Share Your Black-Market Antibiotics: Goodbye World and the Myth of Community

Don't Share Your Black-Market Antibiotics

Are you seriously supposed to share those black-market antibiotics that you worked REALLY hard to acquire with whatever random person happens to get strep throat after SHTF?

In the 2013 post-Apocalyptic film Goodbye World, the answer is yes.

In Goodbye World, we’ll ignore the suspiciously gaudy affluence of a multi-storied off-the-grid home run by two adults who appear to mostly smoke pot, blow bubbles, and muck about with their kid in a lone front yard garden; the implausibility of that hot tub when no one seems to be spending any time dealing with solar panels or generators; and the inadvisability of their merrymaking like Decameron characters while society goes to utter hell just down the road, and instead we’ll focus on the one plot point that intrigued me: the antibiotics-hoarding.

The main character, James, proves bothΒ that he’s a gold-star prepper by having a refrigerated secret stash of prescription drugs, and an absolute noob by showing the stashΒ off. Word of these drugs then gets out, of COURSE, to some corrupt National Guardsmen (don’t even get me started–that’s a whole ‘nother essay right there!), which is super awkward, because those National Guardsmen are now living with/sorta enslaving the newly-formed cooperative community who had literally just asked James for some medicine for a sick citizen, and James was all, “Medicine? Nope, no medicine here!”


The plot thickens, there’s some irrelevant bed hopping and assorted relationship drama, more pot is smoked, more bubbles are blown, and then one of those corrupt National Guardsmen is just about to shoot James in the head (he obviously wants ALL the drugs. And their house. And their food. And their enslavement, etc.) when one of James’ friends deus ex machinas out of the bushes, shoots the National Guardsmen in the head, tosses the co-op half their drug stash, and volunteers up their sweet off-the-grid complex as the new co-op’s base of operations.

Cut to epilogue of many happy people from the house and the co-op *finally* farming some more land, while others hang out as if they have no survival chores to accomplish, yet they’re all friends together. Yay, community!

Goodbye World implies, pretty heavy-handedly, that the only moral course of action is to share, share, and share alike, evenΒ if you’ve got a sweet set-up of your own, thanks to your own foresight and the hard work that made it happen. James is the one who bought a refrigerator, hooked it up to a generator off the city grid, bought a ton of black-market antibiotics and other prescription meds, and kept them ready for the very post-apocalyptic world that the characters were now facing. His neighbors, ill-prepared and banding together to pool their insufficient resources, then want some of his drugs, just because one of them needs them. They offer no barter; they just want a gift.

Would YOU want to give your free-loading neighbor your black-market antibiotics? I don’t even want to let my neighbor borrow my weed eater!

Community takes more than just giving away your pricey and precious non-renewable resources. I’m not saying don’t give the guy about to die of scarlet fever some antibiotics, because dude, have a heart, and also let’s stave off the spread of highly contagious diseases, shall we, but let’s have some give-and-take here. Let’s have a contract for this community, outlining how the meds get shared, how the crops get planted, who does the canning, who feeds the chickens, who is required to shoot rogue National Guardsmen in the head, and how we all promise not to eat each other come winter.

And when all that hard work is done, then yes, you have my permission to sit in your outdoor hot tub and smoke pot.

[Antibiotics image via V through this Creative Commons license. I did some digital editing, and am releasing it under the same.]

Written by Julie Finn


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