Link Roundup! -The Toast

Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

“Oh, am I NOT supposed to eat a roll of toilet paper? You have to tell me these things!”

These before-and-after CGI pictures reminded me that acting is probably really hard, especially when you’re emoting to a green cushion with white golf balls on it.

I have never purchased a book so quickly in my LIFE:

It is hard to overstate the pleasure of reading West of Eden, which has all the best qualities of a Hollywood memoir. I kept the book in my bag and snuck away with it during breaks from jury duty; it was my constant companion and the source of most of my conversation during the week that I read it. On a lunch break from jury duty, I read Gore Vidal reminiscing about Hollywood in the 1940s: “It was a totally lesbian scene. Yeah. They were all raging.” And then there was Jackie Park, one of a string of Jack Warner’s lovers, lamenting the fact that he was “very beaten down–he needed shots from a doctor to make him virile.” Park’s solution was to take Warner to a hypnotist who would convince him that he could get it up–and he did! West of Edenis Hollywood at its most salacious–no gossip unreported; no rumor left unsaid. It is the progenitor of tell-all books like Bette Davis’s The Lonely Life and Empty Mansions, the book about the reclusive heiress Hugette Clark. It is a page-turning, one-upping, revelatory account of life in and among Hollywood’s most powerful families in the 1940s and 50s, with every bit as much intrigue and heartbreak as the topic would suggest.

I am desperately, desperately excited for Jacob Bernstein’s documentary abut his mother, the literally perfect Nora Ephron:

If there was a motivation, it was the opposite of closure. It was a way to keep a relationship going with her. I hadn’t gotten depressed when she died. I was sad, but I didn’t feel incapacitated. It was really after we finished and debuted at the New York Film Festival [in 2015], the reviews were good—and 36 hours later I was really depressed. A friend said, “You spent the last two years watching her in front of a monitor.”

I don’t think my mother liked looking at herself. And I don’t think I’d been as aware until I did this how insecure about that she was when she was young, because whatever insecurity there was, she had turned into the essay about breasts [“A Few Words About Breasts,” Esquire, 1972] and the sex fantasies piece [“Fantasies,” from her 1975 collection, Crazy Salad: “In my sex fantasy, nobody ever loves me for my mind.”]…. They were both so archly done. It was hard for me to conceive of vulnerability behind it.

But I do think that was one of the issues she worked out in her thirties and forties. It was probably part of why my father’s affair—or his affairs—were so damaging to her.

The joy of the Founding Fathers Fandom:

This is a fandom, with all the creativity, humor, and fervent arguing and agreeing that goes on in all other fandoms. Check out some sample fan art: A group of “Founding Father Pin-Ups” features a truly grotesque Ben Franklin, and an “Ultimate User’s Guide to How to Hug James Madison”advises that the hugger to “withhold from coughing, sneezing, and heavy breathing” and to “plant feet to avoid stepping on” the diminutive founder. Mash-ups proliferate: itsalwayssunnyin1776 inserts founding fathers’ faces into scenes from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And text postsimagine moments of … connection between favorite fathers. (Popular “ships,” Tumblrspeak for imagined relationships between objects of a fandom, are “lams” — John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton — and “jamilton” — Jefferson and Hamilton.)

Just because Hamilton features prominently doesn’t mean that the fandom is the fault of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical: Most of its most prominent blogs have existed for years.

The Americans is back VERY SOON and here is an interview with the woman who plays Poor Martha:

There was a piece in The New Yorker, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” in 2014, with a story somewhat similar to Martha’s. How much do you read stories that mirror Martha’s experience?
All the time. Everything I can possibly get on the literal cases that there are and then anything that would compare to her level of stress, about finding out she’s living with a stranger. Further into the season when the story develops more, I started to try and find some substitutions for someone in a similar situation, about what that must be like. And I thought about the wives of serial killers because that’s comparable to me.

