Monthly Archives: September 2014

Twenty-something guide to WTF Happened to Your World

I know a fair number of people in the 20-30 age range.  And I’d like to say to all of you:  We’re sorry.  And if we’re not we damn well should be.  My generation (Boomers) have done a bangup job of taking a pretty good country and turning it to shit.

OK, so modern medicine has improved since I was a kid.  And I love the internet.  And yes, the air is cleaner than it was in the 70’s (though I’m sure we can ruin that, too)

Twenty-somethings grew up in a world where new technology was always just around the corner; where everything got smaller, faster and cheaper each year; where we as a society enjoyed an affluence never seen before in the history of the world.

But the cracks are starting to show, making themselves felt, and most of that is being noticed by you.  People my age are still cushioned by the undue confidence spawned by 30 years of relative affluence.

You guys can’t take that world for granted any more.  I’m pretty sure most of you have figured that out, largely due to graduating college with debt and no job prospects in your field.  We told you — we pretty much guaranteed you — that if you got “edumacated” you’d be as affluent and secure as we were.  Yeah, about that…

We built infrastructure, and now we’re letting it fall apart.  We’ve constructed communities where no one can get to a job or a grocery store without a  car. We allowed corporations to hog the fresh water supply, to spill their shit into the air and rivers and oceans, and then get off scott free by declaring bankruptcy or offshoring their finances, leaving you to pay the bill and suffer the consequences.  Energywise, we put all our eggs in the fossil fuel basket and now we’re losing our grip on that basket.  At the top of a flight of stairs.  And the floor is lava.

So, in a somewhat lame attempt to try and make it up to you all, I’m going to write down some ideas on dealing with the fabulous new “WTF World” you’ve been handed.

Part One: Learn to Keep Yourself Safe 

(because you can’t count on anyone else to save yo’ ass.)

Modern American society expects everything it desires to be available 24/7/365: Cash.  Snacks.  Meds. Gasoline.  Directions.  As things continue to change, it’s likely to be true less and less.  If you wrap your brain around this new reality now, you’ll save yourself (and maybe others) time and trouble down the bumpy road.

Gasoline: you know how irritational people get at the gas station right before a three-day weekend?  Now imagine if one or two of those gasoline tanker deliveries don’t make it to the station on time.  Avoid the rush by never letting your tank get below 1/3 full.

Food&drink: “Hangry” is definitely a thing, and nobody likes it.  Your vehicle should always contain a few granola bars and a couple extra bottles of water.  Ditto your desk and/or locker.  Do you really want to wade through floodwaters, only to die fighting a guy at the Quick Mart for the last Tasty Kake?  Didn’t think so.

Cash Moneys: Always have $20 in the glove compartment, and a ten stashed in your purse or the back of your wallet.   Between credit system hackers, power outages, and local equipment failures, you’re gonna need cash eventually to obtain the aforementioned gasoline, food or water.

More thoughts later, and remember kids, “Always know where your towel’s at.”

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