Up next we have a pretty decent episode, entitled ‘Total Destruction!’ We start out in Smithville, Tennessee with Tracy Foutch, who is worried about an F5 tornado. And once again, the show airs right on the heels of yet another large disaster, this time a string of twisters in the American Midwest.
A token amount of time in this segment is spent ‘showing off preps’, which Tracy handles pretty intelligently. Normally folks on the show will give out their full name and location, and then proceed to show off every nook and cranny of their secret hideouts. Or else they only go by a first name, give a rough location, but still show off everything. Tracy instead opts for two-out-of-three, because while we know who and where he is, and that he has two hidden safe rooms, he wisely doesn’t show where they are! Why does it seem like he’s the first person to have thought of this?
There’s also a little bit of apiary fun when Tracy and his wife do some bee-keeping, which is always awesome. You simply can’t go wrong with delicious, nutritious, antibacterial, everlasting bee vomit!
However, like I said, none of that is the focus of the episode, because season three’s overwhelming common thread seems to be ‘ambitious building projects’.
And so, the segment spends the majority of its time constantly recapping a build at Tracy’s factory, as he and his team put together a gasifier-powered school bus mobile safe room. It’s nice to see his gasifier looks shiny and professional, instead of built out of oil drums and rusty pipe. Of course, it’s not enough to have a bus that runs off scrap wood (which in a disaster, will likely be freely available): it’s gotta be armored!
In the end, there’s something vaguely troubling that underlies this season’s running theme of ‘all end-of-the-world-survival vehicles must be bulletproof’—as it suggests these preppers assume that as soon as one’s town gets wiped off the map by the megastorm du jour, people will immediately start shooting at each other, and with the exception of Hurricane Katrina, I really don’t think that’s been the case (mostly folks are just too busy coping with the shock of having their home and all of their material possessions taken away by an indifferent force of nature). This prevalent idea worries me, in a positive-feedback kind of way. While this show focuses on a small subset of the populace, the audience is nonetheless looking to these subjects for a model on how to approach the issue of survival/disaster preparedness.
If people watch this program and see that the mainstream-media-endorsed way to approach disasters is to expect a third-world warzone, I’m afraid that’s what they’re going to get –
“We only receive what we demand, and if we want hell then hell’s what we’ll have.”
So they cut out a platform for the gasifier, weld a cow-catcher on the front, some (admittedly, pretty cool-looking) articulated slats over the front windows, plus bars over the tire wells and side windows. All in all, it comes out looking pretty good; plus, the cow-catcher makes it look like a Greek trireme by way of Mordor: