I know how to plant corn, make sauerkraut, pluck chickens, bail hay, slaughter animals, pickle beets and other vegetables, make bread, can vegetables, and milk cow and goats. I know how to cut wood, plow land, and fish.
The fact that you stupid mother fuckers are going to give away a trillion dolllars with no strings to the same douchebags that brought us the wildly successful Iraq War, while using the SAME FUCKING SCRIPT CHANGING ONLY THE CRISIS DU JOUR, does not bother me.
I will survive. Plus, I can afford to lose a little weight. I am a little pissed that the blackouts will hurt my internet access and my ability to play P.Funk after drinking a quart of vodka, but I will make it.
Juan del Llano
Yeah, but winter’s comin’ on. Dang. Well, I’m too fat too.
The Moar You Know
I can make beer, acoustic guitars (with hand tools if absolutely necessary, but I’d prefer not), and ammunition. I believe I will thrive in the New Apocalypse.
i can write C++ – it’ll be an essential skill, when the aliens invade and you need someone to whip-up a OOMFCSTL virus.
Paul in Boca
John, Do you like wine? I’ve been in the wine business 25 years and I’ve built up a fair collection. I’d like to think that with your skills and my collection, that we can do some bartering here. Hmmmm. John needs to lose a little weight, Juan says he is fat, too, and I’ll join the club because I’m carrying the Michelin Man around where my once svelte tummy used to be.
I can hoe cotton and move irrigation pipe. I am also desperate to stay up for another 2 1/2 hours to save my $450 investment in a generator, so my neighbor can watch reruns until 2 am because I’m a sucker, I guess.
Which strangly now seems relevant. Or not.
I can make kids real good!
Damn, I’m going to starve. At least the kids’ll have something to eat.
I’m friends with a farm family just south of the PA state line. Their horse stables are almost preternaturally clean. I’m hoping they’ll take me on as a hand. I’ll bring my border collies as part of the deal.
The Other Steve
Do you know why the Roman Civilization failed?
It’s quite simple really. Not having the concept of zero, they were not able to determine a successful return value from their function calls.
I know how to make trouble.
If things go all fruit shaped I plan to cull the vast herds of lobbyists, Congress critters and assorted hangers on that roam across the DC/Metro area.
Fat bastard, it’s whats for dinner.
Fake as hell, but still funny:
Cease and Desist, You Old Fart
GOD, I love pickled beets.
I’m a retired lawyer.
I am so screwed.
Most of my skills involve manipulating molecules and figuring out things that even make other scientists ask me what it’s useful for. Damn I’m screwed. Though I have access to yeast, and the thread a while back about home brewing was making me feel inspired. Anybody want to take on an apprentice?
The Romans didn’t have exceptions?
My grandmother told me shoe repair was one of the better skills back during Great Depression 1.
The Moar You Know
McMillan: go here. Start reading before all the lights go off. With a chem background you should pick it up real fast.
I have a good store of body fat. I remember most of my Boy Scout skills. And my wife is getting into gardening. I don’t know if structural engineering will be handy in the coming Fallout games/Mad Max-like future.
I can write tunes. I can sing tunes. I can beg for change.
The Moar You Know
This would be an awesome skill to have for the Apocalypse.
I’m a writer! So, yeah, I’m screwed. At least I’m fat — I’ll last a good while, and I can probably sell myself for meat to set my daughter up okay.
The Great Depression lasted a bit longer than it took to claim excess fat on people’s waist. Shoe repair puts a time perspective on how long the economic hardship may endure.
Well, I might be a SoCal elite in my coiffed neighborhood who grew up in NYC, but I’ve got you all beat.
I can do structural construction all the way to fine furniture. I can operate a variety of farm machinery, grow my own food, cook, can, pickle, and brew pretty much anything I need. I have broad engineering skills and deep knowledge of practical physics and chemistry. I can wire a house and handle plumbing. I’m pretty skilled with concrete and masonry. I can mill a tree into lumber, handle a chainsaw, and have split more firewood than I could recount. I can sew, though not as well as my wife, who could make all of our clothing if need be. I can catch fish with an impromptu fishing setup and trap and dress small game.
