A Terrible Trajectory

broken glass

In the 21st Century, there is really no rational justification to promote defeated propositions of racial, or for that matter, religious superiority.

As the German bastard son, I’m acutely aware of a trajectory in American society’s perception of Fascism, in particular, German Fascism; that, most iconic, misguided fascination with “modern” racial superiority.

My introduction to America, schoolboys – the Baby-Boom in late adolescence, it was eye-opening.  Once identified as German, I was routinely machine gunned down in pantomime and spittle in schoolyards for years. (40 odd years later, it was no revelation when my long lost blood-sister shared similar experiences upon her immigration.)

(For context, Viet Nam was still a work in progress. Immigration a tepid “altWhite”. Civil Rights another man’s problem.)

It had been only twenty years since, in Hunter Thompson’s term, the “bad German” had been exorcised. A lot of “winning” was still enjoyed. Yet for me, it was a most ignoble –  frankly bullied introduction to my new alien status as a loser in the land of the free.

(It took another decade before enjoying Thompson’s post-war “Good German”.)

But boys will be boys.  Fast forward 50 years, the arc of American Society has become distorted as young white males, the descendants of my schoolboy acquaintances promote analog policies; that, I can only defer they believe is a “good NAZI”?

Built upon the blood and sacrifice of others, winning can easily be contagious over generations unaware and exceedingly displaced from the dirty work, the conflict.

Excuse me but I am dumbfounded to witness a controversy fundamentally revolving on the question, are some card-carrying racists “nice”?

Look, there are no “nice people” among their ranks, yesterday or today.  The use of  words steeped in NAZI ideology such as “blood and soil”, “Sieg Heil” or in race-baiting – “Jews will not replace me” should be obvious to rational people.

So abdominal,  sensible world leaders outlawed the use of these symbols and slogans in their countries once ravaged by the racial agenda.

assembly

The location that these “nice people” assembled was more signal than smoke screen. Rather than addition by subtraction, this protest sought numbers and to double down, as they assembled at an iconic symbol of failed American succession, mixing in the slogans and paraphernalia of  “Brown-Shirts” on Kristallnacht.

I’ve known this all my life as intimidation.

I’ve witnessed American youth evolve from shooting me, the imaginary NAZI in their midst to, later, deferring violence upon me solely because “You’re German. We won’t beat you up” as I rejected their White Power ideas at punk rock shows. (“You know we’re right”, they’d conclude. “Right” – a word steeped in German nuance.)

And, now, late in life I see them empowered, glorifying in the symbols of the “bad German”, acting out like the loser Nazi, justifying it under the valor of loser secessionists.

This is not a platform to return to “winning”, no, quite the opposite.

An astounding, terrible trajectory.

Certified Phoenix

mack b cert

I hold no canon, no interest in theism, astrology, numerology, any mysticism. I witness only an existential logic to this life. Accordingly 55 years late my certificate of birth arrived today.

Keen affirmation yet, it doesn’t resemble my children’s birth certificates. Appropriately my birth is certified by abstract. This brings wicked joy. No doctor spared time to certify, lest attend my birth in that squat three-room working-class row house. Some years later Herr Doctor Michael Lutter was tasked to certify me “legitimately illegitimate” from said event; sufficient declaration to gain passport under name. A legal obligation for my de facto transport.

Perhaps a thank you is in order for that anonymous neighbor tipping authorities to the fact a baby was born in that house and now he’s gone, alluding to even more unholy transaction. Maybe neighborhood NAZIs have their place, an extralegal purpose, if not a moral order.

The intrigue brought attention to my illegal status and migration to France. Prompted, authorities acted. You know, as my father’s Commanding Officer said, “you can’t just take a baby, Sarge”.

Really all nonsense, yet to me, certification has gravitas in the Christian World. Surely not as much in the Second Millennium but, I hold it like the winning lotto ticket it represents, even if less cathartic half a century later; my fittingly strange baptism of paperwork.

I have also an ornate, fading naturalization document I received in some State-side WPA era concrete Federal building. My passport due to expire, my newly retired father balked at submitting annual alien registeration. A quick elbow to the ribs, a gesture to stand, raise a hand and in a blur, the words from a robed old man recited by those, who likewise held a right hand high, his problem solved.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that document. Though there’s confusion etched on my face, innocence shines in my eyes.
My shirt says ragamuffin but I was a cute kid, never understanding why my new American classmates called me “funny face” and “Nazi” incessantly, as they spat imaginary machine guns at me, even though the document certifies “United States of America”.

mack cert

Thankfully, my parents made me comfortable with this illegitimacy. So admirable, they would’ve made growing up an alien comfortable. Their embarrassing boasts to acquaintances and strangers modified to “yea he’s an alien but he’s our alien… got’em in Germany” as if I was a souvenir space age cuckoo-clock.

What comfort I’ve had in this skin I owe to them. Well, them and “Tom Jones” – the movie, not the Welsh singer. Peculiarly Tom Jones made the bastard son seem not such a bad spot, acceptable even envious. Naturally the path of the tale, our unsuspecting hero’s peccadilloes and pomp aside, I likewise grew up astonished I was alive; then, certain it would be a scant, brief life with no need for gravitas.

Thus I reveled in the stigma Christianity and aristocracy bestowed the bastard son. I wear it like the scarlet letter that they would’ve pinned in defamation on a woman such as my maternal mother. It’s a mighty “no! fuck you”, to stand my ground, head high, as their adultered pagan myths of morality crumble in the reality that my existence represents.

I’d like to think as my father took me in the night, he felt giddy with similar power. Certainly not cursing so defiantly against the old Order, yet hopefully he had some existential twitch as he ran me to Army housing. Perchance I was his birth certificate; actualization he was alive after wars’ horror. A survivor born anew.

Birth certificate in hand, I feel like that Phoenix rising from those ashes. Alive. Like Tom Jones – not the Welsh singer, unashamed, an innocuous fire burns that defeats expectation, challenges notions of suitability and worthiness, as the gallows’ shadow grows; my experiential dual with doubt.