To explain my recent obsession with the country of my birth would be to kill the wonder it’s brought me. It would be to euthanize it with words, to forget the feeling of soil beneath my toes and the sounds of cicadas chirping on summer evenings. It would be to dismiss the tales and stories of each pocket of land, all with their County Daniel Boones and Poet Laureates who sold three books in the regional museum last year.
America needs to be understood though, even if its charm is killed by understanding it. Like finding out a beautiful young woman you fell for is a three-bit whore, and you didn’t make the cut for whoring to. The story of America is much like the story of a whore. The story of the West is much the same.
And America is the West, no two ways about it. It’s the last living light and dying fast. It was founded by people of all stocks from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, by every human type that could be called white once they got here. It was a new beginning and the beginning of the end.
From sea to dying sea, the place where the sun sets. The evening lands pushed tens-of-thousands of miles west from Albion to California, like a bullet shot forth from a rifle – the quintessential weapon of the Western warrior. Plenty of rifles were used to take and shape this land, to hold the space and protect the race. At least when the race wasn’t whormongering itself out of existence in Teepees, Slave Huts, and Chinatowns.
This nation of mongrels; sons and daughters of a thousand fathers, this nation is the West. How could it not be? It made the West Wild again. It pumped out six-foot corn-fed Aryan Warlords in Stetsons and spurs, in flannel with axes, in overalls with pickaxes and wrenches, in fatigues with semi-automatic rifles. A raceless race of half-castes who took the world in every war they fought, led so by unworthy leaders.
This is the America I understand. The one of frontiersmen transplanted into the 20th century. Of Davy Crocketts eating pancakes in California Diners, of Ethan Allens racing death traps on the Bonneville Salt Flats, of Jim Bowies filling their Harley-Davidsons at Texaco Gas Stations outside of Albuquerque. The restless Western spirit exhausted of Hymns, of Paintings and Poetry, left with naught but endless energy and will-to-power along all the stops of Route 66.
At a time where the men of America and the wider West are fond of giving themselves heartfelt goodbyes, I put forth this further heartfelt goodbye. Except I have no hello to give to the new America or the new West; there will be none. All that will remain are these encyclopedic cyclers spitting gas fumes into the skies and onto their leather jackets, who read Goethe before blacking out and bar fighting.
I’d rather that be the eternal future than what we have now.
* * *
In the age before America stood alone on the continent, his eyes were turned across the Atlantic towards his father. When the son departed his father’s home, he turned around for the first time and saw an endless sea of land behind him.
“This land is my land.” He said, barely believing his own words.
He saw endless forests to build endless cities, towering mountains teeming with mounds of gold, great black soil which sprouted such food and fortunes as to make any peasant a Prince after but a year’s worth of work. He saw ten-thousand vistas, each more beautiful than the last, of rolling green valleys and great wide rivers, of plains so flat and expansive that farms the size of countries could be cultivated. He saw savage Red Men, a foe so worthy that he couldn’t be allowed to exist. He saw seductive Red Women, a prize so valued that whole treaties were signed for them.
He wore his coonskin hat and tricorn, his feet were wrapped in the Red Man’s moccasins. In his hands he clasped a musket touched with rot but never rust. His belt held a powder horn and an Arkansas Toothpick. He’d beg, borrow, and steal the Red Men’s words, the Red Men’s land, the Red Men’s women. When that didn’t work, he took to scalping just as the Red Man did.
He grew to match his land. He traded skins for cotton clothes, his tricorns for wide-brimmed hats the Mexicans wore, his musket for a Kentucky Long Rifle and his Arkansas Toothpick for an Arkansas Attitude. He fought his brothers and cousins for who had the right to this El Dorado, this land of limitless wealth, but they all ended up with shares of it anyway.
And when the last spot was staked, the last Red Man surrendered, the last Gold Vein was tapped, the waters of San Francisco bay hosted a city as bright and brilliant as those of the East, America took a hike in the Sierra Nevadas.
His beard was graying, his skin was worn and leathery by sun, steel, and sandstorms. He climbed the great mountains that stood like a wall between the Pacific paradise and the ever-encroaching desert. He got pretty high up in those mountains and sat down on a tree stump. He pulled out his pipe and his last bag of Virginia Tobacco.
From his stump he could see the far-off Redwoods, tall enough to reach over the coastal ranges. He looked to the Cascades and saw the men of Jefferson State living his life one last time. He glanced over Sacramento and the San Joaquin, where he saw Fresno Forests and Valley Vineyards as bountiful as they were beautiful. He could make out Yosemite’s overlooks, even from his stump, just as he felt the hot-dry breath of Death Valley behind him. He perceived the perennial Sequoias, the City of Angels and the Channel Islands which stood like sentinels against the endless Pacific – The Pacific.
That was what he rested his eyes on. The ocean of peace; an endless space he could never hope to tame. The end of his millenia-long ride from the steppes of the Black Sea. And while Alexander wept as there were no lands left to conquer, America laughed as there were no lands left to fight over.
He puffed his pipe atop his all-seeing tree-stump in the Sierra Nevadas. He looked up at the sky as the sun set on the shores of California. He saw the stars again, those white fires in the sky which set him on the course that brought him here, to the end of the world.
“You’re pretty funny, old man.” He said to the sky, and a laugh burst from his throat as he faded away atop his stump, like the smoke from his pipe burning the last leaf of Virginia Tobacco.
* * *
My people come from a tiny town in the Page Valley of Virginia (the eastern pocket of the valley between Massanutten and the Blue Ridge,) by the name of Stanley. Unincorporated until 1900. My people have been there longer than 1900, since folk with white skin first crossed the Swift Run Gap into the Valley.
