And then our Eden caught us from behind. It turned out to our surprise that the Promised Land was never in front of us.
The Promised Land caught us from behind because it was an inside job, the seeds and eggs and screaming birds. There is an Eden inside us, and we know there is. And to acknowledge this, as an ambitious American, is to start over completely, to defy Presidents and institutions and the religions that made the holy days like the Exodus and Easter a triumph over the wilderness. That roaring wild life, there’s no God violent enough to stop it. There’s no technology clever enough to stop it.
On the American Dream:
The American dream turned out to be deadly because it sold tickets to a long series of apocalypses – they are the epitome of good (funny-scary) entertainment. Then, something went terribly wrong when dying spectacularly made good media – a diverting nightmare shall we say – but we could not go forward with ordinary living, where death has a natural place. The leaders of the dream, the captains of consumption and militarism – culturally silenced those who thought that death was a natural part of living.
We are rewarded with our American Dream of convenience and entertainment – but the violence of our market will turn on us as it did on Mubarak and Qaddafi.
On “Right Wing” Christianity vs Wisconsin Progressive Spirituality
The Madison rotunda is full of a spiritual presence in the thousands of shouting citizens. Unlike many of the collective incantations I’ve witnessed in recent years, there is that progressive anger mixed into the singing. At the root of the power of the right-wing apocalyptic Christianity is the collective ecstasy of singing and praying, repeating beliefs in unison… We have seen the results: the warmongering and homophobia and earth-hatred that grips our politics.
On the Oppression of…Water?
We love water near us – how it seems to hold life in it. But then at the same time we colonize water, demanding its presence to wash, to drink without thinking, to defecate into and dismiss into pipes.
And then, in a flash, this dominance of water changed: Our slave became our boss. Our sentimental friend got very serious. Now everyday the water rises up and floods the celebrities off the news. The blizzards, mudslides, tsunamis – everyday we are drowned. The horizon to horizon floods of Pakistan and Australia astonish us.
But, of course, the news follows the lead of public officials in denying nature any meaningful role. It is only a vast serial killer of innocent human beings.
Certainly one thing that the water is doing with all its rampaging is erasing our walls, our borders, our territorial identity. We are less American as the ocean rises and more human.