My grandfather, an engineer, built his own house, macgyvered up shit like you wouldn’t believe, grew most of the food for the family, and taught me everything he could.
Send my family out into the wilderness with a covered wagon and a dog named Jack and we’d do just fine.
I can write stuff. I know what happened to the Romans and the French but nobody cares. I can grow tomatoes but only in the summer. I’m pretty much screwed.
wasabi I think Shirley Temple played nude and made her mom money. Can you do that?
reruns have +12 commercials
Make sure your chickens are Long Island Reds….they make the best eggs. :)
Well whatever happens there are always going to be Income Taxes. I’m not sure exactly who will have income, though.
The Moar You Know
Martin – one of things I deeply regret not learning from my grandfather is canning/jarring. Any resources you can recommend?
Sadly, I cannot get Shirley Temple to play nude and make her mom some money.
Irrelevant. The Romans had no Frisbees, therefore they had neither catch nor throw.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
I’m a retired lawyer.
I am so screwed.
I’m a librarian.
Then again, I’m also a New Zealander. Due to Treasury being run by a tight-assed Scottish bastard for the last few years, we’re in a good position.
I should be okay.
(We have skilled immigrant categories. I suspect “investment bankers” will not be considered.)
My neighbors have chickens. Maybe they’ll let me have a few eggs. Or help me build a hen house and give me a couple of chicks.
I can’t help but think of Alaska, without the universal welfare.
Its kind of quaint to think how skills will come in handy if and when society crumbles to the functionality of a bygone era.
Milking your cow for the guy who has a gun pointed at your head will make a lovely subject for a Neo-Rockwell painting.
If my ex in Aotearoa were single, I could probably make something happen. Alas, she is not.
At night, the ice weasels come.
Shouting at the Rain
Apples. I have a couple apple trees. I will sell apples on the street corners. Maybe pencils, too. I got LOTS of pencils.
All I need is an adorable dancing monkey and an organ to grind. Make of that what you will…
The only survival skills I have are a few tricks picked up from Bear Grylls on TV — squeezing water out of elephant dung and scavenging zebra carrion. After the elephant and zebra at the San Francisco Zoo are done with, what then? Here in the Bay Area there aren’t even many of the lobbyists, Congress critters and fat bastards that Jake will have to hunt in the DC area. Have you seen Pelosi?
I have Parkinson’s, my daughter has a breathing tube. We’re screwed, unless McCain can make the healthcare system work as well as the banking industry.
Is it crazy to suggest that things will improve next week, once we’ve been taken over by the Kingdom of Spain?
The Moar You Know
Somebody want to explain to me why the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is being set up “as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters” starting October 1st?
“They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control”
Isn’t this a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act? I know damn well Congress didn’t sign off on this.
I guess we’re going to get fascism all at once instead of in small doses.
I knew I should have emigrated in 2006. Fuck.
I can make potable water go from Point A to Point B, i will be a god.
I’ll be the production manager for the revolution. You can motherfuckin’ bet it’ll be televised!
Will soccer refereeing skills be a useful thing to bring to the table after the financial apocalypse?
I can yellow-card those who whine and complain too much. I love the pithy succinctness of the yellow card.
Ian Welsh explains the nature of the holdup here.
Meanwhile, Paulson is having a hissy fit over Dem efforts to limit executive compensation — he’s whining about “poison pills” and such crap.
Funnily enough, the Cons haven’t had time to wreck the regulatory laws in Canada, and in any event Harper knows better than to throw too much money at them:
Gonna be an interesting day when Blackwater puts down the first food riots. I’m seriously afraid for you guys.
I’m Canadian and don’t have any friends in the US, so I guess I can sponsor a refugee claim or two. That’s not a joke. I wish it was, but it’s not.
P.W. – Ian explained it all too well… :-(
Can’t slaughter animals, but I can forge, shape, and sharpen the knife blade for ya. Beyond that, well… I dunno. I still remember how to zero in an AR, I guess…
I really wish I didn’t work for a company right now whose prime customers are brokerage firms and other major banks.
