Newsweek Apocalypse Now and SHTF Blog Design

Fresh off Jarhead’s Is the Apocalypse Upon Us? post, according to Newsweek, the answer is YES – Apocalypse NOW!

“Tsunamis. Earthquakes. Nuclear Meltdowns. Revolutions. Economies on the Brink. What the #@%! is Next?”

Seriously, Newsweek? Inferred profanity on the cover? C’mon, people expect that #@%!ing trash on ghetto sites like this , but on the cover of a news magazine!? Scroll back up the cover of your magazine and ask yourself that question – “How Ignorant Are You?”

But anyway, forget their lowering themselves to profanity – it’s an issue of gloom, doom and fear mongering – I love it! Well, kinda.

I play to fear at times, but my motives for prepping have always been dual purpose – prepping because we’re so dependent on a fragile system, and because the lifestyle has positive side effects. When I prep I pursue self-reliance, financial sense, organic gardening, simple living, etc.

The SHTF Blog writing experience over the years has been interesting. My prepping experience has grown with the blog. I started writing posts for self and friends’ interest and humor. Originally, writing mostly to fear, these were the two rotating headers I used:

Fear! Threats! Look out – zombies are coming! As time went on I burnt out on fear and doom and quit blogging for about a year. When I came back revived and refreshed, I dropped the second header image and kicked the mushroom cloud to the curb. Peak oil, I figured, was less fearful and more realistic than mushroom clouds … maybe … anyway, it felt less in-your-face and loud:

I also noticed that I was getting more female readers commenting and sending me emails, so I started writing to that audience as well, to keep prepping less macho. It took a while for me to realize that the half-naked rifle babe sitting in the site’s sidebar from the beginning, should probably go, too. Goodbye half-naked rifle babe. You have been replaced with a more family friendly mother/daughter image.

It is now time for a new header image. I was looking for a design that seemed less militaristic and presented a bit more hope, something that would speak to the other side of prepping – simple living and self-reliance. The gas mask guy that I’ve used as my avatar in comments is now gone, so are the dawn/dusk marching soldiers, etc. Here is today’s header:

Yes, the forest fire and oil dependence on one end doesn’t scream “hope and happiness,” but these are legitimate reasons we prep. But they now flow toward images that remind readers (and myself) that difficult times are not necessarily hopeless times.

What do you think?

– RM