Sunday, January 29, 2012
By Reginald Kaigler (DEMCAD)
I watched a preview for National Geographics' new documentary series "Doomsday Preppers" and I couldn't help by wonder what most people are going to think of the prepper community after seeing this goofy show. Am I the only one who thinks that the preview makes preppers look at a bunch of wackos?
First of all, the title implies that preppers are nutjobs waiting for the end of the world. Second, they had the REM song "It's the End of the World as We Know It" as one guy admits that the extent of his preps are "insane." Third, the show sends the wrong message. Now maybe that guy was taken out of context, but most people won't see the actual show, they'll just see the preview featuring an array of eccentric characters looking silly.
Let's be honest, this series is a reality TV show. And like all reality TV shows, it focuses on the most eccentric and extreme. TV networks want entertainment value, which doesn't always translate into a sensible portrayal of a group. I understand that National Geographic is trying to tap into a social phenomenon, but showing a bunch of preppers in gas masks and tactical gear is not in the prepper community's best interest. This show will make most causal viewers laugh and look at preparing for an emergency as a trait of a strange individual.
I don't know why the participants joined this show, but I respect their efforts to prepare for emergencies. They are more advanced in their prepping than I am. I think the problem is that show will likely turn more people off to prepping than encourage them. In a country where the masses are willing to support two corrupt political parties would betray the citizens and offer nothing but an array of empty personalities, perception is very important.
If we want to encourage more Americans to prepare, we need to speak from a place where we can be taken seriously. There's nothing wrong with running emergency drills with your family, but is that the first image you want non-preppers to see?
Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but Fox Cable Networks owns 75% of National Geographic, so I think we have to be very mindful who controls the images that are put forth to represent us. The mainstream media rarely presents things in a manner that makes preppers, gun owners and survivalist look good.
In the preview below, there's a point where a friendly middle-aged woman raises her glass for a toast. The guest raise their drinks and she says, "Here's to the end of the world!" I'm sure it was taken out of context and she maybe have been kidding, but that's the point. If you want the preview, you get a presentation that makes preppers look crazy.
Why did Fox insist on adding the word DOOMSDAY to "Preppers"? Most preppers aren't preparing for doomsday, they are doing what squirrels and other animals do naturally. They simply prepare for a time when resources are harder to find. It's common sense.
It's not just what you do, it's how you do it.
I'm going to leave you with two links to a classic episode of "The Cosby Show." In nine minutes you'll see a great example of bad presentation and some wise words from Clif.
But maybe I'm wrong about "Doomsday Preppers". Maybe the good will help a lot of people and if that is the case and I would very pleased. What do you think about the preview?