Bunker Bust


Here’s some more of my fascinating spam – another squint at the underbelly of the American nightmare:

If I wanted to make sure my family was safe, no matter what, I would try to move to someplace where the US is not likely to attempt regime change, foster insurgency, or otherwise “help” with the local politics. If I wanted to make sure my family was safe, I would be an advocate against nuclear weapons, and US militarism.

What I wouldn’t do is dig a nice hermetically sealable coffin for my family. Especially not one that was so obvious. It’s a death-trap, not a survival shelter. It needs a plaque attached to the door that reads: “Here lie the Smith Family.”

I have come to think of this as “toxic masculinity marketing” – all these stupid spike-pens and glare-proof sunglasses and guns: they’re just crap that’s being sold to men who have allowed themselves to become convinced that manliness is being ready to defend oneself against ambiguous threats, of even the most ridiculous type, at any time. It’s where Walter Mitty meets Rambo: some otherwise fairly normal guy, who – like most fairly normal guys – hardly ever gets in fights, or is attacked by bears, or uses a gun to defend their home; the sell is “if the shit goes down, you’ll be the guy with the gear and then …”  It always trails off. Why does it always trail off? Because if you actually start to think about the ramifications of social collapse, none of these measures make any sense, either. Why build a bunker when you can vacuum pack opium poppy seeds and hoard medicine? If a collapse happens, it won’t be the guy with the over-and-under night-vision enabled 5.56 with the 100-rd snail clip who gets the ‘females’ – it will be the guy who knows how to set up an alternator and a small windmill and battery farm. As usual, the guy with the fancy gun will be the guy with the alternator’s minion.

It’s hard to be more contemptuous of marketing, but these ads get me there – they are subliminally attacking their customers’ toxic masculinity under the pretense of building up their masculinity. “Oh, if you were a real man, you’d have a bunker…” but then there’s the bait and switch, the assumption that real men build bunkers, which is a lie. Normally I would avoid using terms like “real man” because it’s part of the trap in the first place; but what should I use instead? “Sensible people” might work, “thinking people” sounds a bit elitist, “solid thinkers” a bit humdrum – but, yes, sensible people don’t build bunkers, they partner up with their mates and extended families or tribes and take out the trash, dig latrines, teach kids about viruses and bacteria, and do the “gather” part of “hunt and gather.” Toxic masculinity is not what saves families after a nuclear war – it’s what starts nuclear wars.

If you want to do whatever you can to protect your family: teach your kids, support your partners, take out the garbage, read, learn, don’t pee on the toilet seat, and demand the best from your politicians and police. If you want to protect your family, don’t cheer when your president rains high explosive down on some other family. And keep an eye out for the biggest threat against your family: your own toxic masculinity.

------ divider ------

Death-trap: that door is just asking for someone to park a truck on top of it. Have a nice day sucker!

FYI – the weird misspellings are an attempt to defeat single-word bayesian spam filters.

Comments

  1. Brian English says

    it won’t be the guy with the over-and-under night-vision enabled 5.56 with the 100-rd snail clip who gets the ‘females’ – it will be the guy who knows how to set up an alternator and a small windmill and battery farm. As usual, the guy with the fancy gun will be the guy with the alternator’s minion.

    I’ve seen the documentary, Mad Max 2. It’ll be the steroid ripped guy called aptly Humungous. He’ll use his steam-punk band of intersex warriors to take out the nerd guys with the alternator and oil-rig. The meek engineers will facilitate the ripped guy, who is leading LBGTI taking over the world.

    And keep an eye out for the biggest threat against your family: your own toxic masculinity.

    My government (mine in the sense that I have no choice to be Australian), spends fucking truckloads of dollars to protect me from a 1 in a million threat, be it terrorists, bikies, brown-skined people. They do not protect half the population that is underthreat every day from my half. They say they’re doing all this police state bullshit to protect me and mine. Fuck that! I’d happily wear an ankle bracelet because the law can’t know which man will kill their spouse – so retroscope the lot of us – than the shit we’re doing now. We’re just being surveilled for an almost non-existant threat, and the cure is worse than the disease.

