HELLO and welcome to the 184th 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 Disneyland! 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.
Burning Down the Mouse, by Heather Havrilesky for Medium, September 2015
I know better than to love Disneyworld but I do, I JUST LOVE IT. Heather Havrilesky knows better and therefore really does not love it, but gives it a winning try for the sake of her daughter, and also talks about Banksy’s Dismaland and welp, it’s just an all-around excellent piece of writing on topics I hold near/dear.
Slender Man is Watching, by Lisa Miller for New York Magazine, September 2015
The bizarre and monumentally disturbing case of Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, 12-year-olds accused of attempting to kill their friend, Bella, which they allegedly did because they wanted the protection of a fictional character named Slender Man.
That’s When I Knew I Was Free, by Jada Yuan for New York Magazine, September 2015
The individual stories of eight men who were imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit, talking about what it was like to return to the world again after what was often actual decades behind bars.
The Girls On Shit Duty, by Anna Maxymiw for Hazlitt, March 2015
If you know anything about me and my fear of discussing or reading about or really engaging with any conversation involving human excrement, you will understand what a big deal it is that I read this entire thing.
How Utah Became a Bizarre, Blissful Epicenter for Get-Rich-Quick Schemes, by Alice Hines for Talking Points Memo, June 2015
Pyramid schemes and the people who get involved in them have always been interesting to me — my Mom used to sell Tupperware and I had a roommate who tried really hard to sell us these weird nutritional shakes for a while. It was really awkward. Apparently Utah is ripe for this kind of thing, especially because a lot of Mormon housewives live there! This article led me to…
An In-Depth Look At Multilevel-Marketing, by multiple reporters for Al Jazeera
This is a five-part investigative study — I started in the middle, with Seeing Green, which talked about how Herbalife preys on Hispanic communities. The first piece, An Army of Recruits, focused on The Vemma Nutrition Company, a “mutlilevel marketing firm” that “relies on independent salespeople, or affiliates, to buy its products — energy drinks, diet shakes and supplements — and then sell them by word of mouth” and targets young people with lots of debt, employing “sleek marketing and social media savvy.” Every section of this report is worth a read as they look at not only specific companies, but the problem from all angles.
An American Void, by Stephanie McCrummen for The Washington Post, September 2015
A journalist spends some time with the friends whose trailer Dylann Roof was staying with before the Charleston Church shooting — showing off his gun, making vague threats, playing video games, drinking heavily, and listening to opera music in his car. Seriously all these guys ever do is play video games. They didn’t take the threats seriously. It’s really scary.
Two Years After Kony 2012, Has Invisible Children Grown Up? by Jessica Testa for Buzzfeed,
That Kony 2012 situation was so wildly bonkers. Here’s what happened before and after.
No Girls Allowed, by Tracey Lien for Polygon, December 2013
Al linked to this in the comments of Alex’s excellent piece on Girl Gamers and it is SO GOOD. It’s about gendered marketing in general, and like the entire history of the video game industry and when video games stopped being for everybody and started being marketed towards boys in the ’90s.
How To Write About Trans Women, by Gabrielle Bellot for Autostraddle, September 2015
Yes, I’m plugging one of our own, because we’re really proud to have published this! We found Gabrielle via Guernica and asked if she’d be interested in writing for us and then she did!
Never mind how much pain you cause. Never mind how many nights of terror and deep-sea loneliness you contribute to. Never mind how you have already begun to put us on display in your mind and in the minds of potential readers like humans on display in cages, things to be laughed or pointed at like specimens. Never mind the way you fill the halls of a mind with ghosts that should not be there.
Scarification, by Melissa Febos for Guernica, September 2015
This was the winner of the 2015 Center for Women Writers Prize in Creative Nonfiction.
In the locker room, you perfect the art of changing your clothes under your clothes. Your body is a secret you keep, a white rabbit, and you the magician who disappears it. Remember: this is a hard hustle to break. It is difficult to keep some secrets, and not others. Hustle now, across that field, forgetting your body as only this allows, and reach for the ball that scorches your hand with pain. See what happens when you forget yourself? It is better to choose your pain, than to let it choose you.