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What Will We Do Without The Toast?

My Internet is smaller, less funny, and less serendipitous now that The Toast is closing up shop.


If Mallory Ortberg converted to Lutheranism she’d be Mallory Wartburg, but you wouldn’t get to read about it at The Toast. Tell it not in Gath: as of July 1, we have to find some other one-stop shoplifting venue for Charlotte Brontë, “Dune,” and the harrowing of hell.

I’m not sure when I figured out that a number of curiosities in my head had all come from the same place. It took a while to recognize The Toast as the grand unifier of Nicole Cliffe’s post on prayer, Hermione splitting her wealth into seven offshore accounts, advice to Dwell on it, attention to meals in literature, goodwill toward “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” realization of comedy potential in the 95 Theses outside of numero 82 . . . but I’m boring you. You know how you like your Toast, and you should go back to savor it as you like it, since it will be there until botnets take the place over.

To describe something to one’s own taste as “smart” can only sound pretentious, and pretension is antithetical to The Toast. Plenty of publications wish to be perceived as smart. Some will even tell you outright how smart they are since you’re probably not smart enough to get it. At The Toast, expertise was manifested as familiarity rather than elitism. It was the kind of place that made you want to get to know some Waldensians instead of making you feel like a schlub for not already knowing everything about them.

People Can Like Toast Not Made for Me

The remarkable thing is that conservative jerks are boohooing into our now-meaningless tea, right? It’s true there was a whole bunch of Toast that obviously wasn’t made for me. No problem, a headline or a tag is all I need to tell me that. But a lot of things, like bees and Henry VIII, are for everyone. You don’t grind axes over foundational me-truths when you’re dealing with stuff that is important. They’re doing A Wind In the Door at The Toast? Thank goodness. The conservatives are all on hobbits again.

Judging by this survey of my fondest Toast memories, it seems I may have missed the point and majored in Mallory. That’s probably not what she wanted, so I will dutifully mention that I read my share of Toast homework, too. Historical and literary analysis from an openly partisan publisher is, you know, partisan. But we’ve all got to look in on other vision quests to keep our own vision sharp. It’s nice to find one that doesn’t violently repel curious onlookers. I was happy to keep my place in the outer circle so as not to sully the fascinating vapors.

Why are we losing The Toast? I’m sure it’s every bit as complicated as the Boer War, but I can’t help noticing that they paid their writers. That’s nicer for writers than it is for solvency. Readers had our chance at the end of every article to prove the workers worthy of their hire. Now we get to live with how we treated those “Tip the Toast!” buttons. The Toastmistresses seem to be taking reality pretty well, and I wish I could say the same for myself. My Internet is smaller, less funny, and less serendipitous now, which is the last thing I need after a week of VBS. Spiritually, I don’t even want to talk about any food that isn’t Toast.

A Sampler of the Best Toast

Here are nine posts demonstrating what The Toast looks like to an uptight conservative with dabblesome interests; also is creedal Christian and has to live now.

A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow.

Ayn Rand’s The Rainbow Fish

The Case of the Missing Vicar

The Best of Two Monks

How To Apologize

How to Respond to Criticism

How I Pray

Having It All in 6th Century Mesopotamia

The Convert Series: Leah Libresco