End of Times as Reality T.V.

By , June 30, 2012

Since the first offer in 2010, we’ve received about 5 or 6 offers to participate in “reality” television programs. We’ve been invited to participate in programs on backwoods living, frugal living, locavore diet, and several Alaska-themed shows.

We tend to take a lighter view of the future than many who live as we do (Original Artwork: Mark Zeiger).

Some have been tempting, others have been easy to refuse. One recent offer waxed eloquent on creating, finally, a true portrait of Alaskan life. Their pitch talked about profiling “real Alaskans,” those who have “moved to the state to pit their wills and abilities against the wild.” I wrote a long email in reply, pointing out (tactfully, I thought) that those are the type of people real Alaskans go out and rescue, or recover their remains. I also suggested that their idea would be akin to “finally” creating a true portrait of California by profiling the people who moved to that state to break into show business, and now work as waiters, bus-people, and prostitutes. I never heard back from that outfit, even though I extended an invitation to the developer to come stay on the homestead with us for a few days to see what really goes on around here.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a little odd that we would pass up an opportunity to promote our Web site and blog, but I guess I’ve never truly believed the old adage, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” If that was true back when it was first coined, surely “reality” T.V. invalidated it.

The latest offer was so laughable we didn’t even bother to reply—as if we had time.

A certain cable channel with a rather suggestive name plans to pit family teams against each other in a aurvival and self reliance skills competition. The prize for the last family standing? “shares in a luxury survival shelter!”

So, here’s the deal: you and a family member go through a series of “tests” cooked up by television developers that display their idea of the skills needed to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. If you win, you’ll get some sort of claim on a share in a big, underground bunker. What would that be, some sort of document? A key? Or, perhaps just a blow torch so you can get in after the others have locked the door?

We’ve been very entertained imagining someone trying to take advantage of this valuable prize, should it be needed. “Wow! Here comes the plague/nucluer holocaust/financial melt down/zombie apocalypse/asteroid strike! Let’s catch a flight down to the bunker, STAT!” It just doesn’t seem to work. The only way to use the bunker would be to pack up and move to within walking distance of wherever this shelter is located. And, start getting to know your post-apocalyptic neighbors now. That’s the life for me!

Oddly, we had very little time to accept the offer, had we chosen to do so. They emailed us the day before the application period ended. I didn’t find the email until the closing day itself. I don’t know if this was some sort of poor planning on their part? Or, perhaps it was the first test of the competition, gauging our ability to make snap decisions? We’ll never know. Nor do we care, really.

Believe what you will, we generally take a lighter view of the future. Sure, we’re living in The End Times. Everyone has thought that, ever since humans first conceived of the concept of tomorrow.

Not that we don’t believe in the real possibility of hard times to come. While not our primary motivation for moving to our “homestead,” we do see the advantage of decreasing our reliance on modern conveniences. But, we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t like it. This life is just too difficult to maintain if one isn’t having fun.

Besides, why worry about tomorrow? I could spend all our time and energy preparing for invasion from terrorists, zombies, or cockroaches, then break my neck tomorrow, or simply die in my sleep. The best way to prepare for the future seems to be to make the most of today. And, of course, hope that we finally do get those jetpacks . . . .

But, seriously, Folks . . . .

You can purchase clothing and other items with the design pictured above here.

4 Responses to “End of Times as Reality T.V.”

  1. Shona Hilton says:

    “The best way to prepare for the future seems to be to make the most of today.” I really like that!

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    I’d like to take credit for that, but I’m sure someone else probably said it first!

  3. Holly says:

    It would be interesting for a program to feature different homesteads showing “A Day in the Life” of the owners. Unscripted, of course.

  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    I think it’s that word, “unscripted” that sticks in the craw of all program producers. Of course, they don’t really need to script, as they control the editing. That’s what concerns me!

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