Tagebuch Samstag, 9. März 2019 – Etappenziel

Den Freitag verbrachte ich fast komplett im Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, wo ich die noch fehlenden Quellen und Belege in meinem Dissertations-Exposé ergänzte. Dabei las ich mich natürlich wieder irgendwo fest, dann musste ich da noch was anlegen und hier noch was ergänzen, das hört ja nie auf, dass man über interessante Details stolpert, verdammte Wissenschaft!

Gestern las ich das Exposé dann zum hundertsten Mal durch, korrigierte ein paar Bezugsfehler, warf einige der Freitag angelesenen Details wieder raus und erkläre das Ding jetzt für fertig. Heute darf es noch hier rumliegen und morgen geht es an den Doktorvater.

Nachmittags 90 Minuten vor dem Laptop atemlos einem Nullnull von Augsburg beim Tabellendritten in Leipzig zugeschaut. Mich sehr über den einen, unerwarteten Punkt gefreut, weil die Mannschaft damit weiterhin drei Punkte vor Stuttgart liegt, das sich gerade auf dem Relegationsplatz 16 befindet.

Ich weine allerdings jetzt schon in meine Kissen, weil ich nächsten Samstag gegen meine Heimatstadt die Daumen drücken muss. Hannover ist 17., Augsburg 15., und Augsburg muss gewinnen, aber ich finde das trotzdem alles sehr dramatisch für mein inneres Seelenheil. Ich will ja auch gar nicht, dass Hannover absteigt, aber 51 Prozent des Herzens hängen jetzt dann halt doch an dieser blöden Fuggerstadt.

Wer Meister wird, ist mir übrigens egal. Ich würde mich sogar freuen, wenn’s endlich mal nicht wieder die Bayern werden würden.

Abends weiter in Ibram X. Kendis Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America gelesen. Das macht erwartbar schlechte Laune, über die Entstehung von Rassismus mehr zu erfahren.

Vorgestern wollte ich als Ausgleich noch einen Roman aus dem Regal ziehen, was Leichtes, so nebenbei zum Weglesen. Es ist dann Dostojewskis Der Idiot geworden, und ich bin mir noch nicht sicher, ob das eine gute Wahl war. Auch weil beide Bücher irre dick sind und viel Platz im Rucksack wegnehmen.

Our White House Photographer on Covering President Trump

Die NYT fragt einen ihrer dienstältesten Fotografen, was sich seit Reagan so geändert hat. Doug Mills erzählt.

„Q: Is photographing this president different in any ways from the previous four you’ve photographed.

A: Obama was the most photogenic president I’ve covered, and Trump is the most iconic. No matter where you see Trump, what light you see him in, what situation we photograph him in, you know right away it’s him. Whether it’s the hair, his tall stature, his black jackets, the 45 embroidered on his shirts. You just know it’s him. […]

Reagan was an actor, so when he went on stage he had this charisma and he would light up. His personality just grew as he spoke and as he gestured.

Bush 41 had one of the closest relationships with photographers because he was vice president for eight years before becoming president. He knew a lot of us by first names and had a nickname for us, “photo dogs.” He would invite us to play horseshoes with him and to go jogging with him. He wasn’t trying to play us, that was just his personality. He respected what we did.

When Clinton came in it was a totally different feel. We had plenty of access. He was very energetic and never stopped working. He loved rope lines, knew they made for great pictures and he seemed to get energy from going into a crowd and staying there for 30-40 minutes shaking hands after an event.

His relationship with photographers was not as close as it was with Bush 41 and after the Lewinsky scandal there was less access.

Because of his dad, Bush 43 really liked photographers. He’d also call us photo dogs. He was very athletic and would invite photographers to bike ride with him. He liked to hang out and talk to reporters and photographers at times, just to feel them out, mostly off the record while on the plane or at social events. He was a lot of fun to photograph. He didn’t have the stage presence of other presidents, but he was a character and would do things that made for good pictures.

Obviously 9/11 was important in his presidency. That really drove the image of him being a strong president, although he was the first president I ever saw cry in the Oval Office.“

Mills hat natürlich einen Instagram-Account.

The ‘Moral Clarity’ of ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ at 50

Und nochmal die NYT (Abo lohnt sich!). Kurt Vonneguts Schlachthof 5 wird neu aufgelegt und bekommt eine neue Einleitung, die mich nach wenigen Zeilen hatte. Deswegen stehen hier auch diese Zeilen vom Anfang.

„When I was 24, I watched a small white car through the 4X scope attached to my M240B machine gun. The weapon rested on the wall of a rooftop on the outskirts of the city of Tal Afar, Iraq. The street down which the car drove was otherwise empty, the United States Army having previously informed the citizens of Tal Afar to evacuate their city or find themselves caught between military-strength deadliness and the people toward whom that deadliness was meant to be applied.

Though the day was hot and hazy, and I had been awake for all but a few of the preceding 48 hours, it was unmistakably clear that from a window of the small white car the occupant of the passenger seat had unfurled a white flag of truce. This was plain even without the aid of magnification provided by my scope. Through the scope, I saw a man in the passenger seat and a woman driving. They were old, and though I can’t say with any certainty how old, their age registered immediately as an important characteristic. Old people rarely try to kill American soldiers. I believe this to be both historically true and true in that place and at that time. Old couples waving white flags of truce from windows of small white cars are exceedingly unthreatening, even in a place like Tal Afar in September 2004, where many of the young men were very dangerous, including and perhaps especially us.

Someone said, “What ya got, Powers?” And I said: “Nothing. Just an old couple trying to get out.”“