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STFU about SHTF if you're FAT
I tried for two minutes to come up with a joke about PC file systems before I gave up and just wrote this caption, mentioning that I saved this image under the title "FAT16".
Part of what I do professionally involves spending a lot of time on various social media sites. Consequently, I stumble into things I wouldn't otherwise seek out. This article started off as a post for Reddit.com's “Collapse” section where people discuss emergency preparedness along side some concerns about how eventually everything's going to go to ****; either slowly over time, or catastrophically overnight. There are some pretty good discussions being had there, but there are also some flat-out fucking stupid ones.
The bad ones, from what I've seen, tend to largely center around a certain sub-subculture of people who follow that section because they're desperately hoping a collapse will somehow make their currently crappy lives better. When I get the free time to respond to posts over there, I'll occasionally rebut some of the dumber ones, pointing out that if you're a failure in this modern, convenient, snuggly-soft civilization, you're going to be a colossal failure in one where people want to shank you for a pair of clean underwear and a few hours with your female family members.
But it's that section which inspired me to write this, especially given the amount of overlap between the Martial Arts and “survivalist” culture. For example, we've got guys like Phil Elmore. Now I haven't checked in on him for a while, so it's entirely possible by now that he's not exactly a good example of this. The last time I genuinely paid attention to the guy, he'd been posing in the woods with a katana. So as far as I'm concerned, that'll do, piggy.
Phil Elmore's "Street Sword", still apparently on sale at Amazon.com.
A significant portion of the survivalist community is fat. And I'm not talking about carrying a few extra pounds, I'm talking about 40+ pounds over the weight ideal for their frames. While it's a good idea to have some extra body fat, that's only an asset if your fitness level is such that it doesn't slow you down, make you more easily fatigued, or compromise your ability to react in a SHTF situation.
I imagine the reasons for certain members of this subculture being overweight are very similar to the reasons why the fattest martial artists tend to flock to the least realistic Martial Arts. Because for certain people, fantasy is much more gratifying than reality, and confronting reality means you have to put in genuine effort in order to prepare for and accomplish certain goals (whether they are becoming effective at fighting, or being legitimately prepared for a disaster).
If you consider yourself a Survivalist, think for a second about the term itself: "survival". Who is more likely to survive a bad situation: the guy with a stockpile of MREs and ammunition who is one baconator away from collapsing with a heart attack, or the tri-athlete who has the conditioning to keep moving away from danger at a fast pace?
Hank Williams Jr. said that "a country boy can survive", and many survivalists are themselves "country boys". But Hank wasn't talking about Larry the Tactical Guy in the surplus store ACUs, huffing and puffing through the woods after a deer he shot from the comfort of a tree stand. Bocephus was talking about an outdoorsman with a body toughened by hard work, as the foundation for all his other, practical, survival skills.
This country boy can't survive missing lunch, let alone a natural disaster
Failing to be in functional shape is for a survivalist, like building a bank on top of a marsh. It doesn't matter how many shiny things you have in the vault, how much money and time you've spent, how many skills you've learned if your foundation is weak. As unrealistically Hollywood as the movie Red Dawn was, it'd have been exponentially more unrealistic if instead of high school athletes fighting a guerrilla insurgency against the Soviets, it'd been middle-aged fat guys who spent more time on the Internet discussing the contents of their “Bug Out Bags” than actually strapping on a pack and going for hikes with it.
People who are genuinely concerned with their own chances of survival in a bad situation don't keep their heads stored in the warm space between their ass cheeks. They know that there's no point to accumulating skills, equipment, supplies, etc, if you're just as doughy-soft as a LAN party in an abandoned bakery. They care more about practical issues, practical threats, and implementing practical control measures to reduce the level of risk.
And as a practical matter, if you can't jog a mile in under 10 minutes without wanting to collapse, you need to STFU about SHTF. This goes without saying for people who aren't into the survivalist subculture as a perverse form of escapism. But I suspect that the number of escapists is far greater than the number of clear-headed individuals who realize that it wouldn't take much at all for the proverbial **** to hit the aphoristic fan, and consequently, take reasonable steps to ensure themselves and their loved ones will be cared for in such situations.