HELLO and welcome to the 146th 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 drought! 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.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Making (August 2014), by Tim Maly for Quiet Babylon – I think I only fully understood 75% of this but I think it was really good. “It is a strange thing to be at a conference with orders of magnitude of difference for current or expected income/attention hanging silently between participants. It is stranger still when it is a conference about making a living (or at least making a life) doing these creative things which mobilize vast virtual and physical networks. When you introduce the labourers who make it possible, even via slide, the mind reels. “
Without You I’m Nothing (July 2014), by Alexandra Molotkow for The Believer – Really interesting and well-done survey of the memoirs of rock stars’ wives. [DISCUSSED: “The Little Woman with a Spine Like a Rubber Hose, Bob Dylan’s Cryptic Magnetism, A Slow and Stifling Ego Death, Girlfriends and Wives as Fairy-Tale Heroines, David Bowie’s Unofficial Creative Director, The Threat of Obliteration, A Bombed-Out Wall in Soho, Reliving One’s Life as a Ghost, The Eyes of a Botticelli Angel, The Fumes of a Magic Marker, Catharsis for the Reader”]
Acting French (August 2014), by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic – “I came to Middlebury in the spirit of the autodidactic, of auto-liberation, of writing, of Douglass and Malcolm X. I came in ignorance, and found I was more ignorant than I knew. Even there, I was much more comfortable in the library, thumbing through random histories in French, than I was in the classroom. It was not enough. It will not be enough. Sometimes you do need the master’s tools to dismantle his house.”
The Source Of All Things (December 2007), by Tracy Ross for Backpacker Magazine – This is a very intense and moving personal essay about a woman hiking a mountain with her stepfather who did just about the worst thing you could ever do to a young person when she was a young person and now she’s trying to deal with it.
Zero Percent Water (September 2014), by Alan Heathcock for medium – I drive through this part of the state all the time — the Central Valley, where the drought is killing off all these farms — so I’ve seen all the signs they mention here. Obviously the drought is something everyone in California is talking about all the time. I know there are many sides to this story that aren’t addressed in this story, but it was quite compelling.
The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About A Guy and His Boring Startup (August 2014), by Mat Honan for Wired – At some point in the mid-’90s, I believe, I read an article in Time Magazine about the guys who started Google, and the thoughts behind their algorithim. I probs used Alta Vista at the time but after reading the article I started using google. As I was reading this — about the off-the-beaten-path path of the guy who started Slack — I was like, will this make me want to use Slack and then I’ll look back on this like I do that article about Google? Anyhow obvs a big reason I liked reading this is ’cause it’s about an app that’d be designed for teams like mine if we could ever afford anything of the kind.
Futures on Demand (September 2014), by Matthew Goldmark for The Appendix – “How a colonial past shaped Star Trek‘s utopian futures.” This is some seriously interesting shit I’d never thought about before and I think about Star Trek (TNG, mostly) more than you’d think.
Black Life, Annotated, by Christina Sharpe for The New Inquiry – I think I included an excerpt from Alice Goffman’s book in an earlier TIRTL and this is a really good article about how it’s “the latest installment in a sociological tradition that subjects black life to scholarly scrutiny” and that specifically Alice Goffman’s whiteness and inexperience should’ve been enough to make her colleagues and publisher think twice about the project.