Link Roundup! -The Toast

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Remember how I told you to go make an account to read Publishing While Black over at Scratch? WELL, Scratch offered it to us for a cross-post, so you can read it right here at 1pm! How lucky for you.

Please read the billion-word Billy Joel profile in The New Yorker and then come discuss it here! Billy Joel seems kind of unpleasant and like someone who really needs to work on his substance abuse issues, but also the whole thing is full of delightful lil tidbits:

The party was at Marea, a restaurant on Central Park South: about two dozen people in a back room. The actor Paul Reiser, an old friend, met him outside and followed him in. Reiser had just finished a set of standup at a comedy club; Sting had come from the previews for his new musical. This was happy hour. After a while, a cake came out. The refrain “Happy birthday, dear . . . Sting” sounded faintly ridiculous; Reiser gave it extra emphasis.

Unmoved, Sting demanded that everyone sing it again, better this time, and in a higher key, and he led: “Happy birthday, dear . . . me!” Then Joel broke into “He Is an Englishman,” from “H.M.S. Pinafore.” The other guests went quiet and listened.


“I know you just wanted to take a nap,” a sweet, caring, grandmotherly nurse says, just the way your sweet, caring grandmother would, if she weren’t so busy being racist. “We don’t have to tell anyone. Your insurance won’t cover it, but we’ll work something out.” She fluffs your pillow, then strokes your forehead, sensitive to your overstimulated plight. “Oh, dearie, I never do this, but . . . here’s my HBO GO password.” She starts to leave the room. “I almost forgot—I have a surprise for you!” The nurse pulls a year’s supply of birth-control pills from her bosom. They cause no side effects.

why don’t more women decide to hurl themselves into the seething maelstrom of politics when shit like this happens i’ll neverrrrr knowwww

Heather Havrilesky on Wonder Woman:

Year after year, decade after decade, as fictional superheroes triumph on the big screen, our real-life feminist crusaders, if they are remembered at all, are eventually recast as vainglorious neurotics, ranting donkeys, and/or aggressive bag ladies. Somehow, the true superheroines, who spent decades valiantly fighting for low-cost contraception, equal pay, and affordable child care, invite trivialization and contempt. Mostly, we need to know that Gloria Steinem, at age eighty, colored her hair. We need to remember that Betty Friedan was “famously abrasive,” “thin-skinned and imperious,” and that Adrienne Rich was fueled by “a towering rage.” That’s not an assessment Rich would have contradicted, but she might have been amused by how consistently female passion elicits outrage, while male passion elicits awe.


On Sontag’s digital archive:

The recent making-available (in mid-2014) of Sontag’s entire digital life to researchers visiting UCLA Library Special Collections presents a new, quite literal window onto this double bind. Scholars and curious Sontagolytes can now check out a laptop that reproduces the basic folder structure of Sontag’s computers (a Power Mac G4, an iBook) from the 1990s and early 2000s. That laptop makes visible all of her digital files and presents the entirety of her email correspondence, thus making extraordinarily open and available the digital life of this most private of American public intellectuals. This born-digital archive preserves the important — drafts of Sontag’s essays, for example — alongside the considerably less so. Surely some scholar will find value in Sontag’s e-correspondence about Regarding the Pain of Others, but how much can we glean from her computer’s small music library (which, for the record, is heavy on the Édith Piaf and Jacques Brel)? Or, to pose this question more drastically: is there anything of value in the article on the “low carb craze” forwarded to Sontag by her son in August 2004? Was Sontag perhaps flirting with an Atkins diet? Does it matter? How much information is just too much information? What are we to do with this overmuchness, this “plenitude,” the “sheer crowdedness” that is Sontag’s digital life?

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