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 #385


On a visit to Washington, Sophia Loren cheerfully waves a Confederate battle flag

8 comments :

Dysthymiac said...

... because she is from THE SOUTH of Italy?

SomeNYGuy said...

The South will rise again!

(But really, Sophia, this was a bad idea.)

Brent McKee said...

"But really, Sophia, this was a bad idea."

Not at the time. Attitudes towards such icons change. At the point when this photo was taken (early to mid-1960s?) there wasn't the stigma that has become attached to that flag in our period of political correctness. And Washington was a Southern city.

Tom Sutpen said...

This was taken in 1958, in connection with a publicity tour for Houseboat. I was actually going to add a joke about publicists being shot at sunrise for allowing this, but I was struck by the very point Brent just made. The Confederate flag in '58 wasn't the utterly toxic symbol of amoral defiance it would become as little as five years later, when Southern states began flying it over their state capitol buildings.

SomeNYGuy said...

Sorry, pals -- it's been a toxic (and unpatriotic, anti-American) symbol since its creation, although its survival in certain circles is exponentially more despicable.

The civil rights movement was in full swing in 1958, and the Confederate battle flag was the textile equivalent of the vilest hate speech imaginable.

Political correctness has nothing to do with it. Wave one near me and "them's fightin' words."

And I need not restate that I love, adore, and cherish Sophia Loren. When she sings that little "Soldi, Soldi" song in Boccaccio '70 you could knock me over with a limp fettuccine. (Anyone with an MP3 to share earns my undying gratitude.)

Vanwall said...

Wasn't this the secret Daisy audtion for "Dukes of Hazard"? Ah, those knucklehead TV producers - Soph woulda looked good in cut-offs and a T, splayed over the hood of a Dodge Charger...with a Stars n' Bars, no less. Lessee, that was in '79, I recollect? and I don't mean 1879. Yeah, it's good thang the War Between was over so recent like.

VP81955 said...

Judging from the background (and ceiling on the upper left), this was taken at Union Station before its decline, then re-emergence as a Metrorail/Amtrak transfer point and upscale shopping/dining area. Much of "Houseboat" was filmed in Washington, D.C.

In Loren's defense, I doubt that in 1958, she was sufficiently versed in American history to completely understand the racial ramifications. Then again, I doubt any black person witnessing the scene at the time was all that offended.

swac said...

As if anybody wouldn't want to cross her Mason-Dixon line...