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“I is so big. How I get so big?”


The BBC’s Brexit coverage is here (it’s a rule not to cover campaigns on polling day, so the numbers will be updated but nothing else.) Here is some good background reading on what this is all about (our UK Toasties by and large care very passionately about Remain, as do I.) We haven’t talked enough about Brexit OR Jo Cox in the comments and I know our UK Toasties would appreciate it if we did, they are always here for the stuff that matters to Americans.


never have I been so happy not to be a Real Journalist, and also this is all very depressing but there you go:

This approach, despite its obvious journalistic advantages (you’re less likely to get stuff wrong), can frequently put you in awkward positions. You can find yourself, for instance, visiting a river every morning hoping to find a murder victim. Most foreign correspondents I know would probably object to my use of that word, “hoping.” They would probably say that we don’t want bad things to happen; we just want to witness them if they do. It’s a legitimate distinction, but one that, in the field, can feel semantic. In the field, we are actively, aggressively seeking to see with our own eyes the reality of war, famine, disaster—and who isn’t at least somewhat gratified when he discovers what he’s sought, at least somewhat disappointed when he doesn’t? I first became aware of this predicament when I was living in Afghanistan. In those years, 2011 to 2014, the public affairs apparatus of the U.S. military was working hard to orchestrate an optimistic—and deeply fanciful—perception of the war’s progress so as to characterize our withdrawal from the country as a “transition,” not a retreat. The effort involved preventing journalists from embedding with American units deployed to areas overwhelmingly dominated by the Taliban. For me and my colleagues in Kabul, one way around this cynical program of obfuscation was to embed with the Afghan security forces. Now, imagine you’re on a mission with a platoon of Afghan soldiers in a valley that you know to be under the control of insurgents, and imagine your task is to show that fact. On the one hand, you don’t want the soldiers to be ambushed—what kind of person would want that?—but on the other, the only reason you came to that valley in the first place was the high likelihood that they’d be ambushed and your desire to be with them when they were. Which is to say, I think, that you do want them to be ambushed.


what a peach:

I work for a small business as an accountant. My direct boss is the owner of the company. Every two to three months, he’ll start complaining that it’s “not fair” that I get to travel (in my personal life) more than he does.

I know that I’m super lucky to be able to afford these trips, but it’s not like luck is the only reason I get to go travel. I take one or two trips a year and spend the rest of the year saving up.

When I try to brush his complaints off (by saying we just have different priorities), he’ll straight out tell me I’m wrong and that it’s all because he can’t afford it, because the company won’t pay him more. He’ll then try to get sympathy from me or anyone else nearby.


I am TENTATIVELY optimistic about The BFG, but it’s one of my most beloved childhood books, and so that’s always tough:

“Everything was designed—the entire production was designed—for two actors to be constantly in eye contact with each other,” Spielberg says. “That was essential.” Barnhill was 10 when shooting started, and this was her first film. “I knew immediately,” Spielberg explains, “that Ruby was going to need as much authenticity as we could create for her.” No normal child can be expected to carry on poignant conversations with a clay maquette or a tennis ball hanging in front of green screen to approximate the location of a digital giant’s face. “I knew that if Mark could always see Ruby’s eyes when he was acting, and Ruby could always see Mark’s eyes, that they would find companionship and authenticity.”


I just discovered this iPhone feature yesterday, but if you have a passcode (you should have a passcode!), you can go to the useless Health app and select “Medical ID.” It lets you fill in emergency contact info, allergies, blood type, etc., and has a toggle switch to make it accessible from your lockscreen without entering the passcode. So, basically, if Something Happens, emergency responders can find out who to call and not to give you sulfa drugs or whatever, even if you are Completely Indisposed. It’s super handy, very easy, and you should fill it out and enable it!


Here’s what’s happening with the sit-in. Here is why the no-fly list is racist and secretive and bad, which is a very important conversation to have, even if it doesn’t impact how you feel about the sit-in. If I were running things (hah) I would have made the sit-in firmly about universal background checks, because #noflynobuy is just crummy and Muslim-baiting.

we need universal background checks though, hells bells


Bomani Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates:

In your back-and-forths with Sullivan and Jonathan Chait, they seemed to be wondering what was wrong with you. What was your thought when people said you seemed down, when you believed you were dealing in facts?
That’s what they say when they can’t fight you. They abandon the whole thought of any sort of empirical, historical, evidence-based argument, and they say, “Well, I don’t like where you’re coming from.” It’s like if I tell you I have empirical evidence that the world is going to end in five days and you’re like, “I don’t like how that sounds. Why are you bumming me out?” That’s something people apply to the dialogue around racism but they don’t apply to other shit. Kathryn Schulz won a Pulitzer Prize for this incredible piece that basically says the Pacific Northwest is going to get hit by a huge tsunami that will kill a lot of people. It’s the most pessimistic, dire shit you’d ever want to read. What if they said to Schulz, “You could sing us a song”? When people can’t fight you, they say, “Why are you so pessimistic?” It’s a different question than “Are you correct?”



Sarah McLachlan and early pantsfeelings:

I encountered “Possession” four years after it launched on the radio waves. And yet, when my ears first pricked to its siren call, it seemed impeccably of the moment. In 1997, we ensconced ourselves in a self-serious, druidic atmosphere. We liked our romance with either Celtic or monastic overtones — preferably both — and Enya reigned as our earth-dwelling goddess. My mother listened to Loreena McKennitt’s The Book Of Secrets in our kitchen — that is, when I hadn’t pinched it to gorge myself on “Dante’s Prayer” and “The Highwayman.” Later that year I would twirl in euphoric circles as theTitanic score issued its lament from my portable stereo. “Possession” did not borrow from these Celtic musical conventions, but its earnest ethereality nonetheless marked it as part of the New Age zeitgeist.


Eater tries out Gwyneth Paltrow’s and Chrissy Teigen’s new cookbooks, it’s a delight:

The next G.P. meal was somewhat less successful. I was seduced by a beautiful photo of congee with a sexy orange-yolked egg under a sprinkling of herbs and furikake seasoning. G.P. explains that congee is typically a breakfast dish but that she makes it as a “lazy dinner.” There is nothing lazy about a dinner that takes 30-40 minutes to simmer, during which you must stir it every five minutes to prevent sticking—while also making the eggs and the homemade furikake seasoning. I guess the non-homemade kind has some verboten ingredient? G.P.’s take contains coconut sugar, which is like sugar with less sweetness and more weird dirt aftertaste. The whole endeavor took me about an hour. I found it difficult to crumble the sheets of nori using my fingers, as directed, so there were these biggish flakes on the surface of the congee, the same size and shape as fish food, and it smelled like the hot bar of a co-op grocery store.

okay one other part:

The more idiosyncratic and Chrissy-specific touches are in a chapter called “Thai Mom,” which includes her (Thai) mom’s recipes for things like soup with cooked, pork-stuffed cucumbers and a hangover-curing rice porridge that has ground pork in it and seems more promising than the pork-bereft G.P. version; Teigen writes that she served it to Eric Ripert once and he liked it and she cried. The other headnote I really liked was in the introduction to her kale salad, which is inspired by the one at Il Buco, where Teigen has enjoyed “many a booze-fueled lunch.” “Once I threw up so hard into their toilet that I hit my forehead and had to wear fake bangs for a week,” she writes. Anyone who mentions puking in the context of a recipe has my respect.


CASEY CEP ON EARLY AMERICAN MURDER:

It might have been antimony in the lemonade, laudanum in the coffee, morphine in the whiskey, or strychnine in the sugar bowl. Arsenic could be dusted over oysters, spread onto a bread-and-butter sandwich, stirred into beer, brandy, or cider, even steeped in chamomile tea. Poison was everywhere in early America, and poisoners could buy it anywhere. They told the grocer that they needed to rid their cupboards of mice, the druggist that they wanted something to quiet the bark of a stray dog, or the hardware-store clerk that they required something for killing minks. “The usual arsenic for the usual rats,” Thomas McDade observed of the murder, in 1815, of Ann Becker, by her husband, Barent, in Mayfield, New York—“this time served with stewed cranberries.”

McDade wasn’t a murderer, but he was interested in murder, and not just poisonings. When someone in America had been murdered, and anyone else had written about it, then McDade read the results, and took notes. One by one, Mrs. Becker’s arsenic-laced cranberries and hundreds of other historical homicides found their way into the squeaky green filing cabinet that he kept in his den. McDade became the Casaubon of crime literature, and the University of Oklahoma Press published his key to all murderologies in 1961, under the title “The Annals of Murder: A Bibliography of Books and Pamphlets on American Murders from Colonial Times to 1900.”


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