Power of the media

In today’s world it is easy to get fooled and think that all media is there for us, to help us, to keep us updated, to make life easier or whatever.

Some 20 years ago, I was lying in improvised shelter on side of the street, behind big iron garbage truck that was rolled over and full of holes. I waited for dark so I can move on.

I was not alone, me and my friend shared that small piece of cover from open view and snipers with three guys. I know one of them from before, but that did not actually meant anything.

When shooting started we all jumped there almost at the same time. After few minutes we agreed that we gonna share it until the night.

Some half hour later one of them pull out from his bag small fm radio, kinda that we called “pensioner radio”, for walking and listening sports events in normal world.

Actually it looked like he pulled from his bag some brown package and on it was radio taped. That brown package was some kind of homemade battery pack, made I guess from different batteries, 2 times bigger than radio.

Anyway it was important thing in that time, I speak about how important information was in my course.

We all looked at that “machine” like bunch of cavemen would. It was ticket to get more information, real information, not just rumors and reports of crazy killings, that was our hope.

He turned that on, and all that he could find was radio station in other country, pretty close by distance, but light years away at same time. We were listening to some music very quietly, then news came.

We were listening how speaker talked about events in our region, he was something like: “and battles continued …” and that was it.

After that there were long talks about some songs contest, and some dude was interviewed. He talked about his terrible problems in finding correct clothes for movie scene, then about his stage fright… And then radio stops to work.

Big dude who owns it says comically “screw it, it looks like batteries needs some break.”

Rest of us were quiet. But I am sure that we were thinking pretty much same. Here we are, couple of guys in rags, one has some kind of uniform made from 3-4 different uniforms, some have weapon, one has kind of fishing hat on his head, like in some parody.

One guy chewed something, I do not think it was food, he just chewed it for too long. Like he was trying to chew piece of shoe.

Other had two different snickers on his legs, probably result of looting some mall in starting days. Probably all of us together in last 24 hours had like one meal shared among us.

We all hiding behind destroyed dumpster truck, waiting for the night, while some other dude on other side waiting for our heads to come up so he can shoot us. He probably was hungry and weird looking like we are.

And at same time few hours driving distance from there, main problems were how some probably funny looking guy is afraid to go to movie scene, and end of the world problems about choosing correct clothes for that same scene and musical performance.

I had moment much more dangerous before and after that event, but somehow in that moment, I emotionally touched the bottom.

Simply nobody cares for us, we were no news anymore. Left alone. “Battle continues…”

Few months before that same media were screaming about “problems in regions, fear of people getting armed, we need to defend, we need to fight, freedom does not have price, we will prevail, democratic changes, we have the right…”

Leaders from all sides were frantically announcing new age of democracy while in background they prepared to flee. Media helps folks to form opinions, to do things, to start things to happen. And then when all is set in motion you are simply not news anymore.

Same radio host screamed about need “to protect our rights” and “do not fear”. Then same guy told us that it is impossible that war happens because “we have leaders that will find solution” while at same time leaders were leaving area, or piling stuff for tomorrows black market.

We figured later that same leaders own the media actually.

Then when S. hit the fan, pretty soon when every day becomes same in meaning that every day is killing, starving, violence etc. It is not news anymore. Media just covers exciting stuff, because its their business. This is same for all media, also media that keeps saying collapse happens tomorrow and then the week later and then month later.

Mainstream media says everything is good, politicians take care of you and some alternative media keeps promoting news that everything is bad, collapse happens even before it happens. They also need to keep people interested. They all play news theater to keep people interested.

The lesson I learned is dont trust and care about any media much. Be prepared but not scared whole time that collapse happens tomorrow. That is why you are prepared, no need to worry too much. Just monitor events but forget about “opinion pieces”. Look at history of reporter if you plan to trust someone. He uncovered “big scandal” already 3 times but it was only big scandal for him? Forget about him, he or his media company just wants attention or save your time and realize most reporter wants big story and attention and just a few want to really inform people.

Few days ago I was checking one internet page about “world events by years”. I checked the year that I was writing about here, and there were many “important events” in that year.

I found two events very loosely linked to my region, out of the many. One was about some politic demonstration, other was about some agreement. Both of them were in my wider region, but not even close to my city.

Nothing about people in rags fighting for their lives, eating grass boiled in water, catching rain, drinking mud sometimes.

Media showed us in a way. Then media forgot us, we were not usable anymore, we simply did not exist. I understand that, same guys still fighting in same city and so on. It is just important that news show what is new and not really what is going on.

