Well, I had so much fun on my birthday it took me over a week to recuperate. While doing that, I went on a binge of reading post apocalypse books, referred to as PA. It’s interesting to explore different versions of what people think would happen if it all goes to hell. Also all the different ways people think it will all go down. Nuclear war and meltdowns is a popular theme. Then comes biological warfare and epidemics. Of course there is the ever popular zombie and vampire apocalypse. Another theme that seems to be garnering attention in recent stories is a financial meltdown or attack.
Most of these stories are written by men. What I find a tad disturbing is that in many of the books the male characters are fleshed out. What they did before the war, what secrets they have, how many push ups they can do now. If they have a love interest she gets a full character. However, the females are collectively referred to as “the women” or “the females.” There are a few token female characters; old wise woman and the camp harlot seem to be popular mini characters.
I don’t want to make light of the wonderful and fabulous attributes of our beloved menfolk, but I dare any of them to birth a baby, even on a drunken dare. Just not gonna happen. So if the women are going to be doing the baby thing to repopulate our planet, does that relegate us to the status of livestock? Rebuilding a nation or a civilization would require just as many strong women as it would strong men.
I’m kind of hoping that if we have to start over, that the whole “might makes right” thing gets a second look at some point. Cooperation seems a better solution. Unfortunately, lack of cooperation seems to be the most likely cause of a meltdown to begin with. Would we learn anything from it if we all get blasted back to the Stone Age? Long term survival would probably depend on it. Maybe not at the very beginning. But, if it all boils down to who can best who in a beat down then we will be screwed.
So back to the original question, would I be of any use after an apocalypse? I do know how to use a gun and have no problem with defending myself or a loved one, with deadly force if necessary. I don’t come unglued at the first sign of trouble. I can start a fire and cook, even know how to get a can open without a can opener. I know how make bread, can vegetables, cut up a chicken or a rabbit, fish and smoke meat. I know how to sew as in construct clothing, not just sew on a button.
I can do basic engine maintenance and change a tire, not that I ever want to. I know how to knit, crochet and make quilts. That would work for warm clothing or fishing nets. I know first aid and CPR. Spent some time as a midwife assistant in my hippy days, so I could help attend women in their ultimate hour of need. I can saddle and ride a horse. Never tried hitching up a wagon yet, but there’s still time…I hope. I can play a guitar. I can sleep on the ground, no seriously, actually sleep, not just toss and turn and pray for morning!
What about the not so tangible things? How would we decide who or what is important? Interesting question. Would we descend into a Lord of the Flies situation? God I hope not. But, who knows? Maybe one of my talents would be my big mouth. Would I have the courage to stand up in say “Hey, this isn’t right! The children, poets, the infirm, the people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, have a right to be here too”? How would we truly define the right to live when it all comes down to it? On the one hand I can hope I’m never in that situation. On the other hand I already am in that situation. We all are.