I’ve set this to publish at 00:01 01/01/13, so Happy Arbitrary Point in the Solar Revolution!
‘Escape From New York’s second would-be survivor is Cameron Moore, a medical student worried about a meltdown at the nearby Indian Point nuclear facility, located about 35 miles from Manhattan. Like everyone else on the show, what he’s really worried about are the hordes of panicked city-dwellers, unable to find food without a job and unable to keep the economy moving forward with purchasing power; Cameron explains that the world economy is bound to the fluctuations of the US economy, itself bound to that of New York. What’s the word for the opposite of self-sufficiency? Other-dependent? Whatever it is, the modern world seems based on it, and its scope is almost beyond comprehension.
Cameron says that “When the shit hits the fan, I’m bugging out!” and so to help him through a mock bugout, he partners with head of the IPN, Aton Edwards.
Edwards brings up something I wonder if many think about—he reminds Cameron that once he leaves his apartment, everything left behind will become “a museum…of what we shouldn’t do ever again”. I’m not sure if that’s a reference to the long-lingering nature of nuclear radiation, or civilization itself. Either way, I think folks assume that when they bugout in a disaster, they’ll be coming back eventually, and those folks might want to consider the possibility that might not be the case. Check out some of the images of Chernobyl or other hastily-evacuated areas, and you’ll be surprised how quickly Nature comes back to reclaim and rewild.
Like Margaret Ling, they plot a path out of Manhattan and have one night to execute their plan. Aton radios Cameron to grab his bag and they head out, with Cameron jogging while Aton bikes. Cameron starts to fall behind, which isn’t surprising—sustained jogging is pretty tough for nonatheletes. It’s been years since my crosscountry days, so I’m in the same boat; if I don’t go for a jog like, every other day, my endurance never improves. In which case, I suggest Cameron try ‘scout pace’, which I think is just about the best way to run. Scout pace—running/jogging a set number of paces (I like to do about 30), followed by walking for the same number, rinse, repeat—gives you just the right amount of time to get your breath back before your next stretch of running.
Like I said, Cam has trouble keeping up with Aton on two wheels, who suggests Cam open himself up to the possibility that he may have to steal a bicycle! Now, I assume this is a scenario Edwards has set-up ahead of time; he’s not just having Cameron steal a random bike! They make a big deal showing how Aton carries a small pair of bolt cutters in his pack, which they use to cut the lock off the bike. However, if they kept their eyes open for a pre-2005 Kryptonite lock, they could save the weight and just open it with a Bic pen!
Aton suggests Cameron carry a can of bear mace instead of regular pepper spray, which comes in handy when two guys conveniently happen by in the park. Again, I assume this was a setup. Also, how did they get people to sign up to be on the business end of the spray?
There’s a scene where Cameron and Aton are shown carrying their bikes up a flight of stairs. You can’t do that with a motorcycle! Just one more reason bicycles are the perfect survival vehicle.
In the end, they reach the Hudson River where Cameron sets out for the opposite bank in an inflatable kayak. Wait a second, where’d that come from? Has one of these guys been carrying an inflatable kayak around in his pack all night? And if not, how do you covertly hide something like that on the bank of the Hudson?
Cam paddles across—they edit the trip to be dramatic (it’s not)—and reaches “the promised land”, Jersey! That’s great, but, um, now what? We never hear if he has prepping buddies he’s going to meet up with or anything. I hope so, because as scary as getting out of Manhattan would be, crossing through New Jersey might prove scarier!