Every now and again Your Wonkette gets stuck with ads that are, shall we say, at a bit of a variance from Our Stated Principles (whatever they might be any given week). And since one of our stated principles is “Paying the bloggers is a good idea,” we’re happy to take money from just about any advertiser that isn’t the NRA or something equally loathsome. If You The Thoughtful Wonker should see an ad you find objectionable, click it to get the URL and email Your Editrix, who will yell at the ad company and try to get rid of it. But we’ll still have stupid ads sometimes, which we reserve the right to make fun of, like that “where to hide your guns when Obama comes for them” thing that Rich had fun with.* So since the government is almost certainly going to collapse any day now, let’s look at another stupid survivalist ad, so you won’t have to click on it.
There’s so much to love hating about this piece of Prime Internet Hucksterism, starting with the tag line itself, “FEMA BANNED THIS VIDEO,” which is every bit as tantalizing as it is literally untrue, and of course goes unexplained in the “video” itself — except it’s not a “video,” but a really long Flash animation that can’t be paused or skipped through, which is why we downloaded a video capture program thing and turned it into an actual real video for you, the Discerning Reader. The entire painful ordeal — all 20 minutes of it — is below, but really, you can pretty much quit after the first five or so minutes, if you even make it that long. Yes, we will point out the most insanest crazymaking parts, too, so you really don’t have to watch it at all. God, with a whiny attitude like that, you’re never going to survive the coming societal collapse!
After a full minute of stock disaster footage and dramatic public-domain music, we get what we think people in the advertising biz might call “the grabber,” if we actually knew anything about real advertising. And in this case, it is literally about people coming to grab YOU:
“Think fast: An angry hungry mob of urban warfare gangsters is pounding on your door. There are 8 basic responses to this situation. 7 out of 8 of them get you and your family killed. Only ONE of them ensures you and your family lives happily ever after…Do you know what that response is?“
Considering the bleak hellscape that the ad suggests would await us even if we survive those “urban warfare gangsters” (we are guessing that this just might mean “black people,” but it’s very racist to assume that anything is a dogwhistle), we are betting that the only way to ensure living “happily ever after” would involve kissing a magic toad or something. Or licking one, so our final moments would at least be in vivid color.
We also like the suggestion that we take notes, and “shut down every other application on your computer but this one, to avoid a moment’s distraction.” We found that so persuasive that we switched off our virus protection, ha-ha! This is followed by a promise that the “free information” that the narrator shares in the next six minutes could mean the difference between life and death. Mind you, this comes at 1:35 in a pitch that actually runs twenty minutes — and the real ad doesn’t have the timer bar that the video does. The narrator, Jason Richards, says he is among the world’s most well-respected survivalists, which we certainly don’t doubt, not even when one of the top suggestions to follow “Jason Richards survival…” is “scam.”
Another suggestion that the ad is aimed at… well, let’s be honest and just say “bumpklns,” shall we? — is the solemn warning that because this information is very important and time-sensitive, and because “bandwidth is limited,” then only the right people should watch. Richards announces that
there are many many people who desperately need this information and are trying to watch this video right now, which means we will need to clear this site of people who don’t belong.
So let me speak directly to those people now. If you are a naysayers [sic], a doubters [sic], gov. shills [sic], agent, Obama-head, ditto-head or any other 2012 version of the useful idiot, I’m going to ask you to leave now.
lf you think that this country is on firm footing and can’t be convinced otherwise, I’m going to ask you to step off the page, to allow others who need this life changing info to get it.
But did we stop watching? No! Commie rats that we are, we continued to drink our fluoridated tap water and text everything on our Obamaphone, is what we did, gleefully slowing down the whole internet so that some good patriot might be deprived of all the important information that at some point in the video they will actually learn. (Spoiler warning: There is no such survival information, only the promise of such information when you buy the “Family Survival Course,” which is $39, so unlike that $7 hide-your-guns book, we’re not going to do the full research, thanks).
Richards bids farewell to anyone who dismisses his warnings of imminent social and economic collapse by telling them to “leave now…and enjoy your summer at camp FEMA.” And just to make sure he covers all the wingnut Hit Parade, he tells all the “skeptics” out there to “enjoy your quasi-hypnotized, mind-controlled, fluoridated, pharmaceutically-induced-state of artificial bliss.”
The pitch then gets to the real meat of the coming crisis, which is that the economy is on the verge of collapse and there will be riots when the government checks and food stamps stop coming, which is another favorite scenario of those itching for a good old-fashioned race war. But you, smart person who has listened to this crap for five minutes and will somehow listen for another fifteen, will be ready when “marshal law” is declared, with foolproof ways to grow and preserve your own food, turn your basement into a bunker, and keep federal agents throwing you and your family “into vans with a bag over their head” and take you away to a FEMA slave labor camp!
And even though the entire monetary system is about to come crashing down within months — or even weeks! — the Family Survival Course” only takes Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. They don’t have an option to purchase through gold, silver or barter, which strikes us as awfully short-sighted.
* We wouldn’t be surprised if the ad we’re looking at today wasn’t ultimately from the same people, though a “whois” search had the two outfits located at mail drops in totally different cities.