HELLO and welcome to the 244th 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 Brietbart! 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.
Down the Breitbart Hole, by Wil S. Hylton for The New York Times, August 2017
You gotta know what we’re up against and you gotta read this to know it. It’s chock-full of so many illuminating and important points about our current situation. I read Brietbart sometimes to keep my tabs on the other side and people are like WHY DO YOU DO THAT and I don’t know, I think it’s important to know what the other side is thinking and what they’re up to.
Not Fuzz, by David Mark Simpson for The Atavist Magazine, July 2017
PEOPLE SURE ARE BIZARRE AND HAVE SOME REALLY INTERESTING HOBBIES LIKE PRETENDING TO BE COPS. This topic did not immediately interest me but then I got sucked in.
How Women In The KKK Were Instrumental To Its Rise, by Linda Gordon for Buzzfeed, August 2017
Yes, here we are again with “important things to know,” especially if you are a white person. This is an excerpt from Linda Gordon’s new book, The Second Coming Of the KKK.
Poisoning Daddy, by Skip Hollandsworth for Texas Monthly, July 1996
Admittedly I was drawn to this piece because the main image for it is an obvious Glamour Shot of the teenage girl who murdered her father, but you know what they say, “come for the glamour shot, stay for the murder.”
Not Tragedy, But Atrocity, by John Patrick Leary for Guernica, July 2017
In anticipation of the movie “Detroit,” which debuted this month, a look back at the Algiers Motel atrocity, in which three black men were murdered by police for no damn reason.
This is a True Story, by Sarah Gerard for Hazlitt, August 2017
The latest installment of “Mouthful,” Gerard’s series “about the author’s relationship with food, ten years into recovery from anorexia and bulimia.”
I was accustomed to relying on validation from outside. That’s where anorexia had taught me I could find it. I didn’t know yet who I was when I wasn’t starving. I hadn’t yet learned all of the ways I could feed myself.
How Well Do You Know the $17 Million Music Video That Changed Disney Parks Forever? Here’s The Story., by Brian Kosnak for Theme Park Tourist, June 2017
It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with my favorite website, Theme Park Tourist, and boy have they been busy! Like they wrote this fantastic piece about Captain EO, which seemed really cool for a while, remember?
Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?, by Jean M. Twenge for The Atlantic, September 2017
Okay I know these alarmist articles are so frequent they often render themselves mundane, but this makes a solid case for its existence and analysis of a generation (not millennials, but younger than millennials) who “are growing up with smartphones, have an Instagram account before they start high school, and do not remember a time before the internet.” The number of teens who get together with their friends nearly every day has dropped by more than 40 percent from 2000 to 2015 because instead they’re at home on their phones talking to all their friends at once and this is apparently bad because “all screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness.” To be fair this same hand-wringing was happening over television watching when I was a kid, but, you know, your mileage may vary.
Why are today’s teens waiting longer to take on both the responsibilities and the pleasures of adulthood? Shifts in the economy, and parenting, certainly play a role. In an information economy that rewards higher education more than early work history, parents may be inclined to encourage their kids to stay home and study rather than to get a part-time job. Teens, in turn, seem to be content with this homebody arrangement—not because they’re so studious, but because their social life is lived on their phone. They don’t need to leave home to spend time with their friends.
What This Cruel War Was Over: The Confederate Cause in the Words of Its Leaders, by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic, June 2015
In 2015, Ta-Nehisi Coates put this together in response to then-governor-of-South-Carolina Nikki Haley’s assertion that Dylan Roof had a “sick and twisted view” of the Confederate Flag. Of course he truly didn’t — Roof interpreted the flag and what it represents accurately, which’s why it needs to go down. Reading all these vintage excerpts from speeches and government officials and Southern publications is again, a valuable education in how we got here, now.
The Persistent Fantasy of the Fashion Magazine Job, by Alice Bolin for Racked, July 2017
Well, firstly I felt very SEEN by the author’s initial description of her women’s magazine addiction, which I shared in every way at one point, and also in her aspirations to work at one of those magazines, which I also shared. Also her frustration at the representation of women’s magazines on screen. To me this piece felt like the outline of a much longer piece but also I have such an incredible interest in this topic that maybe I’d be one of the only people who wanted to read 7,000 words of this instead of 2,000. Who can say? Life is full of mystery.
How Trump Ruined My Relationship With My White Mother, by Panama Jackson for Very Smart Brothas, August 2017
But on the day my sister and I were leaving Michigan, as we stopped at the restaurant my mother owned, one of the town police officers happened to stop by. She wanted me to meet him so that perhaps I’d change my tune about the police (I have a standard-issue, black-man disdain and distrust of police). She managed to imply to the police officer that several groups (I can only imagine that she meant Black Lives Matter activists) were making it hard for cops like him to do his job. He took one look at me and sidestepped that land mine by simply saying, “There’s a lot happening on both sides that makes it hard for us all,” and then left. I appreciated him for that, honestly. On the other hand, I couldn’t believe what my mother had said. But I was leaving in less than an hour and didn’t feel like getting into any arguments. Besides, I knew there were plenty more arguments to come.