Hello readers and goodbye summer, it has been so sweet to spend these sunny warm months with you. But all that is over now, or will be after this weekend. The summer is kind of “quiet quitting,” if you think about it. Confused? Let the Talk Hole guys explain it to you. Also quitting but louder, and less quitting but retiring, is Serena Williams. What a legend. What an incredible person. You know who is less impressive? Literally everyone, but especially Jared Kushner. But you’ve gotta be your own cheerleader, and Kushner is taking that to heart, and the bank. Cue up “Heartbeats” because: his memoir? On the New York Times’ Bestseller List? It has a dagger. That means someone, somewhere bought his book in bulk. Suspicious. While some might call that “buying your way onto the bestseller list,” while others are still just trying to prove they know how to read (Lea Michele). She says? The fact that she has to do so is… sexist? Sure. You know what else is? Jordan Peterson, whom unfortunately Maggie Gyllenhaal now knows of. She has ended her lifelong streak of not knowing about incels. Who is to blame? Olivia Wilde, who can’t catch a break. But you will! Have a great long weekend.
Talk Hole: Quiet Quitting
By Steven Phillips-Horst and Eric Schwartau
Two gay guys discuss tennis, Gorbachev, and Beyonce.
WELCOME TO TALK HOLE, A MONTHLY TOPICAL CONVERSATION BETWEEN COMEDIANS ERIC SCHWARTAU AND STEVEN PHILLIPS-HORST.
STEVEN: [Gawker Editor in Chief] Leah [Finnegan] never responded to my email about infographics for Talk Hole.
ERIC: She never responded to my email about covering the U.S. Open for Gawker.
STEVEN: Did she quiet quit? [Editor’s note: She was on vacation.]
ERIC: Maybe we got quiet fired.
STEVEN: I like to think we get fired every month.
ERIC: Then at the last minute we get asked back for one more column as sort of a farewell tour.
STEVEN: Like Serena Williams’s final U.S. Open run.
ERIC: She’s loud quitting.
STEVEN: She’s really milking it! Tennis is such a racket.
ERIC: She’s leaving to be a mom — some call that Love.
STEVEN: After all these years as just a number in the rankings — the ball is finally in her court.
ERIC: And honey, she’s serving.
STEVEN: I couldn’t help but wonder, was quitting tennis what I really wanted — or was my drop shot a double fault?
ERIC: And just like that… it was game, set, and match.
STEVEN: It looks like Gorbachev just quiet quit too.
ERIC: We should pour one out for him.
STEVEN: As long as it’s port wine.
ERIC: He got all those republics to quiet quit the USSR.
Serena’s Last Dance
By Jake Nevins
On three decades of watching the GOAT
It was amusing to watch the proceedings on Monday evening at the U.S. Open, where Serena Williams, 40 years old and ranked 605th in the world, having played just a handful of matches over the last 14 months, summoned something close to vintage form to win her opening match against 80th-ranked Danka Kovinic in straight sets. Tournament organizers, meanwhile, seemed prepared for her to lose, so they went forward with a post-game ceremony featuring remarks from two esteemed Kings, Gayle and Billie Jean, and a reliably florid montage narrated by Oprah Winfrey. “I didn’t expect any of this,” Serena said. This was not some “who, me?!” show of false modesty. Surely, Serena must have known she’d be feted properly at her final tournament, the place where she won her very first Grand Slam 23 years ago. But it was only the first round. Did we really expect her to go so quietly?
Perhaps they’d have to roll out the carpet again on Wednesday night, when Serena faced a considerably taller task against the number two-ranked Anett Kontaveit, 14 years her junior. Not so fast! Striking the ball with clean, controlled aggression, displaying a spring in her step we haven’t seen in at least three years, Serena won again. When asked in her post-match interview if she was surprised by her level of play—a reasonable question, if you watched the first several matches of her farewell tour earlier this summer—she had Mary Joe Fernandez repeat herself. Then Serena giggled. “I’m just Serena,” she replied. A charming soundbite, the kind of thing social media eats up—and it did. And yet, in a match where she won only one more total point than her opponent, this was precisely the difference: for as long as she’s played tennis, Serena has recognized the implications of being Serena, i.e. of being without peer. Continue reading
Jared Kushner Tops the Failing ‘New York Times’ Bestseller List
By Tarpley Hitt
Someone loves his book so much they’re buying it in bulk
Wednesday night, the New York Times published its latest list of bestsellers and you’ll never guess who is topping the non-fiction charts. That’s right, it’s the sharp wit and stylish prose of Jared Kushner, whose new book is titled Breaking History. Good for him. It’s hard to hawk copies, even as the dimpled real estate heir who brought peace to Israel.
At 492 pages, the book — a “fast-paced and surprisingly candid account of how an earnest businessman with no political ambitions found himself pulled into a presidency that no one saw coming,” per the blurb — is almost a half-Rowling. And people are still sucking it down. The man even beat out former iCarly star Jennette McCurdy. Check it out for yourself.
It seems some people loved Kushner’s opus so much they bought multiple copies. That’s what the little dagger below the slugline means. Continue reading
Lea Michele Attributes Illiteracy Allegations to Sexism
By Olivia Craighead
She CAN read, according to her
It’s allll happening. On Tuesday, Lea Michele will finally step into the role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. A big debut like this deserves a big New York Times profile, and our girl got one! Let’s see what she has to say:
“I went to Glee every single day; I knew my lines every single day. And then there’s a rumor online that I can’t read or write? It’s sad. It really is. I think often if I were a man, a lot of this wouldn’t be the case.”
Alrighty then. From her lips to the internet’s deaf ears, Lea Michele can read, and it’s actually sexist if you have made one of those jokes. To her credit, she might be onto something here. If anyone on the Glee cast can’t read, it’s obviously Matthew Morrison. But he’s a man and we were all busy bullying him for other things, so Michele had to catch that heat. Continue reading
Olivia Wilde Teaches Maggie Gyllenhaal About Incels
By Claire Carusillo
She was unfamiliar with the concept
Maggie Gyllenhaal was picked to interview Olivia Wilde for a classic stars-on-stars interview in Interview, an editorial decision that makes sense, considering how much these two buzzy performers-turned-directors have in common. They’re both scions of important families who started acting when they were quite young. In the past few years, both have become notable for their work behind the camera (Wilde directed Booksmart; Gyllenhaal the screen adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter). Neither are film school-trained — they both say in the interview that their school was all the “shitty movies” they acted in, which taught them how not to run a film set.
Of course, they also both profess how much they really, really love Ms. Flo in Wilde’s upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling. Not much more to add to that point — moving on!
But there is one thing that these directors do not share: the same level of familiarity with incels. In fact, Wilde has to use Interview’s precious interview space to teach the Patron Saint of Brownstone Brooklyn who the alt-masculinity figurehead Jordan Peterson is. Continue reading
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