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Drive-thru Theofascism and The Hero’s Journey – essays, poems, & photos by Mankh (Walter E. Harris III)

~128 pages, 5.5” x 8.5”, paperback, aside from the cover the photos are B&W. $15 is the flat rate whether in person or if shipping in USA and the price includes NYS tax if applicable. Email for rates outside the USA.

As the title suggests, the book explains and explores the problematic layers of the dominant culture and how to deal with them so as to help bring about positive change. The bulk of the book is a selection of my essays along with poems interspersed, mostly from the past few years, addressing a variety of topical issues on the local as well as global scene, with footnotes/references to over 100 online articles.

There’s a new 17-page introduction/overview which serves as a reference and guidepost to the recurring themes in the book, plus about a dozen photos with the ‘special effect’ of double-exposure, as with cover above except B&W.

The book is printed on 100% recycled papers which cost a little more to do but the choice to help preserve the precious resources of Mother Earth is both part of what the book is about as well as (as much as feasible) standard printing procedure for Allbook Books. The turtle on the attached cover image represents Turtle Island, what Native Peoples have called North America for thousands upon thousands of years, long before the land was divvied-up and branded what many call the United States.

The following is by Paul Richard Harris, co-editor of www.axisoflogic.com and writer:
These essays put a perspective on world news and current events seldom seen. Mankh embraces several ideals close to my own heart - the common worker, co-operatives, Indigenous peoples, the ability to find humour in almost everything - and his view of the world of the news is filtered through those ideals. These essays don’t merely recite the facts of the news, or comment on them from a left, right, or middle perspective - they also dig for the nuances missed by others.”

To read his review of the book

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Sample reading, two poems and excerpts from the introduction and an essay:

Consenting Adults

The manufacturing consent factory is working overtime
while the People looking for work are left standing in line.

Faux managers shaping opinions is business largesse
but the People paying bills have to manage their stress.

To shift this tide we need more community interaction:
sharing, bartering, donating ― paying less attention to the media distraction.

Where the mind is formed the feet will follow -- break
from the mainstream, it'll be one less pill to swallow

and your feet walking with Earth will find another direction
though you might have to give up that four-hour erection.

Edward Louis Bernays picked his uncle Freud's pocket
made a propaganda science so the People would have to hock it;

public relations psyops appealing to mind and emotions
keeps the feet in fetters though the skin well-lotioned

with anti-aging creams and other such products,
hey, i want to look good too but wouldn't sell my bollocks.

A more serious side-effect of this heavily-funded persuasion
is the pitting of home against foreign nation,

always bad-mouthing a distant power
as a method to get the People to cower,

and they've even outsourced their capitalist opinions
with consumerism in China and India for dollared dominions.

The manufacturing consent whistle i'd like to hear blow,
signaling the end of this mass delusion induced show.

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from the Introduction & Overview

A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened.
― George Orwell, Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume 2 My Country Right or Left, 1940 – 1943

1

The thesis of this book is that the dominant culture (worldwide, though highlighting the US Empire) is theo-fascist with a drive-thru colonial mentality ― and there are ways to avoid, prevent, and heal from the various enforced limitations. ...

The US Empire or USE is named as such because of its approximately 1,000 military bases worldwide, Special Ops1 missions in 105 countries, and because it “uses” people and resources. Though the label of “empire” may seem new, there was an imperial bent from the get-go:

“... and add to the Empire of liberty an extensive and fertile Country thereby converting dangerous Enemies into valuable friends.”
                                                                                       - Thomas Jefferson, 1780

“The foundation of a great empire is laid...”
                                                                       - George Washington, 1786

The word “theo,” from the Greek “god,” is used in the context of: religiosity that manipulates or sways people with a grandiosity that is disconnected from reality (for example, a reason sans reason a la Papal infallibility); add to that Mussolini’s definition of fascism: the merger of corporate and state power.

Ideally, a state would care about the well-being of its citizens and a corporation/business would care about its customers and the world so as to provide a healthy product (with carefully controlled toxic wastes) while making a fair profit. The fascist over- lapping of the two entities creates a proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

Cases of revolving-door are prevalent nowadays. As examples, former corporate oilsters in government positions, and vice versa; the interchange of Monsanto-ites and the FDA; USDA approving Monsanto’s GMO soy and cotton crops; the EPA protecting the coal industry with their coal ash waste instead of the citizens and environment. ...

The hero’s journey refers to the guiding framework presented by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Having studied worldwide myths and creation-stories , Campbell’s framework serves as a generic blueprint for the spiritual journey/quest that each human being ultimately takes. ...

As example, the phrase “we all have our cross to bear” alludes to the hero’s journey of Jesus Christ; for some that “cross” is laden with religious dogma and suffering, while for others it can be as simple as non-denominationally “doing the work” that no one else can do. The hero’s journey is finding one’s unique purpose, learning how one is “endowed by their Creator,” or as Indigenous Peoples call it, Original Instructions. According to Campbell, “The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula presented in the rites of passage: separation – initiation - return.” ...

