Living in an End Times Paradise
New Year’s morning we stayed in bed and watched a cheesy scifi movie on MGM. I pretended to be Joel, Crow Robot and Tom Servo rolled into one. The 1967 film was called In the Year 2889, and starred Paul Petersen, who played the son in the Donna Reed Show sitcom, and has tried to speak up for child stars since then.
As the show opened, I felt that I had seen it before – a crusty old military man and his daughter were prepared to survive the recent nuclear holocaust. Outsiders straggled in. Crusty talked tough, brandished a revolver and wanted to chase them away, but she convinced him to let them stay. I didn’t remember Paul Petersen in the film. And one outsider was Anglo instead of Mexican. As it went on, scenes that I remembered were missing.
It turns out that the film was a close, almost line for line, remake of Roger Corman’s Day the World Ended tv movie from 1955 — only in color and with cheaper special effects. Nowadays we can satisfy our urge for doomsday with all manner of disaster and apocalyptic movies. Some simply show a dimmer future like the Hunger Games or the tv show, Revolution.
On the Oil Drum back in 2005, all manner of doomers and preppers debated how to prepare, where to buy land, how to defend it, and many were far crustier than the old man in 2889. I remember the one who told people not to show up at his door, warning ‘I’ll shoot you and your pregnant wife’. Talking Points Memo has an interesting article on part of that culture:
“Imagine living in a community where you know that residing in every single home in the neighborhood are people who think much as do you, respect most of the values as do you, and will not try to force any of their values on you or your children,” another post from October on The Citadel’s blog, this one written by someone with the pseudonym Just a III Guy, reads. “Imagine living in a neighborhood where you know every single neighbor on your street, in your neighborhood, and in the entire town, has qualified Riflemen inside, ready to come to your aid at a moments notice, whether to help you change a tire, fix a problem, or cover your back in a firefight with an Enemy of Liberty.”
The Citadel, as envisioned and advertised by its creators, is to be a walled community of 3,500 to 7,000 “patriotic American families” who are ready for when The Shit Hits The Fan (TSHTF), i.e. the myriad potential society-collapsing disasters, either natural or man made, anticipated by preppers, survivalists, along with other fringe and breakaway strands of -ers and -ists. The Citadel is to be a place for people who want to be “removed and protected from peril in order to preserve ourselves, our posterity, and Liberty in the event of a national economic implosion.” And in whatever time is to be had before grid-down, economic collapse, The Citadel will provide a place to live “a free/freer life in Idaho (or elsewhere in the American Redoubt) amongst the current strong, self-reliant and Liberty-loving residents of the region.”
Contrast this to the Transition Town movement, which hopes for a peaceful future through resilience rather than armaments.