HELLO and welcome to the 163rd 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 face transplants! 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.
Prison Labor, Slavery & Capitalism In Historical Perspective, by Stephen Hartnett on History is a Weapon, 1998
I’ve probably shared a lot of articles on this topic, but it bears repeating, and this one has some particularly stark numbers regarding the corporations benefitting from slave labour via the criminal justice system, and how much money has been poured into prisons while being yanked out of schools. And this is from 1998, so think about THAT.
The Size of the Room, by Christopher Wall for St. Ann’s Review, September 2009
This is almost a novella, in length, but a good one.
“Though we’re seldom aware of it, our bodies synchronize with the bodies around us, till one begins to wonder if the concept of free will means associating with people you don’t mind copying. (This is why we hang out with people who agree with us. They give us back to ourselves.)”
Too Many Roads Lead To The Bullet, by Marco Roth for n+1, August 2013
About Fruitvale and everything.
“If you want more distraction, you can fantasize that Jordan, who played Wallace from the first season of The Wire, is still Wallace, that Wallace wasn’t really shot by his two friends as part of their initiation into the higher ranks of the Barksdale Gang but instead escaped to California, where he was eventually shot by a police officer who claimed, in court, that he’d mistaken his gun for his taser and got off with a two-year suspended manslaughter sentence. In other words, in the garden of forking paths of black urban life, too many roads lead to the bullet.”
The New Face of Richard Norris, by Jeanne Marie Laskas for GQ, August 2014
The interesting parts of this story are the part where this guy gets a face transplant — A WHOLE NEW FACE! — and how that area of medicine is still so new, but also the part with the Wild Turkey?
The Mystery of Marsha Mehran, by Cahal Milmo for The Independent, January 2015
Man I wish this article was like a billion more pages. I’d never heard of this author, but apparently she was epically popular and successful, and then moved to a hermitage in Ireland and died alone, very young.
Too Poor For Pop Culture, by D. Watkins for Salon, December 2014
“Two taps on the door, it opened and the gang was all there — four disenfranchised African-Americans posted up in a 9 x 11 prison-size tenement, one of those spots where you enter the front door, take a half-step and land in the yard. I call us disenfranchised, because Obama’s selfie with some random lady or the whole selfie movement in general is more important than us and the conditions where we dwell.”
Sleepytown: My Childhood With Codeine, by by Donna Tartt for Harper’s Magazine, July 1992
Y’all Donna Tartt’s grandfather fed her shit-tons of codeine for like three years when she was very very young and she stayed home from school hallucinating about Peter Pan.
A Changing Mission, by Joe Garofoli and Carolyn Said for The San Francisco Chronicle
This is one to read on your laptop and you can spend 20 minutes with it or an entire afternoon ’cause there are so many stories and so much media that went in to this portrait of the rapidly-gentrifying Mission Neighborhood in San Francisco. Really it’s fantastic you need to sit down with this.
A Hundred Women, by Alma Guillermopreieto for The New Yorker, September 2003
An old piece on a story that continues, this one focusing on a particular girl who was killed in Chihuahua City, when murders there began looking like the murders in Ciudad Juárez, and the couple who went to jail for it despite not doing it.