Lifestyle Changes

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No matter what kind of apocalypse we have, there are some lifestyle changes that I believe will be strategically beneficial. Most of them are based on returning to a more anthropologically natural way of existing. I try to imagine how early man would have lived, I look at the social structures of primates and I consider how ecosystems exist and function when man is not interfering. If human beings used only the “tools” and skills that they are born with, how would they survive? If we did not build dwellings or make weapons to catch our food with, where would we live and what would we eat? All other creatures live their lives using what they have. How different would the world be if humans did the same? These are some of my conclusions:

1. Small groups of nomads will do best. Human beings are not meant to stay put in large colonies. When our numbers become too large and we establish towns or cities, hygiene becomes an issue. We have to artificially construct ways to eliminate our waste or disease runs rampant. Man is a primate and most primates live in extended family units. They have territories of varying sizes but tend to move in a set pattern within that territory. Smaller groups and rotating within a territory, rather than staying put, cuts down on depletion of resources and provides for group safety. Many early tribes of man had seasonal territories, living where resources were richest depending on the weather. Moving to, say, a spring territory would allow the winter territory to recover. It also makes survivors less prone to attacks by looters. In my Happy Apocalypse, though, anybody who would be prone to looting and murdering would not survive in the first place so that’s not a huge worry for me.

2. Humans have very little body hair so living in a temperate climate would be the most natural place to live. No need to build shelters or wear clothing. I have my sights set on Tahiti but just about any tropical locale is where I am heading when the end comes. I hope to get there before the end since travel is going to be difficult and roller skates won’t get me across the ocean.

3. No other creature requires tools or weapons to catch their food and no other creature has to cook its food to make it even remotely digestible. I know about all the arguments for us being meat eaters or omnivores and how we’ve adapted but the bottom line is we are not meant to eat meat, unless it’s frogs, snakes and other animals we can catch without tools and digest without altering. Felines and canines have claws and teeth, speed and strength which allow them to run down, catch and kill their prey. Their digestive systems function in such a way that raw meat, fur and bones are processed and distributed to maintain their bodies. If we can’t kill a cow with our bare hands and can’t eat the flesh without fire and forks, we shouldn’t be eating it. Doing so takes us outside of our role within the ecosystem. Almost all fruit and many vegetables are things we can harvest naturally, without tools or weapons. We can digest them without altering their chemical composition. Eating them provides our bodies with what we need to function and flourish. Post apocalypse, I will be eating from trees and plants I find within my territory. Until then I confess I will continue to consume bean burritos from Taco Bell and just about any (mostly dark) chocolate I can get my hands on. No need to sacrifice before the end arrives.

4. Trees and caves seem to be the most natural choices for shelter. Many primates “build” nests on the ground or in trees from loose vegetation and sticks. It doesn’t involve altering the earth to make them comfortable or protected. Humans seem to have lost their natural balance, agility and equilibrium so I’m not sure living in a tree without a prehensile tail is feasible but maybe on the ground beneath trees. Caves are unappealing to me but do offer some advantages. I think shelter is going to be a play it by ear kind of thing for me. Making use of already existing structures might be the best solution when available.

There’s probably more that I can’t think of right now. My brain has suddenly gone mushy. Might be time to hit Taco Bell. Anybody out there have some ideas for surviving the apocalypse without repeating humankinds’ past mistakes?

This will be me. Joyously skating through the rubble of the new world, eating fruit and feeling free.

Mobile Home for the Apocalypse

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An old Gypsy wagon will be my first choice for living on the run in a post apocalyptic world. They are mobile, require no fuel, are often equipped with wood burning stoves and can be decorated with a few personal possessions salvaged or looted, giving it that homey feel. Probably not the most zombie-proof and probably won’t protect against radioactive fall-out but for the kind of Happy Apocalypse I envision, where the vast majority of the human race simple disappears from the face of the planet,  this will be perfect. A draft horse would be the most practical way to pull it but zombies might be put to good use if a horse isn’t available. Just dangle some brains in front of them like a carrot on a stick.

The Walking Dead

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This is, without a doubt, my favorite End of the World TV series. We don’t have traditional television. No satellite, no cable, no whatever. I am not Geek enough to understand it all but the Geek Boy Stud I live with has us set up with Netflix (streaming and DVDs), a Roku, Hulu Plus and Plex. So, we don’t get to see Walking Dead as soon as it comes out but it doesn’t take long. We’ve seen the first two seasons. The kids don’t watch it. They are all Zombiephobic. But we LOVE it. It’s one of those series that we will watch the entire season in three weekends. If you have seen any portion of Season 3, DO NOT TALK TO ME!!!!!!!!!!! I hate having my surprises spoiled.

There are numerous reasons I like The Walking Dead so much. The acting and writing are first and foremost. Each episode involves extreme suspense, surprising twists, touching moments and a few laughs. I’m sorry Shane is gone. He was one of my favorite characters.

I don’t like Lori at all. I find her to be manipulative and opportunistic. And a lousy mother. If you lived in that world, would you let your child out of your sight? Not any where near as often as she allows Carl to wander off alone while she screws whichever guy can provide her with whatever she needs at the time. Don’t like Lori.

I loved Rick until Lori started really twisting him around and messing with his mind toward the end of Season 2. I’m not crazy about the direction he was headed in when I last saw him but I have faith that Rick’s goodness will return.

