By his own estimate, Pense says there are a few thousand people in the Springfield area who have listened and who are ready. The preppers. Most don’t like to be called preppers because of the connotation that they’re crazy; Chicken Little wasn’t well-received by his people, either. Most don’t even like to talk about it, but a few of them do. So for three months toward the end of 2017, I sought out the doomsday survivalists to find out: Is it really crazy to live like the sky is falling?
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While other parents were telling their kids not to play with matches, my dad was teaching me how to make a fire. That’s because he knew what an important survival skill this is to have. You probably know how to make a fire by making a teepee out of dry sticks and lighting a bit of paper underneath. But what if it just rained – how will you find dry kindling? Or how about making a fire in the snow? Or what about in the dessert where there are no sticks? If you can’t answer how you’d go these things, then you better master the fire making skill NOW!
What is freaky about Joey, however, is his preternatural focus and poise: no one his age has a right to sound this confident. "Survival Tactics," off of Joey's new tape 1999, isn't the sound of a bunch of over-excited kids who just discovered "Bucktown"; it's a flawless piece of rap revivalism, made with the care and calm of lifelong professionals. The martial high-step of the rhyme schemes, the slick, cypher-style quotables ("I spit more than speech impediments"), the beat drops, the asphyxiated horns-- the song is sharp, clean, and fierce enough to claim its sacred texts as peers.
In 1980, John Pugsley published the book The Alpha Strategy. It was on The New York Times Best Seller list for nine weeks in 1981. After 28 years in circulation, The Alpha Strategy remains popular with survivalists, and is considered a standard reference on stocking food and household supplies as a hedge against inflation and future shortages.