Reading the royal wedding

And so to the sermon. Or the address, or maybe the homily, or, as I prefer to think of it, the aria. Some listeners found it too long. I wanted more of it—hour after hour of oceanic incantation, wave upon wave. Martin Luther King, Jr., was name-checked within seconds. Fifteen minutes in, and Bishop Curry was just warming up, in the instinctive assurance that nothing of this timbre, or of this mettle, had ever been heard before in this sacred edifice. Behind him, you could just make out the Dean of Windsor; even in profile, his demeanor was that of a man who, enjoying a gentle set at his local tennis club, suddenly realizes that Rafa Nadal has started practicing his overhead smashes on the adjacent court.

Read on: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Look to the Future, but Some Royals Never Change | The New Yorker

Male entitlement and morbid altruism

To state the obvious: forms of ruinous masculinity – or masculinity applied ruinously – exist in dismal abundance. When examining violence, masculinity matters. And yet, if we are to somehow ban “good bloke” testimonies, we will be ignoring their significance, namely that they describe one particular clinical profile of the paternal offender, long established in the psychological literature: the morbidly altruistic killer.

Contains descriptions of men killing their families.

Read on: Margaret River and paternal familicide | The Saturday Paper

The spirit of controversy

Here were acres of burlap sacks piled atop pallets and containing the 40 or so barks, roots, fungi, herbs, and spices that go into Fernet Branca. These include myrrh, gentian root, cinchona bark, orris root, zedoary, and saffron. To walk through the room is to reconnoiter a peculiar olfactory geography, crossing from the republic of one aroma into another, with the borderlands between the two sometimes under détente, but often not.

Read more about Fernet-Branca in: The Bitter Beginning – The Atlantic

The Gray Lady discovers twinks

Female body types have always cycled in and out of style; yet with men, alternatives to the ideal of imposing physicality have usually been ignored or lampooned. But as women continue to use their voices to undo that legacy of toxic masculinity, a different kind of change is taking place from within the culture: These twinks, after all, aren’t just enviably lean boys or the latest unrealistic gay fantasy, but a new answer to the problem of what makes a man.

Hat tip Ted Kerr. Oh boy, do I have feels about this. I was a teenager in the 1990s, when the hegemonic body shape was either bulky or ripped muscle. It’s kind-of hilarious to see the NYT just now announcing this trend. The shift to a more slender body shape began with emo and scene looks in the early 2000s: to see that, we only need trace the changing look of 90s boy bands through to 1D and 5SOS. (Or the changing body shape of Spiderman.) The shift has enlarged the margins of what counts as desirable masculinity to include features that would previously have been derided as pretty and therefore feminine. It also intensifies ageism, since ‘pretty’ and ‘slender’ are much harder to maintain once you’re past your twenties. It has altered the configuration of gay sexual racism, as well: mid-2000s scholarship on multicultural queer describes prejudice against ‘skinny Asians’, but I now mainly see that enacted by gay men in the South-East Asian circuit culture. I am curious to see whether this trend will intensify or dissipate in the next decade.

Read on: Welcome to the Age of the Twink – The New York Times

Calls for ‘streamlined’ access to mental health treatment

(Psychiatrist) Professor Baune said the processes for gaining access to mental health specialists needed to be streamlined to prevent people giving up. (…) “Seventy per cent of people had a negative experience in navigating the mental health system and find it daunting and confusing, and that is a large number which I found quite alarming,” Professor Baune said.

The research was commissioned as part of a plan for MLC Life Insurance to provide specialist medical access to mental health clients. In partnership with Best Doctors, the insurance company is launching its Mental Health Navigator, providing a specialist second opinion to customers to ensure their diagnosis is correct.

[record scratch] Wait, what? What’s a life insurance provider doing offering a service for second opinions on mental health diagnoses?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments?

Read on: Calls for ‘streamlined’ access to mental health treatment

No-waste or ‘NO, WASTE!’

“Let’s also set the record straight: Individuals who use family cloth do not only have *a* single piece of cloth. We have dozens of smallish strips of cloth. Each visit to the toilet gets its own cloth. In each bathroom of our home, there is a container of many clean cloths on top of the tank and a small bin on the floor that we use as a hamper. After each ‘go,’ we take one cloth, use it, and drop it in the hamper.”

I can’t. I just can’t. I have forgotten how even to can.

Read on, if you dare: What Is “The Family Cloth” And Why Do People Use It? An Explainer

David Letterman just can’t figure out why he never had women writers

Next Letterman claims, “I didn’t know why there weren’t women writers” and here’s where it gets weird. Earlier in the interview, Letterman notes that Fey was the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live, but technically the first female head writer in late-night variety was Merrill Markoe who co-created Late Night with her then-boyfriend, Letterman. (Fun fact: the show’s writing staff won Emmy awards every year until Markoe left the show in 1987. After that, Late Night never won another Emmy for writing.) Did Letterman forget about Markoe? This seems to go beyond memory lapse into disinformation. I emailed Markoe, a friend, and asked her why she thinks she may have slipped Letterman’s mind. She wrote back, “Because we were having sex, maybe he remembers me as an intern.”


Read on: David Letterman Can’t Imagine Why He Never Had Women Writers