Remember Y2K? The warnings to prepare for the worst. The stockmarket that was going to crash. The failure of every computer. The impending nuclear meltdown. The threat of rioting and looting. The planes that were going to fall out of the sky… I’ll tell you one man who would want to forget those warnings. The man who preached them in this confounding video. I give you, Leonard Nimoy. And the amazing idiocy that is:
Y2K FAMILY SURVIVAL GUIDE
USA, 1998, Donnie Bisley
This isn’t just smug hindsight (OK, it is), but even back then sane people knew the millennium bug wasn’t going to end the world. But alarmist tripe like the Y2K Family Survival Guide preyed on vulnerable fools like my friend’s dad. Don’t get me wrong, if they didn’t, ludicrous audio-visual turds like this wouldn’t exist. For that, I am thankful.
What unfolds is a story about halfwitted-experts advising us how to survive the apocalypse. A story about halfwitted-preppers fantasising about spending the apocalypse cleaning themselves with Babywipes.
The Y2K Family Survival Guide opens with Nimoy comparing the aftermath of Y2K to the lost continent of Atlantis. Equating Y2K to a submerged, mythical city makes the situation more preposterous. Even more so when Nimoy claims he will be crowned the King of the Undersea.
Nimoy alludes to lazy computer programmers and their inability to key in a ‘2’ and a ‘0’. Then the documentary (if you can call it that) cuts between nonsensical quotes and a cautionary speech by senator Robert Bennett, as a selection of the world’s finest experts provide background on the Y2K phenomena. Nimoy point outs later on, “There are no Y2K experts.”
The definite highlight is when Nimoy imagines what the Y2K might be like.
What appears on screen behind Nimoy’s deathly-serious maw is absolutely mesmerising. The electrical charges buzzing across power lines. The fast-forwarding of gloomy clouds. The shoddy computer infographics. And the binary code going apeshit. It’s insane.
Intermittently, the background images don’t match up with what Nimoy is yabbering about. They seem to be randomly generated. How else would you explain why this cardigan-clad guy pops up glancing at the camera?
When you think Y2K Family Survival Guide can’t get any more mental, this guy appears.
And then this happens. THERE ARE BLOODY 1000s OF HIM!
Nobody else gets this Tim & Eric-esque treatment. I had to trackback to make sure my eyes weren’t telling porkies.
It isn’t until 31 minutes into the Nimoy’s 60 minute presentation that there is advice on helping your family survive the Y2K. An ex-Special Forces British madman who claims to have seen just about every condition of human misery, calmly lists the steps. Which includes: forcing your tiny children to hide masses of bottled water all around the home. Or as he calls it, “Live like a squirrel.”
Once Nimoy reiterates the preparation checklist, every interviewee is asked on the scale of 1 to 5 how bad the Y2K will be globally. With 5 being worse. Predictably, most of them predict the worst. That’s then Nimoy puts a positive spin on the end of the world:
Nimoy has a perfect voice to narrate. It’s an embarrassment for him that he chose to use it on this shameful video. However, it is a gift to the viewer that he did.
The Y2K Family Survival Guide is one hilarious, steaming nugget. I highly recommend that you hunt it down.