HELLO and welcome to the 121th 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 heroin! 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 New Face of Heroin (April 2014), by David Amsden for Rolling Stone – The new face of heroin is that people are doing heroin in Vermont. Also, because oxy has gotten too expensive and more closely regulated.
Conversations With Writers Braver Than Me #16: Rebecca Walker (March 2014), by Sari Botton for The Rumpus – “One of the things I remember saying to my mother, in the midst of the upset about that first book, was, that I had been raised to tell my story and tell my truth. That was a fundamental part of what growing up as her daughter, in the community that I was raised in, was about. I basically said, ‘Look, I’m following the tradition that you gave me.'”
Watching Team Upworthy Work Is Enough To Make You A Cynic. Or Lose Your Cynicism. Or Both. Or Neither. (March 2014), by Nitsuh Abebe for New York Magazine — This was fun to read because it’s Peter! See, my former boarding school suitemate and East Harlem roommate and forever-ever sisterwife brilliant love of my life who gave me the best breakup advice ever that so many of you love so much is married to Peter, who is the co-founder of Upworthy. He is pictured frequently in this article. I mean, I know this article is about Upworthy and their whole situation and the Situation of the Viral Web and not about Krista, but I just wanted to talk about Krista for a second. You should read this! These are good guys.
The Talk (April 2014) by Rachel Giese for The Walrus – What happens when you legitimately try and teach teenage boys useful sex ed? Some earnest Canadians decided to find out!
Mind Games (March 2014), by Siva Vaidhyanathan for Book Forum – I have no i idea what to think about this, but I sure did read it. “But none of these appraisals of the life of the mind gets at the real heart of the matter: the now quaint-sounding matter of the university’s “mission”—the bigger-picture question of what our institutions of higher learning do for and with the world. In sizing up such issues, every account is a vignette. So sometimes the best we can do is assemble the widest array of vignettes and try to maintain proper critical distance. So here is another vignette—less personal, more theological. Within every great American university, even MIT, there is a monastery.”
Just Cheer, Baby (April 2014), by Amanda Hess for ESPN The Magazine – So the cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders are paid $1,250 for a season, despite the fact that they put in hours like a full-time job and are required to do so many things and buy so many things! It’s not fair. So this girl named Lacy took her contract to a lawyer and they were like, oh this is actually illegal, so she is is SUING THEIR ASSES. Then I read the comments and wanted to die.
Pixel & Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In The Gig Economy, by Sarah Kessler for Fast Company – This was a really good story, and reflects also how it felt to try and be a freelancer picking up gigs on craigslist, honestly. Here’s the description: “For one month, I became the “micro-entrepreneurwp_poststouted by companies like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Airbnb. Instead of the labor revolution I had been promised, all I found was hard work, low pay, and a system that puts workers at a disadvantage.”
See Me (March 2014), by Emma Cline for The Paris Review – “My mother didn’t ask where the letters came from. Maybe to her they looked innocuous enough: the envelopes covered in adolescent scribbles, the flaps shiny with stickers. She had six other children, four other daughters, all of us starting to learn the opaque equation of attraction, my father hissing at me under his breath to put on a bra.”
Kidnapped By Iran (March 2014), by Shane Bauer & Josh Fattal & Sarah Shourd for Mother Jones – I read this and was like “wow, this is awful, I can’t believe what these people went through” and then I read the comments which were all like WHY WERE YOU HIKING IN SUCH A DANGEROUS PLACE TO BEGIN WITH YOU IDIOTS and then I didn’t know how to think or feel about anything.
The Night I Was Belle Of The Ball (March 2014) – A personal essay on Kinja about being an awkward female computer genius in a world of boys and then being a brilliant female programmer in a world of men, and wondering what happened in between.
A Strange Sports’ Saddest Season (March 2014), by Alden Wicker for narrative.ly – About “Circle Football,” a sport played by humans in Brooklyn that was invented in 2009 and involves a yoga ball. Yup.