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

Great Moments in Moxie #16

Two tykes pose beneath the eternal gaze of the Moxie Man.


shahn said...

How did Moxie come to be so frequently photographed?
Was it just such a prevalent image of its time or was this part of an elaborate undertaking in advertising?

swac said...

From what I gather, the advertising was everywhere, thanks to the savvy of the company's forward thinking marketing guru Frank Archer. He's the one who came up with gimmicks like the Moxie Horsemobile, a car chassis (Packards, usually) with the body removed and a fibreglass horse with an extended steering wheel column and pedals that drove from town to town handing out free samples. You can see it in an earlier post in this series.
He was kind of a genius at it, coming up with jingles and circulating the sheet music, getting celebrity endorsements from the likes of George M. Cohan and Ed Wynn, well before that kind of thing became commonplace.

There's a bit of a history lesson about it here.

swac said...

BTW, not everything in that article is correct (presidential endorsements came about in the teens and twenties, not the fifties, and the change in taste happened in the sixties, not the forties), but it's a decent overview.

Fred said...

With all that marketing, imagine what would have become of Moxie if it had tasted good. I want to college in Boston (didn't everyone?), and had the misfortune to drink some of that nasty swill. Unless you are a bartender, about the only thing you can say in its favor is that it doesn't mix well with any alcoholic beverage.

swac said...

Yeah, I've tried it with booze. Not a good idea.