Death before death

“In this part of the world all shrines are built to honor the great spirit of mediocrity.  The celebrations are for mediocre events, and everyone praises a mediocre god.  Heads upon pillows dream mediocre dreams and loins all give birth to mediocre offspring.  At the end of a pointless life awaits a mediocre death.  Love comes wrapped in a bland little package and fulfillment of the biological urge leads to swift decline.  There are no monuments to greatness in this land of stupor.  Down here in the deep, dark South we know and live with the real world.  Candy-Land idealism is quietly suffocated in the relentless humidity.  This is the world where fist meets face.  This is where the calluses on a man’s hand are bigger than his conscience, and dreams get drowned in sweat and tears.  Mutually assured destruction rides the roads on gun racks in the back windows of pickup trucks.  The goodness of human nature gets packed away with childhood toys, and the only third eye I have is the one I use to watch my back.  Everyone puts on their Sunday best and pays tribute to religion’s slaughterhouse and then dines on a cannibal communion.  People put their backs to the stone in the field and push until their entrails rupture, and they drag their meals from the earth with bleeding hands.  Education is foreign to the sunburned beasts of burden, and the painkiller comes in black-labeled Tennessee bottles.  No one here moves quickly, but everyone moves with absolute certainty.” – Damien Echols, Life After Death (emphasis in original)

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