Doomsday Preppers: Johnny O

Season two’s second episode (“You Can’t Let Evil Win”) begins with a look at “Johnny O”, a father from Pennsylvania.
Because he lives near four nuclear power plants, he is concerned about a terrorist attack on US nuclear sites, and of course, panic that will likely result from a meltdown.

Johnny seems to imagine that people would immediately “resort back to hunter-gathering; living in small, broken packs.” Honestly, I don’t think that’s even very likely, because Our Culture’s overreliance on domesticated, heavily modified foods has meant that most people of Our Culture are inherently biased towards undomesticated foods—since we’ve spent a majority of the last six thousand years doing our best to eradicate societies who happen to live differently from us—and so the majority of the population isn’t going to know which plants are good (or even safe) to eat. After all, hunter-gathering societies themselves are built on foundations stretching back thousands of years and handed down from generation to generation; if a catastrophe happens and the three day grocery store resupply-chain is broken, most people aren’t going to suddenly start foraging, they’re going to scavenge at best, and take what they can by force at worst.

As for the bit about “small, broken packs”, I have no idea what he means by that. Sounds like family units to me, or perhaps “micro-tribe” is a better classification. Either way, it’s the way our species evolved, and it’s a far less “broken” way to organize ourselves than the way 99.9% of humanity lives now, so what’s wrong with it?

Johnny is all about redundancy. He’s big on the “two is one, one is none”-type stuff, which means he has about four of everything. As for food, at least he’s thinking longterm and keeps a flock of a dozen chickens, and has an insufficient-looking garden. When one of the chicks dies, he uses it as an example to teach redundancy to his maybe-Special four year old.

Pro: he calls the dead chicken ‘one of our friends’. I would prefer something like ‘sister chicken’, but it’s a start.
Con: he puts the dead chicken in the trash can. First off, it’s gonna start smelling really bad in a day or two. Second, show the dead critter some respect and at least toss it into the woods where someone can scavenge it, instead of consigning it to the landfill.
They do some target practice both with firearms and archery, which is always a good mix. Then they do a ‘mock bugout’, and I’ve never understood the way pretty much every group on this show does it. I’ve always thought that the idea behind ‘bugging out’ was a quick, grab-the-bag-and-get-out-the-door type of situation. But it seems that every mock bugout we’ve seen on the show has consisted of someone shouting “We’re bugging out!” and then proceeding to spend the next hour or two to pack up all their gear into their ‘bugout vehicle’ of choice. I’m sorry, I thought the point was to have everything all ready to go when the time comes?
So, he loads up the 4-wheeler and the trailer with the johnboat on top, and waits up in his tree stand for his wife and her twin sister to come along. He passes out hunting-camo suits for them all to wear (y’know, because they’re trying to keep a low profile), and they all pile into the boat.
For future reference, it’s hard to keep a low profile when you’re bugging out with two camo-clad platinum blondes with bright red backpacks.

He says, “preppers are very intelligent, creative people. They think outside the box.” We’ll see about that. Furthermore, he says that in an emergency, people will be “going to go to the person who is prepared.” Absolutely true, as our culture seems to have lost its drive for self-reliance; in which case, maybe he should plan on stocking up food for more than four people?

Experts give him 68 meaningless points, which somehow works out to 12 months survival time.


One response to this post.

  1. I really found you article to be quite recreational..
    Lets start from the top..
    The “fear” you say is not about nuclear fall out..the fear is that simple minded people like yourself, would do anything to survive..and take advantage of those with less ability to survive..As for you assumption of people reverting back to hunter gather..what are you doing by plundering a reality tv show..for profit..the point excactly..If you really think for one minute, a honest man trying to find food for his three kids and wife, will go to extreemes . We have full food shelves now through the country, and yet we have crime and hungry people..outside the doors of these stores..wake up dreg..Studies have proven that large amounts of toxins( and I will use that word in a broad sense), are in humans from domestic foods..antibiotics, hormones, steroids etc..I didnt hear you mention that in your rant.As for knowing what one can pick up a book or even use this thing called the internet to find out what can and cant be motivitated is one for knowledge..Foraging for something to eat..what the hell are you talking about..if there is no food, what do you think people will do to find food…oh,,I guess thats the same word, just used differantly..
    Small broken packs…another word for refugees..migrating people headed to some sort of safe zone..again Duh..
    As for your attack on a four year old..I think she has more survival skills then you could ever obtain..her persistance to achieve exceeds your simple reasoning..
    Oh ..and if you took the time to really inquire of look, there are a number of growing areas..along with wild how am I short on food..again Duh..
    Your simple approach and way to critic someones ability to survive with nothing proves my point to the letter..You just reaffirmed our point with out even knowing what you’ve done..Thank you..
    And maybe when you grow up and get on TV you can show something worth viewing..


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