Joe Six-Pack... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Today was chore day for me. Clean the apartment, do a little grocery shopping, laundry, stuff like that. I spent a little time with Joe Six-Pack today. (Actually, his name is Dave, but I'll call him Joe SP for simplicity's sake.) Before I go out and play for the evening, I just want to share a little about the encounter, and ask a question.

Joe owns the local laundromat. He also lives in the neighborhood. He has a woman who works there during the week, he's there on weekends. He's got another job, I'm not quite sure what it is. He's married and has a couple of kids.

I like Joe, and when he's there while I'm doing my laundry, we usually end up chatting for a while. He likes to talk about the chicks in the neighborhood, asks me if I'm "getting any," "Did ya see the Yankees kick the Red Sox' ass?" told me about his vacation at the beach. Stuff like that. He's earthy and honest, doesn't give or take bullshit, likes to have fun.

I've talked to him in the past about Y2K, when he asked me what I did for a living. He's got the basic grasp of it. His machines are old, he counts the quarters by hand and does the books in a paper ledger. He understands that his business depends on the electric, gas and water companies, which are beyond his control. He said that he may have his wife start to pick up a few extra things when she goes shopping.

Beyond that, he's not thinking about it. He certainly has his concerns in life, and Y2K is not one of them.

When we were smoking cigarettes outside the laundromat as my sheets were in the dryer, this young guy came up to us with a laundry bag on his shoulder and a walkman on his head. "It's 9-8 Mets! They were down 7-0! What a fuckin' crazy game!" Let's call this guy Donnie Reefer-Bag. I've seen him around, but never talked to him. Donnie's probably 22, got a couple of tattoos, looks like the kind of guy who likes mini-bikes and running from the cops. He's not a big guy, rather slight, and his eyes lit up when he talked about how the Mets came from way behind.

Joe and Donnie talked about the game a little, and last night's Yankee game, and I was watching Donnie as he spoke. I got this sudden feeling in the pit of my stomach; you know the one -- "This guy has no idea what's about to him, and he wouldn't understand it if I tried to explain it." I didn't feel like that was any fault of his own, rather that he wouldn't have the CAPACITY to understand it. This kind of thing is so far outside of his awarenessand experience, it's like he's living on a different planet than people who are concerned about Y2K.

So, here's my question(s): Why do people have contempt for Joe Six-Pack and his friend Donnie? Why are they reviled for not being aware of the things that we are concerned about? If they don't have the capacity to understand the intricate complexities of the engine of society, why do people act like they "should be cleaned out of the gene-pool"? Isn't the "function of society" to provide life-support for Joe and Donnie, while they contribute to that life-support? (by owning laundromats and the like) There are complaints here about governmentia and corporatia, and the way they treat people, why are there complaints about Joe? Isn't Joe (and his family) the basic unit of society?

Aren't we all Joe Six-Pack, in our own way?

-- pshannon (, July 31, 1999


I don't think that most of us think that Joe should be romoved from the gene pool. Should we try to help Joe and Donnie? Sure.

Is it physically possible for us to help all the Joes and Donnies? NO. There's the problem. None of us has the resources to help all of the people who will need it. Maybe the pollys will be right and all this will be unnecessary. We hope so, anyway.

In spite of Kosky, tell Joe to buy some extra beans. Maybe the economy will be able to handle it.


-- gene (, July 31, 1999.

i,ll take 100 joe sixpacks--too---1 politician--or --1 phony christian.

-- commonfolks. (, July 31, 1999.

Sounds to me like you're prejudging Reefer's reactions. In my travails attempting to "enlighten" all my friends and colleagues and relatives (> 100), only *two* have taken me seriously enough to prepare themselves.

And the odd thing about it, one of them I NEVER would've thought was capable of it!! Absolutely flabbered my gast.

The second guy was more akin to Joe above. About 40 a kid, doing fine in the 'burbs. He's now more nervous than I am - and I'm a firm 8 on the scale.