I’ve got land with plenty of game animals and fish, pasture ground and several hundred acres of fertile riverbottom cropland. Now I just need to line up more people and guns to defend it all. Who’s in?
Benjamin Franklin believed in the United States of America:
Franklin looked into the future, and had faith that the country he helped to create would thrive, despite the threats posed to it by monarchies, theocracies and any other force — foreign or domestic — opposed to the ideals of democracy, no matter how tattered.
Today, right now, we stand at an odd crossroads. There are some deeply committed to failed conservative vision, who view every crisis as an opportunity to impose a crabbed and secretive authoritarian state. There are others, afraid to entrust their future to a black man who believes in the promise of America more than they do themselves, who are tempted to turn to a shell of a man who was a former POW and his addle-brained sidekick running mate.
Despite these challenges, I sincerely doubt that Franklin would have an ounce of patience for anyone who would think it acceptable that the nation degenerate into a gaggle of survivalists, scratching their asses and eating the occasional squirrel.
And whose to say that the Russians or the Chinese might take pity on a Dark Ages survivalist America, and launch a few nukes to put it out of its misery.
On the other hand, rather than merely surviving, it might actually be fun to fight to re-establish democracy and the Constitution. You might even be surprised to discover how many are willing to stand with you.
My daughter’s in a grad program in Canada. It’s a crappy liberal arts master’s program, but still, maybe she can land a job up there. I can sell my house here for, say, the price of a train ticket to Canada, and go live with her.
Hey, it could happen.
Pretty much any book on canning will do. I’ve got some ancient Sunset book that I always go back to. It’s actually quite easy for most things. To get started you only need about $20 of specialized equipment assuming you have a large pot already and jars. The equipment is often sold in a set and even here in SoCal you can find a set at Bed, Bath and Beyond and stores like that. I can usually find jars at the local grocery stores, Ace hardware, even some of the drug stores.
Some foods like low-acid vegetables need to be pressure canned, and that’s more expensive to get into since you need a large pressure cooker to do it right, but most fruits and acidic vegetables like tomatoes can be done in a large standard pot. It’s a fairly labor and time intensive process, and that’s really the challenge with canning. It’s not hard to get right, but when I do canning, that’s basically all I do for that day. There’s a good bit of setup and breakdown time, so I make the most of it.
Once you get the basic technique down (which is pretty damn easy) it’s mostly a matter of consulting the book to see how each food type needs to be prepped. I’ve never had a jar go off (knocks wood) to my knowledge.
Ball has a surprisingly decent website to get started from with slideshow tutorials, guides, and links to other canning resources.
At least with the AIG bail out we get 11% interest on the loan and an 80% stake in the company as collateral.
This bailout? Not a goddamn thing.
Bullets are a good investment. Think about what guns are most common and buy bullets to match. You can easily trade your cheaply bought bullets for whatever gun they match over time. Don’t bother buying guns… bullets are much more valuable.
…and another thing.
I’ve been watching Memeorandum all day and have noticed a complete lack of wingnut blogs.
Strange, ain’t it? (rhetorical)
Brachiator, your whole post was excellent, but in a moment of seriousness I wanted to thank you and second your call for a more involved and thoughtful role for our citizenry.
I think a lot of our collective discouragement comes from KNOWING how bad a choice John McCain would be and also knowing how much potential Barack Obama appears to have. This doesn’t seem at all like two hacks running here. We have one hack and one exceptionally bright man who seems to want pretty much what we all want. The discouragement eminates from the apparent mind-boggling closeless that current polling numbers seem to foretell. I THINK more people will realize how poorly McCain/Palin would serve us, and it is possible that at some point they will also realize how very critical it is that we elect someone COMPETENT to try and deal with the mess facing us. That could mean an Obama landslide, and I think that would make a lot of folks here a little more optimistic about things.
But I could be wrong.
I’m afraid you underestimate the sheer fucking stupidity of a lot of voters.
To many so-called ‘Christians’ (I know real Christians, and the Bush fundies aren’t Christians), the only issues that concern them are abortion, gays, and ‘God’.
