Rhadamanthus makes a speech


Valerie June – Pushin’ Against A Stone

“As one of the three judges in Tartarus, it is my immense pleasure to preside over this ceremony today. I want to extend eternal gratitude–there is no other kind of gratitude here–to all who have gathered to witness this unveiling. Many of you know the circumstances that have brought us here, to this event. Some of you, the newest initiates, preoccupied as you are with your own endless suffering, are ignorant of that which compels us together here now. One soul among us has toiled long and hard at an impossible task. And no, I’m not talking about you, Tantalus (pause for laughter). I’m talking about Sisyphus and his rock. You’ve heard the stories. Guy rolls his rock up this hill and it falls right back down. Does it again. He curses. Octosyllabic profanities that he himself has fashioned and which when uttered burst into bright phonemes on the ceiling of hell. He sweats. Quite a lot, actually. But he perseveres. And now that we’ve entered a new epoch here, it is time for a new boulder. This old thing here–which I understand he has named Merope, after his wife, though that is what he names all his rocks–is worn down and battered, no longer fit for this purpose. May I present a new boulder for a new day to you, Sisyphus. I hope that its rough surface, its crags and sharp outcroppings, cut your hands and bring you pain each day until the end of this time.”

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