HELLO and welcome to the 156th 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 TJ Maxx! 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.
Daughters Have Their Own Agenda, by Tiana Reid for The New Inquiry, December 2014
This is amazing. My favorite piece this week. Now I want to read everything she’s ever written.
Whatever her name, Mommy or Momma, the different suffixes mark the figure as similarly fungible. She’s at once pathetic, paralyzed and disgusting, signaled by her waiting and especially by her waiting for a cheater, a no-good, and also some light vision of universal progress, both the degrader and carrier of culture. In an atmosphere of catastrophe, maternal loss and the memorials loss produces structure a moving forward because god forbid a man suffer and not do anything about it. Gregory writes in his coda: “You didn’t die a slave for nothing, Momma.” In death, she is once again flesh.
The Prodigal Prince: Richard Roberts and the Decline of the Oral Roberts Dynasty, by Kiera Feldman for This Land Press, September 2014
I knew about Oral Roberts because my best friend was from Oklahoma. I wonder if he knew that the same place we met — Interlochen — is where one of Oral’s sons went to camp. This is a long story about a family that has not done right by its followers or by the G-d they claim to represent. It’s really wild.
The secret world of the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise kings, by Neil Swidey for The Boston Globe, September 2014
Some of these guys are gross and also this made me remember how much I used to go to Dunkin’ Donuts in New York, I mean there were just so many of them. There’s another longform article about THAT situation, by the way.
Confessions of A Former Internet Troll, by Emmett Rensin for Vox, September 2014
A marvelously written meditation on Troll Culture from a boy who got into it when he was young and misanthropic and now has insight to offer about how troll culture has changed for the worse and how he personally grew out of it.
Is TJ Maxx the best retail store in the land? by Beth Kowitt for Fortune, July 2014
Y’all, I love TJ Maxx. I fucking love it. Turns out their secret to success is very closely guarded, but Fortune did a huge investigation to uncover how they do business, and it’s interesting stuff.
The Contestant, by Daniel Alarcon for The California Sunday Magazine, October 2014
Ruth Thalia got famous fast after appearing on a game show designed around a lie detector test, focused on contestants revealing ugly truths in front of their friends and family. Her episode was humiliating for her boyfriend and parents, but earned much-needed money. Then she went missing.
Chris Rock In Conversation With Frank Rich, by Frank Rich for New York Magazine, November 2014
Have I told you lately that my favorite comedians are Chris Rock and Julie Goldman WELL THEY ARE. Anyhow, this interview is brilliant! Honestly I learned so much about comedy, and really appreciated what he said about how hard it is to be a comedian in the hypersensitive college world and also in comedy clubs filled with cellphones who can tweet your every mistake to the masses. Also I think Rock’s views on politics and race in America are really interesting.