As long as the Republicans pay lip service to those issues, then they’ll vote Republican even if the bailout plan involved feeding their children to wolf packs.
If a bunch of Iraqis using $10 equipment can take out the best in American technology, imagine what the people here can do.
What is this trade you speak of?
Stick em up!
Am I the only one reminded by John’s OP of the Hank Jr. song A Country Boy Can Survive?
For you heathens who don’t like country music, here’s the lyrics:
Person of Choler
Sounds like Big Bad John just connected with his inner Sarah Palin.
The Grand Panjandrum
Monday morning call your Congress critter and both Senators. Thers had this:
And I’ll second that, because the Bush Plan (or lack there of) is once again the criminal rat-bastards stealing from us, get rich, then make us pay for the crimes! This is a bad plan and it has to be killed now. Kill it first. Then worry about what to do once this non-starter is dead.
Any reason why Bush and Cheney shouldn’t be impeached and hanged alongside these Wall Street criminals? I can’t think of one.
I’m just glad to be on the west coast, lookin’ east and wondering what the hell is going on over there
I for one, welcome our new banker overlords and remind them that I am skilled at shameless flattery
This sounds like a chris rock skit.
I don’t know which is worse, venal Republicans or craven Democrats. Here are Pelosi and Reid, past masters of capitulation, assuming the position again:
But here’s the deal. The Bush/Cheney Syndicate has had an agenda from the beginning to dismantle every Democratic program that has existed from FDR’s New Deal through LBJ’s Great Society and beyond. Fannie Mae, for example, was founded as a government agency in 1938 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal to provide liquidity to the mortgage market. Ironic, but standard operating system, that Bush is more interested in helping “markets” than people.
But their play is always the same. When the price of gas shot up, Bush was at the ready to end the moratorium on offshore drilling, and insisting that Congress act immediately to back him. And after months of insisting that
the economy was fine, how does Bush react to the financial market meltdown:
What an amazing coincidence that Bush has ready this three page proposal that can be easily expanded into full legislation, complete with unchallengeable powers. Wow. It looks just like all his other power-grab proposals. All it needs is a rubber stamp.
It will be very interesting to see whether the masses of the people fall for this again. But even if they do, and even if in some fit of madness voters elect John McCain, it only means that the hard work will lie ahead.
I’ve lived on ranches, but I far prefer high civilization. And again I have to fall back upon Dr. Franklin rather than indulge defeatist fantasies about retreating into the woods.
Franklin rallied the colonies to come together during the French and Indian Wars through the use of a cartoon with a simple message. The cartoon was “a woodcut showing a snake severed into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initial of a British American colony or region.”
The message? Join or Die.
Slightly OT, but here is a clip with the English version of the interview where McCain insults the President of Spain:
McCain vs. Spain
The hell with you country folks that got us in this mess in the first place.
Maybe if you weren’t so damn terrified of people that don’t look like you, go to your church, or otherwise live their lives differently, you wouldn’t be so set on taking out your frustrations on the rest of the world.
I spend some time in both ‘worlds’, so to speak, and I will put up your niceness against anyone else’s but JESUS CHRIST it wouldn’t hurt for some of you to step out of your comfort zone once in a while.
That worked so well with FISA
Hanging is too quick and painless.
Strip all of them of everything they own except one set of clothes and a “Will Work For Food” sign. Then drop them off in an inner city.
Which country are you talking about?
Saudi Arabia? China?
Nitpick: Prime Minister. It was McCain’s dumbass foreign policy advisor who called him the President of Spain.
Oh yeah, and since I live in a seaport I figure I can get work as a pirate. Arrr!
Hang together or Hang Seperately.
I’m a nearsighted, aging, out of shape computer programmer. Let’s keep the party going for another 30-40 years so I can live out the rest of my life, ok?
I can build furniture using no electrons at all. I have my workshop up in a spare bedroom since there are no loud, dust-spewing machines. I do use a radio, but that’s optional.
