So, as I was saying yesterday, I just got done watching the first season of The Colony on Netflix. The basic premise is that 10 people are put together into a huge warehouse in LA in conditions mimicking those that might exist after a global disaster. Public utilities are shut off, so the colonists have to figure out how to filter river water and rig up car batteries for electricity. They have to scavenge in a cordoned off hospital for medical supplies, and bands of marauders and beggars threaten their safety. Of course, like all reality TV, The Colony definitely has its fair share of fake events. The show tells viewers that experts were standing by to help in the event of life-threatening emergencies, but I think the definition of life-threatening might have been a little loose because I found it fairly unlikely that the show’s participants could come up with workable plans to revive inventions that went out of vogue years ago without some generous help from the sidelines.
At any rate, I formed a few observations as I was watching the show.
1) I don’t think I’ll make it very far after an apocalypse. It turns out that an English teacher’s skills won’t be needed. If an apocalypse does occur, I’m going to take the route of the city that passes by a foundry and auto body shop, and I’m going to try to convince some of the people working there to escape with me because their skills will come in handy. I’ll try to pick up an engineer, and electrician, and a construction worker or two along the way. And, I’ll try to learn how to cook rice and canned tuna really well over open flames because that is the only way my fellow colonists will keep me around. Also, I will not ever criticize their grammar.
2) I can’t say for sure, but I think I’d rather eat cat food than rats. On the show, the colonists trapped some rats and almost everyone ate them while I sat in my living room wanting to gag. Then, on the last episode, one of the colonists resorted to eating cat food while everyone else looked on in shock. You can disagree with me, but I’m going to go with the cat food first. Although, this is mostly a cultural hang-up. There are people in various parts of the world that include rats in their regular diets. At least, that’s what Wikipedia told me.
3) I will not do well interpersonally in a post-apocalypse world. People get stressed out by the change in circumstances, and they yell – all the time. This will put me on the edge, and I’ll either run from the colony to join a band of marauders, or I will punch someone, break my fist on them, and be ostracized from the group, kicked out to fend for myself with only a few cans of rejected cat food.
4) Academics are changing my perceptive lens of the world. This is not an observation about my hypothetical post-apocalypse experience. Rather, it’s just an observation. While watching the show, I kept thinking about how cool it would be to show clips of it in a Group Dynamics or Sociology class. And, I kept thinking, “There is no way that this type of experiment would ever make it past an IRB board; good thing a cable channel could get away with it.”