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

Miniseries #6:
The Post-War Paradise of William Gottlieb
(Episode One: Love, Order and Consumption)

















swac said...

Ah, sweater girls.

Jon said...

This is what the world looked like when I was a very small boy. Or maybe, this is what I imagined the world was supposed to look like based on preverbal ponderings of Look magazine. I was unable to live up to the standards of those images. It put me in a bad mood for about 40 years.

Robert Fiore said...

That'll show the commies!

COOP said...

That's a sweet flathead-powered hot rod in photo #11!

Vanwall said...

Love the flat-head jalopy, too, (with dad's funky Crosley Wagon in the garage, I think,) and why, with a purty sweater girl to go with it, what more could a growin' boy want?

Caught the tail end of these halcyon daze as a mite, myself, but never really did catch up to the implied dream. Like "Kings Row", reality seeped in thru the cracks.

Hey, Coop, luv your boingboing shirt, BTW!

Jessica R. said...

And tellingly, not a single non white face in the bunch.

Tom Sutpen said...

Astute observation, Jessica.

When I was putting this together, one title which I almost used was 'The White America of William Gottlieb', but I figured (among other things) that title was a little too on the nose. Also . . . to be fair . . . in the dozens of such images I selected these from, there were one or two where you can see African-Americans on the periphery.

But they're rare. Unfortunately, this is the image the country wanted to project. Not totally without charm, but woefully incomplete.

Stacia said...

I think there's a non-white person in picture #10, in the background. I only caught it because I was gaping at the photo, imagining what it would be like to have to wear crinolines under your skirt to school.

dr x said...

But Gottlieb photographed many African Americans, so I wouldn't call this William Gottlieb's white America. It's a slice of American life that William Gottlieb photographed.