"Judging from recent apocalyptic films This is the End and World War Z to “what if” disaster shows like NBC’s Revolution or National Geographic Channel’s upcoming American Blackout, to reality fare like Doomsday Preppers, it’s safe to say that the “end of the world as we know it” is on everyone’s mind. What effect have TV shows and films like these had on the prepping movement?"
This was the question that was posed by National Geographic Channel in anticipation of their upcoming Season 3 of Doomsday Preppers. Good question. It seems that every time we turn around there’s a new television show popping up on channels one would never dream would even consider the “prepper” genre or movies cleverly disguised as entertainment with an “end of the world as we know it” theme. Why is that? Is it because “prepping” has now become so mainstream that it has become a marketable commodity? You know, as in mer- chan-dise? Look around. Vendors with everything from specialized foods, to water purification systems, to sporting goods, to gardening supplies and specialized “arsenals” have jumped onto the prepping-bandwagon to sell their wares. Prepping sells and let’s face it, it’s good for ratings too. Or, maybe it’s that people really are concerned about what is happening in our country; the economy, the job-market and, the erratic weather patterns and therefore seeking information on how to better prepare?
So, what effect, if any, does a television show or a film have on “the prepping movement”? First of all, let me say this. I hate the reference “movement” it sounds so … radical, just sayin’ - but I digress. I for one since becoming a prepper, have always used the visual media to learn from. I’m a visual person so to watch a television show or a film that deals with living in a catastrophic, post-apocalyptic world, or in less than stellar circumstances, helps me to mentally prepare for a world I’ve never experienced. In fact, lots of preparedness-minded people do the same. It’s a way to visually learn from the blatant mistakes made by some or creative ways to do something or how to better survive our end of the world as we know it. Unfortunately, there’s a flip side. For some, let’s call them “non-preppers”, these television shows and movies are pure entertainment, fantasy, and are simply used for nothing more than armchair-quarterbacking. What those “non-preppers” don’t realize is that a good majority of these television shows and films are actually based on events that could happen and are not just Hollywood-hype. For instance, we’ve all heard of “solar-flares” as depicted in the movie “2012”, or in the “Book of Eli”, a nuclear apocalypse, or “The Road” the destruction of civilization … all of these are very real post-apocalyptic worlds to preppers. Even the zombie appeal has played a huge part in bringing many of the movies and television series to the forefront. And again are based on a very real catastrophic event – a pandemic.
Luckily, in a warped sort of way, we are seeing more and more disasters in our country -witnessed first-hand through the visual media - like Katrina and Super Storm Sandy. We all saw the devastation and the panic that sets in after a catastrophic event such as these or had loved one who experienced it personally. As a result more people are beginning to realize that no one is exempt. For this very reason, I have taken on the challenge of watching some of these television series, such as National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Castle and encourage others to do as well, to “help” educate those non-preppers” in preparedness. Let’s face it television and films are made for ratings so yes, there has got to be a little Hollywood-hype for the draw. We all like big things and stuff that pop and bang. But once you cut through the “theatrics” you see people who are trying to be responsible and self-reliant to assure they are not victims when, not if, the next disaster strikes.
So what effect has prepper TV shows and films had on the prepping movement? Negative or positive … people are watching.
- Survivor Jane
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