HELLO and welcome to the 127th 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 toys! 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.
Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman: The Two Sides of Miley Cyrus (May 2014), by Tavi Gevinson for Elle Magazine – And then Tavi Gevinson interviewed Miley Cyrus for Elle Magazine? I think the best part is when she mixes up The Sixth Sense with The Shining and Elle acknowledges the mix-up with a “[sic]” but there are a lot of really special moments.
Guys & Dolls: Veteran Toy Designer Wrestles With Gender Divide (May 2014), by Hunter Oatman-Stanford for Collectors Weekly – I think I expected the interviewee to have more radical ideas about gender than she did, but I also think it’s really valuable and important to read the more moderate opinions as well.
The 9/11 Story Told At Bedrock, Powerful As A Punch To The Gut (May 2014), by Holland Cotter for The New York Times – Well, I think this is the piece of the week, the one that so many people are talking about. About the 9/11 museum, which opens this week. I don’t really know how I feel about it, but the article contains a lot of multimedia. I do feel like if I still lived in New York I would go, but I’m not sure what my motivation would be. Well, to be fair, I LOVE ALL MUSEUMS.
This Is Not The Nigeria I Know (May 2014), by Adora Udoji for medium – “The Nigeria from which I draw half my DNA and where I once lived has great difficulties, but it also has a tremendous passion for life, rich traditions and an enormous respect for educating boys and girls. It is a colorful and dynamic country with great aspirations by the vast majority of hard-working, clever and resilient people.”
Chat Wars: Microsoft vs. AOL (May 2014), by David Auerbach for n+1 – This is super in-depth and gets pretty technical, but it’s also really interesting and you can learn a lot from it if you so desire. The author was on the ground floor of building MSN Messenger in 1999, and there’s lots of interesting stuff about software, and business, and coding, and all the things that go in to why a certain application is designed the way it is besides “what makes the most sense.”
The Nuyorican Revolution (February 2014), by Frederick Bernas for narrative.ly – A Nuyorican Poets anthology was the first book of poetry I ever bought myself as a teenager, so this was super relevant to my interests on multiple levels. It’s a great piece, ’cause it’s got so much history, and also the present, and also POETRY and also beautiful pictures, and tells the stories of a few different performers.
*It Will Look Like A Sunset (April 2014), by Kelly Sundburg for Guernica – This is so beautifully written and so, so terribly sad. It’s about domestic violence (and it gets very graphic) and how it can take a long time to leave and also reconcile the good version of a human with the monster that is also always there.
Haverford Oops! (March 2014) by Chris Ballard for Sports Illustrated – I played basketball in middle school, and I went to a school for gifted kids so we played other private schools, mostly Christian schools, and they always kicked our ass. We lost every single game for three years EXCEPT ONE and it was the most glorious moment of our lives on earth. Anyhow, this is a story about the Haverford Basketball team, who lost and lost and lost and lost and lost and lost some more back in the ’90s.
Oh, that Miley Cyrus interview is so great. I’ve always suspected that she is always given way too little or way too much credit, when the reality she’s just somewhere in between, dealing with ego/identity issues that anyone her age and in her position would be dealing with but she just happens to be dealing with them in front of millions (and with fewer layers of handling and spin at the moment than most in her field, I think). And that Shining/Sixth Sense mixup is hilarious.
Even the article about the 9/11 museum made my cry, so I probably won’t be visiting anytime soon. I have mixed feelings about it, but I also try to remind myself that not everybody was here that day and not everybody who WAS here was an adult, and of COURSE those people have sincere interest in understanding that moment in history. It’s completely valid and better experienced from a museum than a movie (which I suppose is how a lot of people might think of it?).
I didn’t know about the Missing posters, though. Having lived among and helped post those, I don’t ever need to see one again. I suppose (and hope?) that one day it’ll no longer feel like it all JUST happened and I’ll be grateful for the museum then for me. And for now I’m grateful that it can give other people a tiny window of access.
Oh and on behalf of my demographic, I’d like to thank Ms. Cyrus for at least acknowledging she feels BAD about calling people in their 30s and 40s “old!”
I can’t get over this bit from the toy article:
“My designer friend and I were in the Hasbro girls group, and we developed this line of toys that we were so excited about. When we were growing up, both of us loved adventure and exploring and solving. We loved books like Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, and the Hardy Boys.
So we came up with this line of girls’ accessories—they weren’t dolls—based on solving mysteries or going on adventures on your bike and solving puzzles and reading maps and finding hidden things.”
Um, YES PLEASE? Do you know how much I would’ve wanted a “Harriet the Spy” spy kit when I was 10? A LOT.
This is also a great idea for a homemade gift – a book and some accessories to go with it. Maybe I feel this way because I grew up with American Girl dolls, but I think this is a fabulous idea.
I love stories about teams who lose and lose and lose and lose. I was on one! On the plus side, our team won a national award for having one of the highest GPA averages in our league of hundreds of teams (in college). That’s gotta count for something.
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