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

Adventures in the Fight Racket #1

Today's Adventure: Charles 'Sonny' Liston rises from the canvas after tanking out for the second time in his career (1965)


Anonymous said...

Tom, I'm going to assume that you've read Nick Tosches' book about Liston?

Tom Sutpen said...

Sure did. In fact, I think that photo was on the jacket of the hardcover edition.

Amazing bit of writing, but I think Tosches comes a little too close to suggesting that Liston's tanking in the first title bout with Clay (which I believe, btw) is both a new theory and his theory (the second bout was unambiguously thrown). It's not. There had been talk about the Miami fight being a tank job virtually from the moment Liston failed to answer the bell for the seventh round. Tosches lays out the case more skillfully than anyone else has, but it's not a new theory by any means.

Anonymous said...

I liked it a lot.

Liston has always fascinated me. He was totally lacking in the skills required to be a figure in the public light, and ended up under the harshest glare in sports (It's hard to imagine now, but being the heavyweight champ was once the biggest bauble there was)

A really tragic figure.