I was blessed to become well acquainted with this town, by the grace of my dearly departed Grandmother (God rest her soul.) Family dispute which arose from her death aside, the place still feels like home. I get along with the people there. I understand them. But I’m not one of them.
Stanley has been the picture in my mind when I think of the real America: My Grandmother’s house with the view of Massanutten from her front lawn, the Hawksbill Diner, the Little League fields which the town prides itself on, all that was the real America. At least to me, the rootless cosmopolitan in my patch of suburban hell that spread like a cancer everywhere north of Fredericksburg. Now, change stalks south through the Old Dominion, and little Stanley seems set to be swept up in it.
Everyone who lives there knows it’s changing too. The aforementioned Fredericksburg across the Blue Ridge, Harrisonburg on the other side of Massanutten, Charlottesville to the south, all of them victims of this endless tide of progress.
The country isn’t going quietly, at least that’s what it’ll have you believe. Bitching and moaning in a mix of local slang and cosmopolitan English is proof enough of it. But subdivisions are still being built. Woodland and pastures are being chopped down and paved over to make way for the Glorious Imperium of the Toll Brothers, and the Heavenly Kingdom of Starbucks.
When the old man on the mountain stump faded away, the frontier of America faded with him. And the idea of America unraveled into its component parts, its restless energy turned against itself to burn itself down to its own foundations. Now that the fire is well-and-truly in its dying embers, we’re left to ask, “What component parts are left?”
Globohomo is one of these parts, though a corrupted and debased form of it. It’s the endless will of the Aryan conqueror who set forth to make the Red Men White, turned to a different kind of taming for much more insidious purposes. It too is unraveling.
The Anglo-Saxon Yeoman Idyll is another of these parts, clinging to dear life by its fingernails. Living on a last stand in places like Page County, like Stanley. It’s also the dream of many men capable of achieving such things as “dreams.” But it too has been corrupted, as most all think of buying their own farm atop a hill and never the neighbors of their farm. It offers no future, nor any past, only a forever present with all of modernity’s atomization and all of tradition’s toil.
Some look to the old world, the oldest parts of America. They hope for a rebirth of European Culture and Sophistication, of a based E.U. as a third world power against America. But we all know this dream died in 1945. Europe is little more than an open-air nursing home, kept in a cozy womb of protection by its prodigal American sons, who care for their fathers out of love and duty.
Others look to a future without the West. To China and the Orient implementing a global system of filial piety sans homogenization. To Russia and Slavdom for a new global Christian Church. They foolishly think these two things are the same as their American counterparts, and that the world would be bettered by their dominance.
This leaves us with the last component part of America, the only part with any sort of agency left to it. The last frontiersman. The road warrior who stalks the highways and interstates in ever-decreasing numbers. The Mad-Max like worshippers of their engines, who stand a sole vigil against the encroaching tide of a petroleum genocide.
* * *
The irony of ironies is that American culture is the last living culture of the West. Take our comic books, our professional wrestling, our NASCAR, our cinema, our boomer history buffs and Civil War reenactors, our tourist-traps, our self-published writers, our biker gangs in leather jackets on Harleys, our car culture, and most importantly our dissident right. All of these things, profane as they are, are living reflections of a culture. Europe and the old world has many of these things, but always as a copy of where they first came from: here.
The funny thing about colonizing America with European culture is that America came to colonize Europe with American culture. Sure, Europe does some things better. Compare FIFA to the NFL. Europe also has its own unique contributions to culture. Michel Houellebecq is the greatest living writer in the world right now. Yet if sheer quantity and gravity of cultural contributions were to be compared, the impetus has been on America since 1945 if not sooner.
Some would say this is not “Culture,” that the whole thing is marketing, advertising, PR, and brands. Under the surface of every PR mask, a culture lies beneath. It’s just as normal to ride your Harley to work as it is your Prius, at least on the ground. Globohomo and its PR are not exempt from this, the only victories they’re capable of winning are propagandic ones.
Others would say that this colonization of Europe with American culture was unnatural, terrible for Europe. The Greeks said similar things about the Romans, but when was their last great playwright born? Their last great philosopher? Who of the Roman era could match Tacitus, Virgil, Cicero?
Greece played at its own culture, making itself a caricature for Roman wealth. This is not their fault, this was forced on them by necessity. But they still made the choice. Roman tourists flocked to see the Spartans whip young boys, to take Athenian lovers, to see Alexander’s palace. Is modern Europe under America any different?
* * *
The American possesses freedom that his forefathers in the old world do not. Even if our laws are stricter, even if our Government is worse, even if our culture is shallower, we will always possess this. Because it’s in our minds, nay, our souls shaped by the endless space. By our land.
The American still possesses two tools that prolong and facilitate his freedom: his rifle and his engine. The American can get in his Ford F-150 and drive from California to New York, tomorrow. Gas will cost him, sure. But he can do it.
The highways will lead him through the nodes of every center of American culture, of declining American civilization, where he’ll meet fellow-travelers with the same goals and ambitions. He could vanish into the woods where no one would find him because no one cares to look for him. He could form a gang of friends, terrorizing dive bars and County Mounties from Miami to Monterrey.
He has energy. He has space. He has freedom. Even if the frontier faded away in the Sierra Nevadas, the frontier never faded in the heart of the American man, the higher American man who sees in himself a Cowboy, a Planter, a Knight, a Scholar, a Handyman, a Poet, a Drifter, and a Man with a soul that’s been saved.
If the West too is to be saved, it will be saved in America. By the American man. Everywhere else is exhausted.