History teaches us that the human threat encountered in the aftermath of a prolonged natural or man-made disaster is as real and immediate as any other external danger. But if this week’s episode of Discovery Channel’s post-apocalyptic reality show, The Colony, is any indication, most Americans remain completely in the dark about the realities of life in a chaotic environment.
One of the colonists living in a makeshift, food-deprived camp is kidnapped and held for ransom. After 24 hours she is returned peacefully in exchange for some canned food and gasoline. She isn’t harmed in any way, and in the end life in the compound goes back to normal. One word: Ridiculous!
In a real end-of-the-world scenario the kidnapped woman, a 22 year old model, would have likely been raped by her burly, violent male assailants, and then killed and eaten out of necessity. If she was lucky, she might have been sold to another group of survivors to be used as slave labor, but she would never have been returned to her group for a few scraps that could have as easily been taken by force.
When the dead rise and modern civilization collapses, desperate people without food or water will have no choice but to take what they can from the weak and vulnerable. There’s no shaking hands, or trusting another man’s word, or making new friends by campfire light in a zombie planet.
Survival in the animal kingdom is unflinchingly harsh. Once we are forced to stop clinging to the myths of civility, charity and rule of law, it will become painfully clear that we are animals just like any other.