Saturday, August 25, 2018

short haul long pork


SHORT HAUL LONG PORK
Post-apocalypse fiction is a brutal genre for a reader.  Not only is there huge steaming piles of pure unadulterated complete lack of talent, now the bitches have gotten involved and slap a PA label on their vampire werewolf alien mind control Gaia revenge romance stories.  As if zombies were not enough to deal with.  Note to every swinging cheese dingus out there thinking a word processor makes you a writer, the reason the Walking Dead became popular was because compared to a lot of other TV out there, it was an actual good story with characterization.  It has nothing to do with zombies, really ( and yes, smart asses, I know I started out with a word processor and zero talent, but at least I was trying for original content ).
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So, I’m slogging through yet another PA story that wasn’t going to go anywhere, but at least it had some really good “ah-yah! I wouldn’t have thought of that” moments at the beginning.  Food for thought.  Specifically, cannibal food.  Using cannibalism to good effect.  It was really the  best idea I’ve come across in a long while.  Your typical group of Evil Gang Dudes were escaping from the inland urban area to get to the coast ( I can’t remember why.  A batch of library books distracted me from the Kindle and I lost track of this one ).  Their problem is lack of transportation.  What to do? 
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Well, duh, slaves of course.  Every society large and in charge prior to the carbon fuel age had slaves.  But because 99% of the ignorant rabble of ‘Muricans were purposely taught to the lowest standard possible ( as in most things public school, you only succeed DESPITE the teaching, not because of it.  And you just know unless you are a snowflake with the no vacancy sign lit, that is on purpose to control us ), they think that only evil White dudes in the Confederacy had slaves.  So being a gang and having slaves?  Totally NOT the historical norm, in the pea brains of most.  Evil incarnate!
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Well, they certainly weren’t very nice, because they didn’t JUST have slaves.  They had slaves eating each other.  To me, and I apologize if I seem crass and insensitive, this just seemed like logistics brilliance.  There is no working vehicles.  You must escape to another area.  You can only find a small amount of food on the way, as this is a populated area.  So how do you carry everything you need for the trip?  Your canned foods, your winter clothing, ammunition.  Even your officers of the army.  Slaves, obviously, because every day you get more of them as you steal what little you find. 
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But there isn’t enough food for the slaves, and since muscle power runs everything now, slaves need calories.  Bodies cannot cannibalize themselves during famine and get any kind of optimal work performance, not after just a few days.  You still need calories.  So every day the slaves that were disciplined or were sick or for whatever reason they were not needed ( used up sex slaves-whatever ) ended up feeding the other slaves.  This hasn’t really been covered before in fiction, to the best of my recollection.  Cannibals are standard fare in PA fiction, but they are usually as evil as slave owners.
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In Lucifer’s Hammer, a non fan favorite as the mind numbing detail  overwhelms most readers, but my forever number one because I’m not your average bear ( whether good or bad is a discussion for another day ), the Cannibal Army used human flesh as a recruiting, bonding, initiation ritual, and not as their primary source of calories except in dire circumstances.  In the book Cannibal Reign, evil surface dwellers ate flesh through no other choice, and were still not excused for their dietary choices ( because, it is inferred, prepper dudes stock enough MRE’s so anyone not a cool survivalist ninja chooses to be evil ).
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The difference here is that even the evil gang dudes know that cannibalism is gross and very unhealthy.  They know better than to eat that nasty crap.  And all the slaves are totally innocent, just poor soccer moms who a few weeks previously was taking little Johnny to karate class so he could stand up to bullies who knew he was a rectal ranger.  Sure, you could choose to NOT eat dinner.  In which case you were immediately slaughtered and fed to everyone else.  It wasn’t even like you had the option of starvation.  Almost anyone would choose the long pork luau. 
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And the author didn’t gloss over how sick this made them.  The Donner Party might have gotten away with it, but people are a lot sicker today with malnourishment.  A lifetime of GMO foods, half in the form of corn syrup cola, do few folks any favors.  You are eating cancer and mutation if you go cannibal.  Back in Old Timey Days, you ate fresh raised foods made locally, and the worst food preservative was salt.  So these slaves were just used and abused.  They were a completely disposable product, just like the gasoline they were replacing. 
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Can you think of a more brilliant way to move supplies long distance without carbon fuels and without surplus food?  I can’t ( this was a military outfit comprised of criminals, not an uncommon historical occurrence-think of the Vikings-and so no, Francis, there was no ethanol engines or wood steam engines or whatever the hell your nerd brain is sitting on waiting to hatch.  Technology is a byproduct of surplus energy, it isn’t a source of energy.  By definition there is no surplus energy in the apocalypse ). 
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I just had to write on this, I was that impressed.  To be sure, like dealing with human waste this is NOT a cocktail dinner conversation.  But the apocalypse will be full of these awkward topics ( to be clear, there was a LOT of gear being schlepped by the slaves, and even the leaders sitting in a dead car being pulled/pushed so they didn’t have to walk.  Car loads of gear with no cars.  Simple solutions like bicycles or horses were not viable.  In the apocalypse, you get to use what you brought to the party, anyway ).
( .Y. )
( today's related link https://amzn.to/2MHbmtf )
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16 comments:

  1. Jim, flush out your helmet. The mentioned story was perfumed nectar produced by someone impersonating an author that you (as a purported writer) caught a whiff of and could not resist. Though the ideation described is novel and unique, that should only be a curiosity. Otherwise, one may find themselves trapped in a sticky substance called unrealistic impractical not probable human fantasy trap. Beware fellow minions, of the claptrap spewed about by all sources, unless a time proven contrivance or method. Collapse and post apocalypse will be reversion backwards for a long time, not of innovation, discovery, creativity, by the white people as before.

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    1. I believe you are mistaking strategy for tactics. Slavery WILL return. Nothing new there. How you treat/gain slaves can be different according to need. Reversion to tradition and conservatism is a given, obviously.

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    2. Without infernal combustion or falling water energy, animal and human energy is the stuff. If you lose a fight, and you are worth feeding, you might get to be a slave. It's not personal, just business.

      pdxr13

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    3. "It's not personal, just business"
      I love it. So true. The summation of all historic interaction between humans.

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  2. Cannibalism is a dicey endevour to be involved in. Using that long pork as a stop gap to starvation is understandable. (Season according to desired taste) But as a food commodity / resource stock it can have too many additional problems. It is an animal that is a p.i.t.a. to manage like a herd. People be stupid and unmanageable now, without further stressess involved. Keeping one specimen (that sjw college grad) in a hole in the ground cage for a short duration to keep alive for fresh flesh would be a tag limit, as well as a practical limitation to your herd management practices.

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    1. The story somewhat mitigated these issues as a new crop of slaves was gathered near daily. Yes, still a PITA, but a nomadic herd which helps with certain issues.

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    2. A few weeks in at most they will run into a diminishing herd to harvest from - to the point they will not be able to keep up with and exceed losses unless they find another food source for everyone (slaves included). And there is a limit to how many slaves one gang member overseer can keep control of - every battle to collect slaves will cost them casualties reducing the number of slaves they can safely keep until the inevitable slave revolt where the slaves feed on the gang members.

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    3. The slaves were just there to transport to the coast. After that they weren't a priority. Also, the defenses were minimal from the crowds they attacked. It might have been the unarmed driven from the city-I don't recall exactly. Essentially almost zero opposition.

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  3. Via Woodpile report -> www.sciencealert.com/not-enough-land-earth-support-diet-usda-recommends-guidelines-environment-ecosystem-health

    Got Wheat (berries)?

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  4. What was the name of the novel with the cannibals?

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    1. Sorry-wish I had jotted it down with the note about its content. I delete them quick so I don't clutter up the machine any worse.

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  5. Human flesh is nasty! Unless it is warm and salty and well....a little fishy. Even then, you only lick it! Of course, the notion of barbecuing some filet of whiny ass has a certain strange appeal. My next door neighbor for instance, maybe served with a nice fruit glaze. Pineapple goes with ham! hmm..... What kind of fruit goes with asshole?

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    1. If you are in prison I believe grape jelly goes with asshole.

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  6. Read a similar story recently, which likely came from your free book offerings.
    In this offering the plot was the northeast had fallen and the UN was surroundng the perimeter. The folks inside the area had no idea the rest of the world was observing them.
    There was an anclave within, practicing that which you describe on canibalism.
    It did not turn it well for the instigators.

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    Replies
    1. Amazing someone somewhere combined Rawlsean Blue Helmet militia porn with the Life Lesson "cannibalism bad". Why try to be original?

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