This is really sad, and it made me so angry that people would be so stupid and/or callous not to see that a “famous” black writer was buying a family home via an LLC BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO HAVE THEIR HOME ADDRESS AND PUT IT IN THE NEW YORK POST:
I was shocked at the royalties. But as soon as I saw them, I knew what I would do with them. I called my old buddy and asked him if anything was available in that neighborhood, in the Prospect Lefferts-Garden which we loved so much. I was thinking of finally being able to take all of our books out of storage. I was thinking of my mother, who would have a space of her own, and could come and stay for as long as she liked. I was thinking of my partner, who was by then my wife, and how much she had given me and made possible.
My friend found a house on Lincoln Road. He dubbed it “The Dream.” He told me my wife would love it. She did. I did. There was, by then, a storm around the book, people asking for crazy things, and offering crazier things, still. We thought we’d found a port in that storm. Unlike Park Slope, Fort Green, or Williamsburg, Prospect-Lefferts Garden had always been low-key. In our early years in New York, we felt like we were in on a secret.
But no one keep secrets in Brooklyn. A few weeks after we bought, another friend sent an item from a local blog gossiping about our possible purchase. We didn’t expect to live anonymously. We thought there might be some interest and we took some steps to dissuade that interest. Those steps failed. Last week the New York Post, and several other publications, reported on the purchase. They ran pictures of the house. They named my wife. They photoshopped me in the kitchen. They talked to the seller’s broker. The seller’s broker told them when we’d be moving in. The seller’s broker speculated on our plans for renovation. They rummaged through my kid’s instagram account. They published my home address.
Anthony Bourdain and I feel the same way about coffee:
What’s your coffee strategy on the road?
There are few things I care about less than coffee. I have two big cups every morning: light and sweet, preferably in cardboard cup. Any bodega will do. I don’t want to wait for my coffee. I don’t want some man-bun, Mumford and Son motherf*cker to get it for me. I like good coffee but I don’t want to wait for it, and I don’t want it with the cast of Friends. It’s a beverage; it’s not a lifestyle.
Toastie Rosie emailed me to draw our attention to the BBC putting Kenneth Williams’ 1970s reading of Cold Comfort Farm online, please make some tea and settle in!
Things are HAPPENING within the United Methodist Church right now (mainly, over a hundred clergy members coming out of the closet just before the UMC’s General Conference), and I’m loving it:
We come out, too, to provide hope for LGBTQI young people in hostile UMC churches. These young people are more at risk for suicide than their peers, in part, because of the condemnation they hear from the pulpits and pews of their churches. We come out to remind them that God’s love for them is immeasurable, and offers them a love that will never let them go, even when it feels like the church is willing to let them go.
We come out to invite them to listen for God’s still, small voice that will speak in the quiet places of their hearts, who will call them into leadership positions. We seek to create a pathway of hope into ministry for them, even when the church has tried to shut its doors on them, or overtly or indirectly condoned the persecution of LGBTQI persons.
We love you, dear church. Through you, we have stood on sacred ground and seen the face of God more clearly. Our prayer, as the church begins its time of discernment, is that you will remember that there are nameless ones around the world, hungry for a word of hope and healing. LGBTQI people and their families exist in every church in every continent of this denomination. They are seeking to remain in faithful relationship with you, even when you refuse, because they know God’s tender mercies and great faithfulness.
Lisa Hix on the brand of Walt Whitman:
Starting in the late 19th century and continuing today, Whitman’s name, image, and writing have been employed to sell a wide range of consumer products, from tobacco and whiskey to fighter planes, life insurance, and wax beans. The range of Whitman-themed marketing is even more surprising when you realize that in 1855, his self-published book, Leaves of Grass, was considered startlingly obscene and repugnant, flying in the face the prevailing buttoned-up Victorian mores of day. But thanks to smart personal brand management on the part of Whitman and his champions, within 30 years, public opinion of the poet made a 180.
When he was an elderly man disabled by stroke and disease in 1890, a handful of cigar manufacturers started to adopt his name and face for their cigar brands—without asking—even though Whitman didn’t even smoke. The iconoclast had also argued in favor of Temperance and Prohibition as a young man because his father was an alcoholic, but more than 100 years later, in 2016, Whitman appears on at least two brands of craft beer.
