I don't just like him for being top dog, but because he is so genuinely gott-damn happy all the time. Everyone else is all mopey and sad and takes themselves way too seriously. Reminds me of all my ex-wives.

    2. I've stopped watching TV as well and pretty much for the same reasons. Now that I'm aware of a couple of manipulation tricks whenever I see one I have to stop watching. The Stupid Man : Smart Woman trope amongst others.

      My wife watches TV however when this one dies I won't be buying another (she can if she so chooses). We have Netflix so I will check out the latest season of walking dead.

    3. I think this season does so well in part also because it is an improvement on its others. If you haven't watched them, you might not think as highly of it as I do. Just warning ya.

  2. AnonymousSeptember 29, 2017 at 12:42 PM
    - I agree MOST current politicians and HIGH ranking cops are not going to cut it very long as society crumbles, in part because they are too old now (as are most of us reading jim's enlightenment)- BUT! they are the ones who will have enough influence to favor one of the contenders to the position over the others, so watching them, and who they favor puts you in a position to see upcoming rulership trends.