So I suggest you tell everybody you can. If they've got the where- with-all, they'll Get It. If not - you tried. You might be surprised at the depth of some people you'd never expect it from.


-- Jollyprez (, July 31, 1999.

pshannon, how dare you attack the status quo

Don't you know that it's work work work, spend spend spend until you go to your grave? Buy, sell, trade, etc. etc. etc.

I think some of the Bourgeoisie are getting out of line... Commandant! Get und whip and Administer zee punishment!

-- (l@.l), July 31, 1999.

Sadly, Joe may not GET IT till after Christmas. Then we will see the runs begin. (If we do not get a wake up call before then)

Go for it Joe.....Even the Mets came back from 7-0!!!

-- helium (, July 31, 1999.




It would be wise to never underestimate although your point is well taken.

Sometimes you just never know who you are talking to.

Thanks for the thoughts. Oh an I like hockey :o)

-- Brian (, July 31, 1999.


you wrote;

"This guy has no idea what's about to him, and he wouldn't understand it if I tried to explain it." I didn't feel like that was any fault of his own, rather that he wouldn't have the CAPACITY to understand it."

This guy took no interest in the real world. The socalled "bad politician" that represents his district was instated without his vote, nor his interest in any issue's in his area. He doesn't want to hear any bad news, unless it's gossip of some other peoples horror for the day(littleton, kenedy, etc...) He certainly has the capacity to understand but the media has beat him into apathy, wich started with his gov/corp education at public school. I also include the apathetic parents in responsiblity for what I consider the root of our societal problem.

It's very hard to speak about important issue's with apathetic people. Like you said the the Yankees/Mets, the cold brew, the idiot box are much more important than our society at large, wich Mr. & Mrs Apathy have nothing to do with.

Yes p., we are Joe and if Joe doesn't give a shit pretty soon, Joe is not going to have any real life at all.

-- R. Wright (, July 31, 1999.

A farmer got so old that he couldn't work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch. His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. "He's of no use any more," the son thought to himself, "he doesn't do anything!" One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wood coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in. Without saying anything, the father climbed inside. After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff. As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin. He opened it up. Still lying there peacefully, the father looked up at his son. "I know you are going to throw me over the cliff, but before you do, may I suggest something?" "What is it?" replied the son. "Throw me over the cliff, if you like," said the father, "but save this good wood coffin. Your children might need to use it."

-- ZenMaster (, July 31, 1999.


This talk about the sheeple bothers me greatly. How can you blame people for not knowing when the news is being kept from them? Or because their education or insights are limited? We are, indeed, not so very different from them. In fact, we are part of the same social body. I am hoping that we will all treat one another with some compassion when this thing hits. I don't mean give them your beans, necessarily, but just have some respect and compassion. I know that our hearts will be broken by the suffering...

-- Mara Wayne (, July 31, 1999.

On the thought of converting DGI's to GI's, I have formed the new category, WNGIWill Never Get Iit. I can't say that I have contempt for them unless they are truly ignorant of the problem. I have noticed a bell shaped distribution of age relating to those who WNGI. In my encounters, the center seems to be around 40 years old, with a 20 year spread of GI's to either side. There are certainly exceptionsmy mother(74) for one. But all of her acquaintances deny even the possibility of a problem. I can't understand the youth and their denial. You would think they would be the most solid GI crowd around, being The Children of Nintendo and all. The group of folks that bug me the most are the 60 to 70 year olds that have adapted the manual way of doing things to computerized operations and still deny it. These are the educated, have lived with both ways crowd, and still put on blinders. Contempt could describe the feeling I have for this group, but certainly not for Joe SP and the other fellow who are simply isolated, for whatever reasons, from the realities of the modern world. With patient explanation and time, even they may go from WNGI to GI, but the older types have played ostrich long enough for me to no longer care. Pete

-- Pete (, July 31, 1999.

