Once Upon A Wolvog

Stories from the front lines


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The Fundamentals of Life and Survival

In the first two books of the trilogy, we see technological advancements running rampant through the world. Now, in the third post-apocalyptic instalment, the characters are all forced to go back to the fundamentals of life. But what are they?

Camping Training.

Attitude is a very important element of survival, especially when forced to survive with a group of people. Without a positive yet realistic attitude, it is unlikely that the community will prosper. In Maddaddam, we can already see the positive attitudes dwindling as jealousy arises and the perceived need to reproduce as well. It also seems as though some of the characters, such as Swift Fox, are forgetting the importance of the basics of surviving.

The small community of characters has managed to successfully find (obviously) air and a shelter, but also are in need of water and food. They must however remember the rule of threes that is important for anyone to survive in the wild:

  1. 3 minutes: a person can only last three minutes without air. This aspect is pretty much covered unless Crake decides to rise from the dead and finish the job, if you get what I’m saying…
  2. 3 hours: without shelter and a regulated body temperature, within three hours the person will meet their unfortunate demise.
  3. 3 days: water is very important for survival, and although the community is situated near a water source, making fresh water is very difficult.
  4. 3 weeks: without a proper diet, a person can only live three weeks. This is an issue because within the Maddaddamite community, all they have so far is meat and some vegetables.

Other than Attitude and the rules of three, fire is also important. Without fire, the Maddaddamites cannot cook or have light as the tech world has now fallen. As they are cooking meat and making stews, it is safe to say that this community has successfully satisfied this need.

What do you guys think the last one is? Any guesses?

Well, it’s the one thing that half of the people who are part of the community have: Naturalist skills!

That’s right, everything that Ren, Amanda, Zeb, Toby, Rebecca and whatever other Gardener is there has learned, will be put to the test for their survival. Let’s just hope that their increasingly negative attitudes don’t interfere with survival.

But what do you think? Will the negativity escalate past reparation?

the end

For more detail on survival, click below!

http://www.wildernesscollege.com/basic-survival-skills.html

Photos from Google

 

 

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hEalthTHICAL

In our society, there are many issues that we are all aware of and that we stand against. However, some issues that are as important, are silent. For the most of us, I believe that health is a priority in our lives and pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of our beliefs. If you have a disease and there is only one company who has the cure, they are going to make sure they will get the most money out of you.

Margaret Atwood shows us in the year of the flood and also in Oryx and Crake, the corruption involved with the CorpSeCorps. Not only do they do unethical things, but they are often against the law. They take advantage of their power and their role in society. They are in a constant search for money and solutions to have the highest profit. In one situation, which made me sick was when Toby’s mother got ill ‘’out of the blue’’ when the family did not want to sell their property. Naturally, the company would subscribe more pills to help heal her. Pills after pills, you would believe that you are getting better, but in reality, one problem goes away and ten more appear.

Pharmaceutical companies have a profit margin that unimaginable. You would think that banks and other companies make a higher profit margin, but sadly it is not the case. In 2013, the highest profit margin for a bank company was 29% which is huge. Usually the average profit margin is around 6%. In that same year, a pharmaceutical company named Pfizer had a profit margin 42%. The industry average for pharmaceutical companies were 18% at the time. These numbers are disgusting. It is understandable for clothing companies and restaurants or any thing that isn’t a necessity for life. People rely on the drugs that these corporations supply to live, but they still set the price high. Seeing these figures makes me think of how these people think. People lives shouldn’t be questioned even if they do get their 3rd Ferrari.

In addition, while I was scrolling on youtube and looking at some videos, I saw an ad for a medication, where the medication helped people stop smoking, however it caused many many many problems. The commercial is quite funny and I encourage you to watch it. I don’t understand how companies can still be able to sell something that has that many side effects.

Chantix

 

To conclude, we all know that corporations charge high prices and often give pills that only causes even more problems. We all know that they do this and that it is highly unethical, but what can we do, to help reduce the prices and also the stupidity behind the endless cycle of medications. What can we do to reduce the prices and also the companies’ values regarding their profits? Do you think that any measure used would not change anything? What are your thoughts on all this?

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/big-pharma-and-governments-are-turning-a-blind-eye-to-corruption-report-claims-a7059871.html


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So, like, are we…. a thing?

Throughout all 3 novels in the MaddAddam trilogy, there has been an underlying theme of uncertainty within relationships. Moreover, the tension between Zeb and Toby is explored more thoroughly in the third novel.

Zeb showed a similar difficulty with commitment with Ren’s mom Lucerne in The Year After the Flood. Now in this novel, Toby finds herself once again in a love triangle mess, competing with Swift Fox for Zeb. Toby finds herself questioning many of Zeb’s actions and she is constantly on the watch for any signs of connection with him and Swift Fox. And as much as Zeb never provides Toby with a concrete yes or no to her obvious suspicion he does sometimes make it seem as though she has “nothing to worry about”.

