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Quotes / Godspeed You! Black Emperor

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"The car's on fire. And there's no driver at the wheel. And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides. And a dark wind blows.
The government is corrupt. And we're all on so many drugs, with the radio on and the curtains drawn. We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death.
The sun is falling down. And the billboards are all leering. And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles.
It went like this...
The buildings tumbled in on themselves. Mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble, and pulled out their hair. The skyline was beautiful on fire, all twisted metal stretching upwards, everything washed in a thin orange haze.
I said, "Kiss me, you're beautiful, and these are truly the last days."
You grabbed my hand, and we fell into it. Like a daydream, or a fever.
We woke up one morning, and fell a little further down. For sure it's the valley of death. I open up my wallet... and it's full of blood."
"The Dead Flag Blues"

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"Coney Island, they called Coney Island 'The playground of the world'. There was no place like it, in the whole world, like Coney Island when I was a youngster. No place in the world like it! It was so fabulous! Now it's shrunk down to almost nothing. And I still remember in my mind how things used to be, and well, I feel very bad. But people from all over the world came here, from all over the world. There was a playground, they called it the playground of the world over here. Anyways...
I even, when I was very small, I got lost in Coney Island, but they found me. On the uh... on the beach.
And we used to sleep on the beach here, sleep overnight. But they don't do it anymore. Things changed, you see.
They don't sleep anymore on the beach."
"Sleep"

Q: As a member of a dance group – 10 women, democratically run – I know full well how hard it is to agree on anything. How does Godspeed operate as a community?
A: Your car breaks and you take it to the garage – dirty room, five mechanics maybe, car keys hung on nails next to the front counter. Two cars on lifts, one car in the corner, all the other cars parked in the back. Everything and everybody is covered in grease, everyone's smoking like crazy. They have to fix 20 cars before 5pm, or else the backlog will fucking break everybody's back until Christmas. The parts suppliers roll in every half-hour or so, mostly bringing new brake pads and flex-hoses, but bumpers sometimes, oil-pans, headlight assemblies or timing belts.
In a good garage, the whole mess of it almost collapses all day long. Dudes yell and argue, everything's going wrong and why are we doing this anyways? The hose won't fucking fit, or the screwdriver slips and you lose the hose-clamp somewhere beneath the undercarriage. The sun starts to set and the floor gets littered with burnt bulbs, spent gaskets, oil, and sweat, and brake fluid. Someone's hungover, someone's heartbroken, someone couldn't sleep last night, someone feels unappreciated, but all that matters is making it through the pile, the labour is shared and there's a perfect broken poetry to the hammering and yelling, the whine of the air compressor kicking to life every five minutes or so.
It all seems impossible. But somehow we make it through the pile. The cars run again. The cars drive away. Rough day but now it's done, and everything's fine; everything's better than fine. Tomorrow we'll do it all over again. You deal with the Volvo, I'll deal with the Toyota. Heat and noise. All day, every day, until it's quiet again. We fix cars until we die. We love fixing cars.

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"Dearest strangers/friends,
Often we feel a communication gap between us & you. Playing the saddest rock & roll in these alienated beerhalls, we're shy and clumsy w/ the words mostly but need to say this now finally or once & for all...
We live in rich countries - we got more kinds of kicks/entertainment than we need. Also, we're gifted w/ access to so much information, 'facts', and knowledge... If you don't already know or believe that millions of innocents are maimed, shot, tortured, starved, or exploded in our name, by our own corrupt politicians, then nothing we do or say'll ever convince you...
There are millions of us worldwide, who don't want any more blood on our hands.
There are millions of us who want to stop this murderous nonsense forever.
Together we can tear their crummy monsters down... it's not a naive daydream (There are more of us than them).
It could start happening tonight or tomorrow. (It'll begin in the tiniest little ways...)
Please think on how to make it happen.
These are urgent times.
Find the faintest light out there, and run towards it slowly. When the call goes out, please march w/ other strangers/friends.
There's a sweetness in clumsy efforts. Stubborn hope always trumps lazy greed, & gentle hearts tear vulgar castles down.
Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid.
Love,
Godspeed You! Black Emperor"
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