What Do Chuck Norris, Scarlett Johansson, and Keanu Reeves Have In Common?
Good day, everybody! I hope life is treating you well, and if not, then I hope good things are waiting to surprise you just around the next corner!
The answer to the title question is, of course, that these folks are all huge Hollywood action stars. Count them among the ranks of Stallone, Arnold Shorts-r-bigger, Tom Cruz, Jason Statham, and Steven Segal (to name just a few).
As exciting, rugged, lethal, and good-looking as these action stars are, I’m afraid they’ve taught us a few bad lessons in life. And those lessons, that poor example Hollywood has engrained inside our skulls, could cause us a few major problems down the road. Let’s talk about a few of those today, focusing on the last one, especially.
1. An action hero’s bullets and stamina are endless. The never-ending, always firing machine gun or pistol - we all laugh at that. Rarely is reloading an issue. And if you do happen to run out of bullets, just pick up a “bad guy’s” gun because they’ll be scattered everywhere (much like a video game). But even more amazing than endless bullets is the hero’s endless stamina. One bad guy punched into human Jell-o, two, three, seven, forty-three. All you bad guys line up for your ass-kicking... and only attack our hero ONE-AT-A-TIME! Queensbury Rules here - die with your dignity intact, people! The action star’s stamina is endless. They could fight for days. And not just one-on-one, but 1 on 5, 1 on 10, 1 on 35… no problem. They may come out of it a little bruised, bloodied, maybe worked up
a light sweat, but give 'em 2 minutes and they'll be more than ready to mow down the next wave of hapless humanity.
The life lesson here is - THAT’S HOLLYWOOD. It’s not real. Guns run out of bullets, they jam, they misfire, and you actually have to take a moment and aim them if you want to come even close to hitting anything. As far as stamina is concerned, If you’ve ever participated in action sports, or watched an MMA bout, you’ll understand that somebody fighting for their life in hand-to-hand combat has about 3 minutes of stamina before they’re spent. I once read an article written by a former Navy Seal, trained in the art of hand-to-hand combat, who wrote, “The best way to come out on top in a knife fight is to run.”
In real life, especially in SHTF (S**t Hits The Fan) situations, it pays to AVOID conflict, not go looking for it. Stay away from protests, riots, and other such nonsense. Keep a low profile. If the electricity has been off in your neighborhood for a week, if people are hungry and desperate, crime is skyrocketing, and your house is ablaze in light because you have a backup generator… you’re only making yourself a target. A few blackout curtains may be in order, or just go without lights like everyone else and avoid being the flame that attracts the hungry and violent moths until help arrives.
2. Your typical action hero is an expert at everything. James Bond? Fuggitaboudit! He’s an expert on fashion, table games, weapons, love-making, helicopters, political science, mixology, submarines, spaceships, cargo planes, hand-to-hand combat, he’s cultured and multi-lingual, an expert sailor, a master detective, in peak physical condition, knows opera and classical music, keeps tabs on every supervillain in the known world, along with their businesses and whereabouts, he’s an expert automobile driver, skydiver, marksman, he’s great at golf, snow skiing, mountain climbing, he’s even an expert fencer, and every gadget he’s given by Q, he learns instantly and expertly… and all this while spending most of his time lounging in upscale casinos or laying on the beach with supermodels. What a guy!
In real life, no one has time to be an expert at everything. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. And in a SHTF situation, you might find yourself an expert grower of vegetables but cannot possibly protect them from being stolen. You might be great in hand-to-hand combat but a terrible marksman. You might be wonderful at repairing automobiles but everything you try to grow yourself immediately dies. You might be a world-class leader and organizer of people but have no skill at dealing with physical tasks such as cutting firewood, changing your own oil, or winning a fistfight. Sadly, there just isn’t enough JAMES BOND to go around. And this leads us to our last “Bad-Action-Hero-Lesson”
3. Action Heroes Always “Go It Alone”. “Backup? I don’t need no steenking backup!” There are endless incidents in Hollywood where our hero can’t possibly wait for assistance, or flies across the country in hot pursuit rather than simply calling someone on the phone to handle the situation, or wades into a melee against all odds in a “Custer’s Last Stand” scenario. Of course, 99 times out of 100, he/she lucks out, or toughs it out, and comes out on top; walking away in the sunset as the end credits roll.
None of these tactics are overly bright. And none of them are effective in real life. Every time I see the po-po make a drug bust, there are at least 4 cruisers in the lot, if not more. That’s real life. You most often win a fight by simply showing up with a greater amount of people.
The “Lone Wolf Hero” has become an American male icon. We’re encouraged to NOT seek help when we’re in trouble; that needing help is a sign of weakness. We’ve developed a lifestyle of NOT talking about our feelings and have learned that suffering on our own in silence is the manly thing to do. Go it alone. We avoid groups and group activities. They make us uncomfortable and nervous because we’ve learned that life is a competition and that there’s only room at the top for ONE individual person.
The typical prepper models this thought. Horde as much food and water as possible and then hole up in your “Alamo Shelter” with a bunch of guns and ammo with maybe only a few trusted friends or family around to help you, if that.
But Team Apocalypse isn’t hoarding just food, water, and ammo… are we?
We’re hoarding people. That’s one of the messages of this group. Lone Wolves need not apply. There are so many advantages to being in a group, I can’t list 'em all here. But going back to point one in this article, a group allows you to reload your weapon; both literally and figuratively. You can sleep peacefully at night if you’re being watched over by a group of family or friends. You don’t have to bear the burdens of hard times all on your own until your stamina wears out. The military is based primarily on unit behavior, not individuals. There’s a reason for that.
Point two - unlike James Bond, you can’t be an expert at everything. But in a group, you can delegate responsibilities to those who are experts in certain areas. This frees you to excel in areas you’re already good at, contributing to the welfare of the group, and learning from folks who might be better than you in other areas.
And point three - I pretty much already made. The Lone Wolf doesn’t last long outside the pack.
So, if being part of a group is so important, how do I do it? Where do I start? What if I have no one who’s interested?
Great questions - all. And all will be answered in detail in further posts. For now, I’m asking that you understand the value of being part of a group and the dangers of Hollywood, Lone Wolf thinking.
See you next time.
Until then, as my good friend Dan (the other Dan) says,