Else Blangsted, Who Fled the Nazis and Found a Hollywood Ending, Dies at 99 – The New York Times

Else Blangsted, who fled Nazi Germany as a teenager believing she had given birth to a stillborn child, then gradually built a career as a leading music editor on Hollywood films, died on May 1 in Los Angeles. She was 99.

Her death was confirmed by her cousin Deborah Oppenheimer, an Oscar-winning producer.

For over 30 years, Ms. Blangsted played a major part in shaping how movie music was heard, through her work on features like The Color Purple, Tootsie and On Golden Pond.

She broke down film scripts to provide detailed instructions showing composers where, in dialogue or action, to place parts of their scores, and for exactly how long. She was also the composers representative through the recording sessions.

The information that came from her was crucial, Dave Grusin, the Oscar-winning composer who was Ms. Blangsteds collaborator on Tootsie and many other films, said in an interview. I knew what I was doing was working if she said I was on the right track.

But music editing is an unsung profession. Music editors do not receive Academy Awards, as film and sound editors do. When Mr. Grusin won an Oscar for his score for The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), Ms. Blangsted, his editor on the film, went unrecognized.

Her only major industry honor was the 2006 life achievement award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, an industry group. In written remarks read at the ceremony, Robert Redford, who directed two of the films Ms. Blangsted worked on, Milagro and Ordinary People, said she had the mind of an artist and the soul of a saint.

But even as Ms. Blangsted had firmly established her reputation as a creative and outspoken partner to composers, the story of her child was about to enter a new chapter.

Else Siegel was born on May 22, 1920, in Wrzburg, Germany. Her father, Siegmund, was a horse trader, and her mother, Lilly (Oppenheimer) Siegel, was a homemaker, with whom Else had a difficult relationship. In a profile in The New Yorker in 1988, she said her mother subjected her to a life of misdemeanors, punishments and a lack of forgiveness.

When she was 15, she began dating Eric Seelig, then, 24, and soon after became pregnant. She told no one. Soon after, with the Nuremberg Laws restricting where Jews like her could attend school, her family sent her to a Jewish boarding school in Switzerland. It was September of 1936.

By January 1937, when she was seven months pregnant, the tightness of her corset was causing her to faint. Desperate and ashamed, she tried to kill herself by lying on a snowy hill near the school, hoping to freeze to death.

She was found hours later, her lower legs frostbitten. Her secret was out.

In early March, she went into labor. They used chloroform in those days, and I passed out and came to and I must have said, Is it a boy or a girl? and they put the mask back on, she said when she was interviewed for a documentary, Looking for Else (2007).

Later, I demanded: Where is the baby? I need somebody to take the milk.

There is no baby, a nurse told her. The baby is dead.

Else thought she had killed her baby by keeping the corset too tight. But her family, who was ashamed of her behavior and fearful of Nazi repression, lied to her and sent the baby girl to a nursery where a German-Swiss couple adopted her.

Knowing nothing of the deception, Else returned to Wrzburg and in August boarded a luxury liner for New York City. After arriving alone, she headed to Los Angeles, where a sponsor family put her in touch with a local rabbi, who found her work as a maid and, later, as a nanny for Warner LeRoy, the son of the prolific director and producer Mervyn LeRoy.

At 17, she had made her Hollywood connection, but it was, at best, a modest one. Mervyn LeRoy was married to Doris Warner, a daughter of Harry Warner, one of the founders of Warner Brothers studio. After a year as a nanny, Else found work at Warner Brothers; in shoe and pants factories and as a seamstress at Warner Brothers.

But she was lonely. She wrote to Eric, who was living in Argentina, and asked that he marry her. In 1940, they wed, and had a daughter, Erica Seelig, four years later. They eventually divorced.

Her jobs continued: She was a wardrobe woman, helping actresses look their best in their costumes, an actress, and a waxer, who protected film emulsions. In 1960, she was hired as a music editor at a postproduction house; her only credentials were being able to read music and play the piano and guitar. That led to work at Paramount and Columbia.

Her reputation was building. Her importance to me was not only her portfolio, but her charisma, her sense of authority, her humility and her survivalism, said Van Dyke Parks, the musician and composer who wrote the music with Perry Botkin Jr., for the 1978 comic western, Goin South, starring and directed by Jack Nicholson.

Then one day in 1984, she got a call from an aunt who read an ad in Aufbau, a journal for German-speaking Jews. Her daughter was not only alive, but wanted to meet her. She went by Lily Kopitopoulos, was 47 and living in Switzerland.

Ms. Blangsted tracked down her number and called.

This is your Mama, she said, according to the article in The New Yorker. Forgive me. The nurse told me you were dead.

When they finally met, Ms. Blangsted said in Looking for Else, It was the end of drama, the end of shame, the end of accusations, the end of migraines.

Their reunion included trips to each others homes and several years in which Ms. Blangsted moved to Switzerland to be near Ms. Kopitopoulos. They drifted apart after about 20 years, during which one of Ms. Kopitopouloss sons, Sandy, directed Looking for Else, with Daniel Maurer.

In addition to her daughters and grandson, Ms. Blangsted is survived by another grandson, and two great-grandsons. She married Folmar Blangsted, the Danish-born film editor of A Star is Born (1954) in 1960; he died in 1982.

Ms. Blangsted, a witty person known for her frequent laughter, had many actor friends including Lee J. Cobb, Gregory Peck, James Cromwell and Mr. Moore. She met Mr. Moore, the star and composer of Six Weeks (1982), when he was already working with a music editor. The director, Tony Bill, wanted him to meet Ms. Blangsted.

After watching the film together, she recalled in a 2011 profile of her in Patch, a local news website: I said to him, You have two-and-a-half minutes to make up your mind that I will be your music editor. I went away. Came back and he nodded his head, very definitely.

They remained friends until 2002, when, as he lay dying, she called to read him Dickens over the phone.

View post:

Else Blangsted, Who Fled the Nazis and Found a Hollywood Ending, Dies at 99 - The New York Times

Inside ultra-luxurious disaster survival kits where super-rich can pay 4k for night vision goggles and posh – The Sun

PREPPERS have been infamous for their tin foil hat theories and apocalyptic paranoia since time immemorial.

But now that a terrifying pandemic is our daily reality, being prepared for the worst doesn't seem so silly after all and wealthy celebs are buying into the idea with super-stylish survival kits.

Those used to leading lives of luxury want to make sure they can get through doomsday in style.

That's why there's now a whole industry catering to mega-rich stars worried about the apocalypse.

For a few thousand quid, you can get night vision goggles that come in a bag monogrammed with your own initials.

Kim Kardashian shared a selfie of herself with a survival kit back in February, writing "I travel prepared".

And billionaires worried about civilisation breaking down are currently snapping up five-star nuclear blast-proof bunkers fitted with wine cellars and swimming pools.

But even lowly millionaires might be more inclined to take survivalism seriously after their Beverly Hills homes burned in wildfires and their New York penthouses have been shuttered in lockdown.

Here's a look at the luxury survival kits offering the great and good a stylish solution for getting through armageddon.

For those seeking Kardashian-endorsed survival glamour, look no further than Judy.

Created by Simon Huck, a celebrity PR whiz, Judy is a survival kit company whose products have cropped up in the Instagram accounts of the Kardashians.

The firm offers a range of kits that have been flying off the shelves since the start of the pandemic.

The emergency Judy packs are designed in bright orange and range in price from 49 to 204.

Designed to help one person survive for 24 hours, the company's smallest kit is called The Starter (49).

The bum bag contains a first aid kit, a poncho, a water pouch, a blanket, a phone charger, a whistle, glow sticks, and nutrition bars.

But for those feeling more flush, they can get The Mover a big rucksack containing everything in The Starter, plus extras like a dust mask, biohazard bag, and of course hand sanitiser.

"The Starter and the Mover sold out in the first three weeks they went on sale," Huck told The Times.

"A lot of millennials bought Judys for their parents."

But if you're looking to stylishly survive with your loved ones, you can splash out on The Safe for 204.

Designed to support four people for 72 hours, the big box of survival goodies has everything included in The Mover, plus candles, a hand-cranked radio, and waterproof matches.

"The foundations of all emergency kits are food, water and first aid," Huck added.

Having the foundations of a survival kit is one thing having the most suped up kit money can buy is another.

For a mere 4,116, you can get yourself The Prepster Ultra Advanced Fireproof Emergency Bag.

As the name suggests, the bag is made with a special flame-retardant material used in firefighting suits.

And it can be monogrammed with your initials so you don't mix it up with anyone else's four-grand survival kit when the apocalypse comes.

Each bag, made by Preppi, contains practical necessities like a Garmin satellite messenger and SOS locator beacon, a night vision scope, a solar panel, and an emergency charging kit.

It also holds a water purifier, a Leatherman black carbon steel multitool, and a comprehensive first aid kit.

But it also affords its well-healed owners a few luxuries including premium chocolate and a poker set.

Preppi says the Prepster Ultra Advanced provides "ample luxe comforts" for two people that will sustain nutrition, hydration, power, and communication.

Everything you could ever need, really, for when the aliens invade.

If the apocalypse turns out to be zombies rather than aliens, one company has you covered, provided you're in the US.

OpticsPlanet put together its specialist ZERO kit Zombie Extermination, Research and Operations for those determined to make it through doomsday.

For just 16,207, the company will ship you everything you need to fend off the flesh-eating undead and the equipment to find a cure.

"When the undead hordes rise from their shallow graves to wreak havoc on all decent civilisation, you'll need to both fight back (Extermination), and find a cure (Research)," OpticsPlanet says.

The pricey kit includes a zombie knife, a thermal imaging camera, and gun attachments like shotgun torches and red dot sites to spruce up your personal arsenal.

It also includes a "Battle Mug" which, as well as being an indestructible drinking vessel, doubles up as a blunt-force weapon.

But what really sets the ZERO kit apart is its inclusion of lab equipment so you can pass time in the apocalypse working on a cure for the zombie virus.

It comes with a microscope, pipettes and beakers to aid your world-saving research efforts assuming you have any idea what you're doing.

For those who aren't looking for a fight, there's now a huge industry of luxurious survival shelters for the uber-wealthy.

A far cry from the dingy Anderson Shelters of the Blitz, billionaires are now snapping up subterranean luxury bunkers that boast swimming pools, tram systems, and even wine cellars.

Some, like the Oppidum in the Czech Republic, will even include a spa for their billionaire buyers but they're going fast.

Despite costing at least $1.5million, all of the units in a converted nuclear missile silo at the Survival Condo in Kansas have already sold out.

"Your father or grandfather's bunker was not very comfortable," Robert Vicino, the CEO of high-end shelter company Vivos, told CNN.

"They were grey. They were metal, like a ship or something military. And the truth is mankind cannot survive long-term in such a Spartan, bleak environment."

Vivos XPoint bunkers in South Dakota are made from repurposed military munitions depots costing up to 160,000 and could one day be home to 5,000 survivalists.


RAVING MADI went inside real-life Ibiza sex parties where club bosses romped on stage

BURGER BUNSIncredible secret history of McDonald's - including why arches look like boobs

PSYCHO KILLERHow 'Master Butcher' ATE willing victim's penis - & now he's back on streets

BEST IN CLASSKids are sharing heartwarming messages to their teachers - and we want yours!

'PERFECT CYBER STORM'How hackers could cause a cyber doomsday during the pandemic

The firm also offers a "modern day Noah's Ark", in a former Cold War-era ammunition storage facility in Germany.

This particular shelter includes its own tram network to transport residents to the bunker's restaurants, cinema and games rooms.

"We have all the comforts of home, but also the comforts that you expect when you leave your home," Robert added.

The rest is here:

Inside ultra-luxurious disaster survival kits where super-rich can pay 4k for night vision goggles and posh - The Sun

Far More Valuable Than a Stockpile of Food and Money – Investment U

Financial Freedom

By Joel Salatin

Originally posted May 19, 2020 on Manward Press

Editors Note: Exciting news Joels latest book is available for pre-order! Called Beyond Labels, the book confronts the biggest issues in Americas food supply and shows how easy it can be to take charge of your own health one bite at a time. The ideas, evidence and takeaways from this book have the power to reshape Americas declining health. Click here to pre-order today.

I remember like yesterday the conversations and conundrums surrounding Y2K. Pundits were all over the map, from Nothing will happen to Were going to be living in caves and whittling cooking utensils with pocketknives.

Sorting out the proper response occupied hours of reading, seeking, praying and late-night discussions.

Back in Y2K, the issue was internet failure, grid failure, microchip failure. It was a technology malfunction that would bring the world crashing down to something resembling the 1940s.

Today, the issue is not really COVID-19; its a complete collapse of what some call the Everything Bubble.

We all follow certain thinkers who earn our respect because they have a track record of good decisions. One of my guys says the pandemic enabled governments that were bankrupt to blame something else for economic collapse. Its the perfect scapegoat.

Whether it was contrived or not, it certainly bailed out our spendthrift politicians from having to own their financial chaos.

Most wise people realize by now that the pandemics issue is not sickness; its money.

It begs the question If by December were in postapocalyptic times, what will you do?

Too Late

Last week I spent an hour on the phone with two bright, middle-aged couples who were looking for the proper survival response to a cultural cataclysm.

The husbands in both of these couples were ex-military and believed things would be dire over the next few years. Their question: What is our best avenue to create security for our families during cultural chaos and collapse?

Steeped in survival lore, they looked first at hermit mountain man strategies.

The word survivalist conjures up the thought of a lone existence sequestered in a cave or cabin in a remote wilderness living on edible wild plants and backwoods cunning. Deadfall traps, cordage made from sinew and clothes made from buckskin this life certainly has an appeal, especially for introverts or people who have been abused and hold a strong distrust of neighbors.

The problem with this scenario is that it requires massive amounts of self-reliance skills. You dont just step out of your computer job and know how to set a deadfall trap to successfully kill a rabbit.

And you have to figure out where youre going to go to survive. People who create survival podcasts and YouTube presentations eat, drink and sleep survival techniques. And they do it for a long time.

If you wait for things to start collapsing before you head for the hills, youre too late. Youll never learn the skills fast enough to survive.

If this is your option, you have to do it now, way ahead of the collapse. But almost no one is willing to do that. Were all enamored by the skills these survival gurus have, but few of us are willing to spend the years building to that mastery. For a lot of reasons, this survival trajectory is simply not practical.

