Survivalism and Personal Progress: Seeking Synergy in a Paranoid Paradox

The inexorable acceleration of global warming and geopolitical instability contribute to a climate in which a relatively significant investment in disaster management preparation appears to be reasonable, if not required. So just how much “Doomsday” prepping is too much, and how much is simply part of a rational strategy of diversification? Phriends, if you are looking to me for an authoritative answer, I’m sorry to report that you’re barking up the wrong tree. As a guy who has long had an instinctive aesthetic attraction to the apocalyptic, the idea of prepping has appealed to me for several years, but until recently I had only dabbled. After reading Emergency by Neil Straus in approximately 2010, I started storing a bit of food and bottled water, but I soon became concerned that for me, this sort of thing might become a slippery slope of paranoia, potentially leading to a state of perpetual negativity, a Mad Prophet of Doom, bunkered in, waiting for the apocalypse that never comes. A few years later, a little older, and if not wiser, at least a bit less crazy, I find myself able to approach the concept in a more balanced way. Borrowing ideas from the seemingly paradoxical camps of Zen and finance, I have become more comfortable with the reality of uncertainty, and the need for diversification in one’s approach to the future. The experience of becoming a father has caused me to realize that preparing for the future, whether it be apocalyptic or not, is no longer an optional endeavor, and needs to be approached in as rational and strategic a manner as possible. The apparent paradox between living in The Now and taking reasonable actions to increase the probability of a safe and enjoyable future is perhaps a topic for another day, but unless some sort of transcendental collective enlightenment is achieved, the future remains a universal human concern. I make no claim to foresee the future, and while I remain perhaps irrationally optimistic about the potential for human development, there are clearly myriad significant short and medium term large-scale risks which seem only logical to incorporate into one’s assessment of and preparation for the wide array of disparate and unknowable possible future scenarios. Clearly, it is impossible to prepare for everything, and there are certainly innumerable conceivable situations in which there is no possibility of survival, regardless of one’s level of preparation. Even so, a combination of recent history and imagination can serve to inform us of certain broad categories of disaster, many of which can be rendered significantly more survivable given even a moderate amount of sensible preparation. Interestingly, as I begin to take disaster preparation more seriously, I find that I am also approaching other matters of personal, artistic, and professional development in a more effective manner. This subjective and anecdotal experience suggests a thread of speculation that taking matters of fundamental physical survival more consciously into account might create a sort of biologically driven cognitive enhancement, with the potential to be applied to many different areas of life. Progress in these other areas, such as healthcare, community involvement,  sustainable living, economic development, quasi-political organization, interdisciplinary scientifically informed next wave industrial innovation, re-imagination of social contracts and constructs, newly evolutionary art forms, and generalized myth-making might in turn contribute to synergies with one’s disaster preparedness methodology, creating a sort of virtuous spiral, theoretically serving to mitigate violent and disruptive external forces, ultimately clearing and illuminating a path toward a brighter tomorrow.  As a relative newcomer to the Wide World of Prepping, I currently consider myself to be prepared at about a 3 out of 10 (generously), with 1 being a completely pedestrian civilian, and 10 being a fully sustainably bunkered commando. I’d like to get closer to a 7 out of 10 within the next couple of years, taking small incremental steps, without compromising the other priorities in my life, and plans for more favorable possible futures. With this goal in mind, I intend to dedicate an intentionally uncertain percentage of my future posts to exploring a variety of survivalist related topics. Again, to be clear, I am not claiming expertise in the field, but am happy to pass on potentially useful knowledge as I acquire it, and will credit my sources when appropriate. I invite comments with additional ideas or constructive criticism. When I find items that I personally own and find useful, I’ll post Amazon links. Phoenix and I make about a 2% commission if you buy something through our links, and it doesn’t cost you any extra, so we appreciate your consideration. I promise not to promote anything that I don’t actually believe in. It is important to me that prepping not become an isolated and paranoid endeavor, and thus discussing it in a public forum might prove psychologically beneficial. If the Walking Dead has taught us anything, it’s the seemingly paradoxical truth that people are the real threat, but that we all need other people to survive. 

Byron H Diel
AKA Subcommander Dada

Copyright 2017, Byron H Diel, DBA EyeDiel Enterprises 

From the Ashes of Postmodernism: Another Resurrection. 

