Roundtable

The Rest Is History

Waiting in line for some reason, radio quacks, and pointing fingers in the margins.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, January 19, 2018

Duck amulet.

Duck amulet, c. 200 BC. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915.

• Yes, Robert Caro knows what the last sentence of his LBJ books will be. No, he will not tell you. (NYR Daily)

• Falling down the rabbit hole of a novelist’s childhood: “Before he turned to literature, it turns out, Mr. Coetzee was a committed teenage photographer.” (New York Times)

• The twenty-first century has Alex Jones selling colloidal silver on YouTube, the 1930s had John R. Brinkley trying to sell sliced goat gonad transplants over the radio. (Atlas Obscura)

• On Hart Island, the largest potter’s field in the world: “In the scheme of this City’s palimpsest, Hart Island has resisted overwriting for the past 40 years. Neighborhoods have gentrified or been brought to ruin, skyscrapers collapsed and been rebuilt, and a generation and a half have passed, all to the island’s indifference. It is quite useless to look at Hart Island as a metaphor for the city—its callousness, or its brutality, or its indifference. Hart Island Cemetery is a harder and more intimidating part of the City than all that. Specifically, Hart Island is that part of the city that does not change. The poor you will always have with you…” (The Awl)

• Dave Davies speaks with a woman who was one of the first nine black students to attend an integrated school in Little Rock in 1957: “Two guys parked outside my house who threatened to do bad things. My grandmother was a shooter because she grew up partially in a reservation, and her relatives, her uncles, and her father were Indians—American Indians. She knew she could shoot a gnat at a hundred yards. Do you know what I’m saying? And so she kept a shotgun, Mr. Higgenbottom, on her windowsill because people would come. And at one point, they did shoot into the house, as you’ll remember early in the Little Rock incident. And they took away her green vase—her flower vase that was on the TV, shattered it. And so it was fear. What occupied me was fear.” (Fresh Air)

• The intertwined history of black comics and civil rights. (WNYC)

• Maybe it’s time to bring back the most emphatic of all marginalia options: the pointing finger. (British Library)

• A history of waiting in very long lines. (Racked)

• How the Nashville Parthenon uses the classics to venerate a more recent past: “While building a monument to glorify the Jim Crow South is not the same as building a Confederate monument, the Nashville Parthenon was undeniably built in a climate of great reverence for the Confederacy, at the beginning of a surge in the construction of Confederate monuments. Lewis chose a Confederate veteran as the architect for the Parthenon, and declared his own Confederate sympathies when he dedicated the Confederate Soldiers Monument on the grounds of the Tennessee state capitol.” (Eidolon)