    Sadly, I grew up in a toxic-masculine society, so I only notice a small portion of the shit I do that my wife puts up with.
    A wake up call happened recently. My oldest boy called my wife (his mum) lazy for not doing a job he was used to her doing when she had to do something else that needed doing. When I asked why he said that, instead of calling me lazy, he said it’s her job. I have no excuse for that. I couldn’t event argue against it, as she has been doing these tasks dails. So since then, I’ve been doing a lot more cooking, washing and other chores, obviously nowhere near enough. I still have to work 9-5, (a structural problem in my society that a lazy shit like me can walk into a comp-sci degree and into a cushy job, but a creative person like her can’t get paid half that with twice the work) and she does the heavy lifting then with the boys. At this point, I’m failing my boys and her.

    Christ this blog is becoming my confessional! I’ve admitted I suck at parenting, am afraid of the future (global warming/crop failure/pesticides), and have chronic illness. Where’s John Morales when I need a simple antagonist?

  2. Brian English says

    Oh, and obviously I suck at being a being a good partner. I even forgot that in my final crie de coeur!

  3. says

    This one is hilarious. Somehow my spam folder tends to be more boring.

    If a collapse happens, it won’t be the guy with the over-and-under night-vision enabled 5.56 with the 100-rd snail clip who gets the ‘females’ – it will be the guy who knows how to set up an alternator and a small windmill and battery farm.

    I have a problem with the words “the guy who gets the females”. Why is “females” in plural and “guy” in singular, are we talking about some harem? Moreover, it implies that women are property, things to be gotten and owned, prizes to be won, prey to be chased and caught, challenges to be conquered. This seems to be quite entrenched in our culture. All those misogynistic “how to pick up girls” guides as well as dating guides (for both sexes) rely on this thinking. The whole dating etiquette seems to be based on this (man advances and pursues, woman waits and pretends to be hard to catch). It’s almost a ritualized competition (where woman is expected to lose or give in). Even the vocabulary we use when talking about relationships reflects it. And I don’t like this. It’s offensive towards women who are treated like objects. And, frankly, it’s also offensive towards men (at least part of whom might want their girlfriend to be a partner not a property).

    they’re just crap that’s being sold to men who have allowed themselves to become convinced that manliness is being ready to defend oneself against ambiguous threats, of even the most ridiculous type, at any time

    Being able to defend yourself from reasonable threats is good for anybody regardless of their gender. For example, if you live in a city with lots of hardworking pickpockets, learning how to keep your wallet safe would benefit anybody. Or do we still live in a culture where women should remain defenseless and vulnerable while males are supposed to protect women from pickpockets, ATM scams and bicycle thieves?

    Preparing to defend yourself from ridiculous and highly unlikely threats is just a waste of time/money for everybody regardless of gender.

    “Oh, if you were a real man, you’d have a bunker…”

    I wonder if it is even possible to define what a “real man” is supposed to do. Or what “masculinity” or “femininity” is. Many people in our society tend to have some stereotypes about these terms, but once you actually start thinking about this, it gets really murky. Isn’t a stay-at-home dad a real man? And isn’t a childfree lesbian athlete who hates cooking and cannot sew clothes a real woman?

    When talking about my lack of female gender identity I once encountered a guy who claimed that I cannot consider myself masculine. Wearing male clothes, having hairy legs and enjoying woodworking as a hobby isn’t enough; those actions doesn’t qualify me to consider myself masculine. He claimed that a real man must do xyz (a list of actions that are likely to reduce your life expectancy and cause injuries). The problem was that nowadays majority of people born with a Y chromosome do not do xyz. This begs the questions: if majority of anatomical males do not do xyz, then how can you possibly claim that doing xyz is essential for calling somebody a real man?

  4. cartomancer says

    Pfft. Real Men (TM) don’t build bunkers. Bunkers are for hiding behind like a weedy Athenian coward. The Spartans made sure their city had no walls – if somebody came to attack then they walked out and fought them face to face. When said Athenians decided to hole up behind their Long Walls during the Peloponnesian War and refuse pitched battle the Spartans were incensed at how weak and effeminate their enemies were.

