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Does it seem to you that the world is about to shatter? That there is so much wrongness that “the centre cannot hold”?

Ah well, a lot of us have had that feeling since we became aware of the Lies Our Civics Teacher Told Us. It’s dogged me on and off since Nixon removed the last gold backing from the dollar. The fall became inevitable then; we doomsayers just expected it to come quicker.

But come it must. And these days, as mainstream economists continue to tout the return of prosperity while we watch catastrophe rolling onward with our own eyes, all sorts of cliches like “edge of a precipice,” “balanced on a knife’s edge,” and “turning point” come to mind.

One could wish that “mere anarchy” would end up being loosed upon the world. Because anarchism is opportunity for individuals to create, one-by-one, a saner life. But ultimately it won’t be so pretty.

It would be nice to be this optimistic in the face of disaster. It might even be pleasant, for a while, to be this blind when charged with solving problems. How very, very lovely not to see the elephant that’s crapping all over the living room. It would be a blessing to believe that GM has really paid back its bailout funds. That Our Wise Leaders will “fix” Wall Street once and for all. That both health-care and the economy will improve, now that Dear Leaders have taken them over. It would be lovely to be so ignorant and trusting that you didn’t know the fix was already in.

But it’s our job, or at least our fate, as probable members of freedom’s remnant not only to see the elephant, but to live with full awareness of the elephant’s noxious byproducts, and to clean ourselves a little living space as best we can.

By 2015 (I’m guessing) whatever is going to have happened — the hyperinflation, the crash that will make the present Great Recession look like a teenager’s zit beside a cancerous tumor — will have happened. Like a lot of people, I find myself fixed on the date 2012. Not because some New Ager thinks the Mayans knew more than they could possibly have known, but because … well, guesswork, intuition, and a reasoned estimate that that is how long governments and their financiers can keep the world’s most collosal house of cards propped up. But heck, it could be today. Tomorrow.

That’s how it feels, doesn’t it? As if all the seemingly solid ground is about to slide out from under our feet right now.

I’ve said before that I don’t think most of us will face what I call the “George Romero Scenario” — starving zombie hordes battering down our doors in desperate search of our dried lentils and pre-1964 silver quarters. But we clearly have some hell to go through. And if governments and their friends manage to stave off disaster — once again — this time — the postponed reckoning will only be more dramatic.

If you’ve got a better guess as to the date and nature of the coming Big Mess, comment away. And if any of you out there have a certified scientifically accurate crystal ball, be sure to note that when you speak up.

Sans crystal ball …

Got your silver coins? Got your gold? I’ll bet most of you do. And to the rest of you out there who are saying, “I can’t afford that,” yes you can — in small quantities, through gradual purchases, buying on the dips.

Got your canned foods? Your long-term storage? Same story. I’ll bet most do. And those who say they can’t are lying to themselves, just like the people who say there ain’t no elephant in the living room. A couple of extra cans a week from the grocery store costs nothing you’ll ever notice and quickly builds up to something significant.

Got water? Boston already gave us a glimpse last week of how “civilization” handles a simple thing like the pipes not delivering the clear, clean stuff.

Got guns? Getting out of debt? Got shelter that you won’t lose to foreclosure? Bet most of us do. All good.

But insufficient. The number one thing we all need to get is: Attitude. The attitude that we’ll turn the proverbial lemons into that good old bromidic lemonade. The attitude that we can think on our feet, adapt to (and with luck, anticipate) change, kick the butt of any outside force that tries to kick us. A Damn Good Bad Attitude.

I’m hoping most of us have that, too.


The desert winds are howling and I am restless once again.

I’m going to be on the road for the next 10 days or so. I should be able to blog fairly frequently, thanks to the ubiquity of wifi. But it’s unpredictable.

If you’re a regular commentor on blog posts here, you’ll have already noticed that Oliver, BHM’s Wonderful Webmaster, changed settings so that if you’ve posted once and had your comment approved, future comments go live without human intervention. If you post a comment for the first time, I have to manually okay it — and this week that might be a slow process, since I’ll be spending long hours on the highway.

Cheers — and good luck to us all.


  1. Matt
    Matt May 10, 2010 2:46 pm

    Did the Mayan calendar end at 2012 because that was as far as they got before the Spaniards wiped them all out?

    2012 sounds reasonable. It will take about that long for the economy, local, state, national and global to finally come to a halt.

  2. ff42
    ff42 May 10, 2010 6:21 pm

    “May we live in interesting times”

  3. naturegirl
    naturegirl May 11, 2010 12:35 am

    The ground has felt like it’s been chipping and falling off in chunks for quite some time. Prepping has been nearly a continuous project, mental adjustments are always ongoing. It will take something huge to “reset to zero”, “stop the insanity”, “get back to basics” or however to describe it.

    I, for one, will be immensely disappointed to not find individual freedom (in it’s purest form) on the other side, after the dust settles.

  4. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal May 11, 2010 7:50 pm

    I figure I’ll be about as poor during the collapse as I have been before it. Maybe after it, too. But I stock up on what I can and try to build my knowledge of things to do when I “don’t have anything”. I’m counting on my knowledge to fill in the gaps so I don’t have to coast through hard times on what I already possess, but can actively continue to carry on the business of living.

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