Link Roundup! -The Toast

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Very grateful to Bobby Finger for reading and distilling Leah Remini’s Scientology book (obviously, I watched the special, and would immediately support her bid for President should she wish to run):

On finding baby Suri Cruise on the bathroom floor during a wedding:

When I opened the door, I found three women, including Tom’s sister and his assistant, standing over the baby, who was lying on the tile floor. I didn’t know if they were changing her diaper or what, but the three women were looking at her like they thought she was L. Ron Hubbard incarnate. Rather than talking to her in a soothing voice, they kept saying, “Suri! Suri!” in a tone that sounded like they were telling an adult to get her shit together.

What runners think about when they run:

The results make for entertaining, if not exactly convincing, reading. The (notably tiny) group of runners spent most of their time thinking about pace and distance—translated cynically, about how hard it was to move at their desired speed (“Come on, keep the stride going, bro”) and about how soon they could stop (“Come on, you have enough energy for a mile and a half”). But, after that, the runners mostly thought about how miserable it was to run. “While all the participants had periods during their run where they appeared to be comfortable and thinking about other things,” the researchers wrote, “pain and discomfort were never far from their thoughts.” Feet went numb, stomachs ached, lungs heaved, exhaustion loomed, hills hurt, heat sapped, vomit threatened; all told, fully a third of runners’ thoughts concerned the downsides of running. The remaining thoughts pertained to the runners’ immediate environment, which the researchers further subdivided: runners had mostly pleasant thoughts about terrain and wildlife, and mostly unpleasant thoughts about weather, traffic, and the other people around them.

Cherished Friend of The Toast Jaya Saxena on edible sex things:

Edible sex accessories began in the heady days of the sexual revolution of the ’60s. When they began, every sexual device was relegated to seedy sex stores, or billed as having more respectable uses (think “home massager” instead of “vibrator.”)  Even the term “sex toy” is a coy dodge: “We displaced the awkwardness of using machines as sexual aids by turning these aids into novelty objects, or toys,” writes Hannah Smothers for Fusion. But a new crop of expertly engineered, elegantly designed vibrators and dildos is helping to elevate these products into something of a standard home appliance. Are edible sex products going in the same direction, or are they doomed to bachelorette party hell for eternity?

The Washington Post wrote about Cotard’s delusion and Esmé Weijun Wang (who wrote “Perdition Days” for The Toast):

As for Wang, she found herself in a place that looked just like her old life but evoked no emotion in her, which led to anxiety, fear and agitation. She frequently descended into catatonic psychosis, a condition marked by periods of not being able to move, interspersed with overactive movement.

“I began to believe I was in perdition, or some kind of hell,” said Wang, who wrote an essay, “Perdition Days,” during and after the experience. “I was trying to figure out what I had done wrong, what had condemned me to this afterlife that looked like my real life before I died but wasn’t real — that was the torment of it. I kind of described it once as feeling like I was on fire inside.”

Tyler Coates makes the case for Chasing Amy (I dated a guy who said it was his FAVORITE MOVIE so the fact that Tyler got me to read the whole thing, remember I kind of love parts of it, and make some decent points is impressive. Also, Mallory is going to FLIP HER SHIT when she saw I linked this bc she truly loathes Chasing Amy):

But Chasing Amy isn’t really a film about lesbians told through the male gaze, but rather a film that focuses more on the perils of straight male bravado and insecurity (or, as Billy Eichner put it in a recent segment of Billy on the Street, masculinity can be a prison, baby!!!).

Sexism in paleoanthropology (this one REALLY grinds my gears, bc if you come for the Rising Star Expedition, you’d best not miss):

McKie’s article is sloppy journalism. He gets the basic facts wrong, even though the entire story of the Rising Star Expedition is easily accessible to anyone who bothers to check. Hundreds of thousands have read the expedition blog from the beginning, and more than 230,000 have read the open access paper in eLife. The search for our excavation team and the subsequent analysis of the fossils has been well-documented in many public sources. Lots of journalists have covered this story without making stupid errors as McKie has done here.

The Awl on the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement:

For those with reservations about supporting the extinction of humanity, most concerns are addressed on the VHEMT’s incredibly helpful website. Built in 1996 with little design changes since, it’s structured like a long FAQ. It’s also available in twenty-five languages, so good news if you speak Occitan.

Here are a few: Don’t you like babies? (Yes.) Are we all supposed to kill ourselves? (No.) Is this another one of those suicide cults? (No.) Didn’t Hitler have the same ideas? (No.) If there were a magic button for extinction, would you press it? (No.) Why don’t you just kill yourself? (Whoa.)

That last one is the most Frequently Asked Q.

When queer and trans films are still about straight people:

“But at least Michael Shannon was good!” someone said, and we all nodded. As Dane Wells, the straight-but-not-narrow cop who partners with Hester and eventually becomes her greatest ally, Shannon gives the film’s lone terrific performance. In fact, by the end of Freeheld, Moore and Page have practically been relegated to background players so that the formerly reticent Shannon can rally the troops and deliver a final knockout monologue.

“It’s really his story,” said one of my colleagues, and when I heard that too-familiar line, I sighed. This year’s Toronto Film Festival lineup is full of movies that feature queer and trans characters, but why does it seem like deep down, these films are still about straight people?

Just watching a full 1982 Stevie Nicks concert, no big:

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