I am really excited to read Lindy’s book, and I liked the excerpt The Guardian just ran a whole lot:
When I look at photographs of my 22-year-old self, so convinced of her own defectiveness, I see a perfectly normal girl and I think about aliens. If an alien – a gaseous orb or a polyamorous cat person or whatever – came to Earth, it wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference between me and Angelina Jolie, let alone rank us by hotness. It’d be like: “Uh, yeah, so those ones have the under-the-face fat sacks, and the other kind has that dangly pants nose. Fuck, these things are gross. I can’t wait to get back to the omnidirectional orgy gardens of Vlaxnoid.”
The “perfect body” is a lie. I believed in it for a long time, and I let it shape my life, and shrink it – my real life, populated by my real body. Don’t let fiction tell you what to do. In the omnidirectional orgy gardens of Vlaxnoid, no one cares about your arm flab.
Prince’s hairstylist of 28 years, Kim Berry, gives Allure an intimate look at the famously private musician.
“I was dating one of Prince’s bodyguards when his hairstylist quit—she’d taken a liking to me, and I was like, ‘Girl, you work for the biggest entertainer in the world!’ My dad said success is where opportunity meets preparedness, so the day she quit, I went up to Prince’s table at the nightclub and laid my portfolio out in front of him. He knew I had to be somebody because I’d gotten up to his table and that was unheard of.
“He called me an hour later and said, ‘Can you travel? Your flight leaves in an hour. We’re sending a car to come get you.’ I grabbed a curling iron and jumped on the plane—I didn’t even have a coat. I went to his house in Minnesota and did his brother’s hair—that was my audition—and Prince said, ‘You have the job, but you’ve got to leave those nails at home.’ I had long nails, and I chopped them off right there—pop, pop pop! Prince just started cracking up laughing. He said, ‘Yeah, you’re going to work out.’
Anti-choice activist Angel Dillard did not intend to intimidate a Kansas physician with a 2011 letter warning that the doctor would be looking under her car every day for bombs, an eight-person jury decided in U.S. District Court on Friday.
there will always be a No Homers Club:
The Whitechapel Club was founded in 1889 by a group of young, bohemian, literary Chicago newspapermen, located in a Loop alley that now West Calhoun Place, between Wells and Lasalle. Equally a secret society and a press club, the organization was named after the area of London where Jack the Ripper contemporaneously prowled for victims. Jack the Ripper himself was named (absentee) president.
Chicago reporters often lived in a dark and macabre world in order to report the news, and the Whitechapel Club reflected these preoccupations and mocked them. Also called the Suicide Club, the group’s motto commanded members to “laugh in the face of death.” Although over half of the all-male members were journalists, like-minded men of other professions were allowed to join: bank presidents, police chiefs, and preachers mingling with fringe members of society, including magicians, psychics, and even convicted murderers. Other than journalists, only two men of each profession could belong at the same time. Women were strictly forbidden—Omene was the only female guest in the short, eight-year history of the club.
This is such a nightmare:
Kenya plans to close all of its refugee camps in a move that would displace more than 600,000 people.
The country’s government said it was shutting down the camps due to “very heavy” economic, security and environmental issues. Those due to close include Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, home to more than 300,000 people on the Kenya-Somalia border.
Karanja Kibicho, Kenya’s secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, cited the influence of terror group Al-Shabaab as among the risks of keeping the camps open.
Rembert on The Larry Wilmore Incident:
The takes that came out in the days afterward were a reminder about who gets to draw the lines, make the rules, and declare what’s right and wrong, appropriate and disrespectful, when it comes to the use of that word. It’s a moment to acknowledge the effect eight years of a black president have had — both the things that have changed and those that remain the same. A moment in which there’s more black people with platforms than ever before, more ways for black opinions to be expressed aloud. A moment when you truly see the degree to which black people are not a monolith. A moment where the opinions are strong, passionate, and, in many cases, unwavering. And because of this, there are far more opportunities for black people to discuss, celebrate, and argue in public.
Black people discussing with other black people about how black people should talk to black people in front of white people. These are the moments you live for.
One of the dearest friends of The Toast ever to be a friend of The Toast, Matt Lubchansky, is Kickstartering, and I love him and I would love it if you gave him some money so I can read this stupid book.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.