    Also, family? Children? Real Men (TM) don’t involve themselves with any of that soppling old mush – they live together with other Real Men (TM) in the communal barracks. Grrrr!

  5. kestrel says

    It is amazing to me how many people I’ve run across who really believe something similar to this: that is, they believe they can survive things like nuclear war and the sun setting the whole earth on fire by putting a couple of feet of dirt on top of themselves. Ran into a Mormon “prophet” who thought that and had a house built underground. There was a guy who had written a book about the Maya calendar and the whole 2012 thing who was building a gigantic bunker just right down the road: it was basically a quonset hut with dirt on top of it. He had a whole following of families that were promised housing in the bunker while the whole earth burned up. It was quite comical, really; the families got into fights, some were kicked out, they had 55 gallon drums of food going bad, they thought that burying logs would preserve them etc. They never think it through – like, if the whole earth is on fire, what do they plan on breathing? And if you try and get them to think about it, they just get really angry with you.

    I had wondered about the odd misspellings; thanks for the explanation!

  6. says

    Ieva Skrebele@#4:
    I have a problem with the words “the guy who gets the females”. Why is “females” in plural and “guy” in singular, are we talking about some harem?

    I was using the language I’ve occasionally heard from survivalists online; it’s not the language I use.

    Some survivalists appear to have a sort of fantasy dating strategy going on, in which a disaster will suddenly catapult them to prominence and desirability. As Brian English pointed out, they appear to mistake Mad Max for a documentary. If you’d like a good filth-gargle of that mind-set you might enjoy the legendary “Oh, John Ringo, No!” blog post [oh no] which sort of deconstructs the disaster-as-dating mindset as presented via the pen of a popular “military science fiction” writer.

    Moreover, it implies that women are property, things to be gotten and owned, prizes to be won, prey to be chased and caught, challenges to be conquered. This seems to be quite entrenched in our culture.

    It is a staple in popular culture, from the Mad Max movies to books like John Carter of Mars, Conan, Tarzan, The Postman and The Handmaid’s Tale (with a slight side-excursion into The Hunger Games which has a muted but undeniable sexual element). It seems to me that a big component of the survivalist’s desire to return to the “old ways” is a fantasy scenario where, you know, man did what they wanted and women suffered what they must, etc. For some guys there is no disaster too large that they’re not willing to contemplate it, if it means they might be able to get out of doing the hard work of building a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. “I don’t care if the world burns, as long as I can get laid without having to go to the effort of writing an interesting profile and being personable on a dating site!”

    Being able to defend yourself from reasonable threats is good for anybody regardless of their gender.

    Key word: reasonable
    I have a reputation in the security industry for being skeptical about risk management – the idea that we can adapt to risks by changing our behaviors to be more appropriate. So I freely admit that the bar of “reasonable” is very high. For example, a fairly straight risk assessment would tell most people that too much sugar in their diet is a much much bigger danger than being attacked. Now, if someone said, “I am building a bunker to protect my family from all the sugary snacks” that’d be legit.

    I wonder if it is even possible to define what a “real man” is supposed to do. Or what “masculinity” or “femininity” is.

    I don’t usually use the “real man” or “real ${X}” trope, I was just parroting it here for effect. Generally “real ${X}” is easily refuted by #NotAll${X} which is why I don’t like it. I interpret it as a short form of “my personal ideal ${X} would do…” – it’s laziness, attempting to imply there’s a socially sanctioned ideal, where there probably isn’t. This trope crops up all over the place and I despise it, which is why I was poking fun at it here. I don’t know if I should have done more to indicate that I was making fun of it.

  7. says

    cartomancer@#5:
    Also, family? Children? Real Men (TM) don’t involve themselves with any of that soppling old mush – they live together with other Real Men (TM) in the communal barracks. Grrrr!

    Yes! They live together in communal barracks and they all stench together! The stenchier, the stronger! Grrrrrr!!!

    The Spartans made sure their city had no walls – if somebody came to attack then they walked out and fought them face to face.

    Yup. It’s an interesting bit of resource allocation/risk assessment. Is it better to build walls, or an army? Which pays off in better outcomes over time? The answer is always “it depends.”

