Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pismo Beach, Dominator Culture, & Protected Sanctuaries

I'm at Pismo Beach. This is America at its worst. Because there is some sort of camp site down at the beach, cars are allowed to drive right along the beach by the water! If you look, you will notice that there is absolutely no one out here on the beach enjoying themselves, the waves or the water, because there are cars, mainly trucks, four-wheeling it across the beach, basically monopolizing the area in that obnoxiously aggressive American way that the entire world hates, with no respect for nature.

There is a bird sanctuary right behind the beach, and these cars are driving back and forth all the time. So, you come down here to the beach to enjoy the water and to enjoy the fresh air? No. The fresh air is completely destroyed by the exhaust fumes constantly being belched out by the continuous line of vehicles. We're not talking about a small space or little drive-through. We're talking the entire length of a beach from the edge of vision to the other edge of vision! And by the way, they come right down to about the edge of the water, so if you want to take a walk right by the edge of the water, you're constantly having to watch for some car which may be driving by.

If you think it's obnoxious to have to be breathing in toxic exhaust fumes while trying to enjoy your walk on the beach, imagine being a mother bird trying to nurse her eggs or children. These mothers trying to lay their eggs are being poisoned by this exhaust.

This is just one example of those dominator values I hate in this culture so fucking much . It quintessentializes things. Many philosophers have stated, Sartre amongst them, that there are certain situations or examples that quintessentialize the essence of something. Besides prison, bootcamp, and of course the corporation, something like this is really revealing of core values : obnoxious Americans wanting to truck in their trash whereever they want to go with absolutely no respect for their footprint, or in this case, their tire-tracks, upon nature. It is disgusting, and from a heathen standpoint, it is a total thumbs-down. This is total disrespect for Njord. This is like spitting and shitting on an altar of Njord.

It's a symbol of what too often makes America simply a repeat of the Roman Empire, just with greater technology, and therefore more ability to ravage. Too often America exists in the image of Rome and not in the image of the Germanic and Celtic tribes that tried to free themselves from Rome. It's an attitude of domination over others, over nature, and an arrogance that our needs come before those of anyone else. It's an attitude of fundamental irreverence towards the world and its many inhabitants, and it makes me so angry that I don't even know what to do with all that anger.

It's an anger for which my barbarian ancestors were well known. It was an anger which caused them to pick up wicker shields, wooden pikes, rakes, pitchforks, whatever was at hand, to attack those Romans who dared to desecrate the beautiful world around them, and try to turn it into a degradation and enslavement.

I am a human being standing with other human beings enraged, disgusted, riled, saddened, and wanting to take a meaningful stand against domination in the world : domination of human beings by human beings, domination of nature by human beings. The more domination comes to characterize the world, the more irreverence there is : basic, fundamental contempt. The more contempt there is in the world, the more the soul feels outraged and violated. The more one's soul feels outraged and violated, the more one is alienated and living more and more on alien territory. There are so many areas of modern life where domination and disrespect are just taken for granted, and the repression of the resulting anger again is just taken as a matter of course! And when it comes to violence, we do not distinguish between domination and resistance to domination.

It seems the overwhelming message is just "Sit down and shut up." Well, a heathen is someone who does not sit down and who does not just shut up, and seeks fellows willing to stand and make their words known.

It poisons a person to have so many things daily that incite one's outrage, and with so little justice available for that outrage, and where the expression of a passionate matter that concerns one's very soul is taken, if free speech is allowed at all, as just one more opinion in the marketplace, and people don't understand why you're getting so upset.

I'm upset because Rome has taken over! Maybe they have a different name, but it doesn't matter. Rome is a relationship. Rome is the name we give to a kind of relationship to the world, and that relationship is taking over more and more everywhere. Whatever name Rome may go under in a given area of the world, whenever we simply acquiesce to it, we're dishonoring those people who gave their lives to resist Rome.

Before battle, Germanic tribes would line up before the Roman legions, and they would clang their swords against their shields in unison as an expression of defiance, and they would make a low, amazingly powerful, threatening growl, an animalistic sound, and I would be very pleased to see heathens who get together in groups and do this in front of the present representatives of the Roman Empire.

I understand it could create a problem to show up with actual swords in a public place, but certainly there should be no problem with showing up with painted shields, and one could bring wooden swords or batons to clash against the shields. One could get into formation and really give a strong, intimidating show of protest that could be quite powerful, and there are plenty of sites and occasions where this sort of thing would be not only perfect, but genius.

