The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Brock Peters Dies at 78


Brock Peters (1927-2005)

Sad to hear of the death from pancreatic cancer of To Kill a Mockingbird star Brock Peters, a distinguished actor who was always a strong presence, whether in groundbreaking films like Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess or genre fare like Soylent Green and Slaughter's Big Rip-Off. I was surprised to learn he also played Darth Vader in the radio dramatization of the original three Star Wars films ... I guess James Earl Jones was off somewhere recording CNN IDs.

Renowned for his stage work as much as his film and TV appearances, Peters will likely be best remembered for playing Tom Robinson in Mockingbird, falsely accused of raping a white woman in Robert Mulligan's adaptation of the Harper Lee novel, although I'm looking forward to watching him play Aesop again in Sam Peckinpah's Major Dundee when the extended cut of that mangled masterpiece finally emerges on DVD later in the fall.

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