So I have spent the past few weeks of my life reading a truly atrocious right-wing prepper novel.  I’m a masochist, I know.  The story takes place in the Northwest and is every armed MAGA hatter’s fantasy.  Portland, which is naturally a socialist hellhole, collapses in riot and flames, overcome by raging violent hordes of Antifa types.  The intrepid conservative heroine of the tale, who’s been hoarding guns and vacuum-sealed bags of food, has been ready for this moment and escapes into the mountains of Colorado, which are blessedly free of Democratic voters and immigrants.

Reading this alt-right daydream about the collapse of the world as we know it reminded me of a suspicion I’ve had for a long time now–that if an apocalypse comes, I don’t think I want to survive it.

I can picture it now–the day all the preppers have been waiting for.  Smoke is rising from the ruined cities, no doubt done in by the disastrous policies of providing union jobs and offering free school lunches to kids.  As the murderous socialist hipsters finish each other off in the blue urban areas, the few who are wise enough to understand what’s going on flee to the red countryside, where they go back to the old ways, hunting and sewing their own clothes and working the land and…barf.

I know, I know, you’re supposed to appreciate being alive no matter what.  But seriously?  I grew up on a farm and never liked farming.  I don’t even like gardening in my suburban yard.  I’ve never felt any kind of mystical connection while digging around in the dirt, except for the mystical thought that I wanted to go back inside and read the news.  And don’t even get me started on my failed attempts at sewing back in home economics class.

And I would miss all the things I’m not supposed to miss about the modern world.  Starbucks.  Playing around on my phone.  Riding on a crowded bus.  The gentrified downtown of my city.  Truth is, I actually love working my comfy cubicle job and eating artificially colored snacks from the vending machine.

Right, if only I could learn to let go of all that stuff, I would find that there is a magical, natural lifestyle waiting for me of running barefoot in the grass, baking my own bread made from my own grain, which I would be able to eat in the log cabin I built myself.  I refuse to learn that lesson.  Why?  Because I’m happy right now, in this messy, cluttered, imperfect world.  I get the feeling that a lot of the preppers are secretly hoping for a catastrophe, because there is something missing in their lives (maybe excitement?).  I also hope that they do find what they’re searching for…but without the rest of us having to go down in flames in the process.

So in short, if the zombie apocalypse ever does come, feel free to throw me off the back of the truck as bait.  No, really.  I’m okay with not continuing my existence at that point.

Knowing my luck, though, I will end up very much alive and stuck in some happy clappy farming commune.  I’ll be easy to spot–I’ll be the one sneaking away from the fields with a beer, desperately trying to find a wi-fi signal.

Note:  For any of my readers willing to torture themselves, the prepper novel is titled A Great State and written by Shelby Gallagher.  It’s part of a trilogy, but I don’t think I’ll be able to stomach the other two parts.

The NSA scandal has messed everything up.  I’m accustomed to all the usual suspects supporting each other on their respective sides of the battle, but alliances are splitting up on both the left and right, and my political spidey sense is going out of whack.

Now Rand Paul is getting ready to file a civil suit against the NSA, and he will find support for this action from both the ACLU and–if it gets to the Supreme Court–from a sympathetic Sonia Sotomayor.  This has to be the first time I have ever seen an article from a Cato Institute author praising Justice Sotomayor for anything she’s done.  Sen. Paul disagrees with fellow Republicans like Rubio and McConnell about this, but does agree with Michael Moore.

Even worse, I find myself agreeing with Rand Paul and disagreeing with President Obama in this situation.  Time for cats and dogs to start mating, and the Apocalypse to happen.

I was feeling morose about the fiscal cliff talks, but there’s nothing like a morning read of the other news to put things into perspective.  The United States is still dealing with the effects of the worst drought since 1956, which is a good reminder of the real cliff looming out there–the planetary cliff, or the world cliff, perhaps.  If the effects of *that* cliff are anything like what we suspect, with our climate going off the rails over the next century, the arguments over small tax rate differences and deficit amounts are going to seem laughable to us one day.

Even if you don’t believe that man-made climate change is real, the coming shortage of resources is, as a growing human population outstrips the available energy, water and food supplies.  Countries like India are already facing water shortages, and major American cities are urgently trying to figure out long-term water supply plans.  If you’re not happy about the coming fiscal cliff tax increase–and I’m not–just think about how expensive food and water are about to get in the future.

There might be a silver lining for some in this scenario.  The world could become a libertarian’s wet dream, as instead of unifying into a global community, we splinter again into divided countries and tribes, fighting each other for the resources we need to survive.  Take that, United Nations–right?  Then again, things could go in the opposite direction.  A desperate crisis could force us to think in much more collective ways, at least within our own country.  Either way, our current ideological differences–which are so hot and intense at the moment–will be irrelevant in the face of a real threat.  As much as I dislike how polarized we’ve become, I don’t know that I’m happy about the thing which might end this polarization–the possible end of the world.  And we’re talking the real end here, not the Mayan bullshit.  So with that said, I’m going to go boil some water for a pot of tea, and feel very grateful that I still have the water to do this with.

This one goes out to my conservative peeps, and there are a lot of you out there.  You’re my friends and neighbors and co-workers, and while our worldviews are very different, the conservatives I know are decent and responsible, and yeah, even compassionate.

