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

Before and After #72:
Bette Davis




Brent McKee said...

I'm glad you used the "after" image that you did. The last images of Bette Davis where truly parody of what she had been; make-up applied in a way that made the late, lamented Tammy Faye look restrained, in a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to do what I'm not sure. Recapture beauty? Disguise the ravages of age and illness? It did neither. Rather it made her look... I don't know what the right words are; clownish isn't right. It was almost like a mask.

Tom Sutpen said...

Thanks, Brent (though I'm still a little miffed over your trashing me in your blog . . . but I'll get over it). I wanted to find as late an image of Davis as I could that wasn't after she had that stroke.

I wouldn't use the word 'clownish' either, but she did make a bit of a spectacle of herself in those last years (she probably did more talk show guest shots then than all the years before). Perhaps it was a misguided effort to show she wasn't dead yet.