Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's with all the Zombie stuff?

In the last year or so, Zombies have come up again and again. There was a television series called "The Walking Dead", a self-defense gun show about them, coyly presented with care to give the viewer the impression of it being 'tongue in cheek', and there is even a group on the web calling itself 'The Zombie Squad'. Turns out, they actually offer training to municipal governments, i.e. police departments, and to institutions or other groups. Training for what, you say? For when the Zombies arrive.

But, Zombies are just cartoon monsters, right? They are the 'un-dead', the 'walking dead', the not quite human anymore dead people who stalk the land, looking for living souls to feast on. They move sluggishly, drag their feet, look and smell like rotting flesh, are, in fact, in a state of nearly complete decomposition.........right?

Not so much, it turns out. The photo included here is of ammunition made by Hornady, one of the most respected ammo manufacturers in the business. So, if Zombies are just imaginary creatures from the Black Lagoon...then why is this deadly serious company--who's advertising slogan is "Accurate, Deadly, Dependable"--making real, live ammunition for killing the 'un-dead'? It says right on the box: "This is not a toy." That's Hornady's way of telling you that zombies aren't really a joke after all.

As you begin looking around the greater gun community online, you can drop-in on forums where people are discussing the right kind of weapons to have for SHTF--uh, that is Survivalist or Prepper speak for "Shit Hits the Fan"--and you will begin to realize that there are a large number of people who are very sure that we're on the verge of a descent into social unrest. Well, actually, 'unrest' is way too insipid to describe what they are anticipating. 'Chaos', and 'Armageddon' are much closer to the image they see of our future.

On some level, given the way the news media--especially our dear friends over at 'Fair and Balanced' Fox--portray the state of our society, it is understandable that people would be fearful of a bad outcome. There are times when my wife and I have wondered if we will come through all the challenges we face intact. There is the ever degrading environment, and the projections of what global climate change could mean. Then there is 'peak oil' and the specter of oil becoming so expensive that it initiates a world-wide financial collapse. The punditry is, by and large, telling us that the world's economy is teetering on the precipice of an abyss, lacking only one small shove to send it into complete collapse. Then there is the ever-present possibility of more bad behavior by terrorists and even terrorist states...with WMDs, quite possibly. Add to that the growing stratification of wealth and economic historic precursor to violent revolution throughout modern history. It appears that most of the world's major religions cannot even avoid causing conflict and have become a major source of hatred and violence. Religion used to be seen as a source of good guidance, 'wisdom', compassion, orderly and right conduct....not any more.

So, yes, it's no wonder that so many people are fearful of what the future holds. But, this whole 'zombie thing' has become almost a pre-occupation,...and here's the is NOT ABOUT mythical monsters. It is about people coming out of the cities of this country looking for food and shelter. The SHTF scenario includes the idea that there will be virtually hordes of people who were stupid enough and uninformed to the point that they failed to anticipate social breakdown. These people will be desperate and they will want what we, the wisely prepared, have.

"SO YOU WILL NEED TO BE PREPARED TO KILL THEM" now becomes an acceptable viewpoint, even without openly acknowledging that this is what is being unofficially 'authorized'. And, people accepting this shift in moral convention, are gently guided towards the understanding that they will very likely have to do so in great numbers. It seems that the whole zombie concept has become an unacknowledged euphemism for 'other', for 'the enemy', for people who will drag you down too if you are not willing to kill them. Furthermore, if you are so stupid as to think that you can help them, you will become just like them....exactly in the same way that if a zombie salivates on you, bites you, or breaks your skin, you will become a zombie too. How helpful, then, to be able to see them as less than human. How convenient it is to be able to relegate these souls to the status of 'other'. It was exactly that shift in Germany that paved the way to the Holocaust. Jews became sub-human much easier to accept a policy of extermination then.

"Prepper" is a term that you may have not heard. It is referring to the ever growing number of people who are devoting a great deal of their financial and physical energy to preparing for the big SHTF scenario. Many 'preppers' have formed rural communities, most not much bigger than a few families, and have purchased homes in the country that they have worked to 'harden' and to sustain them as society collapses around them. There is a new series on Nat Geo t-v in February called, "Doomsday Preppers". [ click on the title above to see a YouTube preview of the first part of this series.] If you make the time to watch it, I believe what I am saying here will sink in to the point of your sitting there mumbling to yourself, "Holy shit. These people are serious." You might even question their viewpoint and their sanity.

But, you will not question that they are out there, all across the land, and they are getting ready for the zombie attack that is inevitable in their eyes.