HELLO and welcome to the 246th 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 Colin Kaepernick! 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 Sorrow and the Shame of the Accidental Killer, by Alice Gregory for The New Yorker, September 2017
How do you live and go on after you have accidentally killed another human being? This story looks to people who have experienced it and also psychology and philosophy for some sort of answer.
Colin Kaepernick Has a Job, by Rembert Browne for The Bleacher Report, September 2017
Hello, this is a masterpiece.
Here in Turlock, he absorbed every survival skill necessary to live phenomenally among white people, so expertly that they begin to make assumptions—not that you think you’re white, but that you’ve stopped concerning yourself with That Race Stuff, that you are finally content. It is a commonly unfair expectation thrown upon many an agreeable non-white person in a white space in America. But as a black man with a black biological father and a white biological mother, adopted by loving white parents who raised him in a majority white town to become a star three-sport athlete, a God-fearing Christian and a model citizen, this went well beyond the experience of a privileged American jock. This was a unique finesse, somewhere between Orenthal and Obama.
Eileen Myles, Punk Poet, on Trump, Capitalism, Art, Poetry, by Helena Fitzgerald for Rolling Stone, September 2017
The feeling of watching someone you’ve loved for so long become kind of mainstream famous is always bizarre. Eileen Myles feels bizarre about it too.
According to Myles, “There’s no way to separate negative and positive” on social media. “It sort of slows me down a bit, but then again, maybe I would be slowed down anyhow. When I got sober in the Eighties, I told myself, ‘OK, if being an alcoholic and a drug addict didn’t destroy my writing, why would being sober destroy my writing? If being a lesbian didn’t destroy my writing, why would being an academic?’ And now it’s like, to be a writer who’s more known and also has all this history, if all these other things haven’t destroyed me, why would the Internet destroy me? But, you only say that with the sense of an avalanche coming at you, when you might be destroyed.”
Behind a $13 shirt, a $6-an-hour worker, by Natalie Kitroeff and Victoria Kim for The Los Angeles Times, August 2017
Low-cost fast fashion might feel good to the consumer but it is not a good business model for the people who have to actually sew those pieces of clothing together.
A Most American Terrorist: The Making Of Dylann Roof, by Rachel Kaadzi Ghannash for GQ, August 2017
I know it’s like, do I really wanna read about Dylann Roof’s life, but this author makes it worth it. Also the last third or so digs in deep to internet white supremacy and how it functions.
When he was done crisscrossing those dank swamps, those barren fields that once held rice and indigo, he must have felt as accomplished in American history as any naive ninth-grade dropout can feel. He’d downloaded books about the Klan, he’d made lists of other nearby African Methodist Churches, he’d weighed the pros and cons of shooting up a church versus a black cultural festival, and he’d jotted down the name of a white church, with a note that this one was just “to visit.” He’d scribbled down Nazi crosses and Klan runes in his journal. He’d inserted and implanted himself onto the few sites in South Carolina that recognized or incorporated the history of black Americans in the antebellum story of the state. He’d also taken selfies, portraits of himself that logged his travels, which by virtue of the medium also captured his solitude, his intense loneliness.
Christina Tosi Has a Cookie, by Mary HK Choi for Eater, September 2017
After reading this I had to eat two Snickers ice cream bars just to comfort myself that I do not currently live in a city where I can have a compost cookie. Somebody please buy this house, I need cake!
Taylor Swift Needs to Sit This Year Out, by Dan Ozzi for Noisey, August 2017
I thought I didn’t need another Taylor Swift thinkpiece. I was wrong.
This is the self-obsessed, insular bubble Swift inhabits. In a cultural climate packed to the brim with dire, pressing problems, she uses her massive platform to rehash tired grudges that she thinks the world has been eagerly waiting to be settled, completely oblivious to the actual concerns of everyday people. Instead of evolving as an artist and a human, she wallows in the petty beefs with fellow millionaires that the public might have had the headspace for in 2015, but most definitely do not anymore. It’s easy to say that Reputation is two years too late and that Swift is stuck in the past, but that’s not quite accurate. She’s stuck in Taylor Time, an alternate plane of existence where she is perpetually the center of the universe.
Reading Jane Eyre While Black, by Tyrese L. Coleman for Lithub, August 2017
“Unlike that underwear-clad black girl envisioning herself between the pages of her Penguin Classics, I now have the privilege and option to choose books I don’t have to try so hard to find myself in. I no longer have to participate in the mental gymnastics that were required to turn white protagonists black. I don’t have to read a book like Jane Eyre that makes me feel shame for relating more to the demonic, nonwhite villain than the actual heroine.”
The Thankless Task of Being Michael Moore, by Jessica Pressler for New York Magazine, September 2017
When I first saw Roger & Me, it sort of changed my life. It changed how I saw the world and what I wanted to do and I probably still have it listed as one of my favorite movies on most platforms in which such favorites are requested. I was moved, like many young liberals, by Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine. I remember at Sarah Lawrence orientation getting up to grab another cookie at lunch and walking right past him — it turns out his niece or something was going there — and totally freaking out. Then you grow up and your hero turns out not to be exactly who you thought he was and his facts turn out to be, sometimes, psuedo-facts, but, also this piece was fascinating, particularly the parts about his appeal w/r/t working-class white liberals.
Jenji Kohan’s Hot Provocations, by Emily Nussbaum for The New Yorker, September 2017
I love that The New Yorker will still publish novella-length feature profiles of human beings in their print magazine that I can read on airplanes. I liked this, even though I don’t like all her ideas/opinions, I like a lot of her work and the journey was interesting.
The Earth Is Not Doomed: A Weekend With Kristin Russo and Jenny Owen Youngs, by Heather Hogan for Autostraddle, September 2017
I know there’s been a lot of feature profiles of human beings in this week’s edition of TIRTL, but I think you’ve got space in your heart for this one more.