The remaining webmasters of Heaven’s Gate:
Today, only a few Heaven’s Gate believers remain. Two of them sit on the other end of the website’s sole contact email address, and will promptly respond to your inquiries. Which seems odd for a group whose members are all widely believed to be dead.
The people who respond to HeavensGate.com queries refer to themselves simply as “Telah” and “we.” They’ll answer questions if you ask—that’s part of the gig—but they’ve wearied of the rubberneckers that have passed through ever since their fellow active members committed suicide in 1997. Which is perhaps to be expected when you’re the only official contact point for one of the largest, most bizarre mass suicides in human history.
In fact, what’s most surprising about the Heaven’s Gate website is that for all the hundreds of pages of sermons and prophecies and transcripts held within the site and its advertised wares, the bizarre, often incoherent text really doesn’t tell you all that much.
And what it does tell you isn’t half as interesting as the people who are doling it out.
The books that made Roxane Gay who she is.
In fourth grade, “making it” did not mean anything to my friends and me. All living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, we knew no one who had “made it.” We knew of people who “made it,” but because “making it” seemed to be predicated on that person no longer being here, in Bed-Stuy, we did not care to know them. “Making it” meant that, to be successful, you had to get out of Bed-Stuy—you had to escape. It did not matter so much where you went after you left (it could even be jail); all that mattered was that you left. This was how success was measured for us: “If you want to be successful, leave. I don’t care where you go but if you’re here, you won’t make it.” It didn’t matter if this was ever actually said because the implications were loud and clear even if unspoken. We did not listen—who wants to be told that what formed them is something they must escape?
The Gawker Review of Books is alive! And I am pretty excited about it, honestly.
Rainbow Brite fan-fiction of one’s youth!
The Misty Copeland profile in The New Yorker is really good, and gets at a lot of interesting things, I think:
Bradley waived Copeland’s ballet-school fees, and other community members contributed to the cost of her leotards and pointe shoes. “When I was dancing, I felt in control, and happy,” Copeland said. “I’m a Virgo, so I really like to be in control.” For most of the next three years, she lived with the Bradleys. Fairly predictable tensions arose between the two families. “I felt very loved and accepted by the Bradleys—I felt like a member of the family,” Copeland told me. “I’m not sure my attitude was so great when I would go home and complain about canned string beans, and say that I preferred shrimp scampi. My mom was working all day, and she had six children.” Copeland shared a room with the Bradleys’ young son, Wolf, attended synagogue with Bradley’s parents, and at the dinner table all attention was centered on her and her goals. Bradley’s husband, a modern-dance teacher, was Copeland’s pas-de-deux instructor and partner. “I loved the attention,” Copeland told me.
ABOUT the deleted comment of the day (I was not gonna give him the venue, but here’s a taste):
AND THEN, AND THEN, he typed out his entire 600 word comment a second time, I deleted it, and then he commented:
So, let me be very clear: we will never be interested in the thoughts of A Man about a woman’s lived experience of misogyny, even when helpfully stated in the form of a numbered list. That will literally never happen. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to clarify our views on this point.
How many step trackers there are in Washington is impossible to know, but there are some hints about the city’s collective walking capacity. Jawbone has stats showing its D.C. users average about 8,262 steps a day, which is less than U.S. leaders New York at 8,704 steps and Boston at 8,471. D.C. beats slender and tony Miami, which somehow manages only 6,734 steps per day.
THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT (pacing while watching The Wire, and ranting about McNulty):
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.