Whats the other option?

Invest in Connections

Its on the opposite end of the spectrum, what I call communal survivalism.

In that scenario, you invest in relationships. Ive always said Id like to be Amish without the costume. If you surround yourself with an eclectic blend of expertise, youll collectively have the knowledge and skills to weather the chaos.

That is something you can do without actually jumping off a cliff. It will take time, to be sure, but it can be cultivated while youre still enjoying the benefits of a quasi-functional culture.

Im not talking about a cult; Im talking about something far more basic than an insurance policy and far more long-lived than a stockpile of food.

Interestingly, in the last couple of years Ive helped several people find property near us as a bunker for hard times. Some moved here and some didnt. They realized that our farm, with its low carbon footprint and our team that can grow, build, and fix things, is as secure as just about anything. And so they bought land nearby that we manage for them while securing a haven in case of ground zero.

I have no idea if the monetary system will collapse or if savings will be wiped out. I do know that realtors report skyrocketing interest in rural properties right now. But nobody is listing because of uncertainty.

The properties listed prior to the pandemic are on the market and not being taken off. But no new ones are coming on yet. They will once the dust settles a bit.

Building Your Fort

In times of uncertainty, people head to the fort. In todays world, the fort is not a physical stockade; its a knowledge and skill stockade. The physical part is simply a land base with resources to support the people occupying the property.

Goals for preparing, then, revolve around land, expertise and as much independence as possible.

When people start talking about not being able to get electricity or not being able to buy gasoline and grain, they must realize that in such a postapocalyptic world, we wont be techno cherry-picking. Well be eating herbivores and growing seed-saved vegetables, and society will be in complete breakdown.

Thats an extreme scenario and probably wont happen.

But hiccups in supermarket supplies are quite likely. Hiccups in your 401(k) are certainly possible. Restrictions to commerce, nationalization of business and other key disruptions could happen.

The pandemic has awakened a new sense of urgency for personal security in uncertain times.

But rather than casting off from society and heading for the hills, I suggest a more prudent and practical course of action is to develop a relationship with a place and an outfit, or community, that exhibits principles of resilience. That investment might yield a better return.

Like what youre reading? Let us know your thoughts here.

Joel Salatin calls himself a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer. With a room full of debate trophies from high school and college days, 12 published books, and a thriving multigenerational family farm, he draws on a lifetime of food, farming and fantasy to entertain and inspire audiences around the world. Hes as comfortable moving cows in a pasture as he is addressing Fortune 500 CEOs at a Wall Street business conference. A fierce defender of personal freedom and choice, he brings an unorthodox viewpoint that readers of Manward Digest cant get enough of.

Read the original post:

Far More Valuable Than a Stockpile of Food and Money - Investment U

Survivalism 101: A Survivalist Preparation Guide | Gaia

Grow your innate survival abilities and watch your sleep improve and your worries lessen. Often your greatest fears become your greatest strengths; consider teaching others as you hone your skills.Here are a few ways to establishyour independence.

Learn how to grow your own food. Also, learn how to store, pickle and dry food. Learn how to cook with minimal ingredients. Consider growingmedicinal plants and learning the edible and medicinal plants that naturally grow in your local environment. When you grow your own food pre-apocalypse, you may even save $24,000 per year. Composting skills are also extremely valuable, especially if biomass energy is generated.

Read about the cycles of the sun and moon. Document eclipses, astronomical changes and learn to navigate by the stars. Master navigators were often the explorers and elders of ancient civilization, revered for their understanding of earth systems. Now a lost art, some cultures still use Old World navigation: Polynesians are still considered genius navigators and useancient techniques to travelthe ocean by canoe.

Learning to hunt, fish and raise livestock are invaluable skills. Hunting and fishing may involve various weapons or trapping techniques. The Boulder Outdoor Survival School teachesthree basic hunting strategies; the strategies are based on the tactics used by animals, such ascanine (chase/pack hunting), feline (spot and stalk) and raptor (ambush). Urban agriculture programs are surfacing all around the world, which supports efforts to raise chickens, rabbits or even apiary endeavors. Explore the urban agriculture policies of your local government.

While your first step is to measure and lower your energy use, you may also invest in renewable and alternative energy sources. Invest in solar panels, a generator, wind turbines and property with geothermal energy.Teslas solar shingles are inspiring new home designs: consider following the work of energy progressives like Tesla and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Learn how to heal yourself. How to take care of yourself. If you are dependent on medicine, find a natural remedy you can grow. If you need glasses, consider getting laser eye surgery. Steve Huffman, CEO and Founder of Reddit and survivalist, got laser eye surgery so he would no longer be dependent on his contact lenses or glasses. If you have allergies, exploreimmune-building tactics you can take to increase your tolerance.

Take technology, engineering or construction classes. Learn how things work, how to take them apart and put them together. In large part, survivalskills involve understandingnature and learning how to use natural materials and processes to survive. Take survivalist courses: learn how to build a snow cave and start a fire without matches. Here are some other training courses to consider:

Establish a meeting place or signal system with loved ones. FEMA provides guidelines for emergency preparation, including organization of identification and financial documents. However, in the event that government emergency services are not operating, consider drafting a basic plan on whereand when to congregate with family members, on high ground and at a certain time driven by nature, such as sunrise.

Throughout history, many indigenous cultures have lived in harmony with the planet, with respect for nature, animals and the cycles of the planets. Learn about indigenous cultures in your area: how they handled weather extremes, the plants they ate and used, and how they built shelter. These practices were refined over centuries and offer ingenious survival tricks.

The lone wolf survival strategy is only one approach to survivalism. According to Gregg Braden, cooperation, not competition, is the most successful evolutionary driver and thus, adaptation strategy. Create a network, understand each others strengths and weakness, work together to create and implement solutions.

Learn how to defend yourself. For some this may mean stockpiling ammunition, but considering that is not a sustainable tactic,try learning martial arts, archery or basic defense strategy. Placement of a shelter, on high ground and with a birds eye view, is an example of a tactical defense strategy.

The principles of Ubuntu may seem idealistic, but a survivalist future based on contributionism is certainly possible. To prepare, develop a craft people will need and appreciate. For example, learn to grow strawberries for a world wanting sweetness or knit wool hats for cold winters. Consider your personal strengths and leveragethem.

It may seem counterintuitive, but survivalism requires practice. Embody a mindset of sustainability and independence. Set aside time each year to test and advance your survival skills. Try a survival field course:you can find courses and schools that offer urban or wilderness survival training. Eventuallyyou may even consider living off the grid full time.

Read more here:

Survivalism 101: A Survivalist Preparation Guide | Gaia

Extraction Review: Chris Hemsworth and the Russo Brothers Team Up for a Tedious Action Ride – IndieWire

From Thor to Fat Thor and various roles in between, Chris Hemsworth has never been shy about using silliness to subvert his god-like good looks. Drawn like a Times Square caricature of an Abercrombie & Fitch model, the Australian star has always been willing and able to shape the absurdity of his sex appeal into the punchline of a joke that were all in on together, or at least use it to suspend our disbelief in a cartoonish movie world that would otherwise be impossible to accept with a straight face. (See: Blackhat. No, really, see it its good).

In that light, its pretty tempting to laugh when the hot but haunted mercenary Hemsworth plays in is formally introduced during a scene in which hes roused from a drunken stupor on the edge of a cliff, jumps off a skyscraper-sized waterfall thats high enough to horrify lesser men, and then sobers up by meditating at the bottom of the lake. When the characters name is revealed to be Tyler Rake too generic for a spit-take, but too ridiculous to swallow theres reason to hope that Extraction is only pretending to be a serious action film with the soul of a paperback thriller, and that the Russo brothers have actually convinced Netflix to shell out a small fortune on some kind of stone-faced Jack Reacher parody.

Alas, self-awareness proves not to be one of this movies small but potent handful of strengths, and hopes of Hemsworth being able to charm his way through it are almost as short-lived as the hundreds of faceless henchmen who Tyler Rake slaughters over the next 100 minutes. As the simple premise of Extraction snaps into view, even the relative complexity of a Lee Child novel begins to seem far out of reach. By the time the first act crescendos with an 11-minute long-take in which Rake murders enough people to be considered a liberal hoax, this visceral but derivative shoot-em-up has reduced itself to something of a watered down cross between The Raid and Man on Fire, with little hope of claiming any clear personality of its own. With Hemsworth boxed in by a movie that wont allow him to have any fun, the only real consolation here is that director Sam Hargrave takes the action as seriously as he does everything else.

Written by Joe Russo (in a loose adaptation of his own graphic novel), and co-produced with his brother Anthony, Extraction marks the sibling duos first major foray into streaming since the historic success of Avengers: Endgame. For the most part, however, it feels as if the projects most essential creative voice belongs to first-time director Sam Hargrave, who initially pinged on the Russos radar after working as Chris Evans stunt double in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Following in the recent footsteps of former stunt coordinators like John Wick co-director Chad Stahelski, Hargrave steps behind the camera for a brutal and relentless action extravaganza that relishes its violence the way a David Mamet film might savor its dialogue. Like John Wick or Atomic Blonde (the latter of which bears Hargraves bruising imprint), Extraction displays an almost poetic command of close-up combat. Unlike those films, however, this one has no idea how to express itself whenever the killing stops.

In that sense, Extraction has a lot in common with, say, a reckless mercenary who runs suicide missions because hes better at inflicting trauma than processing his own. It would be a bit too generous to call Tyler Rake a character (hes more like an open wound that scabbed into giant muscles instead of a scar), but that doesnt stop the worlds most elegant arms dealer (Golshifteh Farahani) from hiring him to rescue the 14-year-old son of a Mumbai druglord after the boy is kidnapped by his fathers menacing Bangladeshi rival (Indian heartthrob Priyanshu Painyuli, leaning into the villain role with the kind of entitled menace that can only be described as Kushner-adjacent).

And thats basically it: Tyler shoots his way through the streets of Dhaka, plucks the terrified young Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) from a pile of fresh corpses like a pearl from the mouth of a clam, and then tries to escape from the citadel-like city with the package intact. Hargrave and his crew make excellent use of locations throughout India, Thailand, and Bangladesh; Ovis lavish but lonely mausoleum of a house is more expressive than the character itself is ever allowed to be, while Dhakas cluttered streets teem with life (and the palpable threat of collateral damage).

Its a good thing the films geography is so dynamic, because most scenes in Extraction are only differentiated by how people die. Sometimes Tyler Rake kills people with a gun, sometimes Tyler Rake kills people with a car, and sometimes Tyler Rake kills people with the giant wads of meat and bone that branch out of his wrists. The question isnt if Tyler Rake will kill someone with a rake, but how (Hargrave arrives at the right answer). Simplicity can be a virtue in a movie so driven by shoot-outs, but Russos threadbare script isnt rich enough to elevate constant stimuli into genuine spectacle.

Tylers whole guilt-ridden soldier with a secret thing leans into every trope that it seems poised to subvert David Harbour drops in for a second act exposition dump that confirms all your worst suspicions and stops the movie dead in its tracks while the film itself hardly musters any interest in Tyler and Ovis surrogate family bond. Both of them are desperate for the love theyve lost or never had, but any such emotional stirrings are suffocated under a smoggy pile of Redbox-ready genre tics. When the villain barks at his goons that he wants every gun in Dhaka pointed at this guy!, you realize the films palpable sense of place has succumbed to its generic self-identity.

And yet, Extraction is most flavorful along the margins. The limits of survivalism are better explored through a few minor characters than they are the films leads; its particularly rewarding to follow one scrappy kids tragic rise from the Bangladeshi slums to the upper ranks of the villains organization, as he takes the only path life makes available to him. His arc isnt motivated by bravery or cowardice so much as the absence of any choice altogether, and it elegantly dovetails with Tylers journey before all is said and done. It also gives Hargrave a good excuse to shoot Hemsworth beating the absolute crap out of some overmatched children, but thats just an incidental bonus.

If Extraction is at its best when its characters collapse into the same space, then perhaps its fitting that Hargraves debut will be remembered for the elaborate long-take that bleeds across the middle of the movie. Its an impressive feat, but like much of this steroidal misfire the shot is too enthralled by its own capacity for violence to have any real fun with it. Despite evincing a natural flair for carnage that should make Hargrave a valuable Hollywood presence for a long time to come, the oner here is stitched together from a number of discrete shots in a way that makes you question the reality of what youre seeing, rather than marvel at it.

The Raid 2 made this kind of thing en vogue, and the likes of Atomic Blonde managed to fake it so real, but Extraction pulls just a few too many of the wrong punches. Theres a fine line between awe and tedium, and sometimes not even Chris Hemsworth is able to blur it for us.

Extraction will be available to stream on Netflix starting April 24.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Continued here:

Extraction Review: Chris Hemsworth and the Russo Brothers Team Up for a Tedious Action Ride - IndieWire

The Growing Threat Posed By Accelerationism And Accelerationist Groups Worldwide Analysis – Eurasia Review

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Samuel Hodgson and Colin P. Clarke*

(FPRI) As the world is paralyzed by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), some violent non-state actors have welcomed the global pandemic as anopportunityto push their propaganda and ideology, and perhaps to strike at their perceived foes. White supremacist extremists see the pandemic as confirmation of many of the movements preexisting beliefs, and as an opportunity to pursue their violent aims, as the virus induces anxiety related to the economy, immigration, and uncertainty over the future.

A group known as accelerationists, in particular, has seized on the pandemic. Online, they have advanced a raft of conspiracy theories,disinformation, and hateful propaganda accusing Jews and migrants of responsibility for starting and spreading the virus, respectively. Accelerationists believe that thesocial upheavalthey promote, which is viewed as a necessary prelude that will usher in the rebuilding of society on the basis of white power, has been made plausible by the scenes of illness and death dominating mainstream news coverage.

Accelerationism is the most inherently violent and dangerous ideology circulating in the global white supremacist extremist movement. Accelerationists believe that a race war is not only inevitable, but desirable, as it is the only path to achieving white power by bringing about the downfall of current systems of government. Their beliefs are shaped in large part by James MasonsSiege,which draws on Charles Manson, Adolf Hitler, and prominent American neo-Nazi William Pierce, author ofThe Turner Diaries. Accelerationists call for the expulsion or extermination of Jewish people, ethnic and racial minorities, and white race traitors, a category that includes race-mixing white women, academics, journalists, and politicians. Their online conversations are molded by a belief that other white supremacists are insufficiently extreme and that only violence directed against the political system can lead to the establishment of white power.

