Saturday, May 16, 2009

ABC Nightline: "Surviving 'Economic Armageddon'" in the countryside; a note about my media-related blogs

On Friday, May 16, 2009, ABC Nightline interviewed a 51 year old grandmother in upstate New York in a segment that it called “Surviving ‘Economic Armageddon’”. She had moved to the countryside, learned to grow her own food for her family, and given up most luxuries, including driving. Today the video is available here.

She said that a few years ago she could do whatever she wanted. But she became concerned when she started reading about “Peak Oil” (a film from Netflix) and wondering if the modern lifestyle that we have all become accustomed to would be sustainable. So she decided to give it up.

She lost weight because of the exercise and got healthier. But recently she lost a job and had to give up even a few treats like bottled drinks.

We’ve heard a lot about survivalism since the 1970s, after the first oil shock. There have been predictions in the past that Americans would undergo a “cultural revolution” because of market pressures, and that small town real estate would become more valuable (it never did). But the “End of Suburbia” films (reviewed on the movies blog) documented a similar sentiment.

In a life without modern technology and media, values shift away from personal expression to collective experiences in family and religion. Some people (me!) would not fit in that kind of a world.

A note about my blogs about the media:

I have blogs on TV reviews and news (this one), movies, books, drama/music, and a special category on media about major threats to our way of life. The visitor can find all the links to these blogs on my Blogger Profile.

On each blog, I review media releases that, for the most part, address some problem that I am concerned about. For example, on the film blog, I review a lot of documentary. I also review a lot of films that demonstrate some approach to screenwriting, since I am interested in making a film. Sometimes I cover specific business issues in media industries (such as guild negotiations or strikes in television and movies, or self-publishing or book search projects on the books blog).

On this (TV-related) blog, I generally review pilot or major episodes of new shows, and then specific documentary or journalistic episodes of many series (such as PBS Frontline or NOVA, CBS 60 Minutes, NBC Dateline, ABC 20/20, or Nightline, as with this post), or syndicated “reality” interview shows like Dr. Phil and Oprah. I pick shows that demonstrate some particular issue (a particular favorite, as on Dr. Phil, has been online reputation and troubling Internet behavior) related (ultimately) to preserving personal and individual freedom. The issues today are nettlesome, and they have become existential. I cover both the issue itself, and how well the issue was presented, in comparison to other media that have covered the same issue.

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