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 #13

John Barrymore

"The one and only. It used to give me a pain in the neck when people would wax indignant about Jack's crazy behavior and say he owed it to his public not to do this. He owed nothing to his public — they owed him! He hurt nobody but himself — the poor dear! I knew him better than most.

"He was always generous in giving credit. Willie Collier taught him about farce, so he said; Chaliapin about makeup. They were tops to Jack. Also Uncle John Drew, who inspired him with his elegant burlesques of pompous hams of yesteryear. But what Jack did in the theater, he did so much better than anybody else!"

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