HELLO and welcome to the 54th 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 state subsidies and drinking on the internet! 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.
Napster, Udacity and the Academy (November 2012), by Clay Shirky – “That’s because the fight over Massive Open Online Courses is really about the story we tell ourselves about higher education: what it is, who it’s for, how it’s delivered, who delivers it. The most widely told story about college focuses obsessively on elite schools and answers a crazy mix of questions: How will we teach complex thinking and skills? How will we turn adolescents into well-rounded members of the middle class? Who will certify that education is taking place? How will we instill reverence for Virgil? Who will subsidize the professor’s work?”
“The Love Between The Two Women Is Not Natural” (August 2008), by Ann Patchett for The Atlantic - Clemson University in South Carolina picked Patchett’s novel, Truth & Beauty, about her deep friendship with writer Lucy Greely (Autobiography of a Face) for their freshman summer reading assignment, a bunch of adults totally freaked out because it mentioned sex and drugs.
School of Shock (August 2007), by Jennifer Gonnerman for Mother Jones - There’s been a more recent article about this school on TIRTL, which actually makes this one even more interesting — the place where problem children are sent and then punished with electric shocks and somehow it’s all legal.
The United States of Subsisidies (December 2012), by Louise Story for The New York Times – This is a three-parter about how state tax subsidies are used to lure businesses to their states and they promise jobs and then there are no jobs and we’re all fucked forever and ever amen.
Feet in Smoke (August 1999), by John Jeremiah Sullivan for The Oxford American - In which the author’s brother is electrocuted by a microphone during his band rehearsal and miraculously recovers while also saying weird and fascinating things.
Tragic Kingdom (January 1994), by Jennifer Allen for The New Republic - I went to EuroDisney, it was SO WEIRD, and this article gets into that.
Allow Natural Death (November 2012), by Jenn Frank for Unwinnable - This was a recommended by a reader, thank you! - “I’d worked so hard to improve my mother’s condition; in reality, I had bungled her death instead. I had encouraged what was already, with or without my stabs at intervention, a complete shitshow.”
Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire (April 2011), by Sabrina Rubin Erdely for Rolling Stone - “It started online and quickly grew into the most intimate of betrayals. The rise, fall and stubborn survival of Kiki Kannibal, a teenage Internet celebrity who discovered that the real world can be a very scary place.”
Habitat For Humanity (December 2012), by Nell Boeschenstein for The Morning News - “If figurines were awarded for completing twentysomething life-experience clichés, I have been angling for the entire set: the search for myself in central European beer halls; the move west to try growing up with the country; graduate school in New York. A log cabin in the woods has the air of the final trinket on the mantle: the Walden moment. Collect them all.”
Boys: Hanging With The Spur Posse (July 1993), by Jennifer Allen for Rolling Stone- I was reading Where I Was From by Joan Didion and there’s a chapter which talks about the Spur Posse as a symbol of What’s Going Wrong With California and I remembered the Spur Posse and this whole story so clearly from when it came out, remember reading about it in TIME magazine in 1993, remember being really confused about the world of teenagers and sex, and I went looking for the TIME article and found this one instead. Beware: there are rapists in this story who do not consider themselves rapists, consider their crimes “consensual,” and therefore the whole situation is incredibly disturbing to read.
Pregnant Pause (December 2012), by Alyssa Giacobbe for Boston Magazine – This is obsensibly about how it probably actually is okay to drink while pregnant, but it’s mostly about how the entire world feels comfortable telling pregnant women what to do or how to act and judging women harshly for everything relating to their offspring regardless of whether or not the judger has children or knows the woman or anything at all.
Black Metal Troy, Or ‘How to Drink Online’ (April 2011), by Robert Moor for The Brooklyn Rail – “Bruz and his followers called themselves the 40 Oz. Crew. The Crew was a pretty diverse group of people, black and white, men and even a few women, gathered around a common hobby: getting shit-faced with their computers. A couple of the guys, like Bruz, had wives, and they sometimes got their wives to hold the camera while they swilled the swill. Like this one guy, called Odeed. He got his wife to stand around in his garage with him and sip these cute little hand grenade-shaped bottles of Mickey’s5 while he drank the big ones.“