Jesus Saves | Homeland Security

I had the unfortunate pleasure of having my film confiscated by the Eastman Chemical Company's branch of Homeland Security today. I was parked in a small driveway on Highway 93 in Kingsport, TN in order to walk a quarter of a mile up the road and photograph (yet another) Jesus Saves type sign along the road. After making the photographs I noticed that my car had attracted some security-style attention. Two trucks were checking out my poor lonely Subaru.

I walked on down to explain myself and put them at ease. Once I explained my status and such to 2 security officials employed by the fine Eastman Chemical Co, their boss came along to explain the protocol. He informed me that I was to hand over my film and they would then process it, remove any objectionable images of the facility and send me whatever was left. I cried 'BULLSHIT' and began the argument.

I stated the case that his own co-worker had watched me come from the site that I had openly admitted to photographing and for all rights I wasn't even photographing on Eastman property, but a Sullivan County highway. He then pulled the homeland security protocol card and we ping ponged the ideals back and forth. After the call went in for the Kingsport Police to come and confiscate my equipment I caved and emptied the film into his possession. The gentleman wasn't at fault and I was parked illegally on the Company property.

I think that the whole ordeal has stained my days productivity. Luckily, there was only one image on the roll that was lost and I will redo the work tomorrow. In principal I feel like I have been abused by a system of bullshit and lies. I mean, seriously, what are they hiding? I grew up in this town and lived 2 miles from that plant for a time in high school, I know that it is evil for environmental reasons, but it employs EVERYBODY it seems. I also know that George Eastman himself was asked to move here as an employment anchor when they planned the town in 1919. I am not unaware of the power of the place, but I have never officially been touched by it before.

In the end, I just wanted to share my experience of today and shed some light on how far down the food chain the Homeland Security broomstick waves.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Wow, that sucks. Seriously though, freedom isn't free... Wait a second, give me back my film you fascists!!