02.28.12

Doomsday Preppers take over Wyoming

Posted in Extremism, Imminent Catastrophe at 10:01 am by George Smith

When you watch too much Doomsday Preppers you get brain damage. When you get brain damage you think too much about total collapse. When you think too much about total collapse you want to print new money, hoard gold and raise a small army. When you try raising a small army you blow off thumb. Don’t blow off your thumb. Leave the state of Wyoming’s Republican Party. Or just leave Wyoming.

The extreme is the mainstream.

From the wire, more precisely, the Wyoming Star-Tribune, three days ago:

State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.

House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

The task force would look at the feasibility of Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.

After this story went nationwide yesterday, public derision caused the bill to be rewritten sans the bit about an aircraft carrier. For DD’s Euro-readers, Wyoming is a land-locked state.

By comparison:

population of Wyoming 538,000
population of Pasadena, CA 137,000
population of LA County 9.8 million

I’m betting Pasadena has more books and more people with advanced degrees than Wyoming.

In any case, this isn’t new.

Down through the ages the hinterlands have been filled with unthinking, easily influenced paranoids. If you still watch Glenn Beck, or read his publication — The Blaze, you’d think the country was going to collapse next week.

National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers has monetized the kooks and televised them nationwide. The country is coming to an end, they all insist.

In decades past in Allentown, PA, I was sent to cover a local municipal meeting of a local ‘burg just prior to the first Gulf War. There, a couple of the local townsmen talked of emergency preparations for a town of about three thousand, in case Saddam Hussein destroyed the local interstate with a Scud missile.

It was hard to not fall out of the chair.

On Paphlagonia, utilized as a literary device in the world of ancient Greece for describing the not-too-sharp locals who hunted bear for a living in a far-off place :

Paphlagonians were drawn in crowds by the news. Only their outward appearance distinguished them from sheep. The thick and uncultured natives of Pontus and Paphlygonia were easily deceived … Alexander, who had medical training, prescribed ointments made of bear’s fat as one of his quack remedies … [Real Paphlagonians were] shod in heavy leather clogs, they belched garlic fumes. Garlic, as well as a readiness to believe false oracles, was an insulting leitmotif that went back to Aristophanes …

Reads Toward the Rhetoric of Insult:

Paphlagon is so named because he is allegedly of Paphlagonian ancestry (Paphlagonia, at the eastern limits of the known world, is like Al Capp’s Slobbovia …)

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