George Bellows asks “What do you see?”

I see the grandson of a whaling captain dancing in the boundless ruckus of Gotham back before its next lost step. I see the grime and the wish to float above it all. I see the pale crowd and the dark lights above. I see the fair fight and the grave injustice. And there in the corner, the lyrical left corner one might say? I see you, George. Yes, I see you.

Those bells and jeers signal the fall of great men everywhere. Jack Dempsey, sure, but Caliph Abdülmecid II and Lenin too! Don’t stop there for the fall will catch us all. Soup lines, gas chambers, and a big red dog around the bend? Fascists are winning elections, then and now? Or is it just a scrappy Argentine? One can’t be sure quite yet. For now we dance and cheer and pound the fist. For now we raise our hat and shout our way to mindlessness. For now we jump wild-eyed at the thrill of a human body being knocked clear through the ropes. Knocked clear, through the ropes. For now we sing and raise a glass to Dempsey, who fought his way back –– can you believe it? For now we sing and raise a glass to the fight of men.

I see pride before the fall. “That’s what I see,” says she.