In the increasingly apocalyptic era of Trump and the apparent triumph of the political machinations of the weaponized post modern surrealism of Putin and Vladislav Surkov, it has been a struggle to work through a sort of creative paralysis in the face of a future which has never appeared more uncertain. As an individual who has long been drawn to the apparent storylines of history, both collective and personal, yet repeatedly witnessed the unmasking of the illusory nature of many of these narrative structures in the experience of myself and others, the postmodern idea of “incredulity toward metanarratives,” as expressed by Lyotard, is both fascinating and horrifying, liberating and disorienting. In the deliberate distortion of metanarratives currently operating in our politics, it appears to me that we are witnessing the potentially dangerous nature of malevolent misuse of the postmodern. It occurs to me now, that in an era when new and more productive metanarratives are likely required, postmodern methodologies might be productively employed to dig below our collectively mis-programmed ideations and expose some useful deeper and more natural truth. Going forward, this metatheory will guide, at least in part, my future labors on Phoenix And Phriends, and other EyeDiel Enterprises related projects. a For the last time, I shall apologize for the lengthy delay between posts. Once again it occurs to me that to embrace the official “Dada Diaries” title of the blog means that no published post ever needs to truly be “finished,” and that the stream of my ideas, whatever they may be worth, might simply be allowed to continue to flow, however incoherently, and hopefully in the end occasionally contribute something useful to the wider evolution of publicised discourse. It is in this spirit that I hereby resolve to post something to this blog on a daily basis, regardless of its apparent value. I have tried other resolutions, such as publishing weekly, bi-weekly, or some other variation, and these have simply enabled my tendency toward extreme procrastination. So anyhow, daily it is. 

The political environment here in 2017 has become so overwhelmingly bizarre that once I had taken a week or two off from Facebook after the election to attempt to regain some sense of balance and sanity, I felt so behind the curve on the daily torrent of outrages that it seemed impossible to regain a relevant voice. Well, no matter, relevance is after all, relative, and one feels as though something should be said. Given the current climate, the machinations of the Smoke Brothers seem positively quaint. Perhaps that is indeed one of the operative layers of the elaborate, multimodal game of bait and switch being played. Some have suggested, somewhat convincingly, that the entire topic of Russian meddling and Trumpian collusion is in fact another bait and switch, however, even acknowledging this possibility, the question continues to seem extraordinarily important. Regardless of whose tail is actually wagging which dog, I am increasingly convinced that one cannot begin to unravel the myriad webs of distortion in which we find ourselves ensnared without some study of the postmodern politics of Vladislav Surkov, and the concept of “Nonlinear War,” as described in his enigmatic short story “Without Sky.” For my more intrepid readers, the few of you left who I have not already urged to read this strangely relevant work, it’s only about a 10 minute read, and I’ve found it somewhat illuminating as to the strategies and tactics of some of the significant sociopolitical forces operating at this potentially pivotal point in human history. Admittedly, I have achieved no true clarity, but do intuitively believe that Surkov has become arguably the most influential political strategist of our time, and as such deserves careful study. Again, in the words of the Immortal Brian Kenney Fresno, “Moron this later.” In the meantime, whatever this may or may not mean to you, Happy Easter from Phoenix and Dada! May we all awaken, rise from our collective grave, embrace our inner bunny, and find the fertile eggs of humanity’s renewal. 

Byron H Diel
aka Subcommander Dada

Now a word from our sponsors (well, affiliates, to be more precise.) This is an extremely interesting book about postmodern Russia. I suspect Putin would have us believe it to be some sort of CIA propaganda, and really, who knows anymore? In any case, its a fascinating viewpoint, somewhat behind the scenes, from a son of Soviet ex-patriots, who became a British documentary filmmaker, who returned to Russia and worked in the state sponsored media system. EyeDiel Enterprises will get about 2% of the proceeds if you purchase through our link, and it doesn’t cost you any more.

Copyright 2017. Byron H Diel, DBA EyeDiel Enterprises 

The Natural Guard Marches On!

