Toast Points for the Week of October 2nd

Our quest to transform The Toast into a Hamilton fanpage continued apace this week with Nicole’s ode to Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kendra James’ reflection on the show’s themes and timeliness. How lucky we are to be alive right now!

A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Shipping

I talked to Arissa Oh, American historian and Friend of The Toast, about the history of Korean adoption and what it can teach us about the rise and decline of international adoption more generally, as well as racism and immigration and cultural assimilation and white entitlement.

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A Bit Of Fry And Laurie Friday: Emma Thompson Is So Very Afraid

This one isn’t a strictly Fry-and-Laurie entry; it’s from the 1982 Cambridge Footlights Revue, but it has Emma Thompson and Stephen Fry trying to out-U one another, and that is a rare gift and a shining jewel.

“My darling, you’re looking pale.”

“I am pale.”

“Oh, my darling, don’t say that, don’t even think it.”

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Cocktail Hour: Open Thread

Toasties, let’s all eat cake. Also, what’s your favorite vegetarian entree that doesn’t involve carrots, bell peppers, or tofu?

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Crush Cakes: Parker Posey

Welcome back to Crush Cakes! When you sit around breathlessly swooning over your crushes nonstop like me, well…we are worldly people here, you know what happens next. I make cakes expressing my feelings for them, and then sit back and wait for my destiny to be fulfilled. It all makes perfect sense.

This time around, my crush cake is dedicated to Parker Posey and three of my very favourite roles of hers: Darla in Dazed and Confused, Mary in Party Girl, and Sissy Knox in A Mighty Wind. What is it about Parker Posey that’s so swoonful? Is it her long face, her eyes as dark as the glossy underside of a bay thoroughbred horse, her deep and drawly voice, her off-kilter improv acting? Is it the way she generally zigs just when you think she’s going to zag? It is, I dare to assert, all these things and more.

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A Glossary of U- and Non-U Speech

Pretty much the best part about England is that they have divided their vocabulary up into U- and non-U aspects of speech, with the net result being that pretty much whatever word you choose to employ in a given situation, you sound like a grasping middle-class grasper and people talk about your graspiness in horrified tones the moment you leave the room. There’s a wrong way to refer to the bathroom over there! Imagine that. Asking to use the bathroom, and in the meanwhile exposing yourself as a grasping piece of garbage whose parents live in an apartment. What a country!

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Link Roundup!


Alfredo Prieto’s case has been reassigned to U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson, a former prosecutor appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush.

In a profile of Hudson in connection with his overseeing the sentencing of Michael Vick in 2007,’s legal analyst focused on Hudson’s tough-on-crime approach to the law. “In a campaign for commonwealth attorney,” the story noted, “Hudson used a large button that said, ‘I Voted for Hang ‘Um High Henry.’”


This is a really horrifying look at how priests who have been accused of sexual assault often make their way to churches in South America, so decide if that’s how you want to spend your morning:

In a yearlong investigation, we tracked down and confronted five such priests. All were able to continue working for the church despite serious accusations against them. When we found them, all but one continued to lead Mass, mostly in remote, poor communities in South America.

Some of these men faced criminal investigations, but went abroad without charges being brought against them. One of the priests admitted to GlobalPost that he had molested a 13-year-old boy, and acknowledged that he can never work again in the US. He continues to preach in a small Peruvian fishing village. Another is currently under investigation by authorities in Brazil for a string of alleged molestations, including accusations in the poor neighborhoods where for two decades he ran a home for street children — with the support of the Catholic Church.


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Things My Newborn Has Done That Remind Me of the Existential Horror of the Human Experience

Turned in my arms to find a breast to suckle. Finding nothing, he sucked at the air instead, gaining neither nourishment nor satisfaction.

Writhed against his confinement whether he was swaddled or not, as though trying to free himself from bonds that were interior to his psyche.

Reached out new hands for something firm to grab onto; found nothing but emptiness.

Screamed for hours without stopping.

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