Roundtable

The Rest Is History

Skeleton fashion, Scrooges, and bad bosses.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, December 07, 2018

Stewardess serving dinner aboard an American airliner en route from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles, 1941. Photograph by John Collier Jr. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

• This week in unexpected headlines: 500-year-old skeleton still wearing thigh-high boots found in london river. (CNN)

• Found: a two-thousand-year-old ring with the name Pontius Pilate on it. (The New York Times)

• What to remember when remembering suffrage centennials—anniversaries for moments when many people were left disenfranchised: “What is clear, however, is that generations of women’s rights reformers and suffragists developed specific imaginative and rhetorical connections to achieve certain ends, and they exploited these connections when they perceived it would be to their benefit.” (Aeon)

• An influence W.B. Yeats conveniently forgot to cite: his wife. “George’s supernatural writings were eventually published in a book called A Vision. Yeats’ name was the only one on the title page. In at least seven editions of A Vision, George has never been credited as a co-author. Yeats did offer to dedicate a later edition to her. ‘To my wife,’ the proposed dedication read, ‘who created this system which bores her, who made possible these pages which she will never read…’ George rejected it.” (JSTOR Daily)

• The horror of working with Charlie Chaplin: “The young, ambitious David Raksin, hired by Powell to help orchestrate and arrange the music with Chaplin, toiled twenty-hour days, lost twenty-five pounds, and was often so exhausted that he’d sleep in the studio. After working similarly long days, the conductor Alfred Newman broke under the pressure, threw his baton across the stage, and yelled at his boss when Chaplin, having taken a break from the studio while the others plugged away, derisively said, ‘I’m tired of this stalling.’ Newman refused to come back.” (The Atlantic)

• The 1970s fight against airlines that marketed stewardesses’ bodies: “They realized that the airline industry’s existing unions, dominated by men, didn’t pay much attention to the gendered discrimination women working as flight attendants experienced. Their group brought an explicitly feminist agenda to airline labor activism.” (Jezebel)

• Happy birthday, A Christmas Carol. (New York Times)

• Reading Sylvia Plath’s letters, illustrated. (NewYorker.com)

• This week in obituaries: George H.W. Bush; a chess player; an activist, DJ, shoe salesman, stage performer, and jewel thief; and a creator of fonts.