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Home: The Toast

Tamir Rice.


Kiese Laymon on his Vassar College Faculty ID:

Later that year, maybe 30 yards to the left of Main Building, security routinely entered my office asking for my ID despite my name on the door and pictures of me, my Mama, and them all over my desk. In that same building, one floor lower, after I got my first book deal, I was told by another senior white member of my department that it was “all right” if I spoke to him “in ebonics,” Later that year, a white senior professor walked in at the end of one of my classes and told me, in front of my students, “Don’t talk back to me.”

I wanted to put my palm through this man’s esophagus and burn that building down, but I thought about prison and my Grandmama’s health care. So I cussed his ass out and went about the business of eating too much fried cheese and biscuits at a local buffet.


I am here for your Star Wars trailer reactions.


P.D. James was very, very important to me, and although the death of a 94 y/o woman cannot truthfully be called a horrible shock to anyone, it somehow was, and has cast a pall over my holiday weekend. I think she was a true genius, and was possessed of a great heart in addition to a great mind, and that the world is a sadder place without her in it. There are plenty of reading lists floating around, so I will only say that her work never diminished in quality, and The Private Patient was every bit as good as Cover Her Face, and there is a deep majestic sorrow in The Children of Men that is utterly unlike the (excellent) film adaptation, but should not be missed. Also her memoir, also The Maul and the Pear Tree, also Innocent Blood…okay, I made a reading list. I was always more Dalgliesh-oriented than Cordelia Gray-oriented, but there are many who felt quite the opposite, and you should start at the beginning.


Chris Rock:

Here’s the thing. When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.

Right. It’s ridiculous.

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.


Businessweek profiled Anita Sarkseesian. I should not have to tell you by now to avoid the comments.


I saw Mockingjay this weekend and I was INTO IT. I also find the Gale-Peeta split in internet opinion hard to reconcile with Gale being so, so much better looking. It just dwarfs all other factors for me. No, I REALIZE that the second half of Mockingjay will change that, but it’s been ages since I read the books so I’m just stanning in livetime for simplicity.

Also, oh, man, poor Finnick, right, he’s doing his SUPER traumatic reveal speech, and everyone’s like “yeah, yeah, keep talking, this is great,” but are they even LISTENING to him? Finnick is having a rough time, guys! Did you catch that bit where he was just “sometimes I wish we were all dead,” and everyone’s all “yeah, well, they need me in Command HQ.” He needs a THERAPIST. He needs to be HEARD.


GUTS Magazine has published the first round results of their survey asking about The Talk, and some of them are very funny and some are very depressing, and it’s worth a read:

I, eight years old and in the back seat of a car at prime news hour, heard the words “oral sex” on the radio.  When I asked what it meant, my dad told me that it was when two people shared the same Oral B toothbrush.  My parents only told me this story recently, but it explains my very healthy protectionism of my oral hygiene products.


When your postpartum depression doesn’t end.


I spent Thanksgiving with a dear Russian friend and her husband, and she exposed me to the Russian version of Winnie-the-Pooh, which is…a little like being on acid, and a little like the first five minutes of Watership Down, and Owl is a lady and there is NO Christopher Robin, please enjoy:


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