The episode concludes with a literally ten-minute look at Cheree of California’s Sierra mountains.
Since they live in Cali, it’s only understandable that their preparations focus on a ‘mega earthquake’.
With such a ridiculously short segment, there’s really not much material here to discuss. But don’t worry, I’ll find something!
With her parents, Cheree runs some kind of religiously-minded camp. While they seem pretty strongly ‘Christian’, I also caught the slightest hint of a New Age-y vibe off their descriptions.
In the event of the Big Quake (or, conceivably any other disaster), Chree’s main objective will be “to follow Christ.” Ohboy.
I generally try to stay away from conspicuously ragging on hot-button issues; they say you’re not supposed to bring up religion or politics, but without those, everything else is superficial small-talk (and I don’t mess around with that stuff)!
Okay, I can understand how the historical figure Jesus of Nazareth could be a good person to seek to emulate in your relations to others: stand up for the meek, champion gender equality, fight the powers that be, all that (Jesus was a lot like the John Lennon of Imperial Roman times).
So, why do I cringe when I hear that someone’s chief post-disaster strategy is to “follow Christ”? For starters, Christianity is—like the Judaism it grew out of—fundamentally a Younger Culture religion of civilization: at its core is the message that Humanity is flawed and unable to be fixed. The founders of these religions believed this because they looked around and saw only cities and miserable people living in them; having abandoned (or destroyed) their tribal histories, leaving their earliest records to date from post-city-dwelling times, they incorrectly assumed that humanity was born to build and reside (and be miserable) in cities, and if that was the case, and humanity had never been any other way, then human nature is simply to be depressed, violent, selfish, abusive, ignorant, and generally wicked.
Of course, anthropology has proved all that to be completely wrong, and so we should, for the good of Everyone, abandon such fallacious thinking as soon as possible.
Secondly, Christianity’s focus on post-death reunion with their creator in ‘heaven’ has been simply disastrous for the planet (and the rest of we heathens who have to share it with them). Y’see, when Being With God In Heaven is your life’s main goal, you tend to not put much priority on the actual being-alive-here-on-Earth part of life. As a result, you’re not going to care about keeping the place nice for the rest of us, because you’re ‘just passing through’ (those ‘be fruitful and multiply’ and ‘have dominion over the earth’ clauses didn’t help matters either), so you’d best ‘get what you can while the gettin’s good’.
In conclusion, anytime I meet an otherwise rational and intelligent person who self-identifies as a follower of one of the Humanity-is-Flawed religions (Christianity especially), I have to ask myself if they don’t have a loose wire somewhere upstairs.
Really, just be a decent person and leave the labels out of it.
Anyway, in order to practice living through a disaster, Cheree gets together a few like-minded folks to do a weekend full-immersion scenario. Kudos to them for that! They turn off the Juice and spend a few days living without all the modern conveniences we’ve become reliant upon and/or take for granted. Some of the guys install a few 250-watt pv-solar panels on the roof, while others build and install a DIY PVC hand pump for drawing water. And I think I saw someone do a tiny bit of gardening??
However, that’s about all the good stuff, because the remaining five minutes are concerned with a contentious debate among the group over whether or not to allow a member, Garry, to remain in the group, since he advocates armed self-defense. After some waste-of-time scenes, they agree to remain unarmed and excommunicate him from their little network. I guess when a disaster goes down, they’ll defend against hungry marauders with harsh language, man!
Experts give them 58 points for 8 months. They tell them to learn food-canning; Cheree admits that she has already has all the stuff to do it, she just hasn’t gotten around to it yet. She concludes by reiterating her strategy for surviving—to maintain her mantra that “God is on our side!” Okay, kid, keep telling yourself that.
And just for fun: