Jan 21 • 1HR 14M

54. All Gas and No Mercy

YouTuber Andrew Callaghan gets hit with allegations of sexual coercion right as he reaches the big time. Romance novelist Susan Meachen and her fake death make the NYT. Plus: Behold "MILF Manor"!!!

Journalistas Nancy Rommelmann and Sarah Hepola on what's burning through the culture right now. Flirtatious banter for serious times.
Episode details

Nancy and Sarah dive back into the faked death of romance novelist Susan Meachan, thanks to journalist Ellen Barry, who did a deep dive in the NYT. After learning details of her (actual) life, do we have any more empathy for Meachan and her seduction by and escape into Romancelandia?

Next we look at the scandal around Andrew Callaghan, YouTube star of All Gas No Brakes who was hit with allegations of sexual coercion on the eve of his HBO debut. Nancy is suspicious of the timing, as well as the request for money from one of his accusers. Sarah thinks this kerfuffle raises good questions about coercion, alcohol, and sex. They both found Callaghan’s four-minute apology video like a bingo card of social-justice catch phrases.

Also: Why can’t we stop talking about sex with dead chickens? And Sarah gets dinged on Twitter by someone accusing her of “agreeing with the boss’ wife about Justice Kavanaugh.” Nancy is confused. Isn’t she Sarah’s boss?

In the bonus, it’s onto (into?) the new reality series MILF Manor, which Sarah is mainlining and whose title Nancy can barely bring herself to say. The journalistas took the “Are You a MILF?” quiz. We reveal who scored higher, what’s in our hotboxes, and news about upcoming live events.

And speaking of events! Nancy and Sarah will be appearing onstage with Meghan Daum and Sarah Haider (of A Special Place in Hell) on Thursday June 22, as part of the University of Austin’s 2023 Forbidden Courses event. Despite the name of the university, the event is actually being held in Dallas, 7:30-9pm central, at the Old Parkland.


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Episode Notes:

Kavanaugh and the Blackout Theory,” by Sarah Hepola (New York Times)

The Things I’m Afraid to Write About,” by Sarah Hepola (Atlantic)

The Collateralists,” by Nancy Rommelmann (Make More Pie Substack)

Frau Hepola gives the class their first lesson (the marker was bad)

A listener sends this, in regards to sex with a chicken:

And Kat Rosenfield (whose new novel You Must Remember This Nancy is love love loving) offers the final word, in a DM:

“Vis-a-vis the acceptability of fucking a dead chicken — not a moral argument so much as an organizing principle of the universe. It is like this: if it’s morally acceptable to eat it, it’s not okay to have sex with it — and if it’s okay to fuck it, it’s not okay to eat it. I cannot think of a single exception to this rule and am convinced I’m really onto something here.”

A Fake Death In Romancelandia,” by Ellen Barry (NYT)

Romance Writers of America, whose annual conference is on Valentine’s Day

For some halter-top action, you can do worse than the Instagram feed 70sbabes

Speaking of 70s babes, pic of Debbie Harry that once got Nancy suspended on Twitter

Sarah on “Mornin’!!!”

The film Fancy Dance is in competition at Sundance 2023. Nancy’s daughter Tafv Sampson set-decorated the film and will be there, in a smashing suit a designer in Paris sent her to wear at the premiere tonight and Nancy is not at all excited about this as she types up these notes on the Amtrak!

“Andrew Callaghan Allegations Made By TikToker Caroline Elise,” video (TMZ)

Andrew Callaghan Posts Video Apology After Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Plans to Start Therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous,” by J. Kim Murphy (Variety)

Alleged Victim of Andrew Callaghan Denies Extortion Claims,” by Allegra Frank (Daily Beast)

Get Out of My Bedroom, Andrew Cuomo!” by Nancy Rommelmann (Tablet)

Sarah doubts “good, giving, and game” is still a workable paradigm for casual sex, at least for women (if it ever was):

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