 

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I personally believe this is something that is so prevalent today, especially within the younger generations. The meaning of a relationships, for a lack of better words, has completely gone to shits. Younger generations, are so focused on getting set in their careers or spending time experiencing their lives that they forget about settling down and having a steady partner. We’re the generation of change, we always want the newest of everything, the newest iPhones, the newest sneakers, where’s the newest travel destination, we can’t even commit to a steady eating schedule so how are we supposed to commit to one person for the rest of our lives. A better way to put it according to Caroline Beaton is that we’re considered the “hook up generation”.

 

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But back to the key issue at heart, people have become so used to the vicious cycle of getting out of a toxic relationship that has scarred them with trust issues and then never being able to trust a person ever again. It is a seemingly pressing issue when it has literally become normalized for girls and guys to be psycho girlfriends/boyfriends, this has become a phenomena that is seen as normal when in fact it isn’t… AT ALL. What ever happened to good old monogamy

As we see in MaddAddam, Toby seems as though she is afraid to demand a commitment on Zeb’s end, she is even too afraid to ask whether or not he is also fooling around with Swift Fox, “So. Stalemate. It’s for him to know and for her to try to refrain from finding out” (Atwood 220). I believe the same thing is something that often happens with people trying to figure out relationships in todays world.

To leave you off with something to reflect on, beyond all of the obvious social changes, what has fundamentally happened for us to have reached such a broken way of doing the whole relationship thing, I mean really, how have we gotten to this point?

 

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I invite you to read a little beyond my brief analysis through these articles.

A More Personal View

A More Informative View

 

 

Sources:

https://www.elevated.com/3-lessons-i-learned-in-my-first-3-months-in-seo/

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/from-girl-ready-settle-down

http://www.gurl.com/2015/04/15/unexpected-struggles-of-long-distance-relationships/


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Pizzlies and grolars are real?!

In the third novel of the MaddAddam trilogy, we finally get a look into the life of the mysterious Zeb. We learn that he worked for Bearlift which basically consisted of bringing our leftovers to the polar bears because they were starving due to the ice being almost gone and their inability to catch seals. However, we also learn that many polar bears had started moving southward so as not to die of starvation. As a result of this, many of them had started to mate with grizzlies, creating new predators with unpredictable temperaments: the pizzlies and the grolars.

So, this got me thinking about what’s really going on with the polar bears up north and have they truly started moving south due to the melting ice caps and lack of food? Well, I was saddened and slightly frightened to learn that, yes, almost everything about this fiction novel’s description of the future of polar bears is accurate or could soon become a reality.

Firstly, mostly due to global warming, it is getting more and more difficult for them to hunt their primary food source, seals, because bears are now facing longer periods without sea ice which they are dependant on to hunt. The hope was that, when food was scarce, they would slow down their metabolism levels as they do in hibernation. However, research has shown that they could not maintain their body weight and improve their chances of survival in these conditions.

grizlz

So, as in the novel, polar bears have started to migrate south. This is problematic for several reasons, one of them being the need for them to find alternative sources of food. The most likely substitute will be to eat different plants. But, because they are used to eating seal blubber, their teeth are not adapted to the consumption of vegetation. To add to this, they would increasingly come into competition with grizzly bears for food in their new environment.

Then, if they don’t compete with grizzlies, it is possible for them to mate. In fact, pizzlies and grolars are no longer fiction. In several instances, these crossbreeds were seen in Alaska and Canada. All hybrids that have been analyzed so far were found to have grizzly fathers and polar bears mothers. This is due to males roaming to establish territory and females not straying far from their home ranges.

Pizzlies

So, how will this polar bear migration affect our ecosystem and should we fear the potentially growing population of pizzlies and grolars?


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Benefits of Climate Change

The bearlift in Maddaddam is how the corporations are trying to help the polar bears survive the melting arctic. This is, of course, done mostly for PR campaign. Reading the trilogy, even if you don’t want it, but an alarmist feeling creeps up on you. I even begun to believe in a negative outcome for the future of humans. However, the coin always has two sides and while when it comes to climate change the negative consequences vastly outnumber the positive ones. There are potentially positive developments due to the melting ice in arctic.

Many of us know that arctic ice is melting. Scientists say that within our lifetime, the ice on the arctic will completely disappear. The consequences of that could be both positive and negative.

Let’s take phytoplankton for example. Since the ice is thinning, the phytoplankton is getting more sun light, thus giving phytoplankton a favorable atmosphere in which to reproduce. In fact, according Harvard researchers, the increase of phytoplankton under the arctic ice, directly related to the current climate change.

