Many contend that Texas Football is in a state of inevitable decay.
A Burnt Orange estate - once grand, vital, and a seat of power and influence - now covered in kudzu and cobwebs, behind it a once-gleaming swimming pool now filled with crawfish and lily pads strewn on brackish water. Poised above it, a broken diving board now more a threat than an invitation. The cracks in the front porch and the yellowing paint are the backdrop for a porch swing now hanging on only one rusting chain, once a perch for viewing a verdant lawn cut in neat rectangles, now gone wild, housing snakes and vermin. There's an absentee caretaker parked out by the toolshed, who smells of cheap wine and stale cigarettes, still pocketing estate checks while stealing sweaty naps in his truck bed.
All of that may be true. Or maybe I just copied a passage from a Pat Conroy novel.
But please consider the positive aspects of decay. The languorous, slow decline that ultimately yields rebirth and new growth. Decay and rebirth don't happen in clean phases. They overlap, intertwine, and vie for dominance, each fueling the other in a never ending cycle of life.
Wine and beer are a testament to the frolicsome side of decay. What's ferment but a joyful celebration of the possibilities of decline? Grapes and sour mash deteriorate and stew in their own juices and create something new and better. Then we get drunk and decline isn't so bad after all. Hoo-ray for decay.
Iceland's fabled national dish - hakari - the putrid result of a shark carcass buried to rot, dug up, and then served to trusting foreign dignitaries dumb enough to believe that even Vikings would eat that shit, was sufficient to convince most of the world that a social welfare state built on cod, strongmen pulling 747s with their ball sacks, and BjorkiTunes purchases could support a massive speculation bubble. Iceland eventually declined, the bankers tooling around in Mercedes and making finger tents are back manning cod nets, and Bjork is still intriguingly elfin and punchable. Their economic decay was a blessing. Now they can be Icelanders again. They're ten years away from looting monasteries from their longships.
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What's fertilizer but an acknowledgement of decay's value and it's amenable properties to serve new life? Decay is our Prometheus - the bearer of gifts we don't deserve. Without it, we cannot advance. Like Prometheus' rebellious gift of fire, the punishment from sharing decay's fruits are always painful, as the raven tears out our liver again chained to a great rock, or when we somehow manage to lose to a Kansas State team with negative three returning starters and Bill Snyder stalking the sideline on a HoverRound.
Even now, you are in a state of decay. Your cells are dying, your decline inevitable. Your body is nothing but temporary housing for genes fighting to find new vehicles for their expression, as your physical body returns to cosmic dust and your soul to St Peter's gates. You are potting soil for a geranium walking around in a meat sock.
Am I bumming you out? I hope not. Because housed within your decline is the potential to write a symphony or great novel, to hook up with a hottie at Thursday happy hour, to hold your children while they sleep on your chest, to look with awe through the small windows into Heaven called our national parks, and to earn the love of at least one really good woman, a good dog, or a good dog-woman in your lifetime.
There. Don't you feel better about the possibilities of decay?
What happens when erosive rot is imbued with new life even as it sits in a larger host of decline? Can the surroundings degenerate while simultaneously springing forth with new potential? Hell yeah. Consider a field of cow turds with mushrooms peeking out from their putridity. The environment stinks, but the mushroom thrives, drawing strength from the stink and failure around it. The lines between growth and decay are never entirely clean. But they smell bad. Like Mad Dog's best summer pair of Spanx.
That's 2013 Texas Football. Little mushrooms sprouting in Bevo turds. Let's pick those mushrooms, shake off the scat, carefully extract their hallucinogenic properties, and get weird.
With the scene properly set, it's now customary in a State of the Union to spend another 3,000 words wittily mocking, analyzing, and praising our favorite Longhorns and coaches, but the fact is I spent a good portion of my summer doing that already with my trusty co-authors. In 40,000+ words. Perhaps you've heard of it?
So if you've bought it, you already know. And thanks for the great reviews! And if you didn't, you probably don't want (or deserve) the Cliff Notes version here. Our State of the Union was filed four weeks ago. And is available for a mere 57 Danish Krone!
The season is here. We've got a mushroom to pluck out of a turd on Saturday. Let's see if a little decay made us stronger. Or at least set the stage for the next evolution.
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