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What we don‘t get about US America

First of all, I am no USA expert by any means. I was not even there.

I have some interest in outdoor gear and life outdoors even though I still try to do more things outdoors. Most of the time it comes down to some hiking, rock climbing, fishing and cooking, but no camping or trips over several days. One of the best sources for gear reviews and tutorials I found is the YouTube channel of nutnfancy.


Nutnfancy is a real US American dude. He does a great deal of things in the great "out‘a doors" as he calls it. His videos are done with a great inside of what you should and can expect from the product and are technically nicely done. He produces independently – what is a very important part of it.

The interesting piece, where I learned a great deal more than I had expected, are his videos about "Life Philosophy". Where he explains how he handles important parts of his life. Like how to handle Dangerous Things, how to raise your children and the Sheepdog Concept. Of course he thinks that these concepts are very good and you should follow them - so it feels a bit like preaching. Since they do not contain real religious advice or call for violence I do not think they do any harm.

Where we as Europeans, at least where I as a German, start to listen attentively is when we see titles like: Teach Your Kids to Shoot! and the bunch of gun reviewing videos.

What The Hell!

When you watch some of the videos of nutnfancy you very soon understand he is a very responsible guy and not one of the gun-crazy dudes you probably have seen on YouTube or in Hollywood movies. His philosophy goes along these lines: if something is dangerous you have to train a lot more to handle it safely and you have to teach your kinds the responsibility to handle it instead of banning it.

We Germans are mostly just shocked to see him training his kid how to shoot, him having fun shooting, him explaining how important it is to wear a gun everyday or him explaining why one should vote for Romney.

Why would anyone vote for Romney?

In Germany we had a nationwide consensus (90%) that we would vote for Obama. Our news agencies covered the US American election like US America would have been lost if it would have chosen Romney, like Romney must have been a joke. Even on the most objective news channels you could always feel a strong tendency pro Obama, even while they covered his nasty drone war or his broken promise to close Guantanamo bay.

Meanwhile in US America there are people protesting against one of the greatest achievements we Germans gifted to the world (from our perspective) - public healthcare. We can not wrap our head around this. But this is where it all comes together. We, as well as US Americans, just lacks the experience.

US Americans do not have any experience what it means to live with a public healthcare system, to live in a state that that has as much power as our European nations do, to be that much regulated. Or to phrase it another way: to live in a nation that cares that much about its citizens. We in contrast have no concept of the US American idea of freedom. We just do not have the degree of freedom people have in large parts of US America. Sure we do not feel restricted! I believe we are just used to it. The republican party stands for this freedom - and therefor Romney does too.

What Freedom anyway?

I do not think that we should all be allowed to wear a gun in Germany. This kind of strong power separation pays of for such a dense population we live in. Even though for me it would be nice to have a bit more freedom in Germany for outdoor activities, like to setup a tend in the woods, to make small fires or to go fishing (without a weeks lost bureaucracy). I bet everyone has its own area of over regulation – this is where our freedom is limited. On the other hand this may be the only way to live together with so many people.

If you look at a map of the population density of US America and a map of the votes there is some correlation. The people living in the sparse populated country side are used to their freedom and probably help each other (the values of nutnfancy). In a dense population a lot of the freedom is lost anyway and helping each other becomes much harder when you have several hundred neighbors and do not now one of them.

Therefor, if you want to know more about the value system that works for a great part of US America and that we have no understanding of, watching some of the videos of nutnfancy might be enlightening. Just to give you an example: You remember the Colorado Movie Theater Massacre (during the premiere of The Dark Night Rises batman movie)? The Answer of nutnfancy is no call for stronger gun laws. Instead he asks why there were so few people in the audience carrying a gun to protect themselves, their family and the other people in the audience. (See also: "people seeking to purchase a firearm in the state increasing to 2,887, up 43%")

Black Out

Due to my mentioned internet diet I had a lot of time between fishing, cooking and making fire for cooking (and sauna of course) to finally read some books again. While two of them where more or less nonfiction books, but nevertheless very entertaining, and the third one was a new part of the latest Star Wars series, hence very nerdy, the fourth one was kind of in between and really hit me hard.

It‘s titled Black Out by Marc Elsberg and currently only available in German, as it seams. As one might guess it deals with the scenario of a black out. Well not the typical one for some minutes or hours – because then the book would probably not be as good or better as disturbing as it is. Rather it confronts you with a European wide loss of electricity over the period of about two weeks. And I bet you have no idea what this really means, like I did not before I read this book.

Sure, we all know that our society is addicted to the magical source of power build in our walls. We hear it and we talk about it day in and day out. But at least I never thought about what exactly would not work or better what would still work – not much as it turns out.

No water, no working toilets, no gas, no internet, no telephone, no banks, no heating … for days.

The beauty of the books is that it more or less takes a dry report from the German government (it is actually based on that one) and transforms it into a vivid image of a catastrophe. The scary part is, that not only it describes the expanding catastrophe along the path of several main characters but it interlaces a lot of events that happened lately, like the long running "cyber attacks" (Flame and Gauss) or the nuclear GAU in fukushima together with technical details. I think its also worth noting that the central character is a haker (who uses windows but that is the only flaw I found in that regard).

Well, might be a good book – but disturbing?

I do not want to spoil too much of the story. But believe it or not I seriously think about a food reserve for emergencies. I already printed out the list of what is recommended by the German government. And I did start to read the news a bit more carefully about attacks on the power system.

So running for the hills everybody.
But take this book with you – it‘s a good one.

Well played Steam.

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I agree too.

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