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22 September, 2014

Truth Can Be More Frightening Than Fantasy

On my DVR at home, amid all the other stuff, is a recording that I've watched many times, yet I never delete it. It's an episode of "The Twilight Zone" that originally aired in September 1961. There are no monsters or ghosts or aliens. No supernatural horrors. Only the horror that quietly seethes just below the surface of our daily lives: the true face of human nature.

The episode is titled "The Shelter." It opens on a suburban dinner party, a birthday celebration for a Dr. Stockton being thrown by his neighbors, complete with the Sheeple chiding the good doctor over the noise and inconvenience caused by the bomb shelter he's built in his basement. Soon, however, things turn darker. The announcer on TV advises people to turn to an emergency alert radio station before the television goes dark, and the radio speaks of a feared Soviet nuclear launch, advising citizens to retreat with supplies to their bomb shelters or basements if they lack a shelter.

The neighbors disperse, and we next see the Stockton family rushing to move provisions into their shelter. Dr. Stockton remarks as to them having a two week supply of food and water, more if used wisely. It isn't long, however, before the neighbors arrive, seeking places in the Stockton's small family shelter.

 Needless to say, the good doctor wisely
refuses, pointing out that the air filters have been designed only for 3 people (he, his wife, and their 12 year old son) and that he had previously advised them all to take time out of their frivolous suburban card parties, etc. and build shelters for themselves. 

Begging soon turns to belligerence over the Dr.'s refusal to open the door and allow his neighbors entry, and this simple 30-minutes of early-1960s television stands as a commentary on the true and hideous face of human nature when it comes to issues of survival. It's doubtful, in this day and age, that a nuclear attack by a foreign power will be the future threat we all face, but much can still be gained from viewing this episode allegorically. 

Believe and understand that not everyone who you think of as a friend would be true in times of strife. How many people from outside your circle know of your emergency preparedness efforts? Whose doorstep do you imagine they'll be appearing on if and when TSHTF? 

The moral here is obviously an admonition to practice proper Operational Security (OPSEC) with respect to being too vocal about your survivalism / emergency preparedness. Keep your head down and be prepared, if necessary, to both defend what is yours as well as be charitable with those who - while shortsighted about preparing for themselves - deserve a chance. Stocking a little extra food, water, flashlights, etc. for the sake of charity is doable. Never forget, however, that - when survival is at stake and law and order break down - the very thin veneer of polite society will not last.
Be ready.

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