I've always had a little tiny piece of prepper in me. Some of it is living in tornado country--when I was a kid there were a few times we heard the sirens and went down to the basement where we played ping pong and I tried to laugh my way through nervousness. I started having a little emergency go-bag when I lived on my own. Something about living in a tiny unit in a huge apartment building gave me a weird feeling so I had a backpack in the closet that had some government-recommended stuff like water, a flashlight and energy bars. When we got a dog I made sure we had an emergency stash of pet food. When the kids came I periodically updated it with the right-sized diapers.
After Trump was elected my paranoia grew a little bit and I've begun adding things like documents and I'm thinking about getting passports for the boys even though we don't have plans to go anywhere in particular, nor do I really think we'll need them. It just gives me a little sense of control when I know I have none.
But yesterday I read a story that put my prepping to shame (and for the record I am not really very serious about all this. I don't have a safe or a gun. I know we will be squished immediately WTSHTF (when the shit hits the fan, in prepper parlance.) Evan Osnos did a piece in the New Yorker about Silicon Valley elite that are investing in doomsday-ready property--nuclear-safe luxury condos in our heartland as well as property in New Zealand, which is apparently the ideal geographic location for escaping a self-destructing America.
My first reaction to the piece was dread and fear. What do these people know that I don't? Can I survive, too? Then general loathing. To think about all these people who are wealthy enough to a.) have an apocalypse condo b.) have a helicopter to fly to it c.) Have enough money to retain a helicopter pilot + family (because how are you going to get someone to fly you to your apocalypse condo without his or her family?) and are using their funds to plan their escape from America instead of helping America avoid this certain fate didn't paint them in the best light. There is a part of me that wonders if they want to get to use their fancy post-America toys and enjoy a rarified life only amongst those who were smart enough to get rich and build an escape hatch (along with their lucky employees.)
This gives me the answer to something I've been pondering over the last few weeks. When will we see the first works of post-Trump popular culture and what will they look like? All the shows and movies we're celebrating during awards season were conceived and created during an Obama administration. I'm very curious to see, read and hear how this current administration will influence art (here are the new TV shows rolling out.). I certainly hope there's some good escapism in it.
But a lot of it will be dark, I'm sure, and I think we need dark humor now. That's why I'm pitching "War-A-Lago," the TV show about a bunch of Silicon Valley billionaires forced to share the remains of the planet. (I am flexible on the title.) Because doesn't it seem fitting--and wouldn't you want to watch--if the reward these people had for putting themselves ahead of everyone else was to have to live together from then on? There would no longer be a 1% and a 99% percent--there'd only be the 100% that survived and they'd drive each other 100% crazy (I'm working on the tagline.) Wouldn't it be delicious to watch some of the country's most wealthy have to serve on a global condo board together? You know they'd probably get testy within the first ten minutes when figuring out who is going to take minutes.
My elevator pitch is that it's like Silicon Valley meets The Last Man On Earth meets The Good Place.
I'd really like to watch this show! So get it made, west coast liberal elite, before you secede. I can't wait to watch it. And to use the money I make from this idea to buy a helicopter.