Oh, I was on a roll here. (Maybe it was the gin) The Romance of the South, the Romance of the heroic individual who fights for a lost cause, who fearlessly goes into death for an Idea, who stands up against the machine, the robot army, the aliens, the Storm Troopers…oh, wait..that is what our movies are about. When mythology and reality meet, we begin to live in our movies, and there has to be blood on the soil for our movie reality to become real.
For some that blood on the soil wakes them up from the movie, for others it just sinks them deeper, it’s too late to turn back now and realize our delusion. When invest in a movie reality, it is not easy to admit you are deluded.
When we invest in a myth that holds us in place, that gives us a honored place and purpose in life, we don’t want to see the truth of it, we don’t want to see through it because then we realize that all have been fake news. I am fake news. We don’t want to see that. So we double down.
The Confederate heroes are coming down. The gods of the Old Romantic South where only heroic white people existed are coming down. The tyranny of the Southern mythology is growing stronger and weaker at the same time. The dream is cracking. When the Confederate flag and the Nazi flag and the American flag becomes one movement…we can finally see what is happening.
The Adolescent Male is heart captured by a myth and is creating his tribe, not the change America, but to create the battle conditions where he can be a valiant hero. It is in battle—never mind what the battle is about—it is the battle that is the message.
What is the anger? The anger is the gap between the myth and the reality. The anger comes from the dislocation the mythic mind has with reality. The greater the gap the greater the anger. When we turn away from reality and become entranced by a myth, by living in an action movie, we have lifted off from sanity. There is great pain in insanity because you know in your secret place that your are not real, that you are asleep in a dream. But you blame the enemy in your nightmare for your pain, and so your anger grows.
The violence in Charlottesville was a demonstration of insanity.
So I live in Blackstone, VA, Southside Virginia, a very conservative Southern Romantic place where every courthouse has a statute of the Confederate soldier with the engraved martyrs for the cause in the marble below the statue, and beside the statue is a cannon, to let you know that the war is not over. What is this defiance? What is this valor? What is this love of death and the Lost Cause? It’s a good thing the South didn’t win because it would have been the end of their glorious mythology. The South won because it Lost.
The Old South lives again and again because it lost. Talk about reincarnation. This mythology gets reincarnated in every generation, in new costumes and situations, but the old war is fought again and again…why? It’s a mythic war, a cosmic war of Good versus Evil…but in America this Cosmic War is captured in our history and given human forms, the Southern generals captured in stone for all eternity.
If you are a student of civil war history, you delight in the clever Confederate generals—Stone Wall Jackson, for instance–that the machine army of the north couldn’t defeat…why…because the Confederate generals were true humans, and the Yankees were just robots, a clone army of immigrants..not true Americans. Oh the Romance…and the death.
In Romance you can’t separate love from death. The Romantic lovers…Shakespeares…end in a glorious death…love would rather die than end, than be defeated….Romance transcends death because it goes willingly into death, like Jesus. If you choose death, you defeat death.
The myth of the South is about the transcendence of death. If you identify with the myth, you are like the statues, impervious to time. You can live forever in the dream of a Camelot, when Knights were pure and honor was true, and the world was as it should be. The Old South is America’s Camelot.
And new generations of young idealistic men rise to take up the battle flag of Romance and the Lost Cause, to have something to die for. Unless you have something to die for, you have nothing to live for.
But this is not to leave out the Black Culture, for they too have their romance of rebellion. Young men need romance. Young men need a heroic life. That’s why we create wars. At some point video games are not enough. At some point the young man gets seduced by a real time movie where the video game and reality merge and they can’t tell the difference. Then you can become a Nazi or ISIS..no problem.