▼ Report: The Exaggerated American South
Now, returning home to Tennessee from Brooklyn, six years between, it comes back in front of the sun: the ignorance and hate of American culture’s fascist forms of Christianity. My cab driver had gold teeth; is ready for the vengeance, the war of the soul, the enemies are coming; prepare the soul and his faith was generating money – rewarding his capitalist life. “There are those picked to go to heaven and those picked to go to hell at birth, he said.
“Predestination”, I thought.
We picked up another passenger who was reading the same book.
In the American south the deaths of America are exaggerated and placed in the dead center of the sun. The American south projects the right-wing’s psyche and amplifies its temperature: the south has been turned into a land of dead over-consuming ignorant xenophobes who kill, restrict, burn culture, demand homogenization and segregate those who live a lifestyle unapproved by their fascist-evangelical corporate-overlords-of disinformation.
The mutation of Christianity into a political machine was incubated in the south in the 1980s. I watched its expansion. My mom is a genius and instilled the idea of critical thought in me in spite of our small town of evangelical Christians who judged us daily, who viewed critical thought (culture) as evil, spewed hate, lived lives on auto-pilot, and remained in numb suburban glaze never knowing culture or life beyond a reality distorted by the marriage of corporate power, conservative ideology and hi-jacked religious thought. The idea of community or family is voided by cult-like devotion to these twisted ideas of Christianity, twisted ideas of “proper lifestyle”.
There are great people here but the south pushes most away. There are islands of consciousness, here. There are islands of consciousness resisting flattening across America, and we are left without pillows while the teeth of corporate America dream heavy. On the edge of the forest is death; a pastiche system – ugly, rusted, organic, technocratic’. There are a few of us here in the minor. We watch this system eat reality and we are collectively amazed the majority allows this oppression. We are looking and writing or protesting or sharing reports of this systems destructive maze while the masters of re-arranged public relations are spinning the rest of Americans like tortured happy rats in plutonium rain, oblivious to our new cancer. Outside, I am watching traffic move along. Driving to buy, drooling to shop, self-centered and de-educated. How will the world wake up?
We have to continuously write, talk about and confront a 1984-like erosion of our world. We have to be like storytellers who kept myths alive. We have to protect multiplicity and the idea conformity is the world’s evil. We cannot forget universalism is fascism. We have to produce constant reminders, broadcasts that create intangible tribes, that remind the world most churches in America are spewing hate indoctrinated not by religion but by a hi-jacked religion trained to turn us into corporate drones. We log onto electricity to feel the consensus. We know the paradox and read better knowing the elements, the atmosphere, extended space of a mutating reality out of control.
Out here in devastated flood lands, the chemical American south, we see the text of politics. As the collusion of Christianity and corporate rule have succeeded in removing literature from schools, one state at a time, these institutions have replaced culture with new books that spread the idea of official American aggression, ego worship, life as consumer, hatred of the Other and insistence on the fascist notion of the universal. Our symptom is less and less of the population is real. Violence. Thought violence. Erasure.
We grow and die and live inside fences dusted with chemicals. Someone is dropping chains, franchises, from the sky and onto landscaping. I’m kissing my girlfriend under the second brightest moon of the year. Tomorrow, a full moon, or tomorrow night. She is a rose in a field of strip malls, health industry outlets, chemical plants, car lots, redneck bars and funeral homes. She is back-lit by the flood lights of a subdivision built around a nondenominational mega-church. The land is segregated from adjacent residential and commercial zones by accidental barricades: an interstate and other structural fragments. An enclosed system; power and space. No windows in the church. No light. No glass. Camera systems. Secured front lobby. Administrative offices.
I am watching the ethos of politically infused Christian hatred: watching a daughter – my girlfriend – thrown into bankruptcy by an ex-husband, struggling to raise two kids and absorb the constant pains of her auto-immune illness, who is told by her family they would help, they could help, if she just “deserved it” and would “do right by God”. She has long been ignored and left to die by most of her family. The only way out: attend a church she deeply opposes.
Her family’s morals are an extension of religious corrosion and their judgements are the confusion of the mind of a cult and an allegory of American foreign policy. Her situation makes me want to either cry or dismantle her family’s faulty logic and leave them with words that will burn their brains alive.
What now for our zone? Doubled workers, but hands still bleed, too slow and deadened.