For years I very rarely watched TV, or listened to radio. Not following famous shows, my opinions are not formed by actors, singers, sport stars, or idiots who are famous for one season.

If I find something specific that I want to check I will check it, but I do not want to be pulled in media grinding machine of opinion forming. I read different news articles from different networks and try to find people on twitter who are on the ground of event.

As survivalist and prepper you need most accurate information to make decisions and that is why knowing what is really going on in neighborhood or city is often more important than some shooting of single guy hundreds of miles away. But media always needs drama and presents it in way that its interesting for most people.

Every time when I hear somewhere on radio or TV “shocking news” or “battle started” I imagine few guys in few months laying somewhere in dirt, while nobody cares for them because there is a new star with huge butt, and everyone knows her, in biggest city or in smallest village, even somewhere where electric energy is still new thing. Keep the stupid masses entertained.

Point of everything again is that when SHTF you are alone with what you have prepared and learned. Do not expect media to paint real picture of situation. They are there for news. After initial news and maybe even help from outside because your area is in spotlight you are left alone. Don’t be surprised when you are forgotten.

That’s why we learn to take care of ourselves.

How we celebrated things

It is the end of the year and people are celebrating so I write a bit about how we celebrated.

Actually we did not celebrate anything particular, like birthdays or christmas or anything similar. Maybe we celebrated fact that we are alive. If we manage to have something like safe house to fix something as a party we just bring whatever we had and party there.

shoot

Usually it were two things, heavy home made drink and marijuana (everyone was growing that at that time), and music sometimes. Sometimes in a form of some kind of musical instruments, or sometimes in very rare ocassions in a form of some battery powered stereo or boom box.

To understand how that looks, you first need to understand what all that ment to us. Every occasion for any kind of party was something like way to get away from rude and hard reality. So whenever i attended to some kind of party it was a special. With very few things it was great.

Sometimes few cigarettes, bottle of drink and good company of 3 friends was a best party that i ever attended, even before and after all of that. And when somebody brought boombox and we listen music, it was not like we listen music today. It was like we listen music for real, like we never listen music before or after. Magical. We feel that music, we feel those few cigarettes and alcohol. It is actually precious and special feeling. Simple things just meant a lot. Music alone was enough to get you “high”. When you are so depraved of special things, things like that become very intense.

It is much easier to bond with people in ocassion like that. I could say it is spiritual and weird. Important thing to mention also is that feelings and customs about get together with girls and sex are “moved” on scale. If i wanted to speak in today terms, if you attended on some party and you had will, few joints or bottle of hard thing, you had a great time, because boys and girls in those parties lived for that moment only, nobody was sure is tommorow gonna come for them.

So in reality if you attend on some kind of party where we had 10-15 people including women, it was not like in parties before and after that. I guess it comes from fact that life was not worthed to much so “thanks” to that connections between man and woman could be maded more easily then in normal times, much more easily.

If girl want to connect with you, or you wanted to connect with girl, you just ask. Some things just become more easily to do, with lot of shortcuts. People just do things without regreting because times were hard and so unpredictable. So nobody wanted to have too much missed chances.

Every part of town, every street had something as a” safe hose” for party. Sometimes houses changed, mostly not. Young people still tried to get together, to do what most of the young people do. Party.

Friendship are maded fast, relationship are maded fast, broke fast, fun was fast and unpredictable.

If i can say that one good thing is come from all of that it was a fact that we did not have enough time to pretend in our ways of expressing emotions, for example expressing our love. It was fast and very powerful. I guess true nature of people is visible in hard times, emotions can be expressed easily if you aware that maybe you are gonna die tommorow.

One place I remember was basement of partially burned house, on small windows are bags of dirt, with very small openings for ventilation. Basement is divided into two big “rooms” with some old furniture, and all kinds of junk, like engine cover from ruined car, that we put on cinder blocks for building houses and use it as a table, in other room there is a part which is separated with a old curtains, and made like more “private” for “love” purposes.

Air is congested with smoke, so actually you do not need to ask for joint, you just need to breath inside and you gonna be fine.

We are all best friends for that night, because tommorow may not come, we all ready to speak stories that are normaly not going to speak because same reason. Music is giving you feeling that there is a reason and sense for life. I am looking for a girl so i can spend that night with her there, talk nonsense or story of my life, she is looking for that too. The parties were out little escapes and helped us to keep a bit normalcy in these hard times. Music was very powerful so you might want to add a small music player to your preps if you do not have already.

15 or 20 years later sometimes, in rare ocassions when i meet some of the girls from those parties, we just share small smile, we do not talk.