Accelerationists are especially dangerous because they believe an act of mass violence by a single individual (a lone wolf) or small cell can trigger their desired race war. Such attacks are intended to force the white population to recognize their true enemy, join a revolutionary uprising, and destroy the political system. Accelerationists organize themselves to facilitate these attacks, following the principles ofleaderless resistanceand calling on individuals or small cells to perpetrate revolutionary acts of violence without centralized leadership. Accelerationist networks form small cells to train for and coordinate such attacks. These cells are typically organized geographically, either by country or region, to facilitate activities like physical fitness exercises and paramilitary training. Such a compartmentalized organization, where network and white supremacist movement members take action based on a shared vision rather than at the direction of a single leader, is deliberately designed to resist infiltration by law enforcement.

Accelerationisms call for armed resistance by lone wolves in the name of hastening of an inevitable societal collapse has produced violent results. The manifestos of bothBrenton Tarrantand John Earnestwho in 2019 perpetrated mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a synagogue in Poway, California, respectivelyespoused key concepts of accelerationism in describing their motivations or calling for further action.Other plotsby accelerationist cells have been foiled, but reflected an intent to act towards similarly violent ends.

Several accelerationist networks have emerged. The most notorious, and one of the most prolific, is Atomwaffen Division (AWD), which emerged from the now-defunct fascist online forum Iron March in 2015. The group has international reach, with members and active cells,whichappear to operatewith a high degree of independence, in several countries. The organization seeks to initiate a race war that will lead to the destruction of the current political system. Members have repeatedly shown their commitment to advancing societal breakdown through violence in order to achieve white power goals. Their forums and chat groups circulate a core set of texts, most prominentlySiege.

AWD has a strong U.S. presence. Since its formation, members have been identified in several states, and their social media and propaganda reveals that they have likely held paramilitary training camps in Texas, Nevada, Illinois, and Washington. These camps have featured live-fire weapons training and firearms instruction, in addition to hand-to-hand combat training, instruction in survival skills, and other physical fitness activities. Members have plotted attacks in the United States, including a cell in Florida that had acquired explosive materials and may haveintended to targetthe electrical grid or a nuclear power plant in 2017. Other activities by the members include the murder of a gay Jewish man in California and anintimidation campaigntargeting journalists and political figures.

In addition to activity in the United States, AWD appears to have a significant presence in Germany and members inCanada. U.S.-based members are reported to have traveled to England, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, andGermany. While the purpose of these trips is unclear, photos of members holding an AWD flag in front of Wewelsburg Castle, a site of particular historical significance for neo-Nazi groups, have appeared in AWD propaganda, including in the announcement of its German branch, AWD Deutschland.

Atomwaffen has inspired a number of related organizations with shared ideologies and occasionally overlapping membershipsincluding not only AWD Deutschland, but also Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) and Sonnenkrieg Division. FKD was founded in the Baltics, and reportedly has members in several European countries and the United States. The groups propaganda reveals that it, like AWD, explicitly embraces employing violence for the purpose of bringing about a race war. FKD has been implicated in terrorist attacks and plots in the United States and Europe. While the scope of the groups U.S. presence is unclear, at least one former member, Conor Climo, has admitted to discussing attacks on Jewish and LGBT sites inLas Vegas, Nevada,and conducting surveillance in support of potential plots. Climo was also found to have assembled bomb-making materials in his home.

Sonnenkrieg Division is aU.K.-basedgroup whose members have distributed propaganda encouraging terrorist attacks, and have acquired bomb-making instructions. Like AWD, Sonnenkriegs members have advocated for mass violence online. Its membership includes former members of National Action, a neo-Nazi terrorist organization currently banned in the United Kingdom. In February 2020, the U.K. home secretary announced thatSonnenkriegwill also be banned as a terrorist group. In private forums, Sonnenkrieg members have discussed traveling to the United States to meet with AWD.

The United States is also home to The Base, another U.S. group with international membership, which was organized in 2018. An individual who refers to himself as Norman Spear and Roman Wolf formed the group with a similar goal to AWDs founders: preparing adherents of white supremacist extremist ideology to commit acts of terrorism and participate in an anticipated civil war. While Spear has attempted to publicly disavow violencedescribing The Base as a survivalism & self-defense networkhe has acknowledged that members of his group are militant, and seek to foment an insurgency. Spear has also tacitly justified the use of terrorism. For example, he commented in a June 2018 Gab post: Its only terrorism if we loseIf we win, we get statues of us put up in parks. Spear has since been revealed through independent investigations byThe Guardianand theBBCto be a U.S. citizen residing in St. Petersburg, Russia, raising questions about the groups potential foreign connections.

The majority of The Bases activity takes place in the United States, where cells and members have been identified in Maryland, Georgia, New Jersey, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The group has held paramilitary hate camps in Georgia and elsewhere in the United States, and hasreportedlysought to hold similar camps in Canada. The groups physical meetups regularly attracted at least one Canadian member.

Members of The Base explicitly advocate for mass violence in their online communications. While The Base has not successfully executed a terrorist attack, members from Maryland and Canada wereindictedin January 2020 on firearms charges and crimes related to the harboring and transportation of an alien, in connection with a plot to carry out an attack at a gun-rights rally in Richmond, Virginia. Three other members were charged the same month in Georgia with conspiracy to commit murder in relation to a plot to kill anti-fascist activists, while other members have been charged or indicted for vandalizing synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin, in a scheme that was coordinated by a member from New Jersey.

As witnessed with the recent case ofTimothy Wilson, a white supremacist who was killed in a confrontation with the FBI before he could follow through on his plans to bomb a hospital in the midst of the pandemic, the domestic terrorism threats that existed before the pandemic will not cease. Indeed, they may very well be exacerbated by individuals and groups intent on wreaking havoc at a time when first responders, law enforcement, and other emergency personnel are preoccupied. The group to which Wilson belonged, Vorherrschaft Division, appears to have had limited activity beyond their Telegram channel and a single act of anti-Semitic vandalism until his plot, demonstrating the dangerous potential of accelerationist ideology to produce violence.

What seems certain is that accelerationists propaganda will be invigorated by the pandemic, focusing on themes that dovetail with their ideology and further complicating national security in the midst of a global health crisis.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a non-partisan organization that seeks to publish well-argued, policy-oriented articles on American foreign policy and national security priorities.

*About the authors:

Source: This article was published by FPRI

Go here to see the original:

The Growing Threat Posed By Accelerationism And Accelerationist Groups Worldwide Analysis - Eurasia Review

Does the Theoretical Arrow Fired by Jane Goodall End at the Feet of Jair Bolsonaro? – CounterPunch

Photograph Source: Erik (HASH) Hersman from Orlando CC BY 2.0

We oh-so civilized humans seem to think we know everything except perhaps how to behave decently and rationally all the time, as Dr Jane Goodall noted when comparing Donald Trump to an anthropomorphised image of the male chimpanzee and it is the methodologies and exalted stature of the sciences, including history, that have conferred upon us this mantle of knowledge.

As Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind author, Yuval Noah Harari, opines: Today [humanity] stands on the verge of becoming a god, poised to acquire not only eternal youth, but also the divine abilities of creation and destruction.

Long before Harari waxed lyrical about the potential omniscience of humankind the philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach set down a far sounder reason than Harari has for humankinds apparently transcendental consciousness (Nietzsche probably came up with the simplest and best). Feuerbachs notion was generated from the ways he saw science changing knowledge. Humans, he argued, now had the ability to know everything not as individuals but as a collective.

To explain with an analogy: people who use buses in a city know the routes they take, the numbers of the buses, the places they stop. But they dont know all the routes. However, if you brought together all the bus users in the city then any question about how to get from one place to another by bus would be answered. The collective knowledge of the group would be a complete knowledge. The group would also actually know more than individual bus route planners, or coordinators, who would have to consult documents to obtain an answer.

In a similar way, any scientist has access to all the work of every other scientist and so, theoretically, the totality of scientific research, past and present, amounts to the full knowledge of the world at any particular time. Individual scientists do not know everything but as a group that has recorded its findings they do. This final frontier of knowledge and science makes the human species, according to Feuerbach, special. Humans have what amounts to a collective consciousness, and modern science makes that consciousness omniscient. This collective consciousness stored in libraries of various kinds allows science to move very quickly in developing new technologies. This then enables what appears to us as an exponential growth in progress over even very short periods of time a technological revolution every few years.

But this progress is not the progress of humans as humans, it is the progress of things. Yes, humans change because of the things that are around them, but the purpose of progress is not to develop the human being to develop enjoyment, leisure, connection and independence the purpose is to make wealth. Steven Pinker, for example, argues that advances in technology, along with the development of the institutions that govern us, have made us better people but he warns that most people, consciously echoing Hobbes, are essentially bad and if left to their own devices they would revert to all sorts of evil practices. Using this reasoning one can only conclude that the tribespeoples of the Amazon and elsewhere must be living in awful conditions as well as being unspeakably nasty to each other and so, following Pinkers logic, if we genuinely care about others, we should support the efforts of Brazils Bolsonaro to improve their lives.

Eminent thinkers, Richard Wrangham, Dale Petersen, Jane Goodall, Pinker and E. O. Wilson essentially share a common approach in how to interpret and understand what they view as human nature. They share what is, for all intents and purposes, an evolutionary psychology viewpoint. This strand of scientific exploration finds much evidence and justification in the famous studies of chimpanzees our closest relative in Gombe National Park in Tanzania led by Jane Goodall. There is, I suggest, a direct methodological and theoretical arrow fired by Goodall that ends at Pinker but if we keep following the logic it becomes apparent that the arrow does not stop at Pinker, it lands at the feet of Jair Bolsonaro.

Evolutionary psychology tells us that we can begin to understand what motivates present day civilized humans by looking into how humans of the past reacted psychologically to the environments they lived in. A simple example: humans have a fight or flight response to potential danger because in caveman days humans were always being surprised by saber-toothed tigers that wanted to eat them. Evolutionary psychology also tells us that people can only be relatively free when they are released from the imperatives of survival and reproduction and such freedom can only be found (of course!) in civilization. This means that all primitive peoples are oppressed by the daily struggle to survive and reproduce. And all other animals are equally fettered. This is why other animals and tribal peoples have no decent art museums or concert halls and no bands like The Rolling Stones they are too busy staving off hunger all day and trying to have more kids. (Its interesting that the worlds population remained fairly static until the emergence of the first States when the population exploded within those States so maybe those primitive, un-enslaved folk werent even very good at having children)

These well-accepted academic notions about humans before civilization contain some very stupid assumptions. They assume if you follow the logic properly that humans prior to civilization were not masters of their environment in the same way that any other animal is/was master of their environment. It projects back the notion of a modern/civilized human who has not been educated or taught how to dress properly and adds to this the image of a human who is constantly surprised and overwhelmed by the environment they inhabit. These weird fictional projected-back people are only able to become better at living when they have discovered fire; when they have discovered the wheel; when they have learned to trade and to read; when they have discovered the refrigerator

So, these fictional people of the long-ago past have two important features: they are simultaneously helpless and stupid. It is only on the long road to present-day civilization that they become less helpless and less stupid.

If we think more about how humans like us coped in the wild before television we discover that we should see all other animals as helpless and stupid too all of them only just managing to survive in their environments. And we must also see all the tribespeoples around the world who live in the forests, in the hills, and on the plains as equally helpless and stupid. We are forced to wonder just how these people are surviving right now the misery they must be in! They must be so stressed by their helplessness and the fearful environment they inhabit. Then we are forced to wonder how the anatomically-modern human species survived for the vast majority of its existence 200,000 years at least without the benefits of civilization (which began arriving around 7000 years ago) in this continually helpless and surprised state. If they were so helpless and stupid why didnt they die out long ago, or did civilization save them just in the nick of time? And how come all the helpless and stupid animals that inhabit the world seem to carry on surviving? And how come the Yanomami are still here, or the Sentinelese? Questions, questions

How do/did these groups modern day tribespeoples; humans who lived between 200,000 and 7000 years ago; and all the animals manage to persist in such awful circumstances? Their stress levels due to their stupidity and helplessness must be, and have been, through the roof! Once again if we follow the line of the logic we have no option but to support the humanitarian work of Jair Bolsonaro and others in trying to rescue primitive peoples from their own foolish lifestyles and ignorance. And not only are the tribes of the Amazon stupid and helpless, badly dressed, not dressed at all, and lacking in civilized etiquette they are in the way of making a few bucks. They need to be proletarianized, and if a lot of them die in the process well, its no big deal In this scenario under the logical big tent erected by Goodall et al Bolsonaro wins twice: firstly he is doing humanity a favour by bringing civilized behaviour to the savages, and secondly he is helping his friends make money.

This is the logic required in order to keep faith with the theories and fancies of experts such as Goodall and Pinker. If one uncovers and follows the Enlightenment logic and the civilizing sermon embedded in their writings one is drawn to this uncomfortable conclusion.

Our esteemed betters, who regularly appear on TED Talks, for example, think they can effectively know everything. It was Marx, interestingly or alarmingly, depending on the depth of ones investment in Marx who taught us just how the human species is able to know everything. He went further than Feuerbach, turning Feuerbachs notions of collective human possibility into the science of sociology the discipline for which he is considered a chief founder. After Marx, sociological studies were grounded in the empirical collation of factors that amounted to the totality of the economic and social environments that people lived in. If one was to reveal true human motivations it was no longer any use listening to what people said about themselves, one had to investigate their economic and social circumstances. Marx wrote: Whilst in ordinary life every shopkeeper is very well able to distinguish between what somebody professes to be and what he really is, our historians have not yet won even this trivial insight. They take every epoch at its word and believe that everything it says and imagines about itself is true. There is a lot to be said for this approach of course, but the problem with it is that it doesnt always work in fact, never in societies without economies, and it works less well in societies that have economies that are different to capitalist ones. Money makes liars and deceivers of us all, not always because we are bad, usually because we just want to survive.

