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 #195: Charles Manson

Before


After

5 comments :

rookgaroo said...

You never know which way a life is going to turn...

I've always been fascinated by this pissed-off little hippie. I did my term paper in high school on him several years after the murders. Not out of any sense of admiration, but because the Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Viet Nam, Woodstock and Watergate were being done to death. As I said, I found (and still find) the Manson story fascinating. But the lives he took were hardly a fair trade for the forty year freakshow the Manson family became.

Fernando said...

Looking a little like a young Tobey Maguire, in his 'Aw, gee whiz' Pleasantville/Cider House Rules days, in the 'Before' photo.

Tommy O'C said...

The "angelic" photo was taken in 1947, three days before Manson and another boy escaped from Boys Town. During their escape, the boys "graduated" (according to Vincent Bugliosi) from burglaries to violent crime by committing two armed robberies while traveling to the boy's uncle, who used them to commit burglaries. In 1951, a case worker characterized Manson as "violently antisocial." The next year, and one month before he was likely to be paroled from a minimum security camp, Manson held a razor to another boy's throat and forcibly sodomized him. God knows, Manson had a hellish childhood. But, in this case, the child was, indeed, the father of the man.

swac said...

He kinda looks like Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer in that first photo...with Audie Murphy eyes.

rookgaroo said...

He practically begged not to be released the last time he was. He was already institutionalized and knew he couldn't function in society. Sadly, there was no way of telling how right he was.