Friday, December 4, 2009

The Price Of Domestication

by The Usual Suspect

Catching up on emails and reading comments and whatnot. As far as OUR general population? Pfff....

Back in the 'Nam days, your programmed response was to spit.

With our Brave New War, you've learned to support the troops but not the war. Green Day sells millions of albums, thankfully they don't have the ear of anyone who is in control of anything, since only kids are dumb enough to pay the bills for those fucking jackoffs. "Lay down your arms" like it's that simple. HOLY FUCK, BILLY JOE, WE NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT! Live in a fantasy world, but your gayass songs aren't going to save you if you ever find yourself in a situation where the rules don't apply anymore. Which leads me to my focus:

What would YOU do if all systems failed?

You're driving home from the job that you hate, dead fucking tired and unenthused about the interests you used to have, and all the power goes out. Starts off with just traffic accidents, and the authorities do what they can to contain it, but the truth is that you are all animals and I don't care if you'll admit it or not.

Let's suppose, for argument's sake, that the fabric of society came unraveled. The very worst of humanity. Looting, raping, pillaging, stealing, lying, racism. Just give it time, think about the power struggles. You have them with co-workers, just on a tiny, insignificant scale. Now Johnny Law isn't around because Johnny Law is either dead or smart enough to change profession. Regardless, he probably won't be around to save your candy ass when your vegan peacenik coworker is gutting you for the cas in your car.

"Oh no, I would NEVER harm another living being!" says the philosophy major.

"I would," says the morally flexible opportunist. After the murder.

I don't suppose you know how to purify water do you? I'll admit that I don't either. Might be a good thing to find out.

Anyway, these kids? "My" people? Most of 'em, none of this means dick until it applies to them. People aren't going to care on a mass scale until it's right in front of them, and by then, it's too late. War is part of humanity, fellas. Love your dream, John Lennon, but that's all it is. You'll find no truer symbol than the yin-yang. Humans are both "good" and "bad". That's one of the unchanging conditions of this "Life" game.

Don't get me wrong, I hope it never happens. But if one day you walk out your front door to find your whole world on fire, do us all a favor and skip the shock and denial part and go help fortify a fucking hospital, because they'd most likely be the last bastion of humanity and they just aren't big enough to handle the mass casualties that would ensue. "WHAT ABOUT US?!" becomes the warcry of angry mobs. Religious war wouldn't be such an abstract idea, but a reality. Like civilization reshuffling the deck, complete with all the misery and death that comes with it. The victors will call it a revolution. Mass graves, everyone is a missing person to someone, the life you knew was just a dream compared to the way things are now, and uncertainty is a word that you use to describe your every waking moment, instead of that brief feeling you experience when you try to decide what you're going to have for dinner.

Yeah yeah yeah, crazy vet, blah blah. I have no high horse, if this protective bubble goes tits up, I'm just as fucked as the rest of you. Sure, the overwhelming goodness of people will allow for eventual stability, but even in a temporary chaos, a lot can happen.

Now, this way of life is the right of every person, the peaceful, unafraid, Not Building A Panic Room method of living and taking comfort in our system. I just found myself wondering what would happen if the rug was pulled out from underneath us. OH WELL. THAT'LL NEVER HAPPEN TO US.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yo, did you just come back from seeing 2012?

KathyB said...

One of the scariest books I ever read was Memoirs of a Survivor by Doris Lessing. If you want more abyss, it is a good one.

I wrote in on a NYT blog once saying that I always beleived, as a middle boomer, that I would be put out on an ice floe to die. The blog writer called me a Pollyanna for believing there would be ice floes.

The movie Castaway was good for me because you knew all along that the Tom Hanks guy was going to survive and be rescued. I don't usually feel that optimistic in real life.

Good to hear from you Suspect. I'm a soft old fart and I know it. I'm still thrilled that you are stateside and pissed as hell but living every day. Your writing is a creative outlet. I'm a sucker for art. Thank you,

13 Stoploss said...

you studying dualism?

and, did they call your ass, too?

Anonymous said...

I never saw anybody harass a Vietnam vet. Never, and I was not leading a sheltered life at the time, I was in the mellow village of the L.A. area looking for all the action a teenager could find. I saw my boyfriend vet get into altercations, but that was because his wiring was funky, nobody gave a shit that he was back from Nam, they just wanted to kick his ass. I suppose it must have happened somewhere, but all the vets at school were treated with wary respect.

My guess is that when systems fail, you just focus on immediate issues and do what needs to be done at the time. People are a mixed bag... we constantly have opportunities to decide to either be a dick or nice; I don't see that changing.

Filtering puddle water through three or so layers of cloth will take the majority of the particulate
matter out of the water and hugely reduce the odds of illness... drops of bleach or iodine can (and should!) be added afterward, stir and let it set for 12 hours or so. If it smells really strong, you've used too much... for gods' sake use food-grade iodine if you can get your hands on it... the agricultural stuff is cheaper and more available, but it paralyzes thyroid cells.

Yes, our lifestyle is a dream...

You've already been in a place where the rules broke down. You were part of it. z

Anonymous said...

What New Orleans went through after Hurricane Katrina was exactly as you described. Murders, rapes, gang warfare, looting, police brutality... all sorts of terrible things you would never expect to happen in the U.S. There was even a case of New Orleans refugees trying to cross a bridge into the nearby city of Greta only to be turned away by heavily-armed Greta police officers threatening to shoot anyone that tried to cross into Greta. These refugees were not just "punks" or people who looked suspicious, but elderly people, kids, and women. You could say that the city of Greta did what it had to do to survive and keep its scarce resources secure or you can call them selfish b--t--ds, but that's what they did. It's sad that in an instant any country can turn into a modern-day Somalia when things fall apart.

