Link Roundup! -The Toast

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I usually devote the first two spots in the link roundup to Important Things In The World, but today I have to give the primo spot to Choire’s profile of Ina Garten, every word of which is a feast for the senses:

Shopkeeper Ina, TV Ina, and cookbook Ina are and are not about domesticity. Ina-ness is about coziness, but it’s not ever about the woman’s place being the kitchen. It’s less sexist, and definitely more sexy. Barefoot Contessa isn’t about wealth in the way that Martha Stewart’s show was about wealth. The widespread mockery of Martha that suffused American comedy in the ‘90s came about because we believed that her extreme richness took her astray into the madness of perfectionism.

The first Barefoot Contessa cookbook already has its iconography intact; the aesthetic that follows in the next eight books is just versioning. Opposite the title page, Ina is pictured barefoot, one big toe showing polish, and she is shucking corn, surrounded by a riot of summer green, in an ankle-length black skirt with a white shirt worn under a white shirt and then a white apron on top. She is on a bench, next to an extremely rustic woven willow basket. It’s about loving being at home, particularly if your home has a couple acres of garden, and yet it’s accessible. It’s never about perfection, as it is with Martha, but it is about personal triumph.

Steven W. Thrasher on “the moment” black genius is having in our culture:

We are not unique. When I entered my doctoral program last year, I was the only black member of my cohort. Through social media, I have a shadow cohort of “blackademics” at other universities. Some are the only black scholar in their local circles, and most have similar stories of having their genius discouraged at many points along the way. But we’re the lucky ones: our black genius has broken through a few barriers already. When black pre-schoolers are disproportionately suspended, and when white schoolchildren get medical treatment for the same behavior which gets black kids suspended, black genius is snuffed out before it can ever flourish.

How pregnant women and mothers get hounded out of higher education:

The consequences of being forced out of your program can be grim. Many women need to keep working in their university-sponsored jobs to make ends meet. Yet those jobs are often unavailable to students while they are on leave, or aren’t offered back to them upon their return. On many campuses, being on leave or withdrawn status means losing that income, along with health insurance, loan deferment status, and even your university email address. Sometimes it means losing your housing, too.

Federal law requires that pregnant students must be reinstated following leave to their prior status, without penalty. Yet we hear over and over about women are penalized for their absence, or forced to reapply to their programs as if they had never been accepted.

Sex-ed for people with intellectual disabilities:

The lack of sexual education for intellectually disabled people is rooted in a pervasive social problem: no one wants to admit that disabled people are sexual in the first place. “The most common myths [about disability and sexuality] are diametrically opposed,” said Walker-Hirsch. “We think of people with intellectual disabilities as perpetual children, who have no interest in sex, who want to stay innocent virgins forever. On the other side we conceive of them as voraciously sexual, as potential predators who are not in control of their sexuality or their desires. Those two concepts don’t integrate well together.”

Aaron Edwards is one of the 30 under 30, and he is great:

What’s some advice you’d have for people looking to get a foothold in your industry?
Don’t be a jerk, especially on social media—we’re all trying to figure this thing out. Never assume you have nothing to learn from someone, but also never assume people will have your best interests at heart. Work first, network later. A foundation in reporting and writing can take you to many corners of journalism that you didn’t expect to end up in. Don’t do things you hate, but don’t consider yourself above work that must be done. Negotiate your salary, benefits and perks with confidence, and have the experience to back it up. Advocate for yourself, but seek out advocates who believe in you because they won’t always come to you.

This group of autistic people who meditate set up a retreat for themselves and it was pretty cool:

The Autsit retreat gave us a chance to practice with our autistic traits and foibles in an autism-friendly environment. We learned not to bang doors and cupboards, to turn glaring lights down for each other, and to work with each others’ autistic sensitivities and idiosyncrasies in general. We saw that autistic traits like mild obsessive-compulsion had two faces: They made meticulous workers but also led for example to use of napkins, paper towels and toilet tissue in quantities pitting private compulsion against care for Earth’s dwindling resources. Similarly, it made a lover of tidiness an efficient work leader but also a testy and disagreeable one. An autistic love of structure occasionally clashed with an autistic distaste for imposed structure. One person’s peaceful quiet behind earplugs was another person’s unpleasant need to speak loudly to be understood. And so on. These sorts of problems were likely to come up in any group of autistics, and the Autsit retreat provided a space for autistics to face these problems using ancient meditative tools in a dogma- and sensory-overload-free environment, surrounded (not too closely) by others with compassion born of shared autistic experience.

It happened that many participants cried at least once during the Autsit retreat, but that was not a requirement. In our closing meetings everyone expressed great satisfaction with how the retreat turned out. It seems, then, that it was a success! Go and make one yourself.

I really enjoyed this article on “Sleep No More” superfans (I’ve never seen the show, but I always love people who love things too much, because I sure do!):

Set in a dreamlike, Hitchcockian (by way of Lynch) “McKittrick Hotel,” “Sleep No More,” located in a sprawling warehouse on 27th Street and 10th Avenue in Manhattan, is equal parts “Macbeth” and “Rebecca,” dance show and art installation, theatre piece and extended role-playing game. Masked audience members are free to roam (silently) anywhere in the six-story space, which includes a full-scale mental hospital, a Scottish town high street, a cemetery, a palatial estate, a forest, and the titular hotel itself. They can follow characters, rummage through drawers in search of letters that might illuminate the story, or simply sit in a corner and listen to the eerie, 1930s-style music that weaves its way throughout the building. There is more than twenty-seven hours of material in the show, which, combined with the nightly cast rotations, makes it virtually impossible to see the same show twice, and allows superfans to collect vast catalogs of knowledge about the show in its endless possible permutations.

You may not be able to tell this is a picture of my friend Carrie’s new puppy attempting to escape from her slanket, but it IS:


important alt-girl albums from the 90s!

(I will report back as soon as I get my period, which I anticipate will arrive…Friday.)

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