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

People Who Died #34

Edwin Howard Armstrong


Peter L. Winkler said...

You know how he died? Jumped out of his apartment window. After inventing several important radio technologies, he then invented FM radio, which threatened Sarnoff's RCA radio empire which was based on AM. Sarnoff tied Armstrong up in patent lawsuits.

Tom Sutpen said...

You know how he died?

I did. I was thinking a lot about it before posting this.

Robert Fiore said...

No, Lee DeForest was the one Armstrong had his patent battles with. What Sarnoff did to him was even dirtier. Armstrong had perfected FM and founded a network of stations. When the FCC was setting national standards for FM, Sarnoff used his influence to get them to adopt different standards than Armstrong's, making all of Armstrong's stations and equipment worthless. The easiest way to find this out would be to watch the Ken Burns documentary, but we all know what you think of Ken Burns . . .