HELLO and welcome to the 128th 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 Alex Trebek! 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 Last King of The American Middlebrow (May 2014), by Noreen Malone for The New Republic - You dudes. I gotta tell you something. Alex Trebek is drunk. I’m sorry I had to tell you like this.
Birdette’s Black and White World (May 2014), by Mary Clare Fischer for narrative.ly - So this girl is basically the best, and right now she’s “laying the groundwork for a program that would give young women in Mississippi a place to have difficult conversations about things like sexuality, body image, and their relationships with God.”
Hitting Bottom (December 2009), by Chris Morris for The New York Times - This is about Dr. Drew! Alex and I used to watch Celebrity Rehab and i can’t remember why but it somehow became somewhat addictive. I also used to watch Loveline on MTV. I’m super skeptical about this dude in general. I can’t believe i never read this piece before, but maybe I did and just forgot it.
Over Easy (April 2014), by Moria Donegan for The New Inquiry - I remember when I was 18 I told my friend at The Olive Garden that I wanted to donate eggs, ’cause I’d seen an ad for it and I needed money, and she was like, DO NOT DO THAT and told me all these awful things about what your body goes through. This article is about that process and also the types of girls that are coveted by the types of couples that pay for this sort of thing.
The Rise of Nintendo (May 2014), by Blake J. Harris for Grantland - This is the whole entire history of a thing that I did not know the history of! I found it very interesting. My Mom wouldn’t let me have a Nintendo because she was a fascist.
Murderabilia (April 2010), by John Larabee for The Boston Phoenix – Um, I did not realize that “Son of Sam” laws had been stricken down? It’s super fucked up that serial killers can profit from selling their art or locks of their hair to I guess really profoundly disturbed people.
“The Supernaught site (which bills itself as a destination for “true crime memorabilia and gallery”) also offers items connected to Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, convicted of bludgeoning a Greenwich neighbor in his teenage years; serial killer Lewis Lent, in prison for the murder of a child in western Massachusetts; Christopher McCowen, behind bars for the slaying of Cape Cod fashion writer Christa Worthington; and Joseph Druce, who killed pedophile priest John Geoghan while both were in prison.”
The Origins of Privilege (May 2014), by Joshua Rothman for The New Yorker - AN INTERVIEW WITH PEGGY MCINTOSH HERSELF. Really interesting, the history of this idea that has now become central to our discourse on social justice topics.
Addict. Informant. Mother (May 2014), by Susan Dominus for The New York Times - This is a slice of life piece about a heroin addict in Pennsylvania trying to get clean, working as a police informant, being shuffled through the criminal justice system.
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” At 30: How One Album Changed The World (November 2012), by Steve Greenberg for Billboard - This was SO interesting. Did you know pop radio was for all intents and purposes, segregated from like 1978-1982 because of various changes in listener segmentation enabled by FM Radio, and MTV only played videos by white people until “Billie Jean”? I feel stupid for not already knowing that.
“Try imagining J.K. Rowling suddenly coming out with a series of books that were so much better and more popular than the Harry Potter books that they rendered them a mere footnote to her career and you’ll get the idea of what Michael Jackson accomplished with “Thriller.””