I will need a good blacksmith to keep me in blades eventually, but I’ve got quite enough tools for the time being. I had better get that replacement oilstone I’ve been meaning to get. And a big ax for felling trees for the wood I’ll need. Oh, no, I have to buy more tools! :-)
Plane (yeah, that kind, not the flying kind) Crazy
I know where all the rich people live.
This whole fucking election is a bad rerun of blazing saddles. Will the sheriff really get the job or will the lackey?
As for survivalist – you don’t know shit now that all bets are off on climate. When to plant? Opps, frost in June. When it will rain and not flood or just run a drought most of the summer after spring floods? Bitter cold in November but then long periods of heat in the middle of February.
Then the Corporations have to be dealt with. Like who will own all means of real production; fuel available, right. Got oxen? Any farmer knows today now to plow using animals and not use fertilizer or pesticides? Yields are really interesting then. Of course, seed will be readily available except it will all be genetically modified not to have viable seed … that is, until the corps get their 50% cut.
Grow up and face the world. This county is worth saving if we hand together rather then hang separately (Remember that quote from history class?)
I should have been more specific — this was directed to one Mr.Charlie Daniels.
Somehow I suspect that my legal knowledge, guitar chops (punk/bluegrass), film/theater skills, and literary abilities will do me very little good in the New Dark Ages everyones’ worrying about.
Well, I do know how to draw. Maybe I can be a limner.
I will survive because I work with my hands. I can wire, modify, fix or rebuild any car, truck, boat, motorcycle and RV powertrain or related systems. I was a USCG certified electrician, marine electrical systems designer and ASE certified mechanic, I can professionally paint cars, guitars or anything else plus I am an all out computer geek and run my own local computer business. I fix everything I own and I have never had to hire someone to do something I already know how to do or am willing to learn.
My wife gardens, raises her own herbs and cooks everything from scratch. She knits, sews and crochets. She is a violinist and I am a guitarist, so we even have our entertainment covered! ;) She knits and hands out knitted gifts to friends and family, which comes in handy if you ever need a favor from them in the future. She keeps the skids greased by keeping a few of the local cops wives, a local vet and numerous other people happy with her gifting. Her Mom was the same way, friends all over the place that she could call upon if needed because she had a tremendous amount of good will built up with them.
People who are good with their hands will do ok and those who are not good are going to have problems making ends meet. When things go to shit, it is nice to have some skills to fall back on. I do a lot of horse trading now, and I bet there will even be more as things get worse. Barter works, and if you can get into doing it then do so.
i know how to make and use and grow and cook most everything. thank fucking god, its not that i think i’ll have to use those skills but it always makes me feel a lot better in weeks like this.
I’m good with my hands . . . but not at anything that would actually help my survival. Post-Apocalypse scenarios rarely have a place for a camera technician or a stage hand.
Hey, you’re qualified to be the head of F.E.M.A.!
Heckofa job, ConservaLibby.
Thank god I live with a country boy. (I see the ongoing problems with the deer population being resolved fairly easily in the near future.)
I am learning to knit and crochet. So I’ll make the socks and blankets. Would that I had become a doctor rather than test code in the software mines.
Let’s see… my skills are mostly lab medicine and computer stuff.
I guess it’s back to rentin’ out my ass.
I can barely know where to start here. I do know how to grow a garden, can the food, sew, knit, and have had the experience of keeping a family of 8 out of debt on a meager salary. That was quite a while ago. You are telling me I have to go back to my worst times?
I see where I may have to re-instate my Canadian natural citizenship, too. That is not as easy as I once found out when I tried to get a copy of my birth certificate and even contacted the hospital where I was born without any success. TG the church in Detroit where I was baptized had that certificate of baptismal.
Those are my options? Scary!
Ahhh…the long, slow, but entertaining slide into alcoholic oblivion continues. haha
Bashing McCain’s staff is fun and profitable yet-Small nit
Nitpick: Prime Minister. It was McCain’s dumbass foreign policy advisor who called him the President of Spain.
Spain is indeed a constitutional monarchy.
However, the Spanish constitution refers to the leader of government as president, and so do Spaniards, Spanish media and protocol. All leaders of Spain’s regional autonomies are known as “presidents” too.