That's one of the core reasons why I became a heathen : because I wanted others who hated domination and irreverence of each other and of the Earth who would stand by my side and shout against the Empire, and who would have the courage to support each other to regain essential freedoms that have in large part become empty buzzwords. Now you might say, Ziggy, it sounds like you were looking for a protest group, not for a religion. Don't you understand? The Germanic tribespeople were a protest group, relative to the encroachment of Rome, and they were a protest group with teeth! It's not that they didn't have their own life and their own essence, but part of that essence was protest with teeth against that which violated that which is of fundamental importance and reverence in the world.

The protest groups of the last fourty years have created a very meaningful slogan that is also Teutonic at its heart, and that is, "Without justice, no peace." It draws the line at what kind of peace we're talking about, because without justice, the only kind of peace that there is is pacification, and the Germanic tribes always stood against pacification. Pacification is the stance of "Sit down, shut up, and let us enjoy our luxury founded on domination and disrespect for the world." Too many new religious movements are about helping people to find peace without also helping them to find justice. To tell someone experiencing domination and fundamental disrespect and irreverence to "find peace" is insulting and humiliating, actually. It is true that holding in such anger can poison a person. That's one of the many things that makes domination so deadly, but when you tell someone to make peace with that which destroys them, you have become a collaborator with that which destroys them. That is not love, and I certainly can't see how it is religion.

After my walk along the truck-polluted beach, I walked up the sand dunes looking over the bird estuary, which is surrounded by posts and cables, with signs indicating that it is a sensitive ecological area where birds are trying to lay their eggs, and saw two men in their early 20's playing golf, and hitting golf balls right into the pond where the birds were gathered! I was furious. I said, "Are you allowed to be in there?". One young man said, almost defiantly, "Yah." I said, "Y'know, that sounds like bullshit to me, but whatever you say. Just doesn't seem like throwing golfballs around is really going to be conducive to those birds laying their eggs." "We're just having fun," he said. I said, "But hey, since you're so confident that you're allowed to be in there, then you're going to have no problem with the fact that I'm calling the authorities and letting them know what you're doing." Once they heard that, within two minutes, they were gone.

That was a victory of sorts, and a demonstration that there are times that simply asserting yourself and holding your ground against violators can have its effects, and I'll thank Tyr for some sense of victory! That was excellent. It'd be nice for a group of people to rattle their shields and growl-scream at the campout where the trucks travel back and forth, too.

"We're just having fun." Look, I love Freyr. I love fun and pleasure and human gatherings of games to enjoy each other's company, and sit back and relax. But the key is fun that does no harm.

This is a serious heathen issue. Those stakes and cables surrounding the estuary are the closest thing our society has to ve-bonds that consecrate a sacred space, and that estuary where the birds are allowed to be free from molestation so they can continue to propagate their families is one of the closest things our society comes to a sacred grove, and therefore, those who violate those ve-bonds and the sacred grove within ought to receive very gruff, very firm rebuffs. In the old days, they would have received much worse than that. In the old days, when it came to the sacred groves, people knew what "keep out" meant, and knew the consequences, often dire and even deadly, for violating those rules.

There are plenty of places for people to have fun, and I have no problem with those two young men going and having a fun game of golf --- somewhere else, where birds aren't being protected. But the line must be drawn somewhere, and there is nothing more important than restoring the sense of Algiz, the protected sanctuary.

Let's challenge those areas of our culture that make us ashamed. Let's assert values that will restore this culture to a well-earned sense of pride. Dismissing fundamental ecological relationships is a legacy of a Christian culture which cut down our sacred groves. Let's evolve into a new culture of respect for life and zero tolerance for domination. I'm sure there's plenty of Native Americans who will be happy to join. Did I say join? I meant to say they'll be happy that we're finally beginning to wake up and join the struggles they've been carrying on for dozens of generations.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your anger suits you, if it continues to lead to such righteous indignation against such widespread wrongs as you so eloquently described here. Thank you most sincerely for putting into words what I've tried to express for so long, as both a heathen and animal rights activist (specifically against the shocking and horrific disregard for life involved in factory farms - this is NOT the gift of farming that gods intended for us!). I've heard no other voices crying out for the natural justice and RESPECT for our world that you and I are fighting for, and I simply wanted to say that you're not alone in your fight, brother.

8:39 AM  

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