Imprisoned behind glass in New York City’s Jewish Museum: a sinister grin in graphite. Too big-teeth and hairy brows crowned with a jester’s coxcomb. “I wanted something visually exciting,” Jerry Robinson said of his concept sketch of The Joker. “I wanted something that would make an indelible impression, would be bizarre, would be memorable.”
Solve this problem: Your daughter’s playing with a doll, a gift she just received from a friend. The doll is white. 1968: John Carlos gives the black power salute Arthur Ashe wins the first US Open. 1970: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye the problem of “whiteness” as a standard of beauty Arthur Ashe wins The Australian Open. 1972: Bettye Saar The Liberation of Aunt Jemima 1975 the liberation continues Arthur Ashe outthinks Connors to win Wimbledon “no matter what I do, or where or when I do it, I feel the eyes of others watching me, judging me.”
Krystal developed into a first-string basketball player, and in junior high she’d been scouted. The acting-out years began and Krystal was sent to Elan, a residential school for troubled teens. It was here that the staff treated residents criminally. Often new students would be told that their throats could easily be cut in the night if they failed to get along with staff and other students.
When it became clear that Azar did not have the speed, synchronization or physical strength to filet an adequate number of codfish per hour, the manager moved him to the women’s line. He learned to find his station and turn on the intensely bright overhead lamp that would help him see if there were worms that had to be picked out from the flesh of the cod.
It is in this bed, after all, our bed, that I have most exposed myself, that I have been both sick and happy: secure, protected, and yet in the next moment, utterly, existentially alone. In a real dark night of the soul, Fitzgerald writes, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.
It all seemed too much to successfully handle, but there was nothing else to do.
It isn’t genteel to point out, but spit can be beautiful. It’s an ordinary beauty—the parabola, the clearly practiced skill.