I got PM'ed by a friend about the recent blog-fodder.
"What are you trying to do? Jump-start a revolution? Run a battalion? Create your own team of death ninjas? I just don't get it, or see the ultimate point..."In order:
A) Not as such. I think we'll get one regardless of what I do, eventually.
B) Be still my beating heart. Actually, I want a full corps, as in a few divisions. Starting with a fire team, and then a squad, and building upwards into bigger pieces. But I digress.
C) Not hardly.
D) The greater question, the ultimate point, is rather simple.
Things are sliding. We may fight cultural holding actions. We may garner a respite, as we have done now until 2020, maybe until 2024. Or until one presidential heart attack, mind you. We may even, at some places and times, push the tide back.
(Cf.: the Netherlands, from 1600-present. It can be done. That's a post for another day.)
But for all intents, civilization in general, and Western civilization in particular, has been oozing towards a tipping point for 50 years, and probably closer to a full century.
Every step forward is counter-balanced by two steps back, in every single case.
What any earnest and thoughtful person is, and should be, doing, is bracing for impact.
"Oh Aesop, you're being Chicken Little. Everything's not falling apart..."
The combined debt of the world is more than some recockulous multiple of what the whole thing is worth, in annual terms, and has been for years.
If you're in America, the dollar in your hand is worth $0.03, in actual constant-dollar terms. In other words, less than the cost to purchase the materials and print it. "Weimar and Zimbabwe called, and asked if you'd like to get together for lunch sometime..."
In short, the global economy is, and has been for some time, Wile E. Coyote after he goes off the edge of the cliff, but before he looks down. We are, in effect, just waiting for society to look down. Then the long, whistling descent before the puff of dust at impact.
The pinnacle of modern technology, daily multitudinous miracles in which we live and breathe and have our being in, for those of us not living in mud-hut Third World sh*tholes, hangs on distribution and supply strands of money, materials, energy, food, water, communication, and everything else, which are as fragile as molecular-sized strands of glass. One disruption, let alone a systemic shock, and the whole house of cards goes away like frost on the lawn on a hot day. For years, decades, maybe centuries. Maybe forever. At any rate, probably until long after your travails on this spinning sphere have reached a dirt-nap ending.
And if, and far more likely, when, any or all of that happens, people revert from apes to lizards on the evolutionary scale. It will become society against nation, nation against region, region against town, town against tribe, tribe against family, and family against self, at a speed that would astonish Charles Darwin. But not so much astonishment for C.S. Lewis, John Calvin, or William Hobbes.
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
That's your life in a State of Nature, when the veneer of civilization is rubbed off of human existence. For some people in some places, it's every day right now. Don't expect a lot of sympathy from them when you soft-hands lot have to suddenly join them in that plight. They'll be sizing you up for the stew pot, like as not, come that day.
And at that point, the survival of you yourself, your family, your tribe, and if you're very lucky, your town, against the hordes of savages dying but not yet dead from terminal lack of foresight or forethought, let alone preparedness, will depend on what you bring to the table.
You do PT, because strong, healthy, fit people can do more work, live better, last longer, run faster, and they're generally much harder to kill.
You learn First Aid because things go wrong; this world will kill you with all the concern and compassion the magnifying glass has for the ant, as it focuses the sun's rays to produce a momentary micro-wisp of steam. Go watch the stop-action of Mt. St. Helens erupting, or any one of dozens of YouTube videos of the Fukushima tsunami, just for a refresher of how much Nature loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
This primal reality is exactly what Steven Spielberg tapped into in the masterful first five minutes of Jaws. Nature is The Shark, and you're Chrissie, butt-naked, clueless, and about to get the last ride of your life, right to the death knell of that floating buoy, in agony, cold, scared, and finally knowing that everything is about to end for ever, and for real.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee...
And that's been true since we left the Garden/climbed out of the trees, and deep down in your brain, at the lizard level, you know this. And if you forget it at the wrong moment, you end up in a footbath-sized pan of Tupperware, far beyond the point when you can protest that "This is no boating accident!" What this is, is Life. And Life includes Death.
So you learn ways to put yours off as long as possible.
You learn how to shoot and handle weapons, because you don't have great size, speed, claws, fangs, endogenous venom, a tough hide, monstrously thick bones, or a dinosauric shell, carapace, or scales. But with a good weapon, and diligent application, you can take down things that do. And more importantly, deny and dissuade hordes of your fellow soft-shelled Slow Pork comrades, bent on putting your hide on their barn door, and your Stuff in their pockets. Like they will, for every reason from primal survival to jealousy and envy, going back only as far as Cain.
You learn fieldcraft, because teams defeat individuals, going back to apes wielding bones at the Monolith, and there are right ways and wrong ways to do things once you slip the bounds of polite society.
You learn individual survival skills because you might be caught out, cut off, or left alone, and you want to live to rejoin your team or tribe, and be able to fight another day, get back to your family, and continue to propagate the species, because it's programmed into your very DNA, in ways you haven't ever really considered.
That's why we cover this stuff.
If anyone still can't grasp that, or agree to it, by all means: eat, drink and be merry.
Don't worry about anything, nor everything.
It'll be fine.
And when disaster or calamity or an angry mob happens, and you've wasted not a single thought or effort in your entire selfish and thoughtless life to avoiding that eventuality, hug your teddy, cry for mama, and resolve to taste very bad.
Or cut to the chase, and just kill yourselves.
"In case of the bright flash of a nearby nuclear detonation, wrap yourself in a clean white shroud, and walk slowly towards the cemetery."
"Why 'walk', Comrade?"
"So as not to create a panic." - Soviet Union civil defense joke
As I told you at the outset: