“Doomsday Preppers”: a second season of misappropriate “readiness”

“Doomsday Preppers” Profiles Extreme Survivalists Who Think the Apocalypse is Nigh | LiveScience.

Big Al will not drink his own urine. He’s very clear about that. But he does spend three months of every year in his underground bunker because he fears that the Russians might send a nuclear missile toward Uncle Sam at any moment.

Big Al (who declined to give his last name) is just one person featured in the second season of “Doomsday Preppers,” a show on the National Geographic Channel that profiles extreme survivalists who believe the world as we know it may soon end. The show’s first season was the highest-rated on the network at the time. The second season debuts Tuesday (Nov. 13) at 9 p.m. ET.

The people on Preppers fear terrorist attacks, weather catastrophes of epic proportions and economic collapse. What are they thinking? It appears they are having trouble understanding odds and risk and dealing with fear about the future. Our tipster, Molly writes: “Preppers are the new hot apocalypse cult. I think coronary artery disease might be a bigger threat to the pictured prepper than getting nuked by the commies. Their priorities are… confusing to me. It seems like the idea of “preparedness” is a very idiosyncratic expression of the individual prepper’s fears, not a more well-rounded general preparedness.”

Indeed. These kinds of shows, showing the fringe of society, are potentially harmful because they bring that fringe into our living rooms and make it seem normal. It’s not. Live life, don’t waste your time on such a narrow focus. The odds are against it.

Tip: Molly Hodgdon

  7 comments for ““Doomsday Preppers”: a second season of misappropriate “readiness”

  1. One Eyed Jack
    November 12, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    “These kinds of shows, showing the fringe of society, are potentially harmful because they bring that fringe into our living rooms and make it seem normal.”

    Actually, it’s just the opposite. It’s the Jerry Springer effect. It gives us something to point at and laugh. We get to say “However messed up I am, I’m not crazy like THAT guy!”

    These people are being exploited for what may be genuine psychosis. Whatever brings in the ratings. That’s all that matters. ):

  2. Gary B
    November 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    After thinking about this for a bit, I think I agree with One Eyed Jack. As reality tv wends it’s disgusting course I’m sure we will be shown more and more whacko based shows. I think I would add that this sort of programming is cheap to produce and doesn’t require much of an audience to be profitable.

  3. November 12, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    It’s a funny thing, It’s not totally illogical to be prepared, say by keeping a week or two worth of canned food in the pantry, but these guy’s take it to an extreme, I think I agree with the above comments, people like this are going to continue to be exploited by TV producers because of how cheap these kinds of shows are to produce.

    • November 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      Agreed. While there are certainly some full time preppers on the show, a lot of the people featured are (mostly) normal people who pursue this as a hobby. Some people like taking care of their lawn, other people like taking care of their stockhouse. In the context of what is shown it’s easy to blow out of proportion though.

  4. Russell
    November 12, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    A lot of these people were active during the Y2K fear in the late 90s. Having read several books and magazines written by “doomers,” I get the sense that they’re very bitter people who have a strong misanthropic streak, and they like to fantasize about everyone else being brought down to their level.

  5. Bob Rupp-Kilgore
    November 12, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Sadly, so many cable TV channels (Discover, TLC, Nat’l Geo, etc.) have simply become instruments of voyeurism and exploitation. It’s rare these days to find anything decent anymore; although I am looking forward to Neil Degrasse-Tyson’s reboot of “Cosmos”.

  6. November 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    If there was a civilization collapsing catastrope these folks are the last people who would be able to rebuild it.

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