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 #11:
Les grands ballons de Macy's

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


#8


#9


#10


#11


#12


#13


#14


#15

And a very happy Thanksgiving to all our readers.

23 comments :

Riley said...

Number nine is just wonderful!

PIGNOUF said...

FANTASTIQUE !

Geoff said...

these are so much more fun than the oversized commercial symbols they drag around today

Robert Fiore said...

I was going to say "That was fantastic," but somebody beat me to it in French, so I'm outclassed again. This is the kind of thing that makes the Gunslinger nonpariel.

Hans Gruber said...

¡Una belleza!

Robert, I guess you have been outclassed one more time.

Anyway, let´s pretend Howdy Doody wasn´t an oversized commercial symbol fom the 50´s...

m.i.m. said...

this is so cool ;-)

modemo said...

aaaaaaahhhhhh...

great!

Richard Gibson said...

Fantástico.

I was in New York City once over the Thanksgiving holiday. Coldest I have ever been in my life.

Randolph Hoppe said...

Just came back from the parade. Great to see these. Fantastique, indeed!

Brent McKee said...

Have to say that I love the way that #6 is shot, with the alligator looking like he's having a not so stealthy sip of Budweiser during the parade. Reminds me of.....frogs.

Vanwall said...

Brilliant, as usual!!

Kenmeer livermaile said...

#14 is one of those probably unintentional multimedia masterworks.

It reminds me of charcoal drawings by Odile Redon, of a young Howard Crumb doodling his early pictures,of happiness as God in a clowsuit letting himself be held down to the ground for a day.

Love love stuff.

philo said...

Noticed on picture # 10 the movie marquee reads " Secrets Of The Lone Wolf" which places this in 1941.
The calm before the storm a mere two weeks later.

Maxim de Winter said...

The mixture of creepiness and innocence, the happy crowd and the rain on the streets, the giant Pierrot being pulled along by dozens of grimfaced tiny Pierrots - the commenter above who mentioned Redon is right on the money, but I also thought of Ray Bradbury for some reason.

Mel said...

Wonderful! The pictures are inspiring, somehow, but I can't put my finger on why.

But, thank you for posting them!

Antti said...

#8 shows Charlton Heston starring in El Cid. That would mean circa 1961 - Secrets Of The Lone Wolf could be replaying in the theater, but this can't be earlier then 1961.

Paul said...

They're from multiple years. Note that #12 and #3 show the same view of the Astor Hotel (1515 Broadway, which is now a giant office tower occupied by Paramount and MTV), but the surrounding advertising signs are significantly different.

beno said...

#4 all the way. What a great picture is that.

anonymous soundman said...

I'd date some of these Thanksgiving Day photos to 1961, note plate #8 of the Warner showing "El Cid." This also corresponds with the marquee for "Unsinkable Molly Brown" (first run in 1960).

Plate #2, the one with the balloon of Commando Cody (who was on TV in the early 50s), shows a marquee for "A Night to Remember," (December 1958)

Plate #7 shows the edge of a billboard for what I suspect is "On the Beach" (1959).

Plate #4 shows a marquee for "The Great Dictator," which UA indeed released in 1940.

Payo said...

I think we know where Tim Burton's balloons in "Batman" found their inspiration.

Gaurav_M said...

#4 Hippo rocks

sporobolus said...

the selection here includes photographs of very mixed quality, and with no credits; the quote at the side is only obliquely relevant (i think i see where it is going, but it doesn't reach its destination with these images)

is the false hope, or the embalmed grins, of the inflatable caricatures supposed to seem transcendent? do the composition of each photo, the detail and the symbolic sense not matter? what much can we read into those generic dumbfounded looks troubled souls bring to public spectacle?

what i see here are lynch mobs ogling the convulsive kicks of shackled fable-dwellers

James Farrand said...

it's like wow man, we're creating these bubble forms and they really exist, and it's like, they tower above us and everything.

hahaha I love it. thank you.