“They’re [phytoplankton] really, really important because they’re sort of the base of the food chain,” said Kent Moore Fulbright visiting chair in Arctic studies at the University of Washington.

Currently it is hard to say how the increase of phytoplankton will affect the life in the arctic. For example, zooplankton plan their reproduction based on that of phytoplankton, and because of the thinning of the ice, zooplankton might miss the primary production of phytoplankton, potentially depriving them from this food source. Others are saying that they might take advantage of the situation and shift their reproduction to that of phytoplankton, allowing the population of zooplankton to grow.

Another potentially beneficial impact of the melting arctic if the fact that it will open the trade routes from for North America, Europe and Asia. Those trade routes are cheaper and could potentially boost the economies of those continents and increase trade while simultaneously reducing the cost of the tradable goods.

I do understand, however that the negative consequences of climate change by far outnumber the positive once, but I personally hate to look only on the negative consequences since it wouldn’t provide a full picture of the situation.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3345848/arctic-sea-ice-phytoplankton-food-chain/

http://www.cfr.org/arctic/thawing-arctic-risks-opportunities/p32082


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Morality Vs. Ethics

One day I was thinking about the difference between morality and ethics. I did some research, and I found out that these two terms have actually different connotations. According to the oxford dictionary, ethics are a set of moral principles that rule a person’s behavior (Oxford).  Morality refers to the principles concerning the difference between what is right and wrong (Oxford). Based on these definitions, you can deduce that they are essentially the same and you are right. What makes the distinction is that morality is based on one’s personal beliefs about what is right or wrong. On the other hand, ethics refers to what society considers good and bad behaviors.

The case of Brock Turner and Cory Batey serves as a good example of this difference. These men were both accused of sexual assault. Brock received a sentence of six months while Cory received a sentence of 15 years for the same crime.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/king-brock-turner-cory-batey-show-race-affects-sentencing-article-1.2664945

You may say that the whole situation per se is unethical. Rape is considered a wrong thing to do to someone in this society. However, we can say that the judge and jury’s decisions were based on their morals. The reason that makes me think that is the difference between Cory’s and Brock’s sentences. This behavior was worse because Cory was a black man. They believe that black men are more dangerous to society than white men, which may not always be the case.

At the end of the year of the flood, we see that Toby comes across this situation about whether or not she should kill the two painballers. She finally does not kill them because it was Saint Julien Day, and it was not right for her to do so. But, at the beginning of the MaddAddam, we see that she kind pf regrets that decision because the painballers were set free by the Crakers. They are killers, they represent a danger to all of them. Therefore she thinks that she should have killed them. Killing them would not be considered unethical because they are dangerous to them, it can be seen as a self-defence act.

So, what are your thoughts about this situation? and Do you think that the decisions you take should be based on morality or ethics??

 


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Women Objectification

Throughout Margaret Atwood’s trilogy, we can observe how sex plays a huge role in the characters’ lives and how women and their bodies are seen as sexual objects more than human beings. We can see how the first novel encompasses the problem of human trafficking, the second novel displays the psychological trauma experienced by Toby and other women who were raped by Blanco and the Painballers, and in the third novel, we keep experiencing the traumatic effects that sexual abuse had on Amanda. Moreover, if we study the character of Zeb, we see how having sex is a way out for him from his harsh reality. He is someone who finds comfort and pleasure in lustful thoughts and in getting involved in sexual relationships. Although we see in Maddaddam that Zeb and Toby have a kind of a love story, I personally believe that their love is pretty twisted and somehow unhealthy, as I feel that even if Zeb does seem to care for Toby, he is only using her as a mean to free his sexual desires. In addition, Ren becomes a stripper to be able to make money, which shows how easy it is for young women to find jobs exposing their bodies to alleviate men’s physiological needs for sex.

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Is it possible that in our society this has become a social problem, or is it only a theme we find in Atwood’s novels? Personally, I feel that this is not far away from the reality of our world. Let’s be honest, this problem explored in the novels is accurate with some of the social problems we encounter in our everyday lives. Even when women are gaining more and more space in our society today, social media still expose women’s bodies creating the idea that for a woman to be considered “beautiful”, she has to fit a certain standard. Thus, this idea allows men to keep looking at women as a mean to fulfill their own needs. Moreover, women also grow and learn to internalize this idea that they have to sexy and attractive to awake men’s interest and approval, as well as to feel that they have value. If you want to learn more about this topic, I invite you to read the following article:

https://www.bustle.com/articles/167897-9-subtle-ways-women-are-taught-to-view-themselves-as-objects

I believe this is a complex and fragile topic, and can generate a lot of debate, but it is worthy of discussion. What place do you think sex has in our society? Do you think women are victims of the way we see sex nowadays?