Doomsday Preppers: I hate you

I was watching TV, having lunch, and turned the channel to National Geographic. I like National Geographic. I like documentaries, I like finding out how people do stuff and make things and I like watching the crazy and amazing things animals do. But I was out of luck, because as I was enjoying scrambled eggs with bell peppers and onion, National Geographic was casting a Doomsday Preppers marathon.

Doomsday Preppers are people who prepare for the, what they believe is imminent, apocalypse. Some of them think society is going to collapse when the oil runs out, some of them believe chaos will erupt in the wake of an environmental disaster caused by global warming and some even have the notion that a catastrophic continental shift will plunge the world back into the Dark Ages. Take a wild guess where most (probably all) of these people live.

The DPs (as I will now call them) profess readiness and preparedness above all and subsequently take often extreme measures in the name of vigilance. They build safe, defensible sanctuaries, bunkers and forts in remote locations. They practice marksmanship to an obsessive degree, such as pop-up assault tactics from the back of a moving pick-up truck. Some have emergency survival kits ready at all times (I’ve heard them being called ‘bug-out bags’) and they work-out so they can react immediately (and somehow often manage to stay fat). All of them, however, hoard. They hoard any kind of survival supplies and gear, but they mainly hoard food. And that just pisses me off.

So you have these idiots who think they live in a Michael Bay movie readying themselves for catastrophes they believe will happen in their lifetime. Civil war sparked by oil shortage? Very highly unlikely, but fine, plausible. Global warming disaster that happens overnight? The Day After Tomorrow was a movie! North and South America drifting apart and colliding with Africa and Europe? Come on! Don’t these people read books? Isn’t basic education mandatory? The DPs are a prime example that schools and teachers can only provide information, but it’s up to the students to pay attention.

But what really grinds my gears is the amount of time and effort and the hoarded  supplies that get ferreted away by these people. For most of them prepping is a full-time job. Thus, considering the fact that they don’t really work, they must have quite a bit of money to throw at their obsession. Even the ‘self-sustaining’ ones that grow and rear their own food still load up on tools and ammo. Build a fort out of shipping containers in the middle of nowhere? Fine, keep your crazy away from others. Stockpile valuable items and food you’re not going to use in your lifetime? Couldn’t you spend your money in a better way?

So if we assume they have money (and even if they don’t it doesn’t matter much) and time and consider their determination, couldn’t the DPs effort and energy be better spent elsewhere? How about working on the development of sustainable energy so the oil crisis won’t be as big of a deal? How about supporting education projects on global warming so it doesn’t happen? How about visiting South America and helping the people you think are going to sink into the ocean, who have neither professionally constructed safe-houses with all modern amenities, nor multiple basements full of food? How about making the world less shitty before it hits your imaginary fan?

Nah. The DPs don’t care about all that. They’re too busy entertaining ideas of shooting their neighbors and taking their shoes, so they don’t have to share their 1500 jars of pork they spent half of their life pasteurizing.