  8. says

    kestrel@#6:
    It is amazing to me how many people I’ve run across who really believe something similar to this: that is, they believe they can survive things like nuclear war and the sun setting the whole earth on fire by putting a couple of feet of dirt on top of themselves.

    They’re saving other survivors the trouble of burying them. But if the disaster’s bad enough, nobody’ll care, anyway.
    I’m with you – I don’t get it. I see it as a form of personal exceptionalism. “Me so speciallll!”

  9. says

    I recall a story recently where a family had one of those bunkers/shelters in their garage and went into it when a tornado hit.

    They were then trapped in that bunker until people were able to free them.

  10. says

    Tabby Lavalamp@#11:
    They were then trapped in that bunker until people were able to free them.

    Awkward bunker stories!

    There is so much there to unpack: what if the people in the bunker were survivalists, who thought they were opting out of society, and only realized (a bit too late) that they needed the rest of civilization. Or, perhaps, there were some teen-agers who charged them a hefty fee to move the junk off the door. It’d be terrifying to be stuck in a bunker of one’s own construction, if it started to flood and the electrical system for the hydraulics on the door failed. “Oops!”

    As kestrel said earlier: civilization is people needing eachother. I would say survivalists are literally antisocial.

  11. bmiller says

    I don’t even understand the DESIRE to survive an apocalypse. I like “civilization”. Scrabbling around like Mad Max (Golden Boy WAS cute, of course) seems awful.

    I hope I am right under the epicenter, personally.

  12. springa73 says

    I can certainly understand the desire to improve the chances of survival for oneself and one’s family in the event of a catastrophe, but as you say, holing up in a bunker with lots of guns is really not the way to do that. If one can survive the initial catastrophe and associated social chaos, which is largely up to chance, I would think that the most important thing would be having good practical skills with things like growing food and keeping machinery working, and being able to work together with other people with skills to try and rebuild. Of course, as a bookish introvert who is remarkably clumsy and un-handy, I’ll have to hope for no catastrophes because I lack appropriate survival skills no matter how you look at it!

  13. says

    I will never understand bunker mentality. I seriously cannot understand why in the hell people can’t ever figure out how doors work. Once again, my mind goes to Discworld (Guards! Guards!)

