HELLO and welcome to the 126th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about Mystery Science Theater 3000! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.
The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.
The Life Sentence of Dicky Joe Johnson And His Family (April 2014), by J. Malcom Garcia for Guernica - It is tempting to call this “a real life Breaking Bad” so you know, I just did. This guy sold meth to pay for his son’s outrageous medical bills, after all other options had been exhausted. And now he’s in jail for the rest of his life.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Definitive Oral History Of A TV Masterpiece (April 2014), by Brian Raftery for Wired Magazine – I was a huge fan of this show! I read this thing while a person cut my hair.
The Private Lives Of Public Bathrooms (April 2014), by Julie Beck for The Atlantic – Sort of a sociological reflection on bathroom design, what happens in private bathroom spaces and people who are too scared to pee in front of other people. Really interesting stuff!
Train Operator (August 2013), by Erik Bryan for The Morning News – A really interesting account of what it’s like to be a conductor of a New York City subway train.
Why Would A Gay Teenager Commit Hate Crimes Against Herself? (May 2014), by Sandra Allen for Buzzfeed – Obviously this is a question undoubtedly relevant to your interests. I found a lot of how the girl justified her actions years later really reminiscent of a liar I knew who used to fake things like her Mom dying of cancer, a phenomenon I’ve discussed in reference to lots of emotional scam artist pieces I’ve linked in previous TIRTLs.But she seems okay now, so that’s good!
Glitter Brigade: The Magical Beginning of A Queer Youth Group (May 2014), by Gabby for Autostraddle - In which Gabby leaves the “self-centered party-dyke” behind and pushes through devastation and grief to become a community leader and form an LGBTQ Youth Group, dubbed “The Glitter Brigade,” in the Bronx.
Southern Belles, Latchkey Kids and Thrift Store Cross-Dressers: Notes From The New Wave Queer Underground, by Robert Burke Warren for The Bitter Southerner – “As a kid in the ’70s, I was in several groups – the church choir, the Boy Scouts, the KISS Army. Still, I never felt like I had a tribe. In 1980, I finally found my people when my best friend, neighbor and schoolmate Todd Butler introduced me to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Silver Screen cinema in Atlanta’s Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. Todd was 16, I was 15.”
Bill Simmons’ Big Score (April 2014), by Rob Tannenbaum for Rolling Stone – So, this is the guy behind Grantland, which is usually pretty good but is sometimes very bad. It seems like the same is true of this guy, who sounds like a very successful douchebag. I admit I’m always impressed by people who don’t care about throwing stones at glass houses, since my desire to avoid that informs every facet of my being.
The Art of Fiction 167: Lorrie Moore (Winter 2000), by Elizabeth Gaffney for The Paris Review - I’ve read this one before but it was re-posted this week on The Paris Review and so I think it is time for me and for you to read it (again, in some cases) because Lorrie Moore is perfect and everyone should love her as much as I do, and appreciates her willingness to say things like, “If I had a staff of even one person, or could tolerate a small amphetamine habit, or entertain the possibility of weekly blood transfusions, or had been married to Vera Nabokov, or had a housespouse of even minimal abilities, a literary life would be easier to bring about.”