HELLO and welcome to the 102nd 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 Paris Hilton! 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.
I read so many things I didn’t love this week you guys, it was weird. I read like the first three paragraphs of like 15 articles.
Cowboy Scholars (June 2004), by Evgenia Peretz for Vanity Fair – My friend Toby went to this school, when he told me about it I was like what that cannot be real. “Imagine an academically elite college whose 26 male students work a 2,500-acre cattle ranch, aren’t allowed to drink, do drugs, or leave their isolated desert valley, but control admissions, discipline, and faculty hiring and firing. That’s the Utopian legacy of maverick electric-power tycoon Lucien Lucius Nunn, who founded Deep Springs on the California-Nevada border in 1917. Visiting a campus that has hovered on the brink of lunacy and collapse, the author learns why Deep Springs is the most successful experiment in higher education in U.S. history.”
Dallas Buyers Club and The History of AIDS on Film,(November 2013), by Noel Murray and Scott Tobias for Dissolve – This is really interesting w/r/t how gay men are treated in films about AIDS and how the narrative gets framed.
Hello, Welcome to Blockbuster, May I Help You (November 2013), by Erik Bryan for The Awl – For a significant portion of my life, I went to Blockbuster every single day. Every.single.day. Every day! Eventually I cut back to like once a week. I liked indie video stores better but those started shutting down and also Blockbuster was close to my home.
The Last Word On First Editions (January 2010), by Ben Marks for Collector’s Weekly – I found this really interesting, it’s about book collecting!
To Paris, With Love (November 2013), by Mitchell Sunderland for Noisey – We’re all friends here, right? I mean, you won’t judge me for the fact that I was obsessed with Paris Hilton for a few years, during which she unapolagetically and easily was named as my fashion icon, so as you can imagine I spent a lot of time in those tiny skirts she always wore in bubblegum colors. Good, good, I’m glad everybody here is so open-minded.
A Discourse on Brocialism (November 2013), by Laurie Penny for The New Statesmen – “On Brand, iconoclasm, and a woman’s place in the revolution: a dialogue with Richard Seymour on the question of how to reconcile the fact that people need stirring up with the fact that the people doing the stirring so often fall down when it comes to treating women and girls like human beings.”
The Real O.J. Simpson (Spring 2004), by Bruce Jackson for The Antioch Review – So this is about OJ Simpson, a trial of course I remember vividly because it was all anybody talked about (and yes, we did what this guy did — inventing our own narratives), and I remember when he was acquitted I was in Biology class and someone in the hallway yelled THE JUICE IS LOOSE and then we all knew. Anyhow, this is about OJ Simpson but it’s also about creating narratives, and all the ways in which fiction and real life have absolutely nothing in common, and how that plays out in the courtroom, which is about one story versus the other.
The Prophet (October 2013), by Helanie Olen for The Pacific Standard – “Meet Dave Ramsey, the most important personal finance guru in America. Millions of people follow his biblically inspired advice. It goes like this: 1. Purge yourself of debt; 2. Live on cash; 3. Pretend economic trends don’t affect you; 4. Blame yourself when they do.”
All Linked In With Nowhere To Go (November 2013), by Ann Friedman for The Baffler – I’ve never really gotten into LinkedIn, is it a thing people really use to get jobs? I’m confused. Anyhow, I would read Ann Friedman talk about anything, because everything she says is genius, and her interrogation of the network’s “thought leaders” and “prosperity-through-connectivity” is no exception.
Texas’ Other Death Penalty (November 2013), by Rachel Pearson for The Texas Observer – The most shocking statistic in this piece about a doctor working at a clinic forced to serve thousands of uninsured Americans, including many who’d be insured were it not for Rick Perry’s decision to restrict Medicaid, is that the University of Texas Medical Branch “accepted 77 percent of charity referrals in 2005, it was only taking 9 percent in 2011.
Tig Notaro and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Yet Somehow Completely Amazing Year (August 2013), by Sandra Allen for Buzzfeed – Tig Notaro!
“What kind of fucking freedom are we fighting for?”
“I believe that socialism without feminism is no socialism worth having.”
These are the types of things I want to shout from rooftops all over the world. As a Women and Gender Studies major I am constantly bombarded with people opinions about feminism. In fact, I am beginning to receive more discrimination for being a feminist than being queer, and of course my feminist beliefs are always believed to be directly related to my sexuality. Articles like “A Discourse on Brocialism” leave me feeling undeniably frustrated and minimally hopeful. Sometimes I feel like I will never break free of society’s imposed definitions of me. As a woman, I am perceived to be weak, emotional, irrational and if I appear to challenge those characteristics I am immediately put into a category of “angry, feminist, man hater”. I am crying right now not because I’m an “emotional woman” but because the society I live in tells me everyday, multiple times a day that I am and always will be “less than a man”.
On an uplifting note, Autostraddle is one of the only places I feel safe and free to express my opinions without being judged by my sexuality and my feminist beliefs. (I still express them in other places though, because I will NOT let a bunch of White, upper class, able bodied men tell me how I should live!)
All together now FUCK PATRIARCHY!
That Tig story – one big thing that happened this year was that I discovered her work as well as Professor Blastoff. I saw her and the podcast live twice this year and I listen to old episodes nearly everyday. Does anyone else have major Tig feels? I sure do.
I feel like Dave Ramsey’s advice is so Christian/white/middle-class. Also, my parents tried the Dave Ramsey method and they’re back in debt, so there’s that….
Loved the article about first editions–I’m something of an amateur book collector. My prize possession is a children’s novel called She Was Nice to Mice, written by 11-year-old Ally Sheedy!
How am I juuuust now hearing about Deep Springs?! Mind. Blown. I want one of those for women!
My parents have been preaching the so-called “gospel” of Dave Ramsey for years. They quote him every time we talk about my student debt and they refuse to believe me when I tell them the many very legitimate reasons why I choose to keep getting student loans. They use his advice to try and guilt me for going to a great undergrad and law school because, essentially, if I had just gone part time to crappier schools and worked my ass off at a part time jobs throughout, I wouldn’t have to be in debt. Yeah, it’d take me a bit longer and I would likely never be able to get the amazing jobs, internships, and networking opportunities that going to prestigious schools necessarily affords, but who cares? I’d be debt free if I had just followed this advice…
For people like my dad who grew up in a time when going to a 4-year university, even for people going into engineering like him, was the exception, not the norm, this whole student loan culture seems totally crazy. My dad was the only one of his siblings to get a Bachelors, he didn’t go into a penny of debt to get there, and now he holds a high-level position at a fortune 500 company, lives a very comfortable upper-middle class lifestyle, and is confused that my brothers and I couldn’t follow this same debt-free model.
I don’t know how much of his ignorance about the current economic necessity of getting student loans comes from growing up in a different time or how much comes from listening to Dave Ramsey constantly, but I’ve always suspected that at least part of that comes from the latter. So thanks for posting the article. I’ve always felt inadequate to actually argue against any of his message, but now I feel like I at least have a place to start.