feature image via NCSU
HELLO and welcome to the 133rd 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 the drink! 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 Teaching Class (June 2014), by Rachel Riederer for Guernica Magazine - About how adjunct professors don’t get paid enough and how that is a fucked-up situation for students and for teachers. So many good things in Guernica’s “Class Issue” this month seriously great.
Every Hour A Glass of Wine: The Female Writers Who Drank (June 2014), by Olivia Laing for The Guardian – Well this was fascinating! The author recently wrote about male alcoholic writers Plus there’s lots of lesbian action in here because of Elizabeth Bishop and Patricia Highsmith.
Should Two Children Be Imprisoned For Plotting To Kill Their Classmates? (June 2014), by Victoria Beale for Buzzfeed – Jesus. “In Washington state, a 10- and 11-year-old were sentenced to years in a detention facility after being caught with weapons and claiming they were going to murder other kids at their school. Where is the line between a childish game and a real threat?”
Scenes From A Life In Negroland (June 2014), by Margo Jefferson for Guernica – This was really interesting, a personal essay about growing up in an upper-class black family in the 1950s. “We thought of ourselves as the Third Race, poised between the masses of Negroes and all classes of Caucasians. Like the Third Eye, the Third Race possessed a wisdom, intuition, and enlightened knowledge the other two races lacked. Its members had education, ambition, sophistication, and standardized verbal dexterity.”
The Racism Beat (June 2014), by Cord Jefferson for Medium - This was really compelling, both because of the places where I could relate strongly (w/r/t my own experience with The Queer Beat) and the places where I could not because racism is a very different beat/beast than homophobia, especially right now. As Jefferson talks about w/r/t his beat, there are a lot of stories we used to cover that we stopped covering at some point out of fatigue for how frequently these stories occur and how hard it is to summon a desire to even keep talking about them.
The Trials of “Entertainment Weekly” One Magazine’s 24 Years of Corporate Torture (June 2014), by Anne Helen Peterson for The Awl – I was a passionate and faithful subscriber to Entertainment Weekly from like 1995-1999, the issue always came on Friday and I would read it cover to cover. It’s interesting that Peterson had the same experience, and even more interesting is the entire history of this unpredictable magazine and its obligation to its corporate overlords.
Abandoned Home For The Abandoned: Forest Haven Asylum (April 2014) via Sometimes Interesting – This website, which focuses on “weird, forgotten and sometimes interesting things” recently visited the abandoned Forest Haven Asylum for the “mentally retarded” (their words), “one of the most deadly institutions in the United States,” and the stories they uncovered about what residents experienced there is appalling, like American Horror Story Season Two appalling. Then also there are the photos! “The campus was beautiful, however care and treatment would deteriorate rapidly as the city’s budget tightened. Understaffing issues were common, and for decades reports of resident abuse and neglect went ignored. The District treated Forest Haven like a dark secret nobody wanted to discuss. A combination of budget cuts and lawsuits eventually forced the institution to close in 1991 after 80 years. But before Forest Haven was shuttered, hundreds of residents died and thousands more deteriorated while enduring a horrific quality of life.”
The Sexual Life Of Haley M. (June 2014), by Haley Mlotek for Adult Magazine – “Perhaps it is a kind of fantasy, a belief that sex with someone other than yourself can be this simple, but it’s a fantasy rooted in a very realistic desire: to stay within your own body and to see it primarily as a source of pleasure instead of a source of anxiety and insecurity. To work at something for the sheer pleasure of it, a work that is its own reward.”
Also, I’ve been sharing longform pieces done right here on Autostraddle in this column for a while now, so this is the part where I tell you that I wrote a very long thing about how much it sucked when my Dad died when I was 14 and about grieving forever and ever and ever. My ex-girlfriend said it’s the most important thing I’ve ever written, SO.