Post Apocalypse

Do you ever think of your post apocalypse archetype? When the shit hits the fan and you are left to deal with the aftermath, who will you be? What skills do you bring to the tumbleweed communities that will gather together? How are you going to be represented in that scenario?

When I was a city dweller, I never really thought about that. I just always assumed I’d not survive any real major human life in peril event, simply because, the large metropolises would not survive. They would be the first taken out to get rid of as many people as possible, as many resources, as many whatever it is that prevents human life from surviving. That all exists in the huge cities. And if they aren’t all taken out, they would all be trapped within them, fighting for resources to survive, so even if you lived through the event, you probably wouldn’t live through the aftermath.

But now that I live in the mountains, the closest town is 30 minutes away, the closest metro area is over an hour, that has changed my views on what would happen. I’m no longer in direct threat from the initial event. The threat of the aftermath would still be a bit of time off as cities get cleaned out of resources and people begin to either rebuild or spread out looking for new resources. During that between time, communities have a chance to form.

I’ve been through a pandemic, and the aftermath of that in the area where I live. That really opened my eyes to how life could potentially be. It took almost 2 years for shelves in the store to not have huge gaping empty spaces, the food and supplies going towards the major cities first, then the smaller ones last. It took over a year for paper products to actually stay on the shelves. Longer for canned and dried foods. Now that may be due to the “preppers” and other survivalists who think hoarding is the answer, but regardless, it made a lot of things very evident. Mainly that if I need to rely on “regular” sources for my survival, I’m not going to survive for very long.

Where I live, there are other mountain dwellers, then there are cattle farmers farther down the way past the river. I don’t live in the deep south, but the people there are very much like them. They are staunch, “I take care of my own!” conservative republicans. A huge majority are trump supporters (uncapitalized on purpose), proud to display their MAGA signs. They have a cache of guns, MRE’s and toilet paper somewhere on their compounds. Many of them probably went to the Jan 6th insurrection, because they do fully believe they are “freedom fighters”. The number of Gadsden flag owners and Confederate flag owners is in the thousands out here. If they aren’t flying from flagpoles in the yard, their on their cars, next to the Punisher skull with the thin blue line image in it (or if they are extra special, trump hair. Yes, I’ve seen that.) Asshole is not just a thing they are proud of being, it’s a personality trait.

Not a place my little social democratic heart can easily exist in…

But, the one good thing about these people is, yes, when they see someone in a bad situation, they will help out. They will offer their help. It is something you can almost rely on. Stuck on the side of the road? Here comes the gas hog F250 rumbling down the road, stopping to see if they can get you back moving. Something happened on your property that requires a backhoe or an excavator? They will be there in two shakes of a deer’s tail to take care of it.

So yeah…They understand community. They wouldn’t be my first choice, looking in from the outside. Aside from being human, we have very little in common. While I might not trust my government, I’m not going to get involved in an insurrection to get my way. I’m going to vote locally for those candidates that emphasize my priorities in government, even though I will be outvoted 4 to 1 in every election. At least I stopped one vote, right?

That means I have to bring more to my apocalypse game than the average city dweller. I have to have useful skills that make me an important part of a community. Yeah, I can weld, that’s a good skill set to have, but I guarantee, every other guy out here can, or has welded at some time. They may not have professional level skills, like I do, but, they can do some decent work. I can crochet. I can even spin if I practice enough. That means at least some warm weather clothing can be created. I can care for animals and more than likely learn how to sheer wool, though sheep are not really around where I live, so, that’s an issue. One of the things I’d like to do is grow enough herbs and plants to make slaves, tinctures, and other items that, while for personal use, would be good for healing and health. Then, of course, the garden itself. Growing food stuff.

The podcast, The Revolutionary’s Garden, talks a lot about cooperative communities. He calls those who work in these communities “comrades”. Now, obviously, out where I live, that term would not be accepted. I would be ousted as a communist or socialist and shunned, because, well…the people here aren’t exactly the brightest bulbs in the box when it comes to social movements and ideas. But, they do understand on a human level, and honestly, that’s probably better than any other level. They do intrinsically understand the need to help others.

I firmly believe “The Postman” is the most accurate portrayal of a post-apocalyptic scenario. I can totally see some disgruntled accountant becoming the vicious, merciless Tyrant who simply rules to kill because of his previous life. I can see communities coming together and forming protective walls to make sure their resources they have been able to gather together and work to create a space that helps everyone. I can see so much of the reality of those situations the movie displays. I don’t know how close we are to it, but sometimes, it feels like only days away. I’m working on my post-apocalyptic skills, hoping I can find my place in a community that is working towards everyone’s survival and benefit, and not the Tyrant Accountant.

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