The Reason Keith Haring Chose a Baby Logo

“When I was 21 I spent a summer teaching ‘Art’ at a day-care center in Brooklyn. It was the most fulfilling summer of my life. There is nothing that makes me happier than making a child smile. The reason that the ‘baby’ has become my logo or signature is that it is the purest and most positive experience of human existence.

Children are the bearers of life in its simplest and most joyous form. Children are color-blind and still free of all the complications, greed, and hatred that will slowly be instilled in them through life.

I will never forget some of the adults who touched me through my childhood. Sometimes very brief encounters have made an impact that is very lasting and very real. If it is possible for me to have that kind of effect on any children, I think that would be the most important and useful thing I could do.

Touching people’s lives in a positive way is as close as I can get to an idea of religion…

…Children know something that most people have forgotten. Children possess a fascination with their everyday existence that is very special and would be very helpful to adults if they could learn to understand and respect it.

I am now 28 years old on the outside and nearly 12 years old on the inside. I always want to stay 12 years old on the inside.” Keith Haring, July 7, 1986, Montreux.

Keith Haring Journals, Penguin Books, 1996.

The Automated Distribution System of the Free University’s Klinikum, West Berlin, 1970

“Control center monitors the automated distribution system of the Free University’s gigantic Klinikum, the most modern medical center in Europe. Flashing lights pinpoint trouble spots in the network of conveyor belts and pneumatic tubes that whisk drugs, food, and supplies around 44 acres of rooms and corridors on five floors.

Opened in 1969, the $75,500,000 installation, funded by West Germany and the United States, provides a 1,400-bed hospital, clinics, and laboratories, as well as facilities for 1,000 medical students.”

“Berlin on Both Sides of the Wall,” Howard Sochurek, National Geographic, Vol. 137, No. 1, January 1970.

Bill Clinton Plays his Saxophone on Arsenio Hall

On June 3, 1992, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show. When the show commenced, the camera pulled back to reveal that Clinton was the saxophonist with Hall’s house band, “The Posse.”

He segued into a solo of Heartbreak Hotel. “I thought it was embarrassing.” said George H. W. Bush’s press secretary Torie Clarke, “He looked like a sad John Belushi wannabe.”

Clinton talked about the Los Angeles riots. “People that feel like they don’t even exist, to people of other races, until they walk into a department store and people follow them around to make sure they don’t steal anything. But, day in and day out, they get up and they trudge through their lives, they live in substandard housing on unsafe streets, they work their guts out, they fall further behind, and nobody even knows they’re there until there’s a riot. I think that, in the nineties, this whole business of economic empowerment has gotta be at the center of the civil rights movement.”

Hall asked the governor about his admission to CBS that he had smoked marijuana but “didn’t inhale.”

“I took it and I tried to smoke it like a cigarette,” Clinton explained. “I did my best. I wasn’t trying to get a good conduct medal.”

After a commercial break Clinton was joined by his wife Hillary.

“The strength beside the man, not behind anymore, but beside.” Arsenio said, then alluded to the scandal of Clinton’s affair with Little Rock lounge singer Gennifer Flowers, “Through all this controversy, have you ever found yourselves at home fighting, honestly?”

“No,” Hillary said firmly. “Not about anything important. We fight about what movie we want to see.”

“This is the only movie we’re going to see for a month, and you’re going to make me see this crazy cheap thrills movie, you want to go see Lethal Weapon 3 when we’ve got all these other movies on?!” Clinton joked. “That’s the kinda stuff we fight about.”

“It’s hard to think that at some point you never said, ‘Who is Gennifer?’ You know?” Hall pressed Hillary, “‘Who the hell is she?’ And it’s like, you know, I mean…”

“I know who she is,” Hillary replied, “I mean, know who she is.”

“And you know what her problem is?”

“She’s got lots of problems,” Hillary said, smiling thinly.

The audience roared its approval.

When Clinton appeared on Arsenio Hall, the Democratic candidate was trailing Bush on the issue of trustworthiness by 24 points. He went on to win the election with 43% of the vote to Bush’s 38%, the first Baby Boomer president.

Asma and Bachar El-Assad: Two Lovers in Paris

Deux Amoureux a Paris

Bachar Assad was still a goodie back in 2010. “Elected,” Joan Juliet Buck wrote coyly in Vogue, “with a startling 97 percent of the vote.” Buck’s notorious profile of Asma, called “A Rose in the Desert” ran in the March 2011 edition. Paris Match headlined the Assad’s 2010 visit to France, “Two lovers in Paris.” 

On the edges of their official visit to France, the Syrian president and his wife took a romantic break in the most romantic of capitals.  

You were a businesswoman. Is that an advantage in your work today?
Asma Assad: There are things you can plan in life. I studied information technology at university. I wanted to work in an investment bank and do my MBA. But I couldn’t have predicted marrying a chief of state. Life is full of surprises. I married him for the values he incarnates and because we felt very close. Of course, my professional experience, everything I learned in finance, helps me today: having critical judgement, being capable of working under enormous pressure. I work in development, in education and with the citizenry, and my foundation helps me.

Paris Match, December 17, 2010.