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

The Friends of Flagg #8

Charles Dana Gibson

"A bold gladiator of a man, and America's greatest social cartoonist and portrayer of beauty. Kenyon Cox, a fine artist, made an ass of himself once at the Art Student's League by telling pupil Gibson he should take up plowing ... Cox was plowed under, as the immortal Gibson Girl was born. It's a sadly funny thought that a generation or so later, Picasso is called an artist in this country. Good Gard!

Of course, we always have with us Americans whose brains are composed of peanut butter--like the Hollywood dowager who said to me seriously, 'Tell me Mr. Flagg, weren't you really the originator of the Gibson Girl?' I whispered back, 'No ma'am, don't let this get any further, but it was Howard Chandler Christy!'"

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