José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is often called “prime minister” by foreign media, within his own country he is known as the President of Spain or Presidente of Government.
Hmm. Theoretical physicist, that’s not very useful. Patent law–not very useful. Know how to make biodiesel out of waste cooking oil, saddle a camel, sew, knit, quilt, make and keep fires going, make maple syrup, boondoggle stuff together. Oh, garden, and make mochi the old fashioned way (with wooden mallets.) If I can get my ass back to Upstate New York I think I’ll make out pretty well…
Oh, and Moar? Don’t forget the layer of paraffin on top of the jellies when you jar them….
I’m with John. We’ll need some squirrels to run the generator. :D
All good skills if the Idiocracy continues running. But it looks like The Decider is looking to step up his game a notch or two on his way out. Experience you can count on. All we would need is a President Palin bringing her expertise on the Russians and energy to cement the transition from Idiocracy to Mad Max days.
I’ve got a fast car and two full gun cabinets. All I need is to make some hillbilly armor, hoard gas, and I’ll be set. All you electric hybrid owners are gonna be road kill.
I know how to recycle for profit. Start up costs are virtually nil. I’ll show you guys how to do it. It is soooooooooo easy even a bum can do it.
Psst, I have a spare squirrel costume. …
What good will those practical country-boy survival skills be when the desperate starving masses from the cities overrun the countryside? You won’t have enough ammunition to shoot them all.
We are all in this mess together.
Lie baby, lie!
John has Depression era skills. I learned today that we have more in common than I had imagined.
But how is he going to protect his stock of food when the starving masses that don’t have any skills whatsoever (tv watching and shopping don’t count as useful skills) show up at his door with their hands out?
I have experience in that!
We should find a nice tall mountain in West Virginia and build our compound atop it. A little razor wire, some cinderblock walls, maybe a drawbridge or two. The starving masses are a concern, but it only takes a few days to starve to death. After that J. Cole, our fearless warlord, will have things in hand.
Charring wood creates a pretty good fertilizer. Also don’t underestimate (as my great-grandmother used to say) good old farm shit. The main reason modern fertilizers replaced guano was because they’re easier to mass-produce.
I was going by the interviewer’s usage, and also CNN’s commentary.
I guess the Spainards refer to him as “president” also:
José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero: President of Spain
I know classical Greek and can complain about anything, so I should be fine. I’m really worried about the rest of you, though.
Needless to say, I am REALLY glad that we decided to put a wood stove in our new house.
Might be time to stock up on ammo and learn how to salt and dry meat, though.
I know how to drink so heavily that I render myself insensate to whatever Armageddon you can pull out of the dark asses of our politico-economic elites.
Oh wait. I thought of something I know. I’m a trained historian. I know all the essential plot lines of all the successful revolutions. That should come in handy right about now.
Former farmboy, now elitist, says it’s “bale hay” not “bail hay”. Now how about giving the American people a baleout?
They failed out of ignorance, we are failing out of stupidity.
As for me, I know how to be a slave, but I’m not looking forward to the whip.
I started to read up on survival skills and homesteading, only to talk myself out of it because of how expensive all that land, equipment, and lessons in all the necessary skills would be – a hobby for the rich and paranoid if you ask me – especially when you’re a city slicker starting from scratch, and especially when your life depends on doing something well that you only just learned how to do.
Hopefully our clients are rich enough to fare well like the rich did in Great Depression I and I can remain gainfully employed.
A-frackin’-men. Don’t think that there’s any good way to survive your civilization crashing. We’ve got one of those, and if we can’t preserve it, not only are we fucked, then so’s the next generation and the next. We stand, as always, at a crossroads. Will The Enlightenment be an aberration, a brief flicker in a long night of barbarism with no dawn, or will we move forward–as a civilization–to, y’know, clean energy, a reasonable standard of living for everyone on the planet, true social justice, and all the Asimovian goodies we were told that the future promised?
It’s important to remember what’s at stake. If this one falls, I don’t think our inheritors will get another chance.