    ‘Never build a dungeon you wouldn’t be happy to spend the night in yourself,’ said the Patrician, laying out the food on the cloth. ‘The world would be a happier place if more people remembered that.’
    ‘We all thought you had built secret tunnels and suchlike,’ said Vimes.
    ‘Can’t imagine why,’ said the Patrician. ‘One would have to keep on running. So inefficient. Whereas here I am at the hub of things. I hope you understand that, Vimes. Never trust any ruler who puts his faith in tunnels and bunkers and escape routes. The chances are that his heart isn’t in the job.’
    ‘Oh.’
    He’s in a dungeon in his own palace with a raving lunatic in charge upstairs, and a dragon burning the city, and he thinks he’s got the world where he wants it. It must be something about high office. The altitude sends people mad.
    ‘You, er, you don’t mind if I have a look around, do you?’ he said.
    ‘Feel free,’ said the Patrician.
    Vimes paced the length of the dungeon and checked the door. It was heavily barred and bolted, and the lock was massive.
    Then he tapped the walls in what might possibly be hollow places. There was no doubt that it was a well-built dungeon. It was the kind of dungeon you’d feel good about having dangerous criminals put in. Of course, in those circumstances you’d prefer there to be no trapdoors, hidden tunnels or secret ways of escape.
    These weren’t those circumstances. It was amazing what several feet of stone did to your sense of perspective.
    ‘Do guards come in here?’ he demanded.
    ‘Hardly ever,’ said the Patrician, waving a chicken leg. ‘They don’t bother about feeding me, you see. The idea is that one should moulder. In fact,’ he said, ‘up ’til recently I used to go to the door and groan a bit every now and then, just to keep them happy.’
    ‘They’re bound to come in and check, though?’ said Vimes hopefully.
    ‘Oh, I don’t think we should tolerate that,’ said the Patrician.
    ‘How are you going to prevent them?’
    Lord Vetinari gave him a pained look.
    ‘My dear Vimes,’ he said, ‘I thought you were an observant man. Did you look at the door?’
    ‘Of course I did,’ said Vimes, and added, ‘sir. It’s bloody massive.’
    ‘Perhaps you should have another look?’
    Vimes gaped at him, and then stamped across the floor and glared at the door. It was one of the popular dread portal variety, all bars and bolts and iron spikes and massive hinges. No matter how long he looked at it, it didn’t become any less massive. The lock was one of those dwarfish-made buggers that it’d take years to pick. All in all, if you had to have a symbol for something totally immovable, that door was your man.
    The Patrician appeared alongside him in heart-stopping silence.
    ‘You see,’ he said, ‘it’s always the case, is it not, that should a city be overtaken by violent civil unrest, the current ruler is thrown into the dungeons? To a certain type of mind that is so much more satisfying than mere execution.’
    ‘Well, okay, but I don’t see -‘ Vimes began.
    ‘And you look at this door and what you see is a really strong cell door, yes?’
    ‘Of course. You’ve only got to look at the bolts and-”
    ‘You know, I’m really rather pleased,’ said Lord Vetinari quietly.
    Vimes stared at the door until his eyebrows ached. And then, just as random patterns in cloud suddenly, without changing in any way, become a horse’s head or a sailing ship, he saw what he’d been looking at all along.
    A sense of terrifying admiration overcame him.
    He wondered what it was like in the Patrician’s mind. All cold and shiny, he thought, all blued steel and icicles and little wheels clicking along like a huge clock. The kind of mind that would carefully consider its own downfall and turn it to advantage.
    It was perfectly normal dungeon door, but it all depended on your sense of perspective.
    In this dungeon the Patrician could hold off the world.
    All that was on the outside was the lock.
    All the bolts and bars were on the inside.

  14. sonofrojblake says

    One reason for the bunker mentality should be obvious.

    The government has them.

    If you live in a civilised country, or the USA, you have already paid for some quite substantial bunkers for other people to use in the event of nuclear war. Quite a few of the older ones in the UK are now declassified and open as (quite depressing) tourist attractions, leading to amusing tourist signs indicating “Secret Bunker 2 miles —->”.

    Knowing such things exist, it is perhaps not unreasonable to want one of your own… if you don’t think it through.

  15. says

    Here’s a theme song for this post. “A Letter From the Shelter,” from Planet P Project’s 1984 concept album Pink World.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6Nfbk_hLsE

    The album revolves around the character of Artemus, a little boy who gains psychic powers from river water polluted with toxic waste. He’s taken into custody by government officials, who want to exploit his powers. When WW3 breaks out he creates a safe haven called the Zone, saving a group of “true believers.” But they soon find out the Zone is far from a paradise.

  16. says

    Timgueguen @ 18:

    I haven’t thought about that in ages, thank you! I’ll put that up as a music mood one of these days.

  17. Pierce R. Butler says

    … the weird misspellings are an attempt to defeat single-word bayesian spam filters.

    Spam filters reject words like “you’re”, “families”, “job”? That looks to me like either (a) good ol’ American semi-literacy or (b) hustler filters to repel the educated [pls take for granted (c) both].

    cartomancer @ # 5: The Spartans made sure their city had no walls …

    According to (my memories from reading 3 years ago) Paul Cartledge’s The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece, Sparta was never a city as such but an alliance among three village-towns: two fairly close together but the third around seven miles away. Given available resources and labor, a wall around all three was not possible; given the power accorded to warriors’ pledges, excluding the outlier was not thinkable. Thus the slogan “Sparta’s walls are its shields!” (or spears, or dudebros, or however they phrased it).

    Or have I been sadly misinformed (Cartledge’s book, according to my notes, was after all a companion to some BBC/PBS series)?

  18. says

    I would love to have a bunker, just not a daft one that kills you. A bunker to protect my family in the event of a wild fire, complete with a regular door with a reinforced window, and a supply of fresh air, water and food.

