Ode to The Toast

When Sneer Campaign started, one of my longer-term goals was to write something that would make it to The Toast. If you’ve never read the content on The Toast or heard of it at all, I have bittersweet news for you: the site is no longer updating, but there is plenty to read if you’re new to it.

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The Toast is a humor-y site, just like Sneer Campaign but with probably a much wider range of topics. It was started by Daniel Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffee but had many writers over time, including a goodbye message from Hillary Clinton.

If you’re familiar with The Toast and its magical, hilarious, and thoughtful writing, you’ll know that this post from us is well overdue, as the site essentially stopped updating in 2016. It was a very girl-power site, in the best ways. The site has amazing feminist write-ups, reviews of books about women, and jokey posts about women in pop culture. I always looked to it as a more specialized, often funnier, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

“The Toast is a long email chain about force-ranking the Mitford sisters. The Toast prefers free weights to circuit machines but also enjoys a good sit. The Toast doesn’t care how much you or Marilyn Monroe weigh. The Toast is happy, then dignified. The Toast is not haunted, but would welcome a visit from ghosts.”

The Toast’s About Page

Good series/columns and posts:

One of the amazing things about The Toast was the community. You didn’t read a post and then scroll to comments to see things like “hey that was great” followed by a racist comment and then three spam instances. NO. You would look and it would be excited, friendly, witty community of people who love The Toast’s writing and edge. People made friends with each other, shared jokes, and were always eager to see more, more, more writing.

The Toast even dedicated weekly posts to the community. These posts, titled Open Thread, were for US, the fans. It wasn’t new posts, pleas for donations, or new book reviews (which, to be clear, would have been just fine). It gave us something different. As someone who spent much of my life on forums/messageboards and in IRC or now Discord/Slack, I felt at home, as a reader. It brought me back to the days of posting my first of 10,000 comments on a forum dedicated to webcomics, the real foundation of Sneer Campaign. They have a whole section of the site dedicated to community posts, link sharing, open threads, and more.

The Butter

Another wonderful thing that The Toast did for me was to introduce me to Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist, Difficult Women, and World of Wakanda, to name a few. She’s an amazing speaker, a sassy Tweeter, and is one of my favorite contemporary writers. In fact, I’ll even read her cookbook reviews.

While you skim through the graveyard of The Toast, forgive any dead links, missing SSL (just like Sneer Campaign!), the weird spammy ads, and the difficulty of finding a Popular Posts section. It’s worth it. Thank you, Toast.

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