Monday, April 5, 2010

A Review of "Emergency, This book wil...

A Review of "Emergency, This book will save your life.

What I hate about reviews is I have to read them.  So, I will get to the point for all the impatiant uber-male types that want the guts without the frills.

Buy the book and read it.  Don't put it down when Neil Strauss seems like a spaghetti spine liberal, endure.  While he doesn't get it completely at the end, it is a great journey that he lets us in on. 

Neil does a great job relating his growth from a person reliant on the system to a person who is self reliant.  He discovers via his attempts to have a "bug-out" plan to leave the US in the event of something catostrophic -like a major national disaster, terrorist attack or the total collapse of the US economy- that he doesn't possess any of the knowledge or skills to make it out, or to make it on his own once he is out.

Along the way he dispels a few myths about gun ownership, survivalists and the generally paranoid.

It is well written and ADD-types will appreciate his varietal style and short chapters.  People from the rural south will particualarly love this read as it confirms what we already know.  Most folks in big cities will be eating each other in 30 days after a real disaster, while we will be growin' tomatoes and brewing ethanol to live on in most of rural America, especially the littler latitudes.

So go.  Buy the book.

A letter to Neil Strauss regarding "Emergency".


Wow!  I couldn't put it down.  I read most of the book in one night.  And while I loved the book I thought the ending was a bit odd.  You realize in the book that the government can't save you, but then suggest the government is going to save us at the end.

Along your journey you figured out what realists/fliesians have always known, that the government no matter its size has limited capabilities and it is us not the government that makes changes on the ground that last and that matter.  The residents of New Orleans figured it out the hard way.  Yet, in the final chapters you revert to the same error in attribution that started your journey.  You allow the government back in.  This time in the form of a politician.  Barack Obama. 

No career politician will lead us out of our current doldrums.  Can he inspire.  Yes.  But that is not what he is doing.  And to look to a politician for answers considering where they have lead this country is a dangerous thing. 

I am not talking Republican or Democrat here.  I am talking over reliance on the US government.  More people now are on some type of government assistance than are not on it.  That says something.  That means that 50% of the country is a Chapter-One Neil Strauss and less than half are Last-Chapter Neil Strauss.

I don't want to seem too political here.  That is not my point.  But did you ever stop to think about how those that taught you your skills generally vote?  I would be willing to bet that most vote Republican.  "Republican" means less and less everyday, but my point is they are likely Realists and Conservatives.  Or, like it or not... neo-fliesians. 

Which is where I would put you at the end of your book.  Not so much a fliesian anymore but a realist slash fliesian.  There is no way a person who generally sees the world for what it is (yet hopes for what it can be) could ever really think that a President of the US, much less one whose number one credential was his race, would provide a path out of our current problems.

You made it all that way, learning that you can't rely on the government WTSHTF only to end the book in a way that suggests we rely on the government.  I just don't get it.

I hope I am not coming off as an anarchist.  I am far from it.  I believe as C.E.M.P. does.  WTSHTF you look to your family first, then your immediate community then your broader community.  There is real wisdom there.  It is also a maxim for government and how our Founders hoped we would run this country.  Smaller more localized governments are best equiped to service their constituency.  A broader government is ill equipped to service, but it is better equipped to redistribute wealth on a wide scale, but the smaller states must have control over that redistribution...  We no longer do. 

When you listed the Federal bueracracy that snaps into "action" when there is an emergency that was a beautiful illustration.  That lethargic beast, the Leviathan, can not be relied upon to save any of us.  Nor can it be relied upon to fix the problems it has caused.  I was hoping all throughout your book you would come to this conclusion. "It is about personal responsibility."

To say something about personal responsibility rather than "hope" from a politician...

Luckily the ending doesn't ruin the book for me.  But, it does make your growth in the book suspect.  The Psychology Major in me wants to suggest that even after your personal growth from the one likely to be the first eaten or killed to the one prepared to survive you are holding tightly to the biases you held when you started.  George Bush, bad.  Obama, good.  Or Republican, bad.  Democrat, good.  Or Iraq war, bad.  No war, good.  When those biases betray you every time because they are based on outmoded paradigms that I hope you no longer subscribe to. 

Now I hope you see that Neil is in charge.  And that life is not that simple.  Eight years of Bush, wasn't all bad.  Republicans and Democrats, generally all bad... maybe a few good. 

The country that scared you into this journey in 2004 is still here.  It is still the Leviathan but it is wearing another teams jersey.  THAT is the only difference.

Now is where I try to sell you AMWAY and pass out the kool-aid. 

It is obvious you were not a Conservative before the book.  You should be now.  You should be for personal responsibility, individual rights and State's Rights (Federalism).  You should see the US Gov for the Nanny State that it is.  Out of control.  Running on pure inertia towards implosion due to its own bloat and girth.

Forget the bullshit about Christian-Conservative and Neo-Conservative.  Fuck Pat Robertson and Karl Rove.  They are not Conservatives.  If you ever run into a "Conservative" that hyphenates they are little "c" conservatives that serve two masters.  At the end of your journey I would have thought that you would have figured out that Neil is in charge of Neil and no one in the White House can change that.  That is Nature's Law and the 10th Amendment.  Remember how you grew into a new understanding of the 2nd Amendment and how you now look at it with similar reverance to the 1st amendment?  What I am talking about now is the same thing, but now embrace the 10th amendment.

Let go the Chicago-High-Rise/Chapter-One Neil Strauss and give into the Realist Neil that sees the world for what it is and hopes for what it can be.  (Said with my best Star Wars Emperor voice.) 

If you have made it this far and are not screaming "NO it's not true, I'll never join you"...  Let's have coffee.

Benjamin Cook
Right-Wing Propagandist and Local Arms Dealer

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