The hero’s journey is doing heroic deeds large and small: gestures and prayers that help others, random acts of kindness, selfless service. The hero’s journey enables one to become as a demi-god and thus trump the false gods of theo-fascism, as well as any inner totalitarian tendencies because part of being human is resisting temptations to power-trip.

The hero is not some puffed-up super-human; rather, the hero-in-the-making humbles him/herself so as to be worthy of bigger responsibilities, so as to better receive assistance and guidance from tutors, mentors, spirit beings, impromptu messages, talking birds, and such like... and eventually earn the feather (from a bird) in the hat (or Indigenous headdress) label of full-fledged hero. ...

note:
1.“The Golden Age of Black Ops: Special Ops Missions Already in 105 Countries in 2015“
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/20/golden-age-black-ops-special-ops-missions-already-105-countries-2015

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Living Outside the Box

The Empire likes to put people in boxes,
from airy crib to nailed-tight casket
and in-between in psychological boxes,
wrapped identities with ornate bows
but never bowing with humility,
packages to be delivered, opened, liked, disliked,
discarded, shelved for coffee table conversation starters
scripted performances fearing surprises
yet jack-in-the-box can provide pleasant giggles
jumpstart one’s breath and sense of spontaneity,
but beware the Empire’s jack-in-the-box jettisoning
jarring personas, jerks suddenly springing out,
trying to shake the Peace.

The Empire likes to track people in their boxes
pay-to-play self-identification,
credit cards, membership cards,
driver's license, registration, insurance cards,
yet the free-self learns from its self
opens its own cosmic package
tears away the layers of false identities
until some unextinguishable little truth
shines forth.

The Empire likes to box behaviors,
label them like pharmaceutical diagnoses:
the best, lost seeking found, damaged, return to sender,
yet free-self permeates the atmosphere
can’t be taped shut with its mouth sealed
legs crossed back bent, for every give ─ a take,
yet just being is the primordial gift
whose unraveling shows you what’s next,
shows how to spiral thru the Empire
where the subservients box themselves,
box each other,
box the-powers-that-box.

Tired of bloody noses i call it a wrap,
step outside for some breaths of air,
go inside where no one can label or ship me,
where no one can give me away, take me for a ride
or use me as a party favor, go inside where no one can
cheapen the night.

Living is the ace in its own hole,
try to play it light.

*

from the first essay: Drive-thru Theofascism
(first published: May 18, 2013)

An interesting juxtaposition occurred in 2008. "With the enactment of the 2008 Constitution, Ecuador became the first country in the world to codify the Rights of Nature."1 (Bolivia made a similar law in 2011.) Meanwhile, the United States Empire (USE) -- though it was really the People who were affected -- saw its housing bubble burst, the economy take a stinking nose-dive, and, while some big bank-institutions went under, some were (by the grace of In God We Trust) bailed out.

Here we have the essence of one of the biggest dichotomies, the choice of our times ― Nature or Mammon, Compassion or Commodity. In his book, Children of the Days, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano sums up the mind-set of the-powers-that-be, as well as showing us how to shift our priorities: “If nature were a bank, they would have already rescued it."2

Nature is, in fact, a bank of real wealth (providing the resources that fuel our lives), as well as its own slow food movement (plant a seed and the instant gratification you get will not fill your belly, rather nourish your mind and soul).

In a 2008 article, “Eduardo Galeano’s Earth Day Exclusive,” Galeano pinpoints the origin of this great divide: “The communion between nature and people, a pagan custom, was abolished in the name of God and later in the name of Civilization. Throughout the Americas, and the world, we are paying the consequences of this divorce.”3

A recent headline was a real button-pusher for a lot of people: “Supreme Court Says Monsanto Has ‘Control Over Product of Life.’”4 Monsanto’s attempt to monopolize control of seeds and prices can be linked to East Indian farmer suicides and other tragedies. This ongoing expression of absurd corporate (Monsanto)-state(court system) hubris got me thinking how these behemoths exhibit a maniacal sense of ‘playing God’ over life.

And that's nothing new. The 500-plus years old “Doctrine of Christian Discovery” (keenly explained by Steven Newcomb in his wonderful book, Pagans in the Promised Land), proves that church and state are still not separate. The essence of the Doctrine states that, land uninhabited by Christians was up for Christians’ grab (see Pope Alexander’s Inter Caetera papal bull, 1493), hence the genocidal ‘discovery’ of the Americas. In some instances, patents (corporatism) issued to seafaring ‘discoverers’ with the twisted blessing of the church (theology) and nation (state) created a perfect storm called theo- fascism. ...

notes:
1. “Rights of Nature” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_of_Nature
2. “The Life and Death of Words, People, and Even Nature”
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/04/30-3
3. “Eduard Galeano’s Earth Day Exlusive”
http://www.progressive.org/mag_galeano042208
4. “Corporate Win”
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/05/13-3

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© 2015-17 Walter E. Harris III.