Yup, I'm a Joe Six Pack. And yup, some of us are capable of "Getting It", but no, not all of us will.

As to those who hold us (not all of us are the same) in contempt, screw 'em, they are just stuffy snobs, and don't know how to have fun. Granted some of us Joes are a bit dull, but by and large we are good folks.

And who is complaining about us? We do the lion's share of the REAL work in this country, and we pay the lion's share of taxes too. So rather than the "function of society" being to provide life support for us, it is 180 degrees opposite of that, without us society is without life support.

-- Uncle Deedah (, July 31, 1999.

Joe and Donnie are small potatoes people who will never harm the environment much, they are average joes, and irrelevant. Joe will prepare "some" because he is sensible. Donnie doesnt care, enjoying life is more important that worrying about tommorrow 100% of the time. When TSHTF, these people will have to suffer or work harder to survive, just like all people on the bottom.

On the other hand, there are VERY SMART and VERY RICH people in this world who DONT get it despite their smarts or wealth. These are the ones who should be cleaned out from the gene pool, they have lost what the chinese refer to as "the mandate of Heaven" and it is they who threaten humanity.

-- hunchback (, July 31, 1999.

Patrick. I made a mistake posting the wrong draft. I meant to say "I don't have contempt IF they are truly ignorant." Kinda heartless the other way I posted. Sorry. Pete

-- Pete (, July 31, 1999.

To be enlightened is simply to be absolutely, unconditionally intimate with this moment. No more. No less.

-- ZenMaster (, July 31, 1999.

Joe and Donnie will not get it, until it's too late. My husband is a Joe six pack. I have tolerated his verbal abuse about this for months. I have recented his "I will take my chances" attitude. His exact words by the way. I have in any case continued to prep, been able to manipulate him into buying most of what I need. I always use the excuse, remember that storm we had 3 years ago, this would have been handy if we had it at home. Always works.. My Joe six pack is well educated, has a high profile job, but won't read a damn thing when he comes home from work. I can't get him to look at one article on this on the net. My mother who is 72, told me he is a very stubborn man, even she knows there will be a problem, she also lived through the depression and has a wealth of knowledge that is important to hand down.. I am 40, so I guess I am a rare case, hubby is 43.. he is the average Joe.. What can I say other than, if Joe and Donnie have half decent wives or girlfriends who read, are fairly educated and understand the complexities of this issue, they may have a fighting chance.. But then I could be wrong.. Oh well, that was my 2 cents worth.

-- Cassandra (, July 31, 1999.

Maybe, just maybe, these two guys have the right idea about things. With lack of deep thought into life's complexities, they spare themselves the needless stress and anxiety that many of us go through on a day to day basis. It seems they are representative of most of the citizenry, however. My lot in life entails working with the average Joe's and their families. It entails working with a lot of people whose main concerns would range from the noble: feeding the family and maintaining a job and housing---to the not so noble: partying with that paycheck, drinking, getting laid and having a grand old time. Sorry, but the original story IS very representative of life beyond the internet....people whose concerns are at such a grassroots level (me oriented) that thoughts of y2k would be about as appropriate as thoughts of ET landing in the backyard.

Truly, I cannot fathom what it would take for the average person to panic over anything (italiciz that), let alone y2k. In this way, none of what the original posting is a revelation to me. The interney does not imitate life.

-- Bad Company (, July 31, 1999.

You Joe Six-Packs are lazy mentally, morally and physically. That is why you make excuses for each other. I do a good job of avoiding you slobs but Y2k could change that. How will Joe Slob Six-Pack act when he gets hungry ??? With few moral values, shallow thought processes and a big gut what do you think ??? Should you start making excuses for old Joe and his hungry relatives and skip y2k preparations? Cheaper if you are 'in your own way', a Joe Six-Pack.

-- Depend on Them? (, July 31, 1999.

Thanks for proving my point, Lurking. Stuffy snobs indeed.

-- Uncle Deedah (, July 31, 1999.