Even in New Orleans, there were acts of heroism by individuals and groups. Not everyone transforms into their base selves in the face of a disaster. I don't know if that gives you comfort, but it is better than nothing.

The Usual Suspect said...

Well I just really want everyone to prove me wrong on this one. I'd like them to prove me wrong by never being complacent enough to let it happen.

By the way, someone give me a heads up if they try to get us and Europe and anyone else they can on the same currency system.

The Usual Suspect said...

Also, what the fuck is 2012? On second thought, nevermind. I'm not going to watch it. I'm still waiting for Y2K to shake things up. Taking foreverrrrr.

Anonymous said...

Your post sounds like the plot of The Road.

NUGHT said...

you were joking when you said you dont know how to purify water... right????

boiling it is the best way...

MY END OF STRUCTURE STRATEGY

the first thing everyone must realize is that humans are way to unpredictable. staying in a populated area would leave you open to being painted in a corner. it would be to risky to be around alot of people. I would find 3-4 of my closest friends ( and thier immeadate family) and arm up and head deep into the sticks... i would look for a log cabin and take it over... i would give the occupants a chance to leave peacefully but if they wouldnt i would kill them and take thier shit.

Being secluded from everyone would be your best chance at survival. I could hunt for food and look for a close natural water source. I think it would take about 6 months for the world to rebalance and for the new world structure to take shape. i would play it ear from there.

13 Stoploss said...

http://www.rei.com/product/720265

THAT.

Pattie Matheson said...

You been reading THE STAND?!

If not, do so - its thick so give yourself a weekend.

~P~

Pattie Matheson said...

Oh yeah, 2012 = end of the Mayan Calendar. Dire warnings of end of mankind. Unfortunately the Mayans didn't tell us what to watch out for...
~P~

membrain said...

"What would YOU do if all systems failed?

You're driving home from the job that you hate, dead fucking tired and unenthused about the interests you used to have, and all the power goes out. Starts off with just traffic accidents, and the authorities do what they can to contain it.........."

Sounds like a scene from Bruce Willis' LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. Willis' John McClean character figured out what to do right quick. It involved a lot of killin' and most excellent explosions for him to prevail

Sidenote: Practically nobody knows that Willis actaully tried to enlist after 9/11 but the wouldn't have him because he was too old. (This is according to Michael Yon who I consider to be an impecable source.)

Willis threw a ball for The Deuce Four when they deployed Stateside from Mosul. Willis is just about the only person in Hollwood that I have any respect for.

(Another Sidenote: NUGHT I wouldn't put that in writng if I were you and wanted to stay in the Army. I mean it's not like you're 'Major' Nadal Hassan who fulfilled his Jihadist dreams at Fort Hood. Unless of course you're a closet Muslim and can hold up that PC card when they come calling;-)

I'm rambling I know, but it's good to see you writing again and everybody has been referencing their favorite movies that prove/disprove your thesis so I thought I'd join the crowd.

In any case you've got your concealed carry permit so that's a start.

By the way I don't consider vets to be "just another crazy" unless they were when they enlisted.

Not even Staff Sergeant George Nickel. Hell, especially, SSG Nickel. There's a vet that needs our support.

You can read about George's dilemma here: http://acutepolitics.blogspot.com/2009/07/shadows-of-war.html

Take care Suspect. Keep in touch. Thanks for the update.

Jean said...

Everybody in a movie follows a script. An author writes the story according to his/her plot.

How many would know the script if it does all fall apart in real life?
I think the woods are going to get pretty crowded with everyone who claims to plan on escaping there.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. If more people thought like you do, and didn't take life for granted, this entire scenario could be prevented.

My brother is back from Iraq after 15 months as a battalion surgeon with the 101st Airborne. He has a Bronze Star with the valor device, and I'm afraid he'll never tell us how he earned it. You remind me of him.

bigD said...

This is why people used to have "bomb shelters" in their backyards.
Outfitted with everything you would need when the bomb dropped out of the sky...unless of course, you were stuck at school. Then you would most likely be found dead under your desk, where all us youngsters were forced to "hide" in order to be protected from nuclear holocaust. I also remember going out into the hallways and standing with our heads on our lockers, as if this would somehow save us from the nuclear fallout and the anarchy that would follow. Not sure what I would do if I was suddenly plunged into such a world. I hope I am not living in that log cabin when Nught shows up. Hopefully, I will have my conceal carry permit and a gun by then. Ha!

It is quite frightening how quickly the "fabric of society unravels" and the worst of humanity rears its ugly head. Much of what you say is true, a lot of badness can happen during periods of "temporary chaos," but, don't underestimate the power of overwhelming goodness!
I hope optimistic-believer/nurse/do-gooder is higher up on your scale than vegan peacenik. You will most likely find me in the "last bastion of humanity" so please come fortify. (That is if Nught doesn't get me first.)

God(s) bless you Ryan. I think of you often and pray that you are healthy and happy.

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Anonymous said...

Nught:
"... i would look for a log cabin and take it over..."

Dude, if you pick my family's cabin you're gonna have a fight on your hands. We've faced this possibility before. We know how to shoot and we know where to aim. You'd best move on....

~P~