Strauss, Neil. Emergency

Text Publishing

$32.95

Hasn’t Neil Strauss got a nose for a market? First he writes a book (The Game) sharing (occasionally devious) means of successfully picking up women as part of an underground seduction culture. Wow, who would have thought that THAT would sell to so many desperate geeks?

Well, here’s another one for the bourbon drinkers. Into the hard-work-calloused hands of a burgeoning survivalist movement lands Strauss’s Emergency: part how-to guide for the urban paranoid, part boys-own (yes, quite literally) adventure, part tax-avoidance manual.

Wikipedia calls Survivalists those who “aim to remain self-sufficient for the duration of the breakdown of social order” (be that via economic, environmental, or political collapse). I’d call them antisocial paranoid freaks, but then they’d probably use their macho skills to find where I live and teach me a lesson…

Emergency starts with the goateed man slashing a goat’s neck, and covers most of the stuff we (sorry, the men) will need to know when, as the survivalists say, the S hits the fan (i.e., drily, WTSHTF). Women will still need to know how to apply makeup.

It might even be TEOTWASWKI: The End Of The World As We Know It. Then you’d better already be done buying gas masks, stocking your shelter and your ‘bug out bag’ (BOB), learning first aid and how to survive in the forest for three days with nothing but the homemade knife between your teeth, whittling a spoon, building shelters, identifying edible plants, sorting out plans to flee your city, and various urban survival techniques taught in neato classes by *real* ex-crims. Oh, and all about shooting guns. Into people.

Curiously, for someone stating how unprepared his government is for natural disasters, Strauss spends a lot of time making sure he contributes as little tax as possible to assist that same government’s disaster preparedness. A secondary, related, storyline conveys a mission to secure a 2nd passport – after a little shopping around, substantial amounts of time and payola, and a new property, he ends up a resident of Saint Christopher (St Kitts) and Nevis: one survival technique not as readily available to his less financial readers.

Strauss makes fun of his girlfriend’s various fears, and in the throes of his own grim doomsday mania, investigates all avenues for self-help with one exception: a psychiatrist for his own paranoia. Because as Dr Karl Kruszelnicki recently informed a radio audience, the most dangerous journey in anyone’s life, statistically speaking, is down the birth canal. And we’ve all survived that.

As we’ve found recently in this country, WTSHTF there may be no need for such a grim world view. The cool thing about humanity is that we often help each other out. The best prepared survivalist may not need his sharpshooter. Make sure you stock your survivalist BOB with another necessity: friends.

Maybe soon, it’s TEOTWASKI, and I feel fine.

2009

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