Jean Baudrillard pointed out in the early 1970s that the Marxist effort to explain human motivations through the economic environment does not work if the society does not have an economy. Marxists, for their part, have struggled with how to incorporate primitive societies into Marxist methodology, and so have all the other anthropologists who look for the economic motor as the key to understanding human societies. The famous anthropologist Richard Lee, for example, tried his best to argue that primitive society was a society of economic production with his theory of the communal mode of production. But his argument is ultimately not very convincing, as I have explored elsewhere.

Marxs sociology works superbly in a capitalist society and, being taken with it, the famous Annales School in France decided to study the history of previous epochs societies with States and classes, not primitive societies using a form of this Marxist lens. But the broad and compelling histories produced by this school are riven with the same smug, self-congratulatory, vein that runs through the vast bulk of academic work. For them, as with most other historians, it was as if all previous hierarchical and exploitative societies were precursors to an inevitable capitalism. Their approach was to look at societies in the manner of a Sherlock Holmes to place the whole society under their penetrating magnifying glass in order to discover the truth. But like all such endeavours maybe excepting those of Holmes himself what they really got from their studies was only the truth that they already had in their minds.

For example, Fernand Braudel was able to write of (nine-thousand-year-old) atalhyk: But what must be remembered is that the most important source of income for the town was trade. The presumption of town, income, and trade forces upon us a particularly modern representation of atalhyk. Braudel encourages us to believe that we could look at what went on there through the eyes of a local some nine thousand years ago. But he could discover these things only because that was all he was looking for: [atalhyk and other towns] had made a start, prefiguring the future At some point these ventures received a mortal blow [and they] would simply disappear [but] local setbacks notwithstanding, it was here [in the Middle East] that civilization would first spring to life. Braudel was enamoured of modern civilization and wanted to uncover its glorious beginnings. Braudel, by-the-way, had no idea why these early civilizations disappeared and he glossed over this fascinating problem you see, if you are an intellectual you must ensure that people fail to notice the holes or problems in your theses. He was a Sherlock Holmes with rose-tinted spectacles, who felt able to pat what he considered to be a baby civilization on the head for its sterling efforts.

Braudels most famous student, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, in 1990 wrote the micro-historical account of a medieval French village titled, Montaillou. This was a painstaking investigation that claimed, as he wrote, to have got down to the basic unit, the unit of the people, the peasants in order to discover what made a citizen of Montaillou tick above such basic biological drives as food and sex.

But Le Roy Ladurie should have tried harder not in his meticulous research but in the effort to be remain humble or, rather, to intelligently acknowledge that despite all his research he could never see the world through the eyes of the people he studied, and so he could never really know them as he claimed.

To explain with an analogy: we can, for example, understand when someone tells us that medieval peasants lived by a cyclical calendar derived from agrarian existence but, despite this, we are unable to view time as a rotation because we cannot look up from this page and comfortably accept, or throw out the notion, that time is not linear. As the historian A. J. Gurevich writes of the transition from feudal to urban capitalist conceptions of time: The alienation of time from its concrete content raised the possibility of viewing it as a pure categorical form, as duration unburdened by matter. It was the success of the introduction of supply chains, distribution, and factory work, culminating in railway timetables, that led to the abandonment of any sense that time was cyclical, seasonal, or connected to the earth. This linear expression of time is now hard-wired into our brains.

We cannot see through the eyes of a person inhabiting a different mode of living. Our consciousness is determined by the daily life we live, and the principles and values generated by and acting upon this actual daily existence. Once a society is established, then that society becomes an organic whole, a mode of living (not necessarily an economy). A twenty-first century Parisian can as little decide to understand time as cyclical as a medieval European peasant could decide to understand time as a separate linear category of the universe.

So, Marxs Sociology and the discipline of Evolutionary Psychology are the twin methodologies that tell us how humans work in the world at any time and in any environment and situation. We are, according to these amazing know-it-alls, shaped and beset by the psychological inheritance of, for example, fight or flight, or the demonic male, and our need to survive economically.

In fact, our whole approach to the study of humans and other animals is based on the tenets of survivalism. Apparently, the world is a tough place, full of things that want to eat you or kill you for no reason. The primary task of every animal is therefore to survive these challenges and reproduce themselves, whether it be through surviving in a forest, or creating the technology that enables humans to live in houses and drive cars and if we think that we have any other real motivations then the historians and sociologists can tell us that these other motivations are secondary to survival. Indeed, this perspective works wonders in explaining the way we live in modern civilization, or capitalism, where money is the meter of the rhythm of our lives:

Art is a function of money, discuss.Philosophy is a functionof money, discuss.Love is a function of money, discuss.Too little, too much, or justprecariouslyperfect,the life you leadis a function of money.Discuss.

Is survivalism the ethos of primitive peoples? No. They laze about in hammocks, and never work. They live a life rich in dreams and connection to their environment, as Davi Kopenawa has explained in The Falling Sky.

One of the amusing consequences of the combination of evolutionary psychology with Marxist, or sociological, explanations of how societies apparently operate are these ridiculous lines from Yuval Noah Harari in his book Sapiens:

On a hike in East Africa 2 million years ago, you might well have encountered a familiar cast of human characters: anxious mothers cuddling their babies and clutches of carefree children playing in the mud; temperamental youths chafing against the dictates of society and weary elders who just wanted to be left in peace; chest-thumping machos trying to impress the local beauty and wise old matriarchs who had already seen it all.

The family group he describes could be any family group from present-day Los Angeles but two million years ago! Really?! What kind of Fred Flintstone tomfoolery is going on here?

While all this apparent knowing of everything has been turned upside down by the present ecological and biological crises, we mustnt think that the twin prongs of certainty about the nature of human beings one prong being primitive psychology and the other the imperative of survival and reproduction, or the economy will disappear. In fact, they are likely to become even more forceful in the coming years, as the need for a more powerful State apparatus and a more disciplined populace becomes ever more necessary to keep the wheels of the anti-human economy in motion

Excerpt from:

Does the Theoretical Arrow Fired by Jane Goodall End at the Feet of Jair Bolsonaro? - CounterPunch

‘Preppers’ in Costa Rica on alert for the coronavirus and the feared global collapse – Q Costa Rica News

Friday before Semana Santa, in the hours before the strict measures to minimize the spread of the new coronavirus during the holiday period, thousands crowded the countrys supermarkets, Walmart and Pricesmart, for example, buying rice, beans, canned tuna and huge amounts of toilet paper.

Meanwhile at home, watching the news and witnessing such unprecedented crowds were the Tico preppers, who without saying a word and with a beer in hand settled very quietly on their living room sofar, watching the news.

When the first case of the covid-19 appeared in Costa Rica and the population was asked to stay home, the preppers did not need to go out. They had zero fear, since everything they needed to subsist for a long time had already been in their homes for months, or perhaps years.

We have everything. The crowds we saw, when this coronavirus thing started, are part of the first wave of a possible system crash. People feel fear and, since they are not prepared, they leave their house desperately looking to get supplies, because in these countries there is no culture to store, everything is bought daily, Eduardo Rojas, who proudly proclaims himself a prepper, told La Nacion.

The preppers, for those who do not know the term, are those people who take maximum precautions to survive in situations of extreme emergency or even the inevitable end of the world.

Along these lines, the collapse of society due to an economic crisis, a war world or a deadly pandemic, are part of the events for which they prepare with strict discipline.

That is why, in the midst of the world emergency due to the new coronavirus, the Costa Rican preppers, in Spanish sacan pecho adopting an attitude of pride or defiance, as well acting decisively and courageously in a difficult situation.

Unknown to them, family and even friends have called them insane, but now they have noticed how the perception towards their unique practices has changed. A lot.

These days they dont call us crazy anymore, says Ricardo Calvo, a long-standing national prepper, who has his survival refuge in a wooded site in the Cerro de la Muerte.

Rojas, for his part, has never been bothered for being considered the crazy sheep of the family. After all, he knows that whenever his loved ones need something, they turn to him and that, in the midst of the current pandemic, they have begun to see him with different eyes.

It is wavering, in the middle of any emergency, they always resort to me. It has always been like this. That in the middle of a family piata a boy gets a scrape playing with others, they always come to me because they know that I always have band-aids, special knives or items to control any unexpected situation. Then we stop being the strange ones, comments this Josefino smiling, very proud of his extensive knowledge in survivalism and his great expertise as a paramedic and mountaineer.

The only bad thing is that his relatives may love him very much and show him more appreciation than normal in these troubled times, but Rojas is forceful in one thing: if there were to be a global collapse, very few could go with me. Siblings and even parents, who do not adopt the system, can unfortunately be left out. This may sound selfish, but it is not, it is realistic, because a large number of people would be impossible to handle.

Alexnder Snchez, in preparing his report, said that after listening to this sincere confession, inevitable questions arise: in the time of the covid-19, will it be necessary at any time to take such radical actions? How do preppers analyze the current pandemic? Will we be at risk of collapse worldwide? What do preppers really fear?

Their responses will surprise you.

Ricardo Calvo, a 48-year-old naturalist guide, is undoubtedly one of the best-known preppers in the country. His farm, located near kilometer 70 of theInter-American Sur (ruta 2), is his refuge in the event that an apocalyptic event threatens his life and that of his loved ones.

On his property Calvo stores water, all kinds of grains, generates energy autonomously and designed evacuation routes for when the spark ignites and the chaos begins.

Calvo, as he commented to La Nacions Revista Dominical last November, is aware that his lifestyle generates different opinions in people: Many think that I am a truly fatalistic individual and that all my logistics are focused on preparing me for the call of the end of the world'.

However, Calvo does not consider himself a fatalistic person, but realistic and cautious.

As for the fact that we are preparing for the end of the world, that is not true. We do it for a collapse or chaos that may occur at the least expected moment, and that could put our lives at risk, said the survivalist.

Calvo has lived relatively calmly, however, these days, he and his survivalist community are more restless than ever. The covid-19 pandemic has put them on their guard, as everything seems to indicate that this is not a minor episode.

Im going to tell you one thing. Not that I think that the coronavirus is going to be the end of the world, no, I dont think so. I think things are going well in Costa Rica. But something is true, this is like a tug of war for society, something that will make us all react and prepare better. Now everyone is going to understand us, without a doubt it will be like this, said Calvo.

But while Calvos predictions sound relatively favorable, this prepper doesnt rule out the possibility that something could go wrong and things with the covid-19 get completely out of control.

Sure, the possibility of everything going wrong exists. Lets remember that this is unprecedented in our history and the same Health Minister, Daniel Salas, cannot answer how long he will have to maintain the protocols to avoid contagion since everything must be measured day by day. Until now everything is unknown and that keeps you in suspense, he reflected.

In summary, what Calvo fears the most are two things: firstly, that there will be a massive contagion of police officers and, secondly, the impact that the economic crisis will inevitably have on people, which inevitably brings with it the pandemic.

Calvos fear of the loss of the police to keep order is based on his observations that many people cannot even obey a simple sanitary order, not heeding to the call to stay at home, th hundreds daily violating the vehicular restrictions. We already know that the economy of Costa Rica is going to be torn to shreds, that is a fact, so nothing is going to be the same as before, he warns.

For him, looting, despair, and anarchy would be the consequences of a dangerous combo: a crisis of citizen security and hunger.

Im going to confess something to you. Me and the preppers in my community we were not prepared for a health emergency, because we did not have gallons of gel stored, or masks, or anything like that. We should have done it, I did not prepare for a pandemic of this type, but what we did prepare for was the lockdown, said Calvo.

One cannot predict everything that is going to happen, it is impossible, one must be prepared for a sudden change in society. For example, the last minute preppers were the ones that caused supermarkets to collapse and spread the virus further in Costa Rica and around the world.

It is noted that human reaction is dangerous. In such a case, one should focus and be prepared in case a wave of looting comes into being, he added.

For that, Calvo and his community of preppers already have some security protocols planned in their survival hideout. And yes, this includes weapons.

For preppers like Eduardo Rojas, owner of a mountaineering business located in Guadalupe, he points out what can happen before a global collapse breaks out.

He calls it waves that society goes through before possible chaos.

I said it before. The first wave has to do with what we have already seen in Costa Rica. Feelings of hysteria about what is going to happen, the expectation of whether I am going to get sick or not, and the necessary practice of washing my hands every now and then. Confining yourself in one place, Rojas explained.

The second wave, according to Rojas, is the gradual collapse of the economic system, where people begin to see their purchasing power diminished, either because they lost their jobs, their jobs were suspended or their working hours were reduced. We are already seeing that.

Finally, the third wave is the one that nobody wants to see, It is the complete collapse of the economy and the political system, a fact for which virtually no one would be prepared. At this stage, according to Rojas, people do not have access to basic food and hunger begins to rise dangerously, according to Rojas.

Rojas and other preppers already have plan A, B, and C.

First, he would take refuge in his house, then in another strategic position already identified and, finally, if necessary, in a secret place outside the Metropolitan Area. The evacuation routes are already planned out and could be activated the day this prepper considers that the security of his family nucleus is being violated.

For Rojas there are already signs to be concerned about, especially due to economic and social behavior. You can already see that there are more aggressive and intolerant people than usual and that is evident with the Nicaraguan issue, said the prepper.

When people are stressed and confined, receiving worrisome information and without work all day, it becomes a time bomb, about to explode. The social order is simply broken. For me, the possibility of that happening is high, because when they tell you that the covid-19 vaccine will be ready in 18 months or 12 months, imagine, he added, pessimistically.

Rojas says he is on yellow alert.

Preppers in Costa Rica use social networks, the different groups keeping in touch and informed.

All the news shared in the Facebook groups are commented with singular fury by the preppers, who in these days are in solidarity and uniquely united.

For many, the moment to act seems to be close, very close.

Another thing that Tico preppers do is stay on top of what other preppers around the world are doing.

Like the extreme measures taken by the Gembala family, to avoid the global pandemic, left Indiana moving into converted former military shelters in South Dakota, saying: Weve got life insurance and car insurance now weve got TOTAL insurance.

Sources: La Nacion, Revista Dominical, RT, Facebook

Read this article:

'Preppers' in Costa Rica on alert for the coronavirus and the feared global collapse - Q Costa Rica News

In the Age of COVID-19, Survivalists Are Prepping for a Windfall – 5280 | The Denver Magazine

A guard post at Fortitude Ranch. Courtesy of Fortitude Ranch.

The Armageddon is their business. And business is good.

