We don’t really think of ourselves as wilderness adventurers although, to some extent, each day seems to end up being one. And we sure as hell don’t think of ourselves as dooms-dayers or survivalists. We are too happy for that kind of pessimism and not sufficiently well-armed or togged out for that kind of apocalyptic dystopia.
Mad, perhaps, but not Mad Max.
I suppose I do accept the moniker of off-the-gridder. Pretty hard to deny that description given the title of the blog. But, honestly, with the exception of lacking a dishwasher, a microwave and ‘shopping convenience’, we are pretty comfortable and definitely living a relatively modern lifestyle. We got Netflix, fer Gawd’s sake! Picked up a smart-phone even!
No, really, we’re really pretty normal. Mind you, I have slowly adjusted to thinking of myself as semi-rural. That is a significant adjustment. I admit that. That reclassification was somewhat prompted by feeling a bit out of place in the new urban environment but I can still think, speak English and drive a car so it is not like the city has become an alien landscape. We fit in. Kinda. OK, the car is pretty old and battered and I don’t own a suit or tie anymore…………….but I can fit in the city on casual Fridays at the very least….OK, in the bad part of town.
I mention all this because Jim Cobb has just authored a new book titled Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide (Food, shelter, security, off-the-grid-power and more life-saving strategies for self-sufficient living). He’s an expert, it seems. And Jim has pretty much categorized people like us as ‘Preppers’. Seems we are preparing for the end of the world as we know it – acronym: TEOTWAWKI.
I suppose he is right, in a way. Although we are NOT really preparing for the end of the world, but we are preparing to live in a manner that is different than we KNEW IT. I wasn’t all that keen on life in the cul-de-sac and I am much more interested in this way of living so Jim is right – to that extent. We ended the life as we knew it.
But he is a bit extreme. He envisions a world (society) that has collapsed in an apocalyptic heap and that we are all forced to live locally, frightened and completely deprived. And he may be right.
But I see it differently. I believe the world will continue to do as it has done and that is bad enough. It means more people, more rules, more controls, more pollution, more work, more stress and the gradual elimination of the natural joys in life. I see further erosion of families and communities. Greater environmental degradation. Stronger and sicker corporate psychopathy. I see an increase in BIG Government and the quasi-security, control-state. I see people essentially confined to cities and basically being programmed to live Matrix-like lives where their level of personal skills have diminished to the point that they can’t live without their systems. And don’t want to.
Admittedly that view is not unique. George Orwell and a number of other famous writers have had the same vision but, for the most part, there have been outliers in their prophetic visions, people who swam against the current, broke away, went off-the-radar and, of course, also went off the grid. To that extent, we are those people. We are Preppers.
But so long as I do a bi-annual shop at Costco, use Craigslist and buy most of our food from Save-ON, we are really just Prepper-wannabes, prepping to prep…preppies, if you will. I just don’t think we are THAT far out there. I think we are aspiring to normal healthy living despite being forced into a somewhat extreme minority category by doing so.