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Home: The Toast

On Sunday, I am leaving to go to Canada for a week to get more Blind Items of Rural Southern Ontario for you, so I will PROBABLY pre-load a link roundup for Monday but Tues-Fri will be whatever Mallory and Nikki decide they want to do with that time slot (their own link roundups, strident feminist rants, nothing, open threads, cat pictures, etc.) and I am excited to see my family, and also Beyonce on Wednesday.


This story is getting passed around on my timelines with a lot of stuff about how we need to fix health care and medication costs WHICH WE SURE AS FUCK DO, but I am really, really uncomfortable with the way we talk about “mercy killings” and desperation, particularly when the victim is disabled, PARTICULARLY when we have no idea what the victim wanted:

William J. Hager, 86, said he had run out of options.

His wife, Carolyn Hager, 78, had been ill for the last 15 of the more than 50 years they were married. The cost of her medications had become so burdensome that they could no longer afford it, he said. So on Monday morning while she was sleeping, he shot her in the head, he told the deputy who came to their Florida home.

The killing in Port St. Lucie and Mr. Hager’s explanation were detailed in an arrest affidavit and by local news media. Mr. Hager was arrested and charged with first-degree premeditated murder. But the case appeared to also highlight the difficulties faced by older people who are retired or on fixed incomes and struggle to pay for their medicine when they are ill or in pain.

At the sheriff’s office, Mr. Hager told deputies that his wife had a “lot of illnesses and other ailments which required numerous medications,” which he “could no longer afford,” the affidavit said.


Take it on, Prudie:

I am an ethnically Chinese man who is married to a white woman. Her family has been very welcoming toward me, but, on occasion, they still say racially inappropriate things to me. They make “Chinese fire drill” jokes, suggest I write birthday cards in Chinese, and ask my wife if she’s comfortable being driven around by an Asian. I tend to join them in the assumption that “this is being said in good fun,” since I don’t genuinely believe they dislike me or my ethnicity. However, this behavior does annoy me, and I don’t feel like my Chinese heritage should be reduced to a party trick for their amusement. Quite frankly I don’t see these jokes ending anytime soon. My question is: Is this the sort of thing that warrants a family meeting where I air my grievances, or is this something I just need to come to terms with?



look even Jack Donaghy did this:

For most major presidential campaigns, it is a routine act: you conduct opposition research on your own candidate. The reason is obvious; campaign officials and candidates want to know what they might have to contend with once the you-know-what starts flying. But not Donald Trump. At least not at the start of the campaign that would lead to him becoming the presumptive GOP nominee. According to a source with direct knowledge, when Trump was considering entering the presidential race early last year, his political advisers, including Corey Lewandowski, who would become his campaign manager, suggested that Trump hire a professional to investigate his past. But the celebrity mogul said no and refused to pay for it.


New York Magazine profiled Ask a Manager!!!!

The point being: Uncertainty has a way of morphing directly into anxiety, which is no doubt part of the reason Green’s site has remained so popular for so many years. For ambiguous situations (say, a receptionist who won’t stop hugging people), Green provides clear, straightforward answers (“Just talk to her. And do it now.”). She also understands that sometimes people need specific suggestions on the kind of language they should use to broach these uncomfortable subjects. “Sometimes I think they know that they probably have to say something, but they cannot imagine how to say it in a way that doesn’t sound really rude or aggressive or adversarial,” she told Science of Us. “So I think a big thing that people get from the answers to those sorts of letters is advice on the language — like, here’s how you say it, and here’s how you can frame it.” (For the huggy receptionist, she lays out the outline for exactly what the letter writer could say to make the hugs — finally, blessedly — stop.)


I finally read the Blac Chyna piece and it’s amazing (I have seen only three episodes from the first season of KUWTK so you do not have to arrive knowing anything):

For many people, arguably Kris Jenner among them, it may seem as if Blac Chyna came out of nowhere: the PR equivalent of Venus rising fully formed from the foaming sea with an engagement ring in one hand and a pregnancy announcement in the other. But look closer and you’ll start to notice Chyna everywhere: dancing in rap videos, sitting courtside at NBA games, making appearances on your favorite reality show, in the pews at the biggest celebrity wedding of the decade. While no one and everyone was watching, Chyna was making calculated moves to close in on her own empire with a precision and finesse that not even the Kardashians saw coming. This wasn’t a PR breakthrough. It was a coup.

And so the Kardashians, a family often accused of stealing black men, black features, and black culture, got beat at their own game by a black woman. And not just any black woman, but a video vixen who was never supposed to see the inside of the country clubs the Kardashians frequented growing up.


This is a great look at how and why black and Hispanic kids have been left out of the historical literature (and ongoing diagnoses) of autism (our university hospital is doing a special push to try to identify autistic kids of color earlier, including the very simple step of Spanish. language. pamphlets. about. autism.):

Thus in 1984, psychologist Victor Sanua, a pioneer in cross-cultural studies of mental conditions, could — and did — credibly insist that autism is “rarely found” in black and Hispanic families — or even in the populations of continents like Africa, South America or Asia. Instead of focusing on possibly confounding factors like lack of access to health care and diagnostic resources for people of color, Sanua proposed that autism was “an illness of Western civilization” that was related to “high technology,” rather than a “universal phenomenon.” (This kind of language would later be echoed by those determined to find the cause of autism in some toxic aspect of the modern world, such as vaccines, pesticides, or even Wi-Fi.) These theories became a self-fulfilling prophecy: Autistic children of color would often end up getting diagnosed with something else — typically, generic “mental retardation,” a conduct disorder, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


In related news, this hashtag is great:


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