Deep in the mountains a few hours outside of Colorado Springs, its exact location known only to a privileged few, salvation awaits.

Officially called Fortitude Ranch, this sanctuary is a 50-acre development built in 2018 as a private, communal bug-out sheltera place people could seek refuge in the unfortunate event of, say, a global pandemic. Should such a circumstance transpire, the compound offers security through its cache of ammo, weapons, and manned guard posts; lodging within an undisclosed number of underground bunkers; and a years worth of food and other supplies. At max capacity, the base could accommodate 500though currently its membership stands at about 100 individuals whove forked over an average of $1,000 a year for the privilege of its protection.

Were more like a country club, says Drew Miller, Fortitude Ranchs founder and CEO. You join a country club, you pay an upfront fee, you get to use their facilities. (If youre looking for a needle of optimism in the haystack of despair that has been the coronavirus, Miller says that hes been advising members to remain at their houses instead of fleeing to Fortitude Ranch. By his calculation, COVID-19 isnt all that bad compared to other apocalyptic scenarios.)

And like a ritzy country club, admittance to the shelter might soon become highly particular. The way were expanding with this virus generating interest, Miller says, we should be up to several hundred in Colorado here in this year and probably open our second location [in the Centennial State]. Over the past few weeks, Miller claims, thousands have inquired about membership. Its been a wake-up call.

In 2018, I wrote a story about Colorados prepper culture. The tone of the piece was, admittedly, droll (Von Miller made an appearance as a member of my apocalypse team). That being said, I did try to balance humor and education, because every emergency-services specialist I spoke with said disaster was coming and we werent ready for it.

Did I listen to them? Yes. Did I include their insights in the article? Yes. Did I go out and buy two weeks worth of water and food and devise a plan for escaping the city just in case a nuclear winter descended on Denver? I did not. But where the experts words failed, my King Soopers barren shelves have succeeded. Fortitude Ranch did not contribute to the toilet paper shortage, Miller says, because were always stockpiled. Faced with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, I now get why its reassuring to know that youll always be able to comfortably address such sanitary needsand evidently Im not alone.

Kiki Bandilla is a member of Fortitude Ranch and owner of the Self-Reliance & Simple Life Experience, an expo for the prepper community that will be held this year at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Aurora on October 24 and 25. Only a few weeks ago, she was beginning to organize the event. Then comes coronavirus, which is great for the expo, Bandilla says. People are starting to see that peppers arent so crazy. Maybe we should take steps to prepare. Bandilla says she hasnt witnessed a boom in ticket sales yet, but two sponsorsGarden 4 Life, a Missouri company that sells a soil-less system for growing your own food, and Country Financial, which markets business interruption insurancehave since signed on.

In a more immediate effort to take advantage of the surge of interest in survivalism, this Saturday Bandilla will launch the Self-Reliance University. The first webinar will feature Miller and Nick Meacher, the manager of emergency operations at Denver International Airport, who will give you an insiders perspective from those who are leading teams through this current pandemic, according to the website. Bandilla says the first class will be free, though shes thinking of instituting a subscription model for future lessons, which she plans to air either weekly or biweekly.

Still, apocalypse-related businesses arent completely immune to economic downturns. Jason Marsteiner, the CEO and founder of Colorado Springs the Survival University (not to be confused with Bandillas Self-Reliance University) was supposed to teach a class this Saturday titled 15 Minutes Agohow to react in the minutes following a catastrophic event. As of Wednesday, two students had already backed out because of the pandemic. I think people are starting to realize what I do is important, Marsteiner says, but because of the financial crisis, everyone is being very careful on how they spend their money.

Even Fortitude Ranch, with a horde of prospective members lining up outside its gates, is having difficulty attracting investors. The company has already constructed a second operational bug-out shelter in West Virginia, two hours from Washington, D.C. (Its just a great market, Miller says. People realize theyre a target there.) But Miller wants to expand to 12 sites. Thousands of people contacted us and want to join across the U.S. but were working now to find investors, Miller says. Its a difficult thing to do anytime. In a pandemic, its not easier.

Spencer Campbell is 5280's senior editor.

Excerpt from:

In the Age of COVID-19, Survivalists Are Prepping for a Windfall - 5280 | The Denver Magazine

Everything Coming to Netflix This Weekend – PopCulture.com

Netflix is finishing out March with a fully stocked streaming library. Beginning on Friday and continuing throughout the weekend, the streaming giant will add an additional nine new titles for subscribers to view. The new additions do not come at the loss of any others, as no titles are set to exit the platform this weekend.

Among the new titles set to be added, seven of which are Netflix original series and films, is the Season 3 premiere of one beloved crime drama, the debut of the latest addition to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and a captivating thriller about survival.

Keep scrolling to see everything coming to Netflix this weekend, and don't forget to check out all of the titles that will be leaving before the end of the month.

Netflix is taking fans back into Gotham Garage in Season of Car Masters: Rust to Riches.

Produced by Mak Pictures, with Mark Kadin, Will Ehbrecht, Rob Hammersley, Michael Lutz, John Stokel, and Scott Popjes serving as executive producers, the series centers around Mark Towle and his team at Gotham Garage, who are dedicated to upgrading and trading sweet vintage vehicles, turning $1,000 into $100,000.

Season 2, which will see the team taking on more unique projects, is set to debut on Friday, March 27.

A group of survivalists will be caught in a fight for their lives when Netflixs latest film, The Decline, premieres on Friday.

The Canadian thriller, which is the first Quebec film to be produced as a Netflix original film, follows Antonie, a family man who, as a way to prepare for disasters, attends a training program on survivalism at a self-sufficient retreat. As the group prepares and plans for a variety of disaster scenarios, the catastrophe awaiting them is nothing like what they had anticipated.

Directed by Patrice Lalibert, The Decline stars Guillaume Laurin, Ral Boss, Marc-Andr Grondin, Isabelle Giroux, Marilyn Castonguay, Marc Beaupr, Marie-velyne Lessard, and Guillaume Cyr.

Netflix's slate of content for children is expanding with the debut of Dragons: Rescue Riders: Hunt for the Golden Dragon.

The latest addition to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, the series sees the Rescue Riders embarking on the treasure hunt of a lifetime as they race to find a rare golden dragon egg, all while attempting to keep it safe from evil pirates.

Dragons: Rescue Riders: Hunt for the Golden Dragon will be available for streaming on Friday.

Netflix original crime drama Ozark is returning for its third season on Friday.

The popular Jason Bateman and Laura Linney-starring series, which debuted its first season last August, centers around financial planner Marty Byrde who relocates his family from Chicago to a community in the Ozarks after he finds himself at the mercy of a Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes wrong.

Season 3 is set six months after the events of Season 2 and finds the casino up and running, but Marty and Wendy are fighting for control of the family's destiny. Meanwhile, Marty preaches keeping the status quo and Wendy plots for expansion.

One man will endure his father's disapproval when he sets out to achieve his own dreams in Netflix's new film Uncorked.

Set to debut on Friday, the film follows a young man who, fueled by his love of win, strives to become a master sommelier while dealing with his fathers expectations that he will take over the family barbecue business.

Directed by Prentice Penny, the film stars Niecy Nash, Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, Matt McGorry, Sasha Compere, Gil Ozeri, Kelly Jenrette, Bernard David Jones, and Meera Rohit Kumbhani.

Along with the titles mentioned above, Netflix will also be making four other additions to the streaming library, beginning to total number of new titles to nine.

Avail. 3/27/20:Il processo NETFLIX ORIGINALKilling Them SoftlyThere's Something in the WaterTrue: Wuzzle Wegg Day NETFLIX FAMILY

All of this weekend's new additions join nine others that were made throughout the week, meaning that subscribers have plenty of options for their next binge.

Avail. 3/23/20:Sol Levante NETFLIX ANIME

Avail. 3/25/20:Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution NETFLIX DOCUMENTARYCurtiz NETFLIX FILMThe Occupant (Hogar) NETFLIX FILMSigns NETFLIX ORIGINALYooHoo to the Rescue: Season 3 NETFLIX FAMILY

Avail. 3/26/20:7SEEDS: Part 2 NETFLIX ANIMEBlood FatherUnorthodox NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Continued here:

Everything Coming to Netflix This Weekend - PopCulture.com

Here are the new things on Netflix this weekend – BreakingNews.ie

There has never been a better time to catch up with your favourite films and TV shows. Here are some of the newest things Netflix will be streaming from this weekend.

It's six months later, the casino is up and running, but Marty and Wendy are fighting for control of the family's destiny. Marty preaches keeping the status quo. Aided by an alliance with Helen and drug cartel leader Omar Navarro, Wendy plots for expansion. But when Wendy's brother Ben comes into town, everyone's lives are thrown into chaos.

Based on the New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name by Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox is a story about a girl who rejects her radicalized upbringing and leaves to start a new life. One part coming of age story, and one part thriller, set in the fun world of Berlin, we watch as a girl discovers all parts of life, of herself and as she follows the dark trails to uncover the dangerous mysteries of her familys past.

Cress Williams ("Prison Break") brings DC's first major African American superhero to life in this multi-layered series, now returning for Season 3.

Classic cars get massive makeovers courtesy of Gotham Garage, a skilled California crew dedicated to upgrading and trading sweet vintage vehicles.

When a young woman's murder shows similarities to a decade-old cold case, a new police commander must break the silence permeating an Owl Mountain town.

The comedy revolves around Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn's fictional 99th Precinct, who often comes into conflict with his commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher).

Driven and arrogant, film director Michael Curtiz deals with studio politics and family drama during the troubled production of "Casablanca" in 1942.

As a way to prepare for disasters, family man Antoine attends a training program on survivalism given by Alain, at his self-sufficient retreat. Apprehending a natural, economical or social breakdown, the group goes through drills meant to prepare them for apocalypses of all types. But the catastrophe waiting for them is nothing like what they anticipated.

A young man faces his father's disapproval when he pursues his dream of becoming a master sommelier instead of joining the family's barbecue business.

When two sisters open an ancient book that ushers evil into their midst, a possessed priest wrestling with his own demons becomes their only salvation.

An unemployed executive is forced to sell his apartment. When he discovers that he still has the keys, he becomes obsessed with the family that lives there and will do anything to go back to the life he had before.

In the early 1970s, teenagers with disabilities faced a future shaped by isolation, discrimination and institutionalization. Camp Jened, a ramshackle camp for the handicapped in the Catskills, exploded those confines. Jened was their freewheeling Utopia, a place with summertime sports, smoking and make out sessions awaiting everyone, and campers felt fulfilled as human beings. Their bonds endured as they migrated West to Berkeley, California a promised land for a growing and diverse disability community where friends from Camp Jened realized that disruption and unity might secure life-changing accessibility for millions.

Co-directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Nicole Newnham and film mixer and former camper Jim LeBrecht, this joyous and exuberant documentary arrives the same year as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, at a time when the countrys largest minority group still battles daily for the freedom to exist.

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution is executive produced by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama; Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan; Oscar nominee Howard Gertler (How to Survive a Plague) and Raymond Lifchez, Jonathan Logan and Patty Quillin; LeBrecht, Newnham and Sara Bolder produce.

Following the day-to-day adventures of five best "Buddis," this colourful and entertaining series is targeted at children under 4.

Its time to take flight again! Join YooHoo and his adorable crew as they travel the world to help animal friends, one marvellous mission at a time.

It's the treasure hunt of a lifetime for the Rescue Riders, who must race to find a precious golden dragon egg and keep it safe from evil pirates.

When searching for the perfect Wuzzle Wegg, Bartleby thinks he sees a monster. Will the Rainbow King have to cancel Wuzzle Wegg Day or will True come to the rescue?

Read the original post:

Here are the new things on Netflix this weekend - BreakingNews.ie

What’s New on Netflix, Disney+, and Other Streaming Services This Weekend (March 27) – ComicBook.com

The weekend is here, which means that new content has flooded the rosters of all of your favorite streaming services. The likes of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video are all adding new movies and TV shows throughout the weekend, helping keep subscribers busy during their weekend at home. Most of the new titles arrived on their respective services early Friday morning, though there are still a few that will trickle out as the weekend progresses.

So what's new and exciting on streaming services this weekend? Well the most talked about title on any service this weekend is the third season of Netflix's hit series Ozark. It's been a year and a half since Season 2 premiered, so TV fans everywhere have had more than enough time to catch up and get excited for the new installment.

Also premiering on Netflix this weekend is the original film Uncorked, which is written and directed by Prentice Penny (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Insecure). The film boasts an all-star cast that includes Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, and Niecy Nash.

There's a lot to look forward to on other streaming services as well. Disney+ is releasing new episodes of its original series, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, while HBO is debuting the comic-inspired movie The Kitchen.

Take a look at all of the new titles making their streaming debut this weekend!

3/27Car Masters: Rust to Riches: Season 2 -- NETFLIX ORIGINALClassic cars get massive makeovers courtesy of Gotham Garage, a skilled California crew dedicated to upgrading and trading sweet vintage vehicles.

The Decline -- NETFLIX FILMAs a way to prepare for disasters, family man Antoine attends a training program on survivalism given by Alain, at his self-sufficient retreat. Planning for a natural, economical or social breakdown, the group goes through drills meant to prepare them for apocalypses of all types. But the catastrophe waiting for them is nothing like what they anticipated.

Dragons: Rescue Riders: Hunt for the Golden Dragon -- NETFLIX FAMILYIt's the treasure hunt of a lifetime for the Rescue Riders, who must race to find a precious golden dragon egg and keep it safe from evil pirates.

Il processo -- NETFLIX ORIGINALThe murder of a teen girl impacts a public prosecutor linked to the victim, a lawyer seeking a career-making case and a suspect who says she's innocent.

Killing Them Softly

Ozark: Season 3 -- NETFLIX ORIGINALThe Emmy-winning series about a suburban family laundering millions in the Missouri Ozarks returns for Season 3.

There's Something in the Water

True: Wuzzle Wegg Day -- NETFLIX FAMILYWhen searching for the perfect Wuzzle Wegg, Bartleby thinks he sees a monster. Will the Rainbow King have to cancel Wuzzle Wegg Day or will True come to the rescue?

Uncorked -- NETFLIX FILMA young man faces his father's disapproval when he pursues his dream of becoming a master sommelier instead of joining the family's barbecue business.

