The episode wraps up with a look at another converted missile bunker on the plains of Kansas. But this time, it’s quite different than Larry Hall’s massive project. Because this bunkers’ inhabitants, Ed and Dianna Peden, are certified New Age-y, guitar-strumming, granola-munching, hippy dippies.
These two bought a decommissioned Atlas (the same kind of ICBM that shot John Glenn into history in the Mercury program) launch site for ~$40,000 in the early 1980s (which seems like a really good deal). They don’t mention it in the segment, but there’s a nice metaphor in there somewhere—considering the occupants—about converting a structure built for war to a house of peace.
For what it’s worth, Ed—a beaky, bespectacled longhair guy—reminds me so much of Michael Caine’s character in Children of Men.
Their plan when disaster strikes, is to “survive and thrive” underground. Once again, I have to wonder, What about light??? Maybe you have generators or whatever, but those are going to run dry eventually. How about fiberoptics or light-tubes? Where’s your food coming from? Is this just for short-term or long-term emergencies?
However, he wisely states that “Those who can make adjustments to the changes in optimal ways will thrive…” Or, like I’ve said before: adaptability!
Dianna suggests that maybe it’s time to “reframe what we think the American dream is.” Right-on. And maybe that shouldn’t go for just America, but every other member of Our culture too, East and West. Folks need to sit down and take a good, hard look at what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and who it’s helping or hurting.
So far, he’s the only one on this show who has brought up the inherent problem with actually being on the show; Ed’s worst case scenario—a gang of armed bikers who want in—would likely arise “because they heard we had food on TV”! However, I guess it’s worth it, because like most of the others on the show, Peden stands to profit from his appearance. In this case, he’s a broker for these missile sites.
They invite some friends over for a…bug-in jam session? Looks more like a drum circle. Which are weird. Like, I can totally get behind some Leaver tribe jamming and breakin’ it down in the jungle or at a pow-wow or whatever, but when it’s a bunch of white people, maybe trying to channel or emulate the tribal folks (even though I fully support that in theory), in execution it always comes off as phony. Someone please prove me wrong.
Anyway, according to the narrator, the ideal prepper occupations are supposed to be ER doctors (I guess to deal with all the GSWs you’ll be dealing with if you’re out to annihilate marauders), mechanics (because you can’t imagine a petrol-less lifestyle and have to maintain your engines), and professional soldiers (again, because the Taker lifestyle is at war with the world). Which are all fine if you’re a Type 1 prepper and all your food comes from hoarded buckets.
Personally, I’ve always said my big three would be farmer (organic and horticultural, of course), a doctor/healer (especially one with working knowledge of wild medicine), and probably a blacksmith (or at least someone otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts).
However, the Pedens’ team includes a ‘living foods chef’, a ‘spiritualist’, and an ‘intuitive healer’. So, a yoghurt-and-kombucha advocate, someone who’s into crystals, and someone to align their chakras? I dunno about those; I would bet and/or hope there are some gardeners and other more practical folks in the group, but the producers picked the most hippy ones to mention.
Drum circle aside, they seem like a cool group of like-minded friends. But…they’re all like, 60+ years old. Where are the swishy-skirted, dreadlocked, hula-hooping girls I always see at music festivals?