Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus

From Bob's website (previous post) I came across a documentary named Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus. Basically it is a roadtrip through "blue country" or the America South. Alt-country singer Jim White takes the audience through prisions, churches, barber shops, truckstops, city fairs, mountains, and swamps. People tell their stories and testimonies behind a backdrop of the rural south and a southern Jesus. These stories ground their identities and explain their place in this world. White sums it up well when he says he's "trying to find the gold tooth in God's crooked smile." The film is stated to have a great lineup concerning various musicians like White, the Handsome Family, Johnny Dowd, and Lee Sexton.

While I haven't seen the film, it is playing in selected theaters. Actually it is showing right now at the Belcourt theatre in Nashville. But this film I think begs the question: How does our socio-environment shape the way we see religion, espeically the way we look at Jesus? I wonder if we could say that the North-East-South-West geography could be a social structure of the "stations of the cross." Meaning, at every "station" is a sign, a plaque, a monument signifying faith. Who hasn't seen a billboard on the highway, or a picture on a Big Rig, or a Jesus Fish in the landscape of Americana giving direction to the non-believer. The South uses a much different typography of faith than say the Northwest or New England area. The faith of the South is portrayed as a private, personal experience made public. We could even say that it's publicizing them. I think that even this faith gets boiled down to mass-producing products for commerical consumption, like the Christ shirt using the Crest toothpaste emblem. While this may be seen throughout the US, I think the South has an undercurrent that bleeds a southern smiling God with the gold tooth.