HELLO and welcome to the 196th 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 Jay-Z! 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.
The Place Where The Poor Once Thrived, by Alana Semuels for The Atlantic, February 2016
Due to a number of factors, San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley, has been renowned for its ability to offer pathways for its lower-income residents to move up the economic ladder. But that’s not happening quite as easily as it used to happen and this is about why that is.
Selfies, Dating, and the American 14-Year-Old, by Nancy Jo Sales for Vanity Fair, February 2016
Oh you know I can’t resist a Nancy Jo Sales piece! Like much of her journalism, her fieldwork here is more or less limited to the upper-upper class and actually one girl in particular, who’s monologue consumes the majority of the article. But what can I say, I read it with rapt attention. Then it turned out to be just an excerpt from a larger book. Anyhow not saying I LOVED this, but not saying I didn’t love it, either.
Women and Guns, by Emily DePrang and the women of Marie Claire, February 2016
Hot damn, Marie Claire, coming out with this insanely thorough investigation of the relationship between American women and guns. I bought the print edition at the airport last week assuming the bulk of it would be print and excerpts would be online, but I was wrong! The story lives online (the print issue just has a few stats and essays from Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina) ’cause sometimes online is the better place to tell a story. This one includes stats, awesome infographics, and a tightly organized look at the issue from every angle to ever exist. It’s great to see women’s magazines doing this type of journalism.
The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens, by Elspeth Reeve for The New Republic, Febraury 2016
I was not expecting this article to be as long or as in depth as it was but oh boy it was! A big long thing about some teenagers who got super good at tumblr and figured out how to make a lot of money off it, too, and then everything went bust.
Cancer Cons, Phony Accidents and Fake Deaths: Meet The Internet Hoax Buster, by Rachel Monroe for The Guardian
Obviously I was on this woman’s Warrior Eli Hoax facebook group some years back because these stories interest me to no end. It was interesting to hear about what it’s like on her side, and how much this kind of behavior has grown.
The House That Hova Built, by Zadie Smith for T Magazine, September 2012
He’s overwhelmingly familiar, which is of course a function of his fame — rap superstar, husband of Beyoncé, minority owner of the Nets, whose new home, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will open this month — but also of the fact he’s been speaking into our ears for so long. No one stares. The self-proclaimed “greatest rapper alive” is treated like a piece of the furniture.
Were Any Of His Stories True? by Doyle Murphy for The Riverfront Times, February 2016
I’d read about this particular journalist who made shit up on The Intercept when it all went down but this article was a longer and really well-done look at the whole damn story. His lying began long before The Intercept, and so forth.
H., by Sarah Resnick for n+1, Winter 2016
On heroin and harm reduction. A personal essay from the niece of an addict that weaves in press coverage of heroin addiction as her own story progresses in tandem. It’s a really powerful mix of the personal and political. And it is an indictment of a government that, with far too many drugs, is trying to do two things at once and failing at both: 1. make sure people who need the drugs can get them, 2. attempt to stop misuse of the drugs by making access to these drugs enormously complicated and often prohibitive.
Brace Yourself, by Rose Eveleth for Racked, February 2016
The history and reality of braces and the adults who want them.
The Unsinkable Myth, by Richard Howells for The Public Domain Review, April 2012
This was really interesting!
These historical snapshots are of immense value to the cultural sociologist, while to the semiotician they demonstrate once again the inherently flexible relationship between the signifier and the signified: The Titanic sinks consistently in the popular imagination, but the values that go down with it remain many and varied according to the particular perspectives of the tellers of the tale in both time and space.
A House, A Girl, by Ashley Inguanta for The Rumpus, February 2016
If you are trying to avoid narratives about eating disorders or self-harm then do not read this essay, but if you aren’t, maybe you will like it. i did.
She loved her mother deeply, but she didn’t tell her mother how she’d lost her virginity to a woman in college who was twice her age, how she used to starve herself and run keys over her skin. The starving stopped first, the keys second.