Survival is a vague and interesting concept that can’t always be easily defined. But the one thing most of us can agree on is that survival in and of itself is not usually enough.

Survival has a base, hollow core to it. It’s the act of existing without any substance to the continuation of your being. One can only suppose that surviving is a means to some other end. That the empty act of survival might someday lead to something of a greater substance.

It’s what they call hope sometimes when they (whoever they are) wax sentimental. Hope. That strange and impulsive instinct that seems to guide most all living things. The concept that it can get better if we can only outlast the current bad. Hope is one of people’s strongest assets and one of life’s greatest evils.


Big Small World

What are the limits? Good demons flaunt their inappropriate t-shirts with a chuckle and a tickle. This question is always on my mind in one form or another. Be it the limits of personal endurance or the population as a whole Sometimes it’s just a passing ponderance of how we’ve arrived at this point. Others it’s more harsh and cynical. More focused on careless choices.

There are no limits. That’s what I’ve come to know. This can be good. Or it can be bad. That’s up to you and your perspective. It can be a freedom knell or it can be a prison. Again. Up to you.

The weird thing about being human is that we create reality. It sounds crazy, but essentially it’s true. We can choose. To be corporate drones. To be moguls. To be terrorists. To be rescue workers. We decide.

And the world we live in is a bizarre collective perception constructed by all of us. A mad conglomeration of all our opinoins. Some more than others. But we are all a part of it. We are, each of us responsible for making the Kardashians famous. And for the the cancellation of Firefly. We make the beautiful and the ugly as well. It’s all us. We are the ladybugs and we are the mosquitos. Peace and war. Liberty and oppression. All these tiny worlds are of our own creation. And as microscopic as they are, still they consume us.

Mere Survival

Someone I used to know got me to thinking about the wilderness and this whole trend toward subsistance living. There are some shows about it on Discovery and NatGeo. People in Alaska and the Arctic Circle living almost entirely off the bounty of the land. They’ve pretty much shunned our modern world and instead have chosen to live a simpler life.

On the one hand I totally get it. Mass production of meat and food is vile, unclean and morally offensive. They raise their own animals and hunt their meat in the wild. It must be impossible to get a nice salad.

On the other hand it’s so darn cold and remote. You’re not just a hunter. You’re just as much the hunted as well. There are very large predators up there. There must be a certain humility to thinking of oneself as the prey. It’s an interesting perspective for a species all too accustomed to being on the top of the food cahin. But the internet up there probably isn’t so great. I guess they’re too busy surviving to really notice.

Not that we’re not very busy surviving down here in the regular world. Everyone is always surviving. Seldom actually living. I always thought the one good thing about being human was we had the luxury of more than mere survival. Turns out, not so much. Life is tough in these United States. It’s a wonder any of us survive at all.

Survivors – World’s End

My mom loves the TNT show Falling Skies and I have no idea why. To me it’s just some bad sci-fi movie from 1985 that travelled into the future to vex Star Trek fans. I’m usually a Spielberg fan. I loved Artificial Intelligence, even though no one else did. I thought it was awesome. Sad androids… brilliant! An alien cowboys and indians shoot em up series, not nearly as brilliant.

If sci-fi is what you crave and you’re not finding anything you feel is worthy of your viewing time, try the grossly underrated 2008 british television series Survivors. It’s an engrossing tale of a deadly epidemic and the eventual aftermath for those that live through it. What’s so intriguing about it is how realistic it is. Or has been so far. Even though the population is descimated and everyone is utterly alone in a barren world, people remain the same as they truly are today. Distant, cold and unable to connect with each other. I’m guessing that will gradually change as the series progresses.

I’ve watched only the pilot episdoe so far. It was an hour and a half of engrossing television. So much so that it made me quite obsessed with seeing the rest. Despite the fact that I know it was cancelled after the 2nd season and am not even sure whether the story wrapped up. I just have to know more.

Survivors reminds me of the short lived NBC show Jericho with Skeet Ulrich. Survivors is what Jericho could have been. Shoud have been. I’ve heard rumors Survivors may return as an American pay cable TV series much like the wonderful Torchwood did for its forth season. Which was pretty awesome. That would be great news if it did.

Sci-Fi is the genre du jour. And the end of the world always makes for exciting television.

Emergency Survival Preparedness

Disaster happen unexpectedly. I ought to know. Me and mine were right at the heart of the Hurricane Sandy disaster. It was brutal to say the least. People nowadays, unless they’ve been in the military, have no idea about emergency preparedness.

Our lifestyle has become so soft and cushy. We have our internet and tv on demand and warm cozy beds. We live in a luxury our ancentors couldn’t even imagine. As technology and automation have overtaken our world, survival skills and emergency readiness have been forsaken by most.

We simply assume the power will be on. That first responders will save us. That the disaster won’t be that bad. But the fact is, it can be that bad. And lately it often is.

Our environment and climate have been undergoing changes for the worse. The weather is becoming more and more violent and unpredictable. Smart people want to be ready. To keep their families safe.

Doing so isn’t all that hard if you follow the examples set forth my the American military forces. They always know what to do in any situation.

The first task is to aquire the essential supplies. Which is easy. Shop any repultable military store for all that you will need and more. Next step, educate yourself and your loved one in the critical survival tasks. Like making fire, swimming, hunting and fishing. And don’t forget to get yourself a sturdy generator at the local hardware supply.