A picture of my own Bear Grylls Gerber Knife, complete with firemaking tool (flint) and carrier. Picture taken on my workbench, you can see my laptop, Bell&Ross wristwatch, a mouse and pad, and in the background a soldering station (German made).

Rarely as I watch television, I do sometimes notice what is in the mainstream media. Of particular interest are the post-apocalyptic Zombie themes that have increased in number in popular media these days. There is MTV’s “Death Valley“, and the second season has just started of “The Walking Dead”, another TV series that provides a chilling atmosphere of human survivors having to defend against infected undead zombies that attack in numbers from everywhere, with plenty of blood and gore.

Then, it becomes natural to ask: why? Obviously the characters in the movie/series are just trying to survive. But what nerve does such a series strike in us, and why is it popular, and more importantly, whynow?

Zombie movies is nothing new, they existed as horror feature films and sometimes series airing late at night and the level of violence was reserved. Now, the trend is earlier broadcast time, and a general exposure, and even product placement in the series, the Gerber Apocalypse Kit from Gerber gear which usually makes tactical equipment for the military.

The first thought would be this: The collective unconsciousness is perhaps preparing for the impending disaster to come, from climate change, or collapse of the economy or both, a total collapse of society as we know it?

Then it struck me that unconscious or not, this huge exposure to zombies are a perfect propaganda tool, what is essentially happening is that people watching, by emotionally connecting with the protagonists, getting used to thinking in terms of friend/enemy, and making fast choices such as fight/flight, and preparations (protection, water, defensive measures).

Making the enemy into a monster is the perfect way to train the population to kill that enemy. Then, it is too early to say, who is the enemy. Maybe the zombie is a monsterized symbol for disease, maybe it’s pollution, or maybe it is the inevitable fight between the rich world and the poor world. Something is going to happen, I think most people will agree. We just don’t know what.

“Prepping” is becoming part of mainstream, and it has opened up a market for tools, techniques, and survivalist information to prepare for a coming disaster. I think it is good to be prepared for a situation where your local police may not be able to help you, and the society’s support system may fail. I am not digging a nuclear shelter in my garden or storing water for a year, but it is always good to know how to store seeds and sprouts, and what to do IF any disaster may happen and you cannot trust the authorities to help you.

It’s also good to know how to find and grow your own food and to keep a kitchen garden. Many seeds can be found in the food you buy every day.

Some sites: http://www.survivalblog.com/   –   http://survivalcache.com/

And here’s a great write-up on 7 things to prepare in case the worst hits the worst. : http://survivalcache.com/bug-out-bag/