Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Feeding the Fear

Well, hello, April. When did you slip in?

So, there is this show on the National Geographic Channel called "Doomsday Preppers." Have you seen it? My husband and I have watched a few episodes, mostly in disbelief and with a chuckle. Are these folks for real?

If you haven't seen it, the show focuses on people around the country who, as the Website describes, are "...otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it." They are convinced that the world will implode, metaphorically or otherwise, in their lifetime, and there will be food and supply shortages, mass riots, killing, and worse. Think The Road. They train themselves on survival skills and prepare earnestly for that unavoidable "doomsday."

I have to say, in some ways, I admire these preppers. As the suburban girl that I am, where most things I use are purchased, I can't say that I have developed many survival skills like sharp-shooting, growing my own anything (other than the tomatoes that seem to rot every year!), sewing my own clothes, camouflaging, digging bunkers or spider holes, etc.  Other than the natural intuition to fight or flee, I don't know how I would hold up. So far, our plan for {cough} apocolyptic supplies include Spam (yuck), Slim Jims, Tang and Twinkies (provided Hostess doesn't go out of business). Not quite sustenance. And what could I throw into my bug-out bag (aka, my LL Bean backpack)? Chapstick?

Also, the preppers' fear that a doomsday is upon us is not totally unfounded. Our society - any society, not just in the U.S. - is frail. We see dysfunctional governments, skyrocketing costs and unemployment, never-ending wars, terrorist cells, nuclear threats, civil uprisings, environmental disasters.  The way things are going, it's very likely we'll bring about our own demise unless we pull ourselves together. Soon. I won't even get into the Mayan prophecy that the world will end this December. I'm more skeptical on that, but we'll see. It would be a shame to have everything end just before Christmas.

So, I wonder, with everything going on in the world, whether this show is feeding the fear - or creating fear when there presently isn't any. Or should we be afraid? Should we all be more prepared for that elusive "doomsday" or is it just hype? Some let the idea consume them fully. Others feel that the Good Lord will take them when it's time so they are not scared. What about you? I'm just curious to hear other opinions on this.