3/27Star Wars: The Clone Wars - "Deal or No Deal"Trace makes a rash decision after learning what they are transporting is for the Pyke Syndicate.

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings - "Te Amo, Mi Amor, Again!"Hurricane Maria survivor, Gloriene surprises her husband of 13 years with a vow renewal and a sizzling performance by Latin Grammy winner Pedro Capo. Brieanna & Tyler celebrate a fairy tale with an Alice in Wonderland themed wedding.

Shop Class - "Boulder Bash"Teams are challenged with putting a modern twist on the classic picnic table.

Be Our Chef (Premiere) - "Bibbidi Bobbidi Bon Appetit"In this Cinderella inspired challenge, the first two families, the Merrill family and Robbins family, are asked to magically transform a classic comfort food into a gourmet meal.

Disney Family Sundays - "Ratatouille: Chef Hat"This craft inspired by Pixar's "Ratatouille" is going to be old hat for the Crownholm family.

One Day at Disney - "Morgan Pope: R&D Imagineer"Research and Development Imagineer Morgan Pope helps create the next generation of robotics. With a focus on precision controlled movements to advance how robots could be utilized in the parks, Morgan is always anticipating the next big breakthrough that will astound Disney parkgoers.

3/27Baghdad Central: Complete Season 1 (Fremantle)Fairy Gone: Complete Season 1 (Funimation)

3/28Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth: Complete Season 1 (DUBBED) (Funimation)

3/29Archer: Complete Season 10 (FX)

3/27Making the Cut: Season 1 Amazon Original Series

3/27Todxs Nosotrxs, Season 1

3/28The Kitchen

Continued here:

What's New on Netflix, Disney+, and Other Streaming Services This Weekend (March 27) - ComicBook.com

Survivalist Real Estate: What Wealthy Buyers Look for in Times of Crisis – Mansion Global

The coronavirus crisis is changing daily life around the globe in dramatic waysand homeowners and buyers are thinking about how they might make changes, too, to their properties, to be better prepared for disaster scenarios.

Survivalist prepping is nothing new for many high-net-worth individuals. Wealthy homeowners have long been outfitting their apartments and houses with panic rooms, complete with bars, TVs, and upscale furnishings to have an opulent retreat in the event of a break-in or other crisis.

For example, even before the outbreak of coronavirus, many Silicon Valley billionaires had been setting their sights on New Zealand, which they value for its stability and remote location. Peter Thiel, for instance, who is known for his interest in survivalism, has a $4.8 million home in Queenstown, complete with a panic room; he has said New Zealand is the future and has citizenship in the country.

More:Designing a Bedroom Thats so Relaxing It Will Help You Sleep

And now, amid panic over the spread of Covid-19 as millions quarantine out of precaution or government mandate, investing with preparations for disaster in mind seems smarter than ever.

Two weeks ago, it was like escape from New Yorkpeople were fleeing the city, said Matthew Breitenbach, a broker with Compass in the Hamptons on Long Island. It was intense. Im surprised about the way people react within a crisis.

Now the rental market in the Hamptons is also booming, several months in advance of the usual summer high season, with a 33% increase in searches for short-term rentals this month.

More:New Malibu Mansion to Hit the Market for $100 Million

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a larger cohort of wealthy buyers will become interested in homes geared toward safety and security in the face of crises, experts predict.

The super rich may look to extend their options where they could have a safe house away from dense cities like New York, said Emil Hartoonian, a managing partner with The Agency in Calabasas, California.

More:Covid-19 Puts Londons Property Market Recovery on Hold

Isolated Compounds

Some investors are showing an increased interest in purchasing large, isolated properties to use as primary or vacation homes.

Theres a large demand for bigger properties that are more isolated, more like compounds, Mr. Breitenbach said. People want homes that are gated and private.

He cited one client who relocated to their Hamptons compound with their own staff and locked down the property in early March when warnings about the pandemic grew more serious.

More:Faced With Uncertainty, Home Buyers Seek Coronavirus Clauses in Contracts

This trend, however, is not entirely pegged to the coronavirus.

Over the last two to three years, there have been more year-round people moving out here. The Hamptons is becoming more about privacy and hanging out at home, Mr. Breitenbach said. Young people who make a lot of money are coming here seeking a different lifestyle.

Developers are taking note of the rising demand for privacy and isolation. In Malibu, a 24-acre gated development called The Case will house five mansions and include 24/7 security for its residents. The compound is also equipped to fend off another kind of disaster: each mansion has its own water cannon to fight fires, and private firefighters will be on call. The first Case mansion sold for $40 million last spring; a second is on the market for $100 million.

And in Virginia, a 350-acre self-sustaining survivalist escape with three residential cabins, dubbed High Mountain Camp, just went on the market this month for $17 million. The owners have noted an uptick of interest in this kind of off-the-grid property.

The Covid-19 crisis could ultimately transform the luxury real estate landscape, as wealthy buyers increasingly move from dense urban centers to more remote locations, seeking larger properties in gated communities with extensive security.

People want some space if theyre going to be hanging out at home for a few months, Mr. Breitenbach said.

There may be also be an increase in investment in private jets, as the wealthy consider how they can reach their homes with minimal contact with others.

More:Manhattans Luxury Residential Market Not Pausing Yet

Nowadays, notwithstanding a disaster like what were going through, people use planes or helicopters even for short distances to avoid traffic, Mr. Hartoonian said. Chartered businesses may profit from this as the uber-rich may consider investing in their own [private jets]. Those options are on the table.

Self-Sufficient Homes

Many homeowners may respond to the coronavirus pandemic by transforming their currently owned properties into more self-sufficient spaces.

Its like being in a situation where you live in a fire-prone neighborhood and you go through a bad experience, said Mr. Hartoonian. It prepares you for what you need to look out for the next time it comes, cutting your shrubs, doing better weed abatement, getting a more fire-resistant roof.

The takeaway from this current crisis, he said, may be that homeowners upgrade their homes to be more comfortable and sustainable if they do need to bunker down again in the future. He cited one client in the Los Angeles area who has already taken steps to make their property self-sufficient, surrounding it with fruit and herb gardens, installing a safe room in his house, and even building his pool in such a way that its water could be turned into filtered drinking water.

From Penta: Sothebys London Auction of African Art Moves Online, as U.K. Issues Covid-19 Lockdown

High-end homes built for autonomous livinglike one off-the-grid cottage in the Scottish Highlands which gets electricity from solar panels and water from its own boreholeoffer not only a minimal impact on the environment, but also a self-sufficient space to hole up in the event of a crisis.

Some developers are even creating entire communities in this autonomous, sustainable model, like the ReGen Villages in the Netherlands.

Hopefully people will make the right decisions [in light of this crisis], Mr. Hartoonian said. And in the future, be better able to prepare.

Read more from the original source:

Survivalist Real Estate: What Wealthy Buyers Look for in Times of Crisis - Mansion Global

Goal Zero introduces Yeti 500X portable power station with 505Wh of juice for all your survivalism needs – Android Police

With people hunkered down in their homes putting increased constant load on network and power resources, we've seen how the coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on internet speeds. For some people, though, extra demand on local grids could pose a blackout risk. What better time, then, for a company to put out new portable power stations and solar panels? And for Goal Zero, that time is now.

The Utah-based firm has released a new portable power station, the Yeti 500X, and three new portable solar panels the Nomad 10, Nomad 20, and Nomad 50.

The Yeti 500X takes the place of the Yeti 400, bringing up to 505Wh of sustained power an 18% increase to USB-A (5V/2.4A), two USB-C PD (up to 9V/2A and 20V/3A), a car charger port (12V/10A), 6mm port (12V/10A), and a 120V inverter for up to 600W surge capacity. For reference, the company is estimating that you'll be able to pull up to 30 full charge cycles for a phone, 8 cycles for a laptop, a 10-hour run on a CPAP machine, and 9 hours for a pellet grill.

Goal Zero is also boasting a new power controller, switching from PWM to MPPT, that is said to improve solar charging efficiency by 30%. With all these changes, the 500X is smaller and lighter than the 400, weighing 3 lbs. less at 13 lbs. and measuring about 1" narrower.

You can grab one today direct from the company, Amazon, or select retailers for $700. Goal Zero offers up to 12 months of financing with interest.

From left to right, the Nomad 10, Nomad 20, and Nomad 50

The new, lightweight Nomad panels are meant to be taken outside with the two-piece Nomad 10 and the three-piece Nomad 20 featuring kickstands and the four-piece Nomad 50 being able to stand on its own. In respective order, they are able to output 7.5W, 20W, and 50W. You can get them at the retailer of your choice below for the following prices:

Read more from the original source:

Goal Zero introduces Yeti 500X portable power station with 505Wh of juice for all your survivalism needs - Android Police

Splendid Isolation: Paintings of lonely caravans by Andrew McIntosh go on show ‘online-only’ in a gallery first – Creative Boom

Winter Camo 1 Andrew McIntosh. All images courtesy of Andrew McIntosh

If you're missing the joy of normal life right now, then the James Freeman Gallery in London has launched its first "online-only" exhibition, featuring new work by Scottish artist Andrew McIntosh.

Kicking Covid-19 well and truly in the face and finding ways to adapt, the series is also timely as it's called Splendid Isolation and includes paintings of lonesome caravans, something McIntosh has painted for many years. He considers their curious appeal as a miniature world within a world: a vessel for the intrepid, a means of escape, and a place for cocooned isolation.

Andrew's interest in caravans came with a shift in his work several years ago following the birth of his first child. At the time he was predominantly painting Highland landscapes inspired by his native Scotland, but a chance encounter with a Sylvanian Families doll's house piqued his attention. It was their removable walls and regimented compartments that stood out, and caravans quickly followed.

Caravans tend to crop up in the most unlikely places, often in hostile landscapes. They are a means of escape, too. McIntosh's new series of caravan paintings takes this sense of survivalism as a theme. Some of them are camouflaged, hiding in plain sight in a dense forest or in a field. Others sit sunken in the snow at the forest edge or in a gulley in the mountains. Interestingly, in this new series, there are no walls removed, and so we must exercise our imaginations to peek inside.

Splendid Isolation is on show online at http://www.jamesfreemangallery.com.

I Know We Can Make It Andrew McIntosh

Sunset camo Andrew McIntosh

Forest Camo 1 Andrew McIntosh

Winter Camo 2 Andrew McIntosh

Forest Camo 2 Andrew McIntosh

Urban Camo Andrew McIntosh

See original here:

Splendid Isolation: Paintings of lonely caravans by Andrew McIntosh go on show 'online-only' in a gallery first - Creative Boom

How to avoid the end times – The Japan Times

New York It feels like the end times. A mysterious invisible killer stocks the land. Wild rumors abound. The government is useless. Theres no sense that anyone knows anything, much less is in charge. Could the United States become a failed state?

Yes, but not yet. Yes, but not because of the new coronavirus. Late-stage capitalism will ultimately destroy the current sociopolitical governmental system, not COVID-19. A vaccine will come online either later this year or early next year; that will be the beginning of the end of this scourge. Before then, many if not most Americans will have contracted the disease and recovered from it. Businesses will reopen. People will go back to work. The stock market will resume its climb.

In the meantime, many of us are wondering: how would/will we survive in an apocalyptic scenario without a somewhat benevolent government to run things?

I have good news: It is possible. Not easy. Not fun. But it can be done. I know because I have seen it. For decades Afghanistan was the epitome of a failed state, a nation whose government is no longer able or willing to supply essential services to its citizens. The 1978 CIA-backed overthrow of a Russian-supported regime prompted the Soviet invasion of the 1980s, which was followed after withdrawal by a brutal, grinding civil war partly resolved by the victory of the Taliban in 1996. They ruled until 2001 but didnt built much infrastructure before being themselves driven out of power by the U.S. after 9/11. I was there under the Taliban, long before the U.S. and NATO began reconstruction in the mid-2000s.

Afghans were utterly dependent on themselves. Not only did the Taliban government fail to provide services like mail delivery and garbage collection, the Taliban made peoples lives miserable through arbitrary edicts and a psychotic religious police force that beat Afghans in the streets willy-nilly.

Try to imagine, if you can, what it would be like to live in a country that didnt have a single inch of paved road, just muddy ruts. No one has a phone. There are no newspapers. Radios and televisions are banned, which is fine because you have no electricity and no stations are broadcasting.

Inside your house, theres no running water. You have to walk to a communal well if you are lucky enough to have one nearby that isnt polluted. Theres a good chance that a local thug controls the well and forces you to pay for water. It gets blazing hot in the summer, but theres no air conditioning. Its freezing cold in the winter but theres no heat. You could burn some wood but you cant find any because everyone has already chopped down all the trees.

Under the Taliban you cant send your daughter to school. But you cant send your son either because there probably isnt a local school at all. No one has work as we know it. You exchange odd jobs in a 100 percent unemployment economy where cash has stopped circulating; everything relies on barter.

There is a certain freedom. Without a public records office you dont need a deed to move into an empty house. But of course you cant sell it if you leave. Theres no department of motor vehicles so if somehow do you acquire a car you can drive it regardless of your age. On the other hand, if someone steals it, theres no police to report it to. If you did get that car, you probably would only want to drive it around your neighborhood. If you tried to drive to a different town, you would almost certainly be robbed and killed.

Sounds like it would be impossible to survive, right? But millions of Afghans did. Some of them even had children. Life went on. How? Its almost unfathomable for us Americans, so accustomed to our creature comforts, to imagine.

Not that they could have afforded to anyway, but Afghans did not hoard. Situations in which survival is precarious require you to be nimble. That includes being able to pack up and leave at a moments notice. If you manage to accumulate some possessions, you want something highly portable: cash (in Afghanistan, that meant dollars), jewelry, gemstones. A years worth of toilet paper weighs you down.

I have met more than my fair share of survivalists in the U.S. Typically their instinct is to hunker down on a remote plot of land, stockpile weapons and supplies, fortify a perimeter and arm up to fend off potential marauders. They are foolish. When the crap hits the fan, the best armed man will not be able to fight off a dozen invaders. Its smarter to pack up and go if your area turns into a battle zone.

What you really need to stock up on are two items: personal relationships and IQ points. Both make the difference between life and death. Good friends welcome one other into their homes. If one home is lost, they can squeeze together into a second one. A good friend might have a skill or a possession that you might need they can stitch a wound or drive you somewhere in their car.