Are there any examples that jump out?
Yeah, Judith Ridgway. She was the wife of the Green River Killer, who’s in prison. His name is Gary Ridgway. She was a woman that seemed to be quite like Martha. The day, the moment she found out for real that her husband had killed 40-some people, in their 17 years of marriage, there’s a tiny bit of footage of her looking out of her little kitchen window. She looks like how I imagine Martha — she’s this really small woman with her glasses on, and she’s not even there. There’s an interview of her talking about that moment where she just felt like a wall came down in front of her, and her life was never the same. She said this great thing about her husband, which I took onboard for Martha in the later episodes [this season]: “I love my husband but I hate the man that took him away.” I think that’s a little bit of Philip and Clark, when she gets further down the road and starts to stand on her own two feet a little more and makes some hard decisions.

okay okay one more thing about The Americans, which I am OBSESSED with:

GE: In the new season, you feel Elizabeth soften a little. There’s a dream sequence where I was like, “Oh my God, she has feelings … she’s thinking things I didn’t think she was thinking.”
JF: We had a real struggle last season because Joe and I, in the story of Paige’s recruitment, felt emotionally on Elizabeth’s side. It made a lot of sense to us that this was a way for her to reconnect with her daughter. That if this was something she truly believed in, there was a real act of love and connection here. That proved to be more challenging to convey than we expected because it seems obvious to us.

JW: I often feel we’re a little at odds with a section of the audience in terms of how they see Elizabeth. There’s a significant percentage that sees her as cold or an ideologue, and our perception of her is much more complex than that. I know there are people in our audience who also have a much more complicated view of her, but there are those who see her more simplistically, and to us, all those things about her, whether it’s her steadfastness in terms of her devotion to the motherland, which has elements of ideologue in it, but also has elements of being true to the things she believes in and also has elements of having deeply thought out conviction to it. Seeing her as cold is not something we believe in.

Choire on A Little Life:

So let this be one more last laugh of that shitty old year 2015. Seems cruel that the book with the better writing should lose to the book that just has more writing. But there’s one crucial thing A Little Life has, and that is its sick and impeccably consistent and insistent bad touch. It’s a fever that never ends up breaking, a gross cut that never heals up. This nasty talent is what got all these hordes of people to read it, and isn’t that the greatest power of all? She got you people good. That’s a form of artistry as sophisticated and mysterious as actual witchcraft. I personally think it’s probably better that you don’t read A Little Life. But then when have any of us been able to stop people from hurting themselves?

Emily Dickinson, always relevant to our interests here at The Toast:

Suppose the keys weren’t missing at all, but were part of some private, internal structure. And suppose her definition of poetry was different from ours, and she was a very different kind of poet, more like an explorer and discoverer, who meant to subjugate her Lexicon, rather than juggle words. She would share some of her discoveries in her letter-poems, sing a verse or two to a favorite cousin, but she shared her hand-sewn fascicles with no one; these were very private catalogues, complete in themselves, meant for her own consumption; and the variants to a particular word that she wrote in the margins were like magical flowers, not meant to cancel one another, but to create a cluster, or bouquet. That “omitted center” was less a mask than the sign of her modernity. For those critics who swear she was feminizing a male-dominated culture of language constructions, I would say that there’s something strange about the femininity of her attack. Camille Paglia best describes the force and “riddling ellipsis” of Dickinson’s style. “Protestant hymn-measure is warped and deformed by a stupefying energy. Words are rammed into lines with such force that syntax shatters and collapses into itself. . . . The brutality of this belle of Amherst would stop a truck.”

Well, THAT’s lovely:

On Monday, former Gawker editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio and former managing editor Emma Carmichael testified on the first day of the defense’s presentation in the Hulk Hogan/Gawker Media trial. Once the lawyers’ interrogations had concluded, a few questions were collected from the jury to ask each of the witnesses. One juror’s question in particular attracted a lot of subsequent comment, asked of the 28-year-old Carmichael.

“Have you ever had intimate relations with Mr. Daulerio or Mr. Denton?”

Keep in mind that Judge Pamela Campbell received the questions from the jurors, as provided by Florida law, and then personally, herself, asked Carmichael this question. She has absolute discretion over whether any question is asked, and in her opinion, it was perfectly reasonable to ask a 28-year-old woman if she’d slept with either of her bosses, in a trial alleging, as a tort, invasion of privacy.


Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 3.18.28 PM  
Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again