Let's talk about the zombie apocalypse.
I've been on a zombie flick kick for a while (starting with Zombieland, which was surprisingly good), and I've noticed a distinct lack of people with any actual skills. No architects, no engineers, no farmers or ranchers, but most noticeably? No knitters, tailors, or seamstresses. Not even a couturier can be found. (Admittedly, they are rarer in real life anyway, but still.)
First, let's talk about what I've been watching. I got a double-dose of zombie apocalypse yesterday- the TiVo picked up Land of the Dead which featured my favorite man in a vest, Simon Baker, and John Leguizamo (who I apparently only like in drag). They go a little off-script with the interpretation of zombie mythos- mainly that the zombies are sentient, communicate, and have a leader. (I can just hear the trailers, "One zombie to lead them all...")
The people are all loathsome, the rich have somehow maintained their lifestyle in a gated-type community, the working stiffs fight the zombies, and everyone works for The Man. I briefly thought that this was a movie where people work together to survive. It turns out, it's about the triumph of the zombie spirit, since at the end, we find out that the zombies *only* want a place where they, too, can be safe. And kittens. They want kittens.
We could say that Land of the Dead is dated- since it came out in 2005. AMC has started a series called The Walking Dead, which is utterly captivating. It features Andrew Lincoln (who you might recognize from Love Actually or Teachers), and shows the best and worst of what is left of humanity in the United States. The exposition has been artfully crafted, the characters are being slowly developed, and the zombies seem to be sticking to the classic zombie mythos. (I hate it when they go off-book. Fast zombies, my foot.)
I won't spoil the show for anyone (because if you haven't seen it, you should give it a shot), but we're finally getting to see day-to-day life for the survivors. There is hunting, and people do laundry, but nobody is knitting. Or sewing. Or mending. We finished watching the episode, and it really, really bothered me that given a fixed amount of pre-prepared resources, nobody is thinking ahead.
Let's face it; clothes wear out. Even *if* the cities are full of abandoned department stores, they are also full of zombies. In the best of times, it's hard to find something in your size. Nevermind a store that's been looted. Plus, the gal at the dressing room is probably a zombie. We know from The Matrix that all the future holds for us is sweaters that are full of holes, since "progress" equals never learning how to mend your sweaters. I don't discriminate, apocalypse-wise. I saw 2012, too, and there was (again) a lack of people with actually useful skills. (But LOTS of nasty, movie stereotypes of rich people.)
As an aside, should any apocalypse come, I would rather have my knitting group in my camp than an army of MBAs and entrepreneurs. Or scrapbookers.
Andrew pointed out that the survivors (on The Walking Dead) haven't yet figured out that their clothes will wear out, which I countered with the fact that making clothes? Takes time. Especially if they don't have access to commercial fabric, power, or yarn. When you start from scratch, this stuff takes time. You have limited light, and have to be mindful of repetitive stress. (Though, I pointed out to Andrew that my Victoria was the best wheel for an apocalypse, since it's small and light.)
Plus, while the department stores might get looted, chances are good that you can find an LYS that is (mostly) intact.
So, to summarize, come the zombie apocalypse, come find me. We'll be the warm and well-dressed camp. And as my BFF points out weekly, everyone else will just be food.
(Thanks to my BFF, Miss Kalendar, for the inspiration for this post. Go listen to her podcast, Brass Needles. It's knitting, sci-fi, and brilliant.)