You make yourself useful in a failed state exactly the opposite of how you do in ours. In the U.S. in 2020, it pays to have excellent skills in one or two areas, to be the best at what you do in your specialty. Not in Afghanistan in 2000. Dangerous places work best for people with a wide variety of skills. Learn to do a lot of things fairly well. Shoot a gun, drive a car, cook, sew. Translate a foreign language, ride a motorcycle, fish, hunt. You can sell those skills to people who dont have them.

Most of all, stay sharp and think nimbly. Hone your instincts. Watch for changes that might affect you and the people you care about. Prepare to drop everything you are doing at a seconds notice and take off if need be. We are all descended from people who lived this way. Those who didnt died. Survival is in your DNA.

I dont think youll need raw survivalism for the coronavirus apocalypse. But its worth keeping in the back of your mind.

Ted Rall is a political cartoonist and writer.

Read the rest here:

How to avoid the end times - The Japan Times

Doomsday Preppers Put Faith in God and Plan for the End of All Things – Word and Way

Northern Idaho has a low population density, one of the attractive qualities for those drawn to the American Redoubt. Photo by Tracy Simmons

(RNS) Twenty years ago mass panic swept the globe as 1999 came to a close and programmers scrambled to fix faulty technology that some presumed would send society into disarray at the strike of midnight.

Some believed Y2K would be doomsday.

But when the new millennium began, networks and daily life continued as normal.

Survivalist author Jim, Rawles who lives off grid somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and who prefers to separate his given name and his family name with a comma said the frenzy was a good thing.

If it werent for the hype, he said, tech companies wouldnt have put the time and resources into remediating the computer codes, and the effect would have been catastrophic for the banking systems.

Two decades later Rawles is helping people, mostly Christians, prepare for whatever could be the next disaster heading toward civilization.

James Wesley, Rawles. Courtesy photo

His website, SurvivalBlog.com, has 100,000 regular visitors.

Its common sense, he said. The government has proven itself time and again woefully inadequate when it comes to disaster relief. You cant depend on the government. Youre on your own.

He said its up to heads of families to find a way to provide.

Rawles lives with his wife in a lightly populated area in the Inland Northwest, where they home-school their children, grow their own food, raise livestock, hunt and fish. He wouldnt say where they live, and he uses a Georgia phone number so as to not give any hints.

As part of the American Redoubt movement, he advocates for others to do the same. Not just for family preparedness, but also for political reasons.

American Redoubt, he explained, is a migration movement that encourages like-minded people to relocate to the Inland Northwest so they can be in a geographically safe area and make that area more conservative.

For example, he explained, the Palouse a pastoral region in southeastern Washington and northern Idaho has miles of pea, wheat and lentil fields with hydroelectric dams nearby. Its also generally free of natural disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes.

The Palouse in southeastern Washington. Photo by Lynn Suckow/Creative Commons

The other goal is to take an already conservative Christian area and make it more conservativeby encouraging conservatives coast to coast to move here, he said, to make a red state a deeper shade of red.

The Redoubt movement is growing, but because many choose to live off grid, its hard to know just how much.

Conservative Christian families tend to have large families, so demographically weve already won the war.If liberals moving here have 1.8 children and we have 3.5, we win, he said.

His forthcoming book, The Ultimate Preppers Survival Guide, explains how to survive in the short term as society begins to collapse, and how to thrive in the long term.

Rawles said those who cant afford to move out of a big city can still prepare by storing a minimum of four months of food and, most importantly, keeping a water filter on hand.

And although Rawles does believe collapse of society is near, he doesnt wade into Armageddon prophecy though many preppers do.

However, he does believe we are living closer to the end times than ever, and we need to be prepared spiritually and physically.

A map of the American Redoubt region of the northwest United States. Map courtesy of Creative Commons

He said there are economic concerns, like a potential recession, that will drive more people to the Redoubt.And with the new coronavirus outbreak, more people are likely to move away from populous cities and join, he said.

I think its cause for considerable concern, Rawles said. I think it has the potential to sweep the planet.

In recent years, controversial televangelist Jim Bakker has focused on faith-based survivalism, selling a host of products meant to help believers survive the end times, including packs of 24 buckets, each with 90 meals, for $3,000.

Fears of the end times were also cited in a recent missing-children case in Idaho.

Matthew Sutton, Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor at Washington State University and author of American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism, said apocalyptic sensibility has helped fuel the evangelical movement in the U.S.

It you look at the world and you see chaos and despair and death and destruction, it allows you to make sense of that. It gives meaning. It gives purpose, he said.

And, he added, it creates a sense of urgency.

Good religious liberals might be working to build the kingdom of God on earth, but they know theyve got hundreds of thousands of years to do it. So theyre eager to do good, but dont have this sense that the clock is ticking, Sutton said, Whereas apocalyptic-thinking evangelicals recognize that they have to act, and they have to act fast, and they have to act now because Jesus is right around the corner.

He said this mindset spikes when there are global problems, potentially like the coronavirus outbreak.

Pastor Chuck Baldwin. Courtesy photo

Pastor Charles Baldwin of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana, is a proponent of people moving away from big cities and to freedomist areas of the country, but he said panic shouldnt be the reason.

Hysteria feeds into the fear factor, which makes people less reasonable and more willing to accept government protection, he said. People under normal circumstances would never surrender to government, but in panic mode look to the government to come save us.

Baldwin, who ran for president in 2008, moved from Florida to Montana in 2010 with his wife and extended family after years of prayer and discernment, he said.

His family doesnt live off the grid, but his home is self-contained with its own water supply, he said.

The purpose of the move, he explained, was to live under Gods law and not mans.

When a city or government is not allowing you to live free, find a place that will let you live free. I think that message is attractive to Christians and non-Christians, he said. People want to be away from the rat race, the big metro areas, and move to a more family friendly community. They want to be someplace they know they wont be persecuted for having a gun in their truck, or because they like to keep to themself. Its more of a live and let live mentality.

American Redoubt, Baldwin said, is more of a freedomist movement than a Christian movement. But the Bible is filled with examples of God protecting his people by leading them to new places, he said.

More concerning than the new coronavirus, he said, is the possibility of nuclear exchange. Rural America is the safest place to be when, or if, that happens.

However, Baldwin said, relocating is a big decision and shouldnt be taken lightly.

You have to know what youre doing and why youre doing it, he said.

Original post:

Doomsday Preppers Put Faith in God and Plan for the End of All Things - Word and Way

Analyst: Bitcoin is printing the same pattern that marked Decembers $6,400 bottom – CryptoSlate

Over the past two weeks, global markets have been in chaos; along with Bitcoin plunging below $9,000 to a low of $8,400, equities, namely U.S. stocks, have fallen off a cliff. Just today, Mar. 5, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen by 2.6 percent leaving the index still in the territory of a textbook correction.

Although Bitcoin traded in tandem with the Dow Jones last week, analysts are coming to the conclusion that the cryptocurrency has fuel to jet, so to say, past $10,000 in the coming days and weeks. Heres why.

While BTC seemingly moves without rhyme or reason, its a liquid asset at the end of the day, trading as others in its class does. That means that it follows textbook technical analysis.

Fortunately for bulls, one such textbook predicts Bitcoin is about to surge even higher than it already has over the past days.

Financial Survivalism the crypto trader accurately predicted that Bitcoin would rally to the $9,000s by the middle of January recently shared the below analysis, showing that BTCs chart since the crash from $10,000 is showing strong signs of a Wyckoff Accumulation.

A Wyckoff Accumulation is a textbook chart pattern observed by legendary analyst Richard Wyckoff, which sees an asset fall into an accumulation range, then break higher to where it was prior to the drop.

Per Survivalisms analysis, BTC is in the midst of Phase D of the textbook pattern, which will soon be followed by a rally to $9,800, then potentially even higher if bulls pick up the pace from there.

This pattern is especially notable because a Wyckoff Accumulation is what marked the bottom in December 2019, when the cryptocurrency plunged under $7,000 multiple times.

It isnt only the forming Wyckoff Accumulation that shows Bitcoin is ready to surge past $10,000.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that with the recent price action, the leading cryptocurrency has managed to retake the lower band of the Trading Envelope Indicator, a gauge that smooths moving averages to map out higher and lower limits.

The outlet wrote that this simple technical occurrence may allow it to test the upper limit, which could bring the coin to around $10,600, noting how BTC did the exact same in mid-December when it rallied after it breached the lower band.

On the fundamental side of things, Indias Supreme Court just ruled that Indias central bank ban on banks from servicing crypto companies will be reversed. This ruling allows for crypto exchanges to operate in India after an over-one-year hiatus, opening the door to a massive amount of fiat inflows in the coming years.

Bitcoin, currently ranked #1 by market cap, is up 4.33% over the past 24 hours. BTC has a market cap of $166.42B with a 24 hour volume of $38.68B.

Chart by CryptoCompare

Bitcoin is up 4.33% over the past 24 hours.

Follow this link:

Analyst: Bitcoin is printing the same pattern that marked Decembers $6,400 bottom - CryptoSlate

Jenny Offill’s Novel of Climate Dread – The Nation

Illustration by Tim Robinson.

These days, everything wants to kill us. Postapocalyptic was the go-to modifier of the last decade, as the media discovered thousands of ways to sex up our obliteration. Certainly theres no shortage of inspiration. Every recent threat to human safety or human rights seems to have an analogue in pop culture: The Hunger Games for wealth inequality, The Handmaids Tale for the patriarchy, Watchmen for white supremacist terrorism, The Rain for pollution, Black Mirror for techno-fetishism, Person of Interest for mass surveillance, Contagion for pandemics, and dozens of zombie narratives as a kind of catch-all for the collapse of civilization. Of course, the irony is that you can watch and game and post all day about the world ending, and though it sort of feels as if youre doing something about it, youre not really doing anything at all.1Ad Policy Books in Review

One wonders what the consequences of such widespread cultural eschatology might be and whether its a natural coping mechanism or a self-fulfilling prophecy. It may be that a generation of young people has not only internalized the idea of an impending apocalypse but is also crafting its own art from that internalization. The last decade ended with a death wish; young doomers ate Tide Pods, and they joked about having celebrities back over them with dump trucks. This is a generation raised on Post Malone (It seem like dying young is an honor) and Lil Peep (I aint tryna live, pray I die), and its collective idea of a good time is watching 13 Reasons Why and joining Facebook groups like Memes That Kill You Instantly. If millennial culture has warned us that the world is going to kill us, Gen Z culture has responded, Not if we get there first.2

You could read both tendencies as ways to avoid caring too much. Which might make you wonder what the alternatives are, whether theres a better way to reckon with threats to human survival. Jenny Offills latest novel, Weather, takes up this question. Its characters suffer from the opposite problem: They do almost nothing but care. Mainly they worry about climate changehow it will affect them, what they should do about it now, and what kind of long-term preparations they should make as it continues. Yet all this climate anxiety seems to do is ruin their sleep. Everyone I know is trying to sleep less, the narrator, Lizzie, muses. Insomnia as a badge of honor. Proof that you are paying attention. These literary characters, full of empathy, seriousness, and sincerity, seem just as paralyzed as everyone else.3

A follow-up to Offills 2014 novel Dept. of Speculation, about a middle-aged writer and mother caught in a strained marriage, Weather is also about a middle-aged mother caught in a strained marriage but now also deeply troubled by the impending climate catastrophe. In this way, Weather is definitely not what Id call entertaining; its a beach read for those who like to worry about the beaches. But the book also poses a set of important questions to us. If pop culture asks us to find the fun in human extinction, then Weather does the opposite, insisting that we take seriously the frazzled, burned-out experience of living when you know were all in for a very bad time.4

Set immediately before and after the 2016 election, Weathers plot is scant. Lizzie works in a university library and has a recovering addict brother. She answers depressing e-mails part-time for a doomsaying climate podcast and has an emotional affair with a war reporter. The usual dramatic beats youd find in a domestic novelfights, cheating, divorceget skipped. The books foreboding tone leads us to expect something bad will happen, but not much happens at all.5

In part, thats because the worst has already happenedin real life, to all of us. Weve already blown past 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2 and locked in at least 1 degree Celsius of warming from preindustrial levels, with many places seeing a rise of 1.5C. At a 2C rise, NASA tells us, drinking water will become scarce, and droughts will increase, which will probably lead to famines, and every year will bring more Katrinas, Sandys, Harveys, and Marias. Whatever doesnt drown in the rising sea willlike Australia in recent monthsparch and burn. Some 8 percent of vertebrate species will be in danger of extinction, and mosquito-borne diseases will skyrocket. Also, humankind will prove to be one of the worst hazards: As climate refugees flee the Global South, fascist leaders will scapegoat them and turn the richer nations into fortified garrisons.6

Novels should be able to tackle anything, but climate change seems uniquely resistant to narrative. Its inconceivably vast and complex, and aside from Greta Thunberg, there are few recognizable heroes. The direct causeinvisible gases in the skyfeels remote and abstract, and the deadly parade of hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and droughts are normalized by their very frequency. All of which makes for a story thats as boring as it is terrifying.7Current Issue

Subscribe today and Save up to $129.

