The apocalypse: a sudden apocalyptic event or a slow decline?

I generally think about the apocalypse happening in one sudden apocalyptic event that takes everyone by surprise. But what if it doesn’t happen that way? What if the apocalypse is a slow, years-long decline? After all, in some ways, the fall of the Roman Empire could be considered an apocalyptic event. And the empire’s decline took a long time, since it technically didn’t fall until Constantinople fell in 1453 (though, okay, the Western Roman Empire was in serious decline and almost completely taken over by Germanic tribes by the end of the 5th century).
Anyway. A slow decline or a sudden event—what’s better? Personally, I don’t know. They’ve each got their pros and cons. Let’s go over them quickly, so we can all secretly hope for one kind over the other.
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The Pros and Cons of Post-Apocalyptic Cults

I spent (and am still spending) the week at a giant national training mandated, organized, and run by my job. As I sat in theback of the auditorium and listened to people chant and cheer and say motivational things to one another and generally embrace the corporate culture, my mind began to wander.
What if motivational culture, structure, schedules, and tradition we all that some people brought with them through to the post-apocalyptic world. These things are what make many difficult situations tolerable. There is a shared language and bonding in the quirkiness and need for these tools.
However, if the situation did not call for these tools and the person on stage was not a motivational speaker but a tyrannical misanthrope, we’d have ourselves a cult [1. I have a very active imagination…].
I wondered what this would look like if that hypothetical tyrant on stage was speaking, not to employees, but to survivors. What would it look like, or even feel like if this was how every morning started before your rations were handed over. Many of your needs would be covered, from food to socialization and your survival would be based on community membership. The leader doesn’t even need to be a tyrant [2. but it’s more fun to think he is], Your leaders could simply be false prophets, motivational speakers, sales folk, a resourceful marketing team, a boy band, a cheer squad, or some other individual or small group with both charisma and a respect-demanding demeanor. Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Post-Apocalyptic Cults”

The family bomb shelter: yay or nay?

During the apocalypse, you’ll have to consider how to protect your family. This is especially true if you have children. The apocalypse is sure to be filled with chaos (not to mention things exploding and people shooting at each other), and protecting yourself—let alone your family—could be difficult or near impossible. There will be tough competition for food, water, and shelter, so you’ll have to fight for basic necessities. You’ll probably also meet scary and terrible bad guys who are intent on killing you for being in the way, or eating you because you’re in the way and it happens to be lunchtime.
This doesn’t sound like a very good environment for children, now does it? I thought not.
But how can you guarantee protection and shelter, at least during the apocalypse and in its immediate aftermath? Well, you can’t (sorry). You might, however, have a better chance of having shelter and supplies if you build a bomb shelter and keep it well-stocked. Keep in mind, though, that a bomb shelter would have to be built before an apocalypse—as in, you’d have to start building now.
Continue reading “The family bomb shelter: yay or nay?”