Official Year of Hysteria Begins Today

Well, I guess today is the official beginning of the year of hype and hysteria.  One year from today, the Mayans reportedly predicted that the world will end.  This History Channel doccrockumentary chronicles many of the reasons we should live in fear.  To be honest, there are a lot more scenarios one could get catatonic about.  Bad as these predictions are, they only scratch the surface.  Not enough time in less than an hour.  I found it laughable that the hosts of this program, after building to a crescendo of terror, concluded that on December 21, 2012, one would “go armed to Mom’s house” to make sure she’s OK.  Another said he was thinking of stocking up on a few weeks of food.  What’s THAT all about?
If the YouTube version goes away you can watch the entire show here.

What do I think?  Hooey!  The words “confluence of catastrophes” keep coming up in this piece.  Yep, there are a lot of things happening.  Who hasn’t noticed?  But the greatest confluence here is between people making money out of fear, selling advertising.  “Your Mercedes won’t help you”.  But apparently, if you have an advanced Lincoln, things will be, oh so nice “with innovative technology built in that’s able to aid and assist you”.

I’ll double down on my bet that the world will NOT end on December 21, 2012.  I won’t be doing anything special on that day.  That date will come and go like Y2K, with a whimper.  It’s absolutely the safest bet anyone could make.  If I’m right I can brag about being right.  If I’m wrong nobody will know, cause we’re all dead.  🙂

Meanwhile, the world IS gradually, but at an exponentially increasing rate, descending into poverty and chaos.  Technically, what I’m about to write isn’t prophecy, since it’s already happened and is continuing.  It’s been going on for some time now.  There will be many more natural disasters that will happen around the world.  More governments will be overthrown. Civil liberties will be lost.  Corruption will grow even faster, at all levels unabated.  People will watch on their TV’s and i Pads.  Terrified for 15 minutes, then go to bed, waking up the next morning in the same state of denial and indifference.  People kind of like to be scared.  That’s why roller coasters and horror movies sell.  But these things don’t require any forethought, work or sacrifice of the present luxuries, indulgently viewed as necessities.  People don’t like that.  So, they won’t DO anything about it other than periodically whip up their fears for a perverse thrill.

I can testify from personal experience.  For years, at least 99% of the people who inquire about joining our self-sufficient lifestyle in the Village on Sewanee Creek, after confiding that they are deeply concerned for the future, are still thinking about it, but not doing.  Back in 2006 when times were good, I suggested that it was time to prepare.  Then the sub-prime mortgage crisis began gradually in 2007.  People wanted to wait till better times came and they could get more out of their houses.  Then the 2008 meltdown hit.  People said they desperately wanted to be here, but were upside down on their mortgages.  I suggested times probably weren’t going to get better.  They didn’t.  Today is no different.  People have little money compared to a few years ago.  But they still live in big heavily mortgaged houses, drive expensive (a bit older) cars, wear stylish clothes, eat expensive prepackaged food, pay exorbitant amounts for insurance and health care and incessantly wring their hands.  They still have many assets that could be traded for a simpler, more secure future, but they won’t make any decisive changes.  Frozen in the headlights.  No, that light at the end of the tunnel is not natural.

The great depression was a bad thing.  I believe we are in a depression now that is just as bad measured strictly by economics, but papered over by mountains of debt and extended unemployment payments.  When those cease, people will feel the pain much worse than the great one.  Will there be sudden jolts and disasters?  Of course there will.  But what we have been seeing is not a one-day event.  It’s already happened and will continue to stew the masses like the clichéd frog in the pot.  It’s a really BIG pot.

While the central premise of this documentary, the Mayan prophecy, is mostly hype, they did manage to get a lot of things right, the things we already knew.  If you haven’t already started preparing in earnest, drastically cutting back on the frills and aggressively providing for future necessities, my bet is you won’t.  You will be among those looking for a gun, pillaging your neighbors when TSHTF.  Good luck with that.

What do I expect to be doing on December 21, 2012?
I won’t be surprised if my financial resources are almost completely depleted (or close to worthless, ravaged by inflation).  It’s likely I will have discontinued all my insurance because it’s accounting for fully one-third of my expenses now and probably isn’t sustainable.  So, I’ll be very careful to take care of my health, eating well, exercising and learning more about foraging in the woods for natural remedies.  Not such a big deal.  That’s the way people lived throughout all history up until just a hundred years or so ago.  I’ll still be driving my old cars, some of which lack computerized chips and would survive an EMP or solar flare.  But the price of gas will be pretty high, so I’ll probably be sticking close to home most of the time.  It’s nice that I like where I live.  It’s peaceful and naturally beautiful.  I’ll be wearing my old clothes.  I’ll be living in the grace of God, day-to-day raising our food.  By then, my work building a self-sufficient community (marketing, blogging and sales) will be over, so I won’t depend as much on my wife to do the farming.  I’ll be helping a lot more with the daily chores, feeding the chickens, chopping wood, tending the garden, making compost, taking care of the orchard.  My entire focus will be on daily living.  Do I fear the hoards of starving, thirsty people from the big cities?  I guess there is some risk of that and it’s an unpleasant thought.  But if there is anywhere that can be more easily defended than where I am  and with the people who have joined us, I don’t know where it is.  Will I be well armed?  Is the Pope Catholic?  There is some comfort in knowing that there is little here for anyone to come after.  When you raise what you eat and live simply there isn’t much to plunder.  It’s now late in December and we are still eating fresh tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, peanuts and other produce from the greenhouse.  A new crop of winter greens (Kale, Spinach, broccoli, beets, carrots, etc.) is just coming on.  Kill the farmer and you kill the goose that lays tiny golden eggs.  That reason for a sense of security goes double for living on the edge of Grundy County, TN where people have lived close to the bone for generations.  Survivors all.

After the hysteria, there’s a hymn that I love.  It speaks to the human condition whether in poverty or wealth, sickness or health, joy or anguish.  It is an anthem of eternal hope.  After viewing something like this History Channel documentary, it helps to sing:

Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.

‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this and joy, your hearts will swell –
All is well!  All is Well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so;  all is right;
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?

Gird up your loins;
fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake.
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell –
All is well!  All is well!

We’ll find a place which God for us prepared,
far away in the West.
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed

We’ll make the air with music ring
Shout praises to our God and King.
Above the rest, these words we’ll tell –
All is well!  All is well!

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day!  All is Well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow too;
With the just we shall dwell!

But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell –
All is well!  All is well!