NYC: Current anticipation of the probability of total failure of water and sewer systems: +70%

-- (, July 31, 1999.

To Onc Deeduh, I prefer to act like the snob you are perhaps envious of than the slob that you try to appear proud of. Who is your idol , not hero, there is a difference, slob.

-- ccccc (, August 01, 1999.

I guess you believe that "Joe Six Pack" is a lazy fat slob who contributes nothing to this world. As I indicated, not all "regular folks" are the same, some are better, or worse, than others. I define him as an average working guy who pays his bills, raises his kids, shows up for work everyday on time, etc. In my experience that is the way most of us run our lives.

So go ahead and "act like the snob" you are so proud of. I have no envy for you. Your words do you in, and expose the petty, shallow man behind the facade.

-- Uncle Deedah (, August 01, 1999.


Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let's drink to the uncounted heads
Let's think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don't look real to me
Or don't they look so strange

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth

Let's drink to the hard working people
Let's drink to the salt of the earth
Let's drink to the two thousand million
Let's think of the humble of birth

-- M. Jagger/K. Richards (Beggars@Banquet.1968), August 01, 1999.

When I first got "IT," I had no real idea what "IT" was. y2k had been on the "back burner" of my memory for more than a year. It sort of surfaced on my "to do" list when I spoke with a GIT acquaintance.

What I did then was call a friend who is a hard core "survivalist" and ask him what I should do. I wrote down what he said to do and to buy and I did what he told me to do immediately. Many many months later, I have a far better understanding of the issues and problems and have refined my preparation list.

Point is, Joe Six Pack doesn't have to understand everything about y2k. All he needs to do is to follow the leadership of someone he trusts and respects.

-- marsh (, August 01, 1999.

Hi Patrick:

Maybe they're the lucky ones?

The self-anointed 'enlightend' are just like self-reported results, are they not? Some spend their whole life planning and preparing for the future, only to die and never have lived.

Remember the story of the astronomer giving a lecture, while several snoozed on the dais? The astronomer told how out star, and therefore the Earth, will die in about 100 million years.

One sleeper was startled awake and asked the astronomer: "How many years did you say?"

The astronomer responded: "About one-hundred million."

The sleeper sighed and said: "Thank God, I thought you said a million years."

-- PNG (Peter Gauthier) (, August 01, 1999.

I don't think our contempt should be for Joe Six-Pack, but for those who Get It among the Powers That Be, and have decreed that the media would push the "Its all hype", "Bump in the Road", "The only problem is people hoarding" stories.

Bunkers don't get built without a plan... National Guard units don't practice Urban Warfare without a plan, etc. Save your contempt for those in power who KNEW what was coming long enough ago to make these radical doomer plans and yet pushed the polly line off on the "free press". Don't hate the guy who has his ankle in a chain.. hate the guy cracking the whip.

-- Linda (, August 01, 1999.

Thanks for all the thoughtful answers, friends. It's true, I was prejudging the ability of "Donnie" to understand this stuff, I realized that at the time; it's true that he may have gotten it right away. Point is that I or you can't go around warning all these people, as we can be sure that a certain (most likey large majority) percentage WNGI (Will Never Get It -- thanks Pete). The question we need to ask ourselves is; when is it appropriate to make the attempt? Standing outside a laundromat in Brooklyn is probably not appropriate. I've certainly brought up this whole can of worms to a lot of people in a lot of different contexts. Occasionally, people show interest and ask questions and will bring it up again when they see me later. Ususally it ends up being a one-sided conversation until they change the subject. A few times people have looked at me like I was a nut. A couple of friends refer to me as "Y2K Boy", and look for opportunities to bust my hump. I've converted a few people from DGI to WTGIBWDAAI. (Willing To Get It But Won't Do Anything About It) Beyond that, their lives are not my responsibility. I still think that a good question to be asking is "What is the purpose of society, and what is the common citizen's role in it?" You know that I read just about every report in the press about Y2K. In much of it, the tone is that society's purpose is to generate profit, and Joe's place is as a piece of that machinery. At its best, it's a symbiotic machine; at its worst, Joe is a nameless, faceless cog. Contempt is easy, compassion takes character. Thanks, Mick and Keith, for saying it so succinctly: "Raise your glass to the hard working people Let's drink to the uncounted heads Let's think of the wavering millions Who need leaders but get gamblers instead Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows And a parade of the gray suited grafters A choice of cancer or polio..." Today I'm going to Coney Island with some friends. Joe's weekend stomping grounds. (Actually, the demographic is more like "Jose Cerveza" and at nearby Brighton Beach, the Russian cafes sell these beers in these huge liter mugs.) I'm not going to think about this stuff as I ride the Cyclone. I particularly enjoy the Freak Show...