I am very intrigued by Andrea’s storyline. That was a pretty bizarre ending for her in Season 2.

Daryl would be my number one pick for having my backside watched, especially now that Shane is gone. I like how he’s growing as a character.

I love Glenn. He kind of faded into the background for quite a while. I’m glad he seems to be getting more story time.

The two scenes I remember most clearly from the pilot episode which told me that Walking Dead was going to be something special were the scene at the beginning with the little zombie girl and the scene where Rick returns to find the torso-only female zombie dragging herself along the ground and he apologizes to her before putting her out of her misery. There is a compassion and sweetness to the script that I’ve never seen before in this type of story. Every episode grabs me and leaves me charged. There is almost an urgency about my need to see what happens next. That’s why I’m glad we’re doing this the Netflix way. I may have to wait a long time between seasons but once we do get the discs, we can plow right through them.

Gimme Shelter

 

Depending on the type of apocalypse, housing and shelter may be destroyed or scarce but junk will be plentiful. Therefore, my choice for rebuilding is Earthships, the brainchild of architect Michael Reynolds. Personally I feel this is how building should be done now. Who can deny the beauty and art of these structures? Why cut down trees when we can build with trash? Why pollute the skies and waters with the manufacturing of unnatural materials when we already have plenty of unnatural materials piling up in landfills? Why reshape the Earth to make a home when a home can be created to be an integral part of it?

So after the end has come and gone and cave dwelling has lost its charm, I intend on building an Earthship with whatever I can find lying around. It won’t be quite as fancy as some of the ones featured on the site but zombies don’t care about esthetics and the Joneses will probably be dead or enslaved so there’s no need for me to keep up with them.

For more information on Earthships, check out their site at http://earthship.com/

 

Types of Apocalypses–Choose Your Poison

One of the biggest questions I have about the apocalypse is “How is it going to happen? What kind of apocalypse is it going to be?”

I have narrowed the types of apocalypses down to 6 general categories. I will list them in order of what I believe to be their likelihood of occurring. 

  1. Natural Disaster
  2. Plague/Disease
  3. Manmade 
  4. Zombie
  5. Alien Invasion
  6. Supernatural

A Natural Disaster is the most likely type of apocalypse to me because I view humans as this era’s dinosaurs. Human beings have evolved into a species that has no natural predators and has all but eliminated natural selection. We multiply unchecked, we hog all the Earth’s resources and we no longer work within the ecosystem; instead we are trying to force the ecosystem to work for us. No single species is ever meant to be as dominant as we currently are. We have thrown the balance of the universe way off course. Nature/The Universe/The Cosmos/Whatever will eliminate the threat and do what needs to be done to get things back on their proper path. Therefore, I choose Natural Disaster as the most likely type of apocalypse. Wipe us out and start over. Let new species evolve.

Plague and Disease is similar to Natural Disaster. It would still be the universe cleansing its system but in a less spectacular way. This would be a slower, less pyrotechnic approach. Definitely not as merciful to us humans. One big blow from space would be kinder but probably not as selective as Disease, where the weakest could be targeted. The weakest humans, however, are not always the problem so in the long run, this would not be as effective a way to eliminate the threat to Earth as Natural Disaster.

A Manmade apocalypse would be most people’s choice, I think, for how the world is going to end. Most people probably believe we are going to nuke ourselves out of existence. I don’t agree with this because the point of the apocalypse is to eliminate the threat (humans) to Earth. Nuclear destruction would be damaging to the Earth and, although we would do a lot of damage to a lot of select areas, I don’t believe we would be able to bomb the majority of the world at once and wipe out enough people to make a difference. I do think, however, that war/nuclear destruction/etc may be the final straw that breaks the universe’s back. A Manmade disaster could certainly start the ball rolling.

Zombie apocalypse. In some ways this could fit under the Plague and Disease category of apocalypse but since the aim is to kill humans, not revive them, I find this one to be less likely. It is a fun one to think about, though. I love zombies and enjoy discussing strategy, movies, weapons and anything else zombie-ish, so I definitely wanted to include this one. And it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

An Alien Invasion is less likely for me than a Zombie apocalypse because I’m convinced a superior race will be a compassionate race. They won’t come to destroy. They might pack us up in dog crates and find a more appropriate place for us where we can do less harm but I don’t see them battling us for our resources or turning us into slaves. Relocation is about as apocalyptic as it would get. I love science fiction, though, so I am including it. Zombies and aliens are just plain fun to speculate about.

Supernatural destruction is being included but probably won’t be discussed much unless I’m quoting Buffy, Angel or some other Joss Whedon show. I don’t believe in the existence of demons or gods therefore I don’t believe in the possibility of a Supernatural apocalypse.

There you have it. The core of my apocalyptic philosophy. In any of them, the chance for survival exists. I’m just hoping the odds are really low for most of us. As long as all of my loved ones die with me, I don’t even care if I’m one of the non-survivors. I just don’t want to be fighting zombies without someone I love beside me. And I can’t stand the thought of my daughter being left behind to fend for herself. If some humans do survive, they are going to be a pretty special group. I’m convinced of that. What would be the point of wiping out the majority only to leave the carriers of pestilence behind to start over again? 

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