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Hipster Survivalists Unite: Zombie Apocalypse is Coming!

My buddy was right, popping off a few rounds with the .45 was satisfying. The .357 Magnum wasn’t bad either, but I preferred the controlled violence of the cop-style .40 caliber.
The four of us are in a band, of a sorts. A while back we decided to skip practice and hit the shooting range. So our little yuppie posse drove out to the burbs, rented handguns and blew some coin on ammo. Maybe we don’t count as yuppies, given our age, but all of us are liberal-ish professional guys who live in hipster neighborhoods.
We were out of place at the range. This became clear when we picked out our targets. Our fellow patrons picked simple grids while we grabbed armfuls of targets with insane, ’70s-style photos of faux terrorists. One of our favorites was the little blonde woman in her car, pointing the pistolero at the camera. She got torn up by us sharpshooters, man. I personally liked the old man target because, hey, even senior citizens can be threats.
(On a side-note, I walked into one of my fellow shooter’s apartments – a 30POV author, no less – and saw loads of bullet-ridden targets piled around his apartment. Chicks dig that sort of thing.)
Our shootin’ expedition was the brainchild of the most liberal of the gang, the Canadian bass player. To our great surprise, he’s seriously contemplating a gun purchase. And he’s not alone. Several of my friends are thinking about arming up in case the whole shithouse goes up in flames. Seriously.
It’s all part of a brewing trend I’m seeing among the liberal, educated professional set, the basic thinking being the U.S. of A. is in trouble, so it’s time to learn about subsistence farming and get a little house out in the boonies. For my part, if the dollar goes in the crapper (or the Tea Party keeps growing), then maybe I’ll stop dreaming about moving to Slovenia or New Zealand and actually do it.
Survivalism isn’t just for racist nutters in Idaho anymore, apparently. Even us sensitive types need to start learning how to provide for our kin, and I’m not talking about bringing home a paycheck from office cube-land. That shit’s going to be Planet of the Apes abandoned. No, we’re talking about getting away from the soon-to-be Thunderdomes of East Coast metroplexes for a life of living off the land, like a goddamn pioneer.
Scott Carlson nailed it in a recent book review for the Baltimore City Paper:

In these times of war, high gas prices, political upheaval, economic meltdown, and frightening weather, Americans find themselves united across party lines in a way that many people don’t realize: Right or Left, Republican or Democrat, we’re all waiting for the Big Collapse, “TEOTWAWKI”—the end of the world as we know it.

Here’s a bit from the book’s chapter on protecting one’s home, post-apocalypse:

A semi-automatic assault rifle is a battle weapon and might not be the best choice for home defense. If one is going to invest in a weapon for self-defense, a smaller handgun is a better choice.

Damn straight. The bottom line is that many otherwise sane people think it’s not such a bad idea to start learning about how to build a composting toilet or the fine art of raising rabbits. Do they have a point?
It’s hard not feel doubts about society as we know it, particularly as I’m typing, when Congress is dithering away the last hours before the creditworthiness of the goddamn country tanks.
The demise of lefty 30somethings’ belief in America, however, is about more than the credit ceiling. There weren’t many serious societal worries when we started becoming self aware. Whether O.J. did it or not was the big question of the early ’90s. (Oh yeah, now we have Casey Anthony. Don’t get me started.) Boomers had it good when we were looking for a model of adult life, at least in the aggregate. And it was hard not to think we’d get ours down the road. Cheap houses, good returns in the market, a grill in the backyard, the High Life. Not anymore.
One of my buddies is a brain surgeon. He took on huge student loans and busted his ass with 70-hour weeks for the last 15 years. That and the stress of life and death on his operating table. But the rules seem to be changing on him now. What’s the point of saving money if the zombie apocalypse is coming? So he and a few fellow docs have been talking about guns lately.
There’s a buzz out there that all is definitely not well, and I tend to agree. The baseline problem is that this country can’t possibly keep rolling at its current standard of living. It’s simple inputs and outputs. We’ve mostly been spoiled with economic growth that just isn’t coming back. How can it?
Being responsible doesn’t count for shit anymore. I can’t afford luxury, so I own virtually nothing of value. My most expensive possession was an $800 suit, the ass of which I ripped out by walking too close to a metal door frame. Oops. I avoid debt and have been saving what I don’t blow on food, drink and travel. But a few years back, after the dumbass American homeowner got all that cheap credit from criminal banking conglomerates and lost the McMansion in the exurbs he should never have been able to “buy,” my savings took a 45 percent hit. Poof.
That leaves two choices, either get your kicks in before the Zombies arrive, or start learning how to clean your handgun in the dark. I’ve been thinking about a .40 from Smith & Wesson, but I’m still going to a dive bar tonight.

2 responses to “Hipster Survivalists Unite: Zombie Apocalypse is Coming!”

  1. Kail Kail says:

    Great piece, and hilarious too! I CONSTANTLY think about guns. I mean, I don't want to buy one now. But, I do, like the liberal folks you mention, actually make myself believe I might need one if the shit hits the fan. And it sure seems like the shit is–or has been–hitting the fan lately.
    Did you read The Road?
    He NEEDED that goddamned gun in that book.
    One of my favorite pastimes is joking with friends and my fiance about the end of our lovely society. I just hope it happens in a more interesting way than debt ceiling. More bang, less whimper. Like China attacking would be more interesting to me. Or aliens. Definitely aliens. But shit, our guns might not work against aliens!

  2. Pual Pual says:

    Hey. I did read The Road. Brilliant book – and goddamn depressing. I'm a big fan of apocalypse stories, and actually prefer the dumber ones, for reasons I can't explain. I dig sci-fi and alien chaos tales just as much. Just watched Aliens the other day, for the 125th time – the cinematography is so fucking good. No CGI, either.
    Part of the fun of the apocalypse genre is imagining how you'd fare if all hell broke loose. Judging from my performance on a hike the other day – being passed on the trail by obese children – I'm in trouble when the aliens show up.
    Have you read any of The Song of Fire and Ice series? I just started, and Martin is an insanely good storyteller. His prose is tight and his characters deep. I'm loving it.

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