  19. Matthew Herron says

    certified disaster and survival expert

    Who certifies disaster and survival experts? Is there an American Academy of Disaster and Survival Experts?

  20. says

    Matthew Herron@#22:
    Who certifies disaster and survival experts? Is there an American Academy of Disaster and Survival Experts?

    It sounds like you’ve identified a great opportunity for a bit of cash in.

    A friend of mine used to certify health and safety practices for a certain industry. What qualified them to do that?
    1) they were first
    2) they were reasonably priced
    3) they had a website

  21. says

    Pierce R. Butler@#20:
    Spam filters reject words like “you’re”, “families”, “job”?

    No, it’s the stuff like “underground” which the spam spells with a ‘0’, or the words that break strangely, “arm-ed”. Some spam delivery tools also do the substitution at message delivery time, so that a provider like google can’t match message bodies and go “hang on, these 400,000,000 messages are the same!”

  22. says

    sonofrojblake@#17:
    The government has them.

    Yes, that’s probably it. If one believes that what the government does makes sense, then having a bunker (which the government does) must make sense!

  23. jrkrideau says

    # 27 Marcus
    The Canadian Gov’t had a top-secret bunker just west of Ottawa. It was so top-secret that the locals apparently had their own nickname for it. They were very helpful in directing lost bureaucrats to it.

    It’s now a tourist attraction, the Diefenbunker.

    Re Lofty’s point, did not Richard Branson and his guests ride out the last hurricane in his Caribbean bunker, AKA the wine cellar?

  24. sonofrojblake says

    If one believes that what the government does makes sense

    Bizarrely though the Venn diagram of people with bunkers and people with massive suspicion of the government probably looks like one circle.

    Then again, on further reflection, the delusion they have about the government is a delusion of their massive, unbelievable competence (e.g. being competent enough to plot, execute and successfully cover up the implausible event of choice (e.g. Kennedy assassination, moon landings, 9/11, Trump winning the election)). So it does kind of make sense.

    I’ve often thought I’d actually prefer to live in a world where the moon landings were faked and 9/11 was an inside job. If those things were the case, the people responsible (and therefore the people really in charge of the world) are amazing supergeniuses, and I’d rather live in a world with amazing supergeniuses in charge. Sadly we really did land on the moon, 9/11 was just some Arab arseholes, and the people in charge are mostly idiots. /shrug/ Being a conspiracy believer would be comforting.

  25. says

    For some guys there is no disaster too large that they’re not willing to contemplate it, if it means they might be able to get out of doing the hard work of building a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. “I don’t care if the world burns, as long as I can get laid without having to go to the effort of writing an interesting profile and being personable on a dating site!”

    WTF? Do such guys even have a slightest understanding about what hard work is? Writing a profile for a dating site isn’t hard. Picking your own trash and putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher (in order to not annoy your partner) is not hard. Surviving a major disaster is hard. Just look at the kind of living conditions people have after experiencing earthquakes, tsunamis, wars and so on. Moreover, the survivalist doomsday scenarios involve people losing access to electricity and oil to fuel tractors. It’s a hell of an effort to grow food when all you have is a shovel. And are they even aware of how one cooks food without electricity/natural gas? Or how one washes clothes without a washing machine?

    I consider myself a lazy person (I fail to see what’s so virtuous about being hardworking, so I don’t bother to work unless I really have to). And I sincerely hope that I will never experience any major disasters. I like the comforts of automated heating, electric appliances and getting food in a grocery store next to my home. I don’t even want to imagine living like my grandparents did. Unlike me, they actually had to work hard just to stay alive.

    Key word: reasonable
    I have a reputation in the security industry for being skeptical about risk management – the idea that we can adapt to risks by changing our behaviors to be more appropriate.

    From your blog entries about computer security I got the exact opposite impression. Whenever you write about some poor victim getting hacked, you always say that the hacker used standard tools and exploited long known vulnerabilities. And if only the victim had been smarter and made their system in a different way (so that already known vulnerabilities cannot be exploited), then the attack would have been impossible and the victim wouldn’t have suffered.

    So I freely admit that the bar of “reasonable” is very high. For example, a fairly straight risk assessment would tell most people that too much sugar in their diet is a much much bigger danger than being attacked. Now, if someone said, “I am building a bunker to protect my family from all the sugary snacks” that’d be legit.

    I tend to be quite cautious. That involves not eating lots of sugar and unhealthy food in general (you don’t build a bunker to protect yourself from sugar, instead you just don’t buy and don’t eat all those snacks). But I go beyond that. For example, my mother had been relieved of her wallet by some pickpockets multiple times. Knowing that I live in a place with lots of hardworking pickpockets, I intentionally keep my wallet in a place where it’s harder to access for others without me noticing.

    I’m not certain where to draw the line between “reasonable precautions” and “paranoia”. It’s possible that I might be leaning towards paranoia on some occasions. Personally I draw the line based on how statistically likely a risk is and how much discomfort some precautionary action takes. Locking my home’s doors and keeping my wallet in an inside coat pocket doesn’t cause me discomfort, so I do these actions. Avoiding getting near cars (in order to mitigate the risk of getting hurt in a car crash) would cause quite a lot of discomfort, so I do not avoid getting near cars.

  26. komarov says

    Maybe the average survivalist likes long odds but hates the lottery? In order to ‘win’ at the apocalypse game you not only have to have an apocalypse but also survive it. Having a fully kitted out bunker, a garage full of weapons and a septic tank filled with Bakker’s nutrimush might slightly increase your odds. Or maybe not.

    That said, I wouldn’t put that (awful) storm shelter story in the same cateory. I’m not sure what alternatives there are (other than being far away), but the state of that house shows a shelter to be a necessity. However, and this is hindsight of course, I can’t get over the design of the shelter. Why would you ever want to latch it shut from the outside? Any other issues might be fixable if all you want is a short-term shelter to wait out the immediate danger but none of that helps if the damn thing locks itself behind you.

    Re: Ieva Skrebele

    Actually that ‘females’ stuff, women as property and whatnot is pretty standard ideology for a host of horrid people. Men’s Rights Activiists, Pick-up Artists, “Incels”, (Alt-)Right and generally anyone who happily embraces toxic masculinity. In fact these groups tend to overlap heavily.
    I reluctantly direct your attention to David Futrelle’s blog, where, if you’re so inclined, you can find a wealth of information about these people and how they think about the world (and women in particular). These days he’s mostly writing about right-wing extremists but if you have a look at the archive you’ll find that Futrelle has documented mindboggling amounts toxicity directed against women. Frankly, it seems years of blogging about these people have taken their toll on the author, which really tells you all you need to know.

    Re: kestrel (#6):

    They never think it through – like, if the whole earth is on fire, what do they plan on breathing? And if you try and get them to think about it, they just get really angry with you.

    Is anyone in the oxygen business yet or would I be the first? Keg of fresh air*, only 499,99$ plus shipping. Valves not included. Buy 100 and receive a free container of chlorine gas, ideal for killing deadly plague viruses that may have gotten into your bunker before you sealed it up.

    *Contains oxygen and oxygen-substitute to last 12 hours for one person. Ingredients: Nitrogen, artificial sweetener, food colouring E432, synthetic forest smell, oxygen (trace amounts). Store in a cool, dry place. Consume within 12 hours of opening packaging. Product is gluten-, fat- and mostly allergen free. Contains zero calories for a healthy, active life-style.

    People who bought Keg Of Air also bought: Pump-action Shotgun. Keep your precious oxygen stash safe from looters, friend and neighbours who were laughing at you just yesterday.

    Re: Lofty (#21):

    I would love to have a bunker, just not a daft one that kills you. A bunker to protect my family in the event of a wild fire, complete with a regular door with a reinforced window, and a supply of fresh air, water and food.

    May I recommend a spaceship? They usually have fresh air for several days and are unaffected by fire while things go well. They do have windows and doors, but for safety reasons it is recommended to keep shut at all times, or at least until the vehicle has come to a complete stop. Now, before I start showing you some of our available models, might I discreetly enquire about your finances? I must confess, a few, well, some, well, all our spacecraft tend to be a bit on the pricy side. On the upside, their safety record is outstanding and so is the view.

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