Life Imitates Art – Again!

Just as Thursday’s post about my novel, Betrayals, and its eerie similarities to the present-day politics in the real world went live we had another example of life imitating art pop up.

Men.BMy story, The Last Hunt, appears in the Superversive Press anthology, To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity. In it, it speaks of a time in the future where the denizens of the major cities have walled themselves within in order to keep out the people who call the rural areas home. These Mega-City residents felt they were superior and did not need contact with the “unwashed heathens out in flyover country” to survive.

In the story, this philosophy did not end well for the mega-cities.

It is a cautionary tale of thinking your side is the superior to the other based on false assumptions. Failing to appreciate that these rural hicks actually do a lot to make living in a big city possible is to start along a path to desolation and death.

I’m pretty sure if some great force were to scoop up every major city and all of the technology, the folks out in those rural backwaters would manage to survive quite well.

But say that same force were to remove all of the farms and ranches that provide meat, produce, dairy, eggs, etc – farms and ranches all located outside of those cities – and I’m thinking those city folk wouldn’t make it a full year.

This is the premise of The Last Hunt and the warning to those who think they could do without those “unskilled, uneducated simpletons” to reconsider their prejudices at their own peril.

And yet, in the New York Times on Thursday we see this article by Will Wilkinson. Seems like Will wants to start building those walled-up Mega-Cities from The Last Hunt. Seems Will doesn’t think his precious city needs those ‘country bumpkins”. Will is an idiot who would likely be dead in a week if the food supplies to the big cities ever were cut.

So let me say this. We all need each other. Big cities, small towns, whatever. This country is at its very best when it stands united. Trying to diminish one half of it for political gains, or claiming yours is the superior way and the other half must do whatever you say whether they like it or not because more of your side lives in the big cities, will not work.

All it will do is ensure we start on the path to making The Last Hunt a historical record instead of just a work of post-apocalyptic fiction. So to Will and all who think like he does: Please stop trying to make me into a 21st Century Nostradamus.

I don’t think any of us wants to see our world end up like this:

sci-fi-post-apocalyptic-28081_942730_1492542

 

6 Comments

  1. I … gather that the proponents behind this think they can survive through the use of oh, backyard homesteads, or balcony or rooftop gardens/homesteading… or massive aquaponics farms…

    Which, mind I have nothing against, and indeed think are very nifty things. But those things will not and cannot sustain the population of any large city from within.

    Never mind food supplies. Water supplies generally come from outside the city. So does electricity. And unless they’ve decided to somehow embark on desalinization plants (something a lot of the enviro-hippies don’t like) and have magically moved all the cities next to the large hydroelectric plants… yeah no. There was a discussion some weeks ago over at either According to Hoyt or Mad Genius Club about how in the US you can’t do a lot of rainwater harvesting in the rural areas – certainly not enough to go completely off grid – and a lot of water regulations exist to greater benefit city water requirements, and apparently enough people saving rainwater in the rural areas ‘might affect the water supply going to the city’ or something.

    And considering how screwed a city seems to get when there’s a natural disaster like say, a snowstorm, or a flood? Welp, there’s your population control there, right off the bat…

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  2. I read (okay, skimmed – TLDR) the Wilkerson article, and I don’t think he wants to get rid of rural America so much as to redistribute how votes are counted so the urbans (both coasts and a few places in the middle) would have more clout and thus more control over creating a Democratic Senate and POTUS. Every group thinks they hold the moral high ground and believes thus that if they could gain command of the nation, everything would be hunky dory. More’s the pity.

    I liked that you’ve written a tale about dystopian progressive America. No one believes their ideology could become a dictatorship, but any way of life becomes totalitarian once it is forced on its citizens. No exceptions.

    One of the comments (yes, they were overwhelmingly biased left) on the NYT Opinion piece was interesting though:

    “The government is not going to fix this for us. Democrats, move to the country! Change the population distribution. Start farms, communes, planned communities; or do what this liberal couple did: move to a red state, join the existing community and vote blue. It’s actually quite beautiful out here in rural America. And if liberals ventured out of the cities and got to know moderate Republicans, we might just make some friends and change some minds.”

    I’ve lived and worked in rural America (and it was enough to disillusion me about small town life), and if liberals were to move in large numbers out of their cities and suburbs, they’d be in for a big, big culture shock. Rural Idaho would not universally love them.

    Oh, I’ve acquired a review copy of “To Be Men,” and have just started reading it. I’ll be reviewing it both on my blog and on Amazon. Looking forward to reading your story.

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    1. I have a feeling that commenter moved to Fargo, which is the largest city in the state and as close to “big city” as you’ll get in North Dakota aside from maybe Bismarck. Let’s see if she would last long in Steele or one of the towns with a population that numbers in the hundreds or even less.

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  3. Cities breed insanity and depression like a prison. I never hated life so much as when my wife and I briefly lived in a city. Moving back to a small town was like getting into a clean shower after landing in a sewer.

    Moving back to the family farm was better. I never needed to worry if my wife was late shopping. She was talking to friends at the grocery store. My son and I timed the ladies in the house once. Four hours to go to a store a few blocks away. They spent the entire time catching up with the ladies from church or the families of the people I arrested that weekend.

    Yes, in a small-town you can still take a guy to jail on Friday n night and share a cup of coffee with his brother or cousin on Sunday. I don’t know why they didn’t resent me for arresting them, maybe I was doing it wrong.

    Anyway half the mental problems would disappear if you could get people out of toxic cities and into a decent small town.

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