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

Artists in Action #171


Charles Chaplin gets double-teamed

9 comments :

Vanwall said...

It's not like that hadn't happened before, but at least the mercurachrome isn't readily visible.

Tom Sutpen said...

Point well taken, but I think from the expression on his fact that even he realized he wasn't agile enough for those two (both of whom, back in the day, he probably would have written off as long over the hill).

I mean, everyone's entitled to be a dirty old man . . . but Chaplin was one for decades.

swac said...

Pardon my ignorance, but...mercurachrome? (I know what the stuff is, but not in this context, I guess.)

Vanwall said...

When Chaplin had his summer fling with Louise Brooks during her Ziegfeld days in 1925, they were holed up in an expensive hotel with Peggy Fears - another Follies girl about whom much could be said regarding her trysts with both sexes - and Fear's paramour and eventual husband, a Wall Street honcho whose name escapes me just now. As can be imagined, it was an Olympic Gold-Medal quality marathon of booze and sex, and Louise mentioned an episode where both girls were sans clothing and Chaplin, whom she described as a bit of a hygiene freak, popped out of a door starkers with a hard-on - mercurachrome slathered on his...member, and proceeded to chase the screaming girls around the apartment. The imagined visual boggle the mind.

Tom Sutpen said...

The imagined visual boggle the mind.

As Benny Hill would put it 'It doesn't do the stomach any good either!'

Oddly, I'd heard the mercurachrome story before . . . but I didn't know Lulu (or Peggy Fears, for that matter) were the, um, parties in question.

Stan Laurel once said in an interview, regarding Chaplin's neatfreak-age, that back in the Fred Karno days he could go from being almost pathological about hygiene, to periods of extreme slovenliness. Dunno if this tendency outlasted his stint with the Karno outfit (maybe he chanelled it through the Tramp; who knows).

Vanwall said...

Strange how Howard Hughes and Chaplin had that clean-freaky thing going. Chaplin seemed to be able to transcend that, while Hughes descended into madness. Or maybe it was the other way 'round.

Tom Sutpen said...

Well, HH had a couple of intervening plane crack-ups as an excuse; the last (and worst) being the 1947 crash into a Whittier golf course that sent him straight 'round the bend for keeps. After that he still had the clean-freak mania, but only nominally since he let himself and his physical surroundings deteriorate to the foulest state conceivable; all the while ranting about germs and contamination.

Weirdo, y'ask me.

swac said...

Wouldn't merchurachrome on your member, uh, sting a wee bit?

Vanwall said...

I wouldn't know, personally, but I suppose not, unless you had some open bite marks. That conjures up some things best left unsaid. Brrrr.