Here’s what I want to say to you:  there’s no reason to freak out this much about the election results.  Democracy isn’t ending.  The world isn’t ending.  Liberal locusts aren’t raining from the sky.  I’m seeing a lot of talk of secession online, which I assume is just bluster meant to cover up hurt egos.  Where exactly are you seceding to?  You and I are stuck with each other in this country, whether we like it or not.

Also?  I know exactly how you’re feeling right now.  I remember hearing the election results back in 2004.  I remember being just as shocked and distraught.  “How could this guy have gotten re-elected?”  But we liberals survived eight years of Bush.  And you’ll survive eight years of Obama.  America has survived far more serious times, including a real civil war.  It has survived far more sweeping and bigger governmental programs being instituted than any Obama has proposed.  And after all the turmoil and change, it’s still America.  And it’s still a democracy.  A democracy which, by the way, worked exactly as intended on Tuesday.

I realize that you won’t believe me no matter how much I say it, but Obama isn’t about to usher in a new Communist era in the United States.  He’s not even progressive enough for most of us progressives.  And if by Communism you mean that weak sauce Republican health care plan which got passed into law instead of single payer, then that is one bizarre idea of Communism.  No, I feel pretty comfortable predicting that America will remain a firmly capitalist society.

And as always, the political process will remain a cycle.  At some point, another Republican President will get elected, and I will feel as if everything is coming to an end.  But that won’t be true, either.  Hang in there and trust me, your day will come again.  Unless you decide to secede before then–and that would just be silly.

I’m starting to think I need to make alternate plans in case Obama doesn’t win in 2012.  Not that I’m assuming he will lose, but I also think it’s dangerous to get too confident.  Whatever the outcome of the election, it will be sure to be a nail-biter, with lots of slander and dirty tricks.  And we all know that if Obama does lose, there will be a mood of general despair, and much gnashing of teeth and wailing will be heard in the land.  So it would be wise to prepare a Plan B for that possibility—if nothing else, to keep me from sinking into depression during the dark, post-apocalyptic election aftermath.

In my case, the plan is to get involved locally.  Thank God, no matter what else happens, Portland will remain a den of liberal iniquity.  So even if President Romney comes to pass—shudder—and starts repealing every good idea President Obama ever came up with, we can still work on building a progressive city right here.  I need to start looking at worthy local candidates and causes for 2012, get off my duff and get to work.

Tell me, am I completely off my rocker to be worried about the election?  Are all of you pretty much optimistic that Barack will win it in a landslide?  (Please say yes!)  And are any of you making preparations for what you will do in a case of a loss?  Such as leaving for a foreign country, or guiding your blue home state towards secession?  Let me know what you think.  I already have a prime spot underneath a local bridge picked out for my golden years in case Social Security gets privatized, so you can’t accuse me of not being ready for everything.

So this is it, 2012.  This is the year when it will all end for us, or we will all get elevated to a higher level of consciousness.  I’ve heard some interpret the Mayan calendar to say that this is when “He will come”.  And of course, the Presidential election will save or end America as we know it.

So here’s to 2012 being the year of something I sorely lack in my own life – the Year of Certainty.  It will once and for all become clear who and what is right in this world.  God’s existence will be proven or disproven, especially if the year includes His arrival.  Scientists will find the God particle and we will understand why the Universe is here.  The election results, whichever way they go, will make America a great country again.  Either the free market or socialism will give everyone prosperity, security, and a job.  I will finally know what I want to do with my life.  

But naturally, none of this will happen.  Instead of coming to a swift, graceful end, our existence will continue to plod on.  There will be nobody returning to us from the clouds, and nobody at our door.  My heart will veer wildly from spirituality to cynicism, depending on how much pain it is in at a given moment.   Those damned quarks and anti-quarks will keep doing their own thing.  And I’ll keep working at an insurance company because I can’t come up with anything better to do.

Still, I wish everyone a happy doubtful and dithering 2012.  To those of you who already have the miracle of Certainty and who know that you are always correct about everything, I envy you.  For the rest of us, may the decorations on our tree be funky, our cups of chocolate mint tea steaming hot, our dogs and cats cuddly on our laps, and our blogs controversial.  Happy Holidays!

I listened to talk radio way too much at work today.  I’ve got the talk radio hangover.  Now I wanna move to Texas, arm myself and buy a supply of dried food that I can store underground.  I’m about to get torn limb from limb by a mob of unemployed hippies.  I’m about to be abducted by a Communist UFO.  I’m about to either get blown up by a terrorist or run over by a drunken illegal immigrant, I’m not sure which.  It’s all scary.  There are billionaire bankers who want me to starve and panhandlers who want to slit my throat.

I need to take my big gun with me everywhere I go.  I have to be able to take it to my church.  I have to be able to take it to my child care center.  Those children out there are rabid, you know.

What I need is for someone to save me.  Someone knows what the truth is.  Someone knows what God is thinking and can tell me.  Tell me what to do, please.

Actually what I need to do is turn off the damn radio.  The chatter is funny at first, but then it turns into poison flowing into my mind.

Isn’t there a station somewhere playing Christmas carols already?

 

Quick note:  Since I know people get bent out of shape these days, yes, the above is satire.  I do not even have a big gun, much less am I planning to take it anywhere.  However, on a connected note, the BBC News is reporting that sales of bulletproof glass have quadrupled in America during the last two years, as the American economy has tanked.  Just a little something to chew on.