The current attempts at cli-fi tackle this conundrum in different ways. Ian McEwan in Solar and Barbara Kingsolver in Flight Behavior bring things down to human scale by making climate change a picturesque backdrop for personal drama, while far-future novels like Margaret Atwoods MaddAddam trilogy, Paolo Bacigalupis The Windup Girl, and Anna Norths America Pacifica envision speculative worlds so intricately alien as to seem far-fetched. On the other hand, fictions about the future we might well live to see, like Nathaniel Richs Odds Against Tomorrow and Claire Vaye Watkinss Gold Fame Citrus, are terrifyingly plausibleenough to send any normal reader into denial. Its not that these novels fail on their own terms but that the demands of storytelling often run at odds with making climate change feel urgent; its either not real enough or all too real.8

Offill skirts many of the difficulties of portraying climate change by not portraying it at all. This is a pre-apocalyptic novel, and its subject is dread, not disaster. We get none of the usual tableaux of flooded skyscrapers, huddled masses, or Cat5 hurricanes. Where actions concerned, we mostly watch Lizzie go to work, pick up the mail, and clean mouse crap off her spice rack. Like her brother, shes an addict, but in her case the Internet is the spike in her vein. She spends her nights googling prepper things like climate departure and doomsteading. She becomes a lint trap for scary factoids, such as how New York Citys 6,000 miles of sewer pipe are all below sea level, and the books main trick is to imbue the mundanity of the present with the horror of the future. When walnuts hit Lizzies roof, she hears gunshots. Someone mentions apples, and she thinks, No more apples soon; apples need frost. Even a normal game of Settlers of Catan puts her in mind of the coming resource wars: If you give me wood, Ill give you some wheat and a brick.9

Offills focus on capturing these wabi-sabi moments of dread is so encompassing that the book does little else. Reading it is like trying to remember a whole year of daily occurrences, stray impressions and random events flitting by without a strong sense of continuity or time passing. In lieu of a plotline, we get recurring motifspassing mentions of mild weather (weird clouds, hazy sun, its nice out), survivalism, stabs of white liberal guilt, some knee pain. In little inset boxes, we see the e-mails Lizzie answers on behalf of her podcaster boss, and over the course of the book her replies grow darker and increasingly gnomic:10

Q: How do you maintain your optimism?11

A: If you are not getting enough iron, put a few iron nails into a bowl of lemon juice and leave it overnight. In the morning, make lemonade out of it.12

Given the ecological interest, maybe its fitting that so many aspects of the book are recycled, specifically from Offills previous novel. Both are narrated by a bookish, somewhat unhappily married New Yorker with a young child, a casual interest in Buddhism, and a side gig writing for a powerful person. Both are bisected by game-changing events that happen in the wings, separate from the main action, and both stage the intimate heartaches of daily life against the wonders of the natural world. Both even include podcasts about climate change (though theyre called recorded lectures in Dept. of Speculation). Most conspicuously, both take the form of a collage, a slender dossier of factoids, proverbs, parables, jokes, found texts, and other ephemera mixed with bursts of narration.13

Yet if Dept. of Speculation is wistful and contemplative, Weather is tinged with political ire, however understated it may be. Lizzie takes a few sidelong potshots at Donald Trump and capitalism but reserves her choicest words for the anti-humanism of Silicon Valley, the technocrats less interested in saving humankind than in abandoning it, whether its by jets to Mars, bunkers in New Zealand, or transhuman exits from meatspace. She reads of plans to genetically engineer humans with cats eyes that would require less light. These people long for immortality but cant wait ten minutes for a cup of coffee, Lizzies boss quips.14Related Article

You might expect a novel about climate change to serve as some kind of rallying cry, yet Offill doesnt provide much in the way of redemptive uplift or even any handy coping tips (though heres one from me: Log off). Like Lizzies boss, who complains of having to tack an obligatory note of hope onto something she is writing, Offill is reluctant in Weather to offer false comfort; if anything, it rules out the usual avenues of solace.15

Lizzies failed attempts at meditation merely underscore her inability to detach from the material world, and everything from using antibacterial soap to eating a ham sandwich is cause for guilt. Naturally, this puts a strain on her relationshipsher fed-up husband calls her a crazy doomerand her shortcomings as a parent are magnified, as in this exchange with her son:16

A few days later, I yelled at him for losing his new lunch box, and he turned to me and said, Are you sure youre my mother? Sometimes you dont seem like a good enough person.17

He was just a kid, so I let it go. And now, years later, I probably only think of it, I dont know, once or twice a day.18

Even the respite she finds in her affair with the war reporter, whom she meets in a bar, is eventually spoiled. So sure, maybe I could charm him for a while, she reflects, but when the shine wore off? How long until he figured out I cant chop wood or light a fire?19

Although climate change will likely ravage everyone but the billionaires, its still important to point out that white, middle-class librarians in New York wont have the worst of it, and its maybe for this reason that the novel somewhat sheepishly avoids any direct polemics or calls to action, though it drops hints throughout. Survival instructors have a saying, Lizzie muses. Get organized or die. Her boss, on the other hand, advises her to get very, very rich. But it may be that Offill does not believe that is the role of fiction. Novelists, after all, are under no obligation to provide solutions; their books arent survival guides. They only have to tell compelling stories, and Offill succeeds in distilling the queasy, tranquil terror of a 93F day in Octoberlike the one we had in New York last fall.20

But its natural to be discomfited by the fact that at the novels end, Lizzie is still mired in the same anxious paralysis, and one is still left with unanswered questions about how we might be able to escape it. Is Weather just an exercise in highbrow bourgeois hand-wringing? Is readingand for that matter, writingempathetic stories while the world warms any better than watching zombie movies or posting Tide Pod memes? With 12 short years on the clock to avoid the worst, can anyone justify sitting in a room for several years to produce any work of art, much less one made of trees? To misquote Auden, if novels make nothing happen, should we make them? As a tree killer myself, I often feel that writing in the face of climate change is like seeing a mushroom cloud, turning to your assembled screaming neighbors, and saying, Yo, let me tell you about the weirdest dream I had last night!21

A more productive way to read Weather might be to understand its dread as willfully exhausting and useless. By the end of the book, its impossible to think that worrying alone is going to solve anything. At the very least, dread implies a desire to live, and many of us who have done enough worrying are ready to hit the streets. Even the doomer zoomers are now turning out. At last Septembers worldwide climate strike, a kid in a black punk get-up held a sign that said, I want to die but the planet doesnt.22

Despite its steadfast lack of wishful thinking, Weather finally drops its pessimistic kayfabe after its conclusion, as if to express that activism must extend beyond the novel. In a postscript, Offill adds a link to a website, obligatorynoteofhope.com. As I write this review, the link leads only to teasers for essays on Why collective action is the antidote to fear and dread, How to get involved in the fight for social and climate justice, and What to do if (like me) you hate to march. The essays werent available yet; much like the problems, the answers, I really hope, are COMING SOON.23

Originally posted here:

Jenny Offill's Novel of Climate Dread - The Nation

This Albertan YouTuber Is the Bob Ross of Stealth Camping – VICE

In a YouTube video posted in May 2019, Steve Wallis, a 38 year-old guy who radiates the chuminess of being everyones best friend, offers the helpful tip that, when camping, a good mosquito deterrent is a small fire. He then picks up a half-a-million BTU torch rigged up to a heavy propane tank and ignites a loose assemblage of tree branches and logs, like DiCaprio roasting Nazis with a flamethrower in Once Upon a TimeIn Hollywood. The makeshift bonfire goes up in a flash, cartoonishly orange flames swelling. And that, to nip one of your new favourite YouTubers catchphrases, is camping with Steve.

Like any worthwhile obsession, I came across Wallis while tumbling deep down a YouTube rabbit hole. A few years back, while severely depressed, I mainlined the History Channel reality series Alone, in which survivalists attempt to outlast each other in Canadas most unforgiving hinterlandswith minimal supplies and no crew (all the footage is recorded by the participants with handheld camcorders), armed with their bushwhacking know-how and ability to withstand their own company. (Really, it was this latter facet that kept me hooked: witnessing the ability of the human mind rambling in total isolation.) From there, I developed an interest in camping YouTubers, who similarly recorded their own solo survivalism (mis)adventures. In time, while exploring the niche of people who forgo tents in favour of camping in heavy-duty hammocks, I stumbled into Urban Stealth Camping With Hammock In Residential Area, a video posted by a charming Albertan named Steve Wallis, who calls himself Camping Steve.

These videos were different. The current vogue in survivalismpopularized by programs like Survivorman, Alone and Naked and Afraidvaunt some primal relationship to nature, where the aspiring outdoors-person must start fires from scratch, trap their own food with deadfalls, and fashion sun-shielding bonnets out of woven reeds. Its that romance of (to paraphrase Thoreau) existing more deliberately, of fronting only the essential facts, of sucking all the marrow out of life itself. Its also, in the case of popular programs like Alone or Naked and Afraid, about that more modern romance of going on TV to win a bunch of money.

Camping Steve is no modern primordial man, born naked into natures unfeeling bounty. He camps under tarps in residential areas. He builds rafts out of rain barrels and floats downriver. He hunkers down (another of his favourite turns) in a rented U-Haul in the long-term parking lot of the Edmonton International Airport, braving the elements while avoiding the prying eyes and piercing Maglites of security personnel. He starts fires with hand sanitizer, cooks in closed quarters with propane grills, and is the only camping YouTuber Ive ever seen who rigs his pop-up tent with a CO2 monitor, precisely because he cooks in closed quarters with propane grills. He forgoes both the back-to-the-land foraging and the pricier gear many campers pay hundredsif not thousandsof dollars for, all in the pursuit of bushwhacking primitivism. He is, he tells me over the phone from Edmonton, taking back camping for the people.

Beyond the appeal of his contentwhich combines man-vs.-nature survivalism, ASMR, and the camping scene from FubarCamping Steves approach is refreshing in part because camping itself can sometimes seem so rarefied. In a damning indictment, he compares contemporary camping to golf. It's turning into a pastime for the affluent, he says. The most wholesome form of camping is going out with a bedroll, and a fire, and a can of beans and sleeping out under the stars. We're paying to reserve campsites, which are just parking lots. We're buying RVs and campers that are just ridiculous. I saw a $300 backpacking tarp the other day at the camping store!

Like so many activities, campingroughly defined as lodging temporarily somewhere in the out-of-doorshas become a lifestyle. And a pricey one. A 2019 Global News story pegged the price of a basic outlay of geartents, sleeping bags, heavy-duty backpacks, bug balms, etc.and reservations between $978 and $1,333 CDN. The rise in popularity of more luxurious outdoor accommodations (the nauseatingly termed glamping) and expanded access to cell and wi-fi networks, have removed perceived barriers to entry, leading to would-be-campers across Canada (and North America) reporting an uptick in interest. Outdoorsy brands like Patagonia, North Face, and Arcteryx have grown from purveyors heavy-duty performance equipment to coveted dadcore lifestyle brandsallowing you to dress like a serious rock climber, even if you dont know a bowline from a belay. Where camping and camping-adjacent outdoor activities (canoeing, climbing, angling, etc) were previously conceived as a way to rekindle a relationship with nature, that relationship has become just another luxe commodity. (See also: the related phenomenon of #VanLife, which I have a hard time reading about without getting so annoyed that my heart goes arrhythmic.)

Theres this mentality where you think you have to spend so much money, says Wallis, its not camping unless you've paid to reserve your campsite, and you use your week of vacation a year, and get top-of-the-line stuff you only use once and then it'll sit in your garage forever. I'm probably part of the 1/1000th of a percent that has gotten their money's worth from sleeping in a tent. For Steve, its not about gear, or pricey base-layers (what the Patagonia merchants call T-shirts, as if drinking 35 Mooseheads in autumn at a friends parents cottage requires attire befitting the K2 Base Camp), or $300 technical tarps. Its foremost about getting out there, and just being nature, with whatever gear works. Its also, in many cases, about the thrill of doing so stealthily.

When hes not camping out on Crown Land or testing the resilience of all-weather tents in his yard, Wallis is sneaking around closed campsites, residential areas, and parking lots. He spent years in Victoria, BC living out of an RV which was both his vehicle and primary residence, camping in parking lots and off logging roads. He calls that phase, boondocking. It was a lifestyle not by choice, but necessity. He now lives in Edmonton with his wife (who never appears on-camera in his YouTube videos and is referred to, almost exclusively, as Beautiful Wife) and runs his own heating and gas company, Hunker Down Heating. But Wallis, as he explains, got the bug during his boondocking years. There's a risk to getting caught, he says. There's a game of cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek. And you're getting a good deal, because you're parking for free for the night!

Wallis found YouTube about three years back. He was always aware of it, but figured it was a platform for goofy, viral videos, and not for personalities. When he camped out in -32C and posted the video, he saw an immediate response. I was getting a lot of comments from people who were interested in this kind of thing, and following along, he says. I ran with it from there.

Some people have accused him of basically cosplaying as homeless; of making a game out of being sleeping rough. He doesnt think so. In fact, he thinks his adventures give him a certain perspective. "Every morning where you dread going out to scrape off your windshield, someone has been sleeping out in that all night, he says. It's a big eye-opener. Unfortunately, in this weather, people do die every year, sleeping out there. It's a tough world out there for people who don't have a home.

Beyond the stunt-factor of camping in well-below freezing temps or hunkering down in a rented U-Haul in an airport parking lot, the primary appeal of the channel is Camping Steve himself. His videos are rack up plenty of comments from viewers saying stuff like, I dont know why but I cant stop watching. There is, undoubtedly, just something about him: an even tone to his voice, an ability to remain utterly unflappable even when security guards are hammering on his van doors, black bears are looming on the perimeter of his campground, or his jerry-rigged camping raft gets beached on the banks of an Alberta river. Theres even a pleasing rhythm to his videos, in watching him find a spot, set-up camp and crank a celebratory beverage (he calls this ritual Step Two, to the point that in recent videos he just straight-up refers to beers as Step Twos).

Some viewers have dubbed Wallis The Bob Ross of Camping. And it fits. Hes calming, reassuring, and just irrepressibly kind-seeming (He leans into this a bit, compiling a YouTube video playlist called Sleepytime Camping Mix.) Wallis isnt much interested in parsing the appeal that has led him to 165K subscribers and sees his videos regularly draw in 1,000,000-plus views. Whatever it is, I don't want to get the yips and over-analyze this. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing.

Its that candourthat utter lack of guilethat drew me into Wallis own cozy YouTube warren. (Also: he has a nice a nice smile and he reminds me of my friend Mike.) Shows like Alone and Naked and Afraid are by-and-large fun watches because you get to see people who style themselves as hardened lone survivors absolutely suck at all the feats of high-level outdoorsmanship they insist theyre amazing at. Steve Wallis camps under Walmart tarps and cooks corn niblets in a can and slugs back belts of Wisers not to prove something to himself or his presumed viewership, but because he genuinely loves it. He likes the breeze and bedrolls, the nip of the autumn air, and the canopy of stars. He also really likes upping the ante. He tells me hes noodling with the idea of building a large treehouse thing in a future video. These are things I wanted to do as a child, but never could, he says. I'm thinking maybe a hovercraft of some kind. A camping hovercraft.

A camping hovercraft. Now thats some serious marrow-sucking. Thats camping with Steve.

Follow John Semley on Twitter.

Read the original here:

This Albertan YouTuber Is the Bob Ross of Stealth Camping - VICE