-- pshannon (, August 01, 1999.

Patrick.. I think anytime COULD be the right time to bring up Y2K.. checkout lines, ballgames, beaches etc. Might be especially effective if you happen on someone who seems to be stocking up.. strike up a conversation. If you are lucky enough to find someone who is a GI, maybe.. just maybe.. those within earshot might start rethinking their DGI position. Remember the power of ridicule. Its what turned off the masses to Y2K. The idea that Y2K is a hoax (no one wants to be thought a sucker for falling for a hoax), and the idea that anyone who prepares is a whacko, served to make Y2K a taboo subject.

Look for opportunities to use ridicule to turn back on people's search for the truth of Y2K. I do NOT mean to ridicule Joe Sixpack. I mean you should have at the ready stories that will ridicule the ridiculers. Poke fun at the press, at the FAA, and gov't "leaders" for the PR flak stories they have been feeding us. Use phrases like "How stupid do we think are.. trying to pacify us with by claiming it is all a hoax?"

And no, we can't convince everyone. But everyone who prepares is one less person who will be knocking at your door.

A Story from "Chicken Soup for the Soul"

One at a time, a friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in a distance. As he drew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and threw it out into the water. Time and again, he kept hurling things into the ocean . As our friend approached even nearer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish, that had been washed up on the beach. And one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. Our friend was puzzled, he approached the man and said, "Good evening friend, I was wondering what you are doing." "I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it is low tide now, and all of these starfish had been washed up to the shore. If I do not throw them back into the sea, they will die up here from lack of oxygen." "I understand." My friend replied, "But there must be thousands of starfish on the beach, you can not possibly get all of them, they are simply too many. And do not you realise, this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can not you see that you can not possibly make a difference." The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the ocean, he replied, "Make a difference to that one." As each on has received a special gift, employ it in serving on another as good steward of the manifold grace of God. ~ 1 Peter 4:10

-- Linda (, August 01, 1999.

The Laundromat "joe 6 pack" might be the "The Millionaire Next Door".


-- quietly (, August 01, 1999.


GET THE HELL OUT OF NEW YORK!! You have been on this board too long to know better. Good Luck.


I spent 3 years with my manic daughter with the chicken soup series. I love them. Readers Digest has a lot of sleepers in them too.


-- R. Wright (, August 01, 1999.

I DO think Joe SP and Reefer should be removed from the gene pool.

The "poorly educated and poorly informed" blat doesn't cut it. Everyone has been exposed to all the information they need to know about religion, politics, and Y2K. The fact that most are genetic "sheeple" and choose to listen to the mass media rather than the intelligent minority (whose opinions DO get through from time to time) means to me "good riddance" as they thunder over the cliff.

After all, the GIs here "got it" in spite of "sleep, sleep ..." from the establishment.

-- A (, August 02, 1999.

I work with professors at a university & they don't GI either. These are educated, informed, high IQ-types, read books, discuss ideas, play chess, have PhD's ... & they just shrug off y2k.

So there you are. You get it or you don't. Education, brain size, beer intake, all seem to be irrelevant.

-- pass (the@dunce.cap), August 02, 1999.

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