posted in: Phriends, Show Updates | 0

At long last, work on Episode 2 is really picking up steam, and the infrastructure of the wider Phoenix And Phriends Universe is beginning to fall into place. Our hot weather uniforms were finally finished today. Tracy’s Sewing Service at 828 E Olive in Fresno did an absolutely incredible job altering the uniforms and sewing on the patches. I highly recommend them for any clothing repairs or alterations. Several scenes have been shot already, and now that we have the summertime jumpsuits, we can begin to shoot some outdoor action scenes. Without giving too many spoilers, I will reveal that Phoenix and Dada will actually spend some time on our very own Planet Earth…saving it from destruction, of course. Work is also well underway on the Phoenixologica Etsy Store. We will begin by offering our vintage Soviet watch collection and soon gradually introduce a line of handmade jewelery. Everything in the store will be thematically related to the show. In the words of the immortal Brian Kenny Fresno, moron this later. Last week, The Commander, his Mother, Sister and I took a pilgrimage of sorts to Post Falls, Idaho. There we had a very enjoyable vacation, spending time with Phoenix’s Grandma Mary Jo, and many other wonderful family members and friends. Profound homage was paid to the memory of the Earthly Incarnation of the Immortal Queen Nana Bettina. To say that it was not the same without Nana there in the flesh would be the most massive of understatements, however the ostensibly irrational sensation that Her Majesty’s presence is helping to guide our creative process going forward has only grown stronger. One of the many highlights of the vacation was a morning spent rockhounding by the Spokane River with Phoenix and his Sister Maddy. We currently have these Idaho rocks in our new tumbler, and plan to incorporate some of them into our new jewelry line, which will be available in time for the holiday season. I would like to close this stream of consciousness run on paragraph by circling back to our new uniforms, both the indoor and outdoor manifestations. Prominently and proudly emblazoned on both the front and back of these jumpsuits are the critically important words “Natural Guard,” a concept originated by the ingenious shamanic futurist Jim Channon. I briefly referenced the Intergalactic Natural Guard, to which Dada and Phoenix belong, in Episode 1. Mr Channon was given credit at the end of the show for originating the Natural Guard idea, however I had not yet asked his permission for its use. After completion and initial airing of the episode, I somewhat timidly approached this great man, from whom I have drawn tremendous inspiration, on Facebook, and told him of my intention to more comprehensively weave the Natural Guard mythology into the fabric of the show. I was deeply honored and incredibly pleased that Jim Channon granted me full permission to run with the Natural Guard concept, and in Episode 2 we begin the work of doing exactly that. In our brief but seemingly profound virtual interaction, I found Mr Channon to be every bit as warm, friendly and nurturing as his body of work had always appeared to indicate. Our use of the Natural Guard idea will always attempt to remain respectfully true to the vision that this brilliant thinker introduced to our world. I spent the beginning of the summer re reading Jim Channon’s book Go Planet! The book effected me even more deeply the second time, and helped me to clarify the higher purpose of Phoenix And Phriends, and my life more generally. I will be discussing this book in detail in a future post, hopefully next week, providing I can make the time to do it justice. I do not profit in any way by promoting Mr Channon’s work, and do not seek to do so. If Phoenix and I are able to introduce even a few more Earthlings to the incredibly positive vision of the future presented in Jim Channon’s work, this Planet will certainly become a better place, indeed in time even perhaps, as Jim would say…a Paradise. 

Go Planet!

Theme Song Sequence Nearly Done!

posted in: Show Updates | 0

After completing the editing of the opening Dada monologue scene, which is the one I was the most anxious about, I moved on to the theme song sequence, which was a lot of fun to put together. I hope to smooth the transitions a bit tomorrow, throw in some text, and generally polish it up a bit, but the overall superstructure is in place, and seems fairly solid, in my humble opinion. My CMAC contract doesn’t allow me to display the scene until after I’ve run it on the CMAC channel, but I don’t think they’ll object to my posting a few choice stills I extracted. Momentum should be really picking up from here on out, and mid January still appears to be a realistic timeframe for the release. In the meantime, I hope folks will enjoy these photos of Phoenix, his saucer, and the Amazing Madam Anima Mundi (#GaleForce). Cheers!

New Year Update from Phoenix and Phriends!

posted in: Show Updates | 0

Happy New Year from Phoenix and Dada! We are pleased to announce great progress on the editing of Episode 1: “Hubble Trouble.” This very morning, the opening monologue scene was completed, and it was one of the scenes I was most concerned about. I’m rather pleased with the results, if I do say so, given the footage that we had to work with. Immediately after completing that rather daunting task, I put the lead vocal track onto the theme song, and mixed it down. Subsequent versions will be refined, but, in the interest of expedience, it’s good enough for now. I believe we are on track to release the pilot by mid January! Updates on this blog will now become more frequent, and the promotional effort will be accelerated. This promises to be an exciting time. After an entire year of sustained effort, we are nearly ready to finally bring what began as a seemingly delusional and grandiose concept to fruition. Many thanks to everyone involved, especially our intrepid camera operator and floor manager Anita Fernandez,  and the staff of CMAC Fresno. I’ll be pre-releasing the credits for the episode on this blog within the week. Subsequent posts will detail the Mission Statement for the show, and a Kickstarter campaign will soon be initiated to help finance props and supplies for the rest of the first season. Here’s to a productive and enjoyable 2016! Cheers! Dada out.