HELLO and welcome to the 253 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 Lana Del Ray! 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.
“Cat Person”, by Kristen Roupenian for The New Yorker, December 2017
This is a fiction story! Perhaps you read it, because everybody read it, which blew my mind b/c nobody reads fiction anymore. Except some of them didn’t realize it was fiction! Anyhow, this is a conversation we all had last week, we’ve all moved on now, it’s over. But! If you were into this, I’d like to humbly recommend the short stories of Mary Gaitskill, Maggie Estep and Miranda July.
Late Nights Online, by Helena Fitzgerald for Hazlitt, December 2017
Those days when getting a photo of yourself onto the internet was harder than it is, today, to get a photo of yourself off the internet. When we could all be other people, beautiful and in perfect shape at the absolute peak of our maidenhood, unashamed, anonymous forever, secret and far away.
A Journey Through a Land of Extreme Poverty: Welcome To America, by Ed Pilkington for The Guardian, December 2017
The UN monitor, an independent arbiter of human rights standards across the globe, casts his eye on this cruel place.
Twenty-Two Years After Arizona Sent Barry Jones to Death Row, the State’s Case Has Fallen Apart, by Liliana Segura for The Intercept, October 2017
I keep thinking about this one, for some reason — a man who wasn’t a good man, really, but wasn’t a murderer either, and really didn’t do too well when push came to shove.
The Most Hated Poet in Portland, by Laura Yan for The Outline, November 2017
A self described “woke feminist/writer of color” attempts to understand the vitrol and also its target — a white boy who published a lot of truly insufferable poems.
There isn’t group of people who are more or less susceptible to the tendency to gang up on the internet. “Everyone online falls somewhere on this spectrum,” Aboujaoude told me. Because there are so few filters as to how people express themselves, these impulses to react, to pile on, “surface automatically.” It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting against misogyny or support male pick-up artists: the inclination to speak out works exactly the same way. Some people view this lessening of boundaries — of not having limits on what we say — as liberating. But Aboujaoude thinks it’s dangerous. “If you lose the ability to control…impulses like that, civilization and culture itself has turned,” he said.
Hard Times at Plimoth Plantation, by Michael Hare for The Outline, November 2017
I had Thanksgiving dinner here the year my family lived in Concord, outside Boston. I loved living history. Honestly still do. Always down for a peak behind the curtain.
Annals of Technology: Beauty is Justice, by Jiayang Fan, December 2017
We read a lot about what smartphone technologies and selfie culture are doing in America, it was really interesting to read about how its changing beauty norms and behavior somewhere else, under entirely different circumstances. I listened to this on Audm (which is turning out to be SO buggy that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it yet) while driving through Hollywood at night, which was its own surreal experience.
Teen Girl Posed For 8 Years As Married Man To Write About Baseball And Harass Women, by Lindsey Alder for Deadspin, November 2017
I… have some questions
Female Gaze: Lana Del Rey, I Love Dick, And The Love Witch, by Meaghan Garvey for MTV, May 2017
Biller has that piercing, Eve Babitz–type grasp of the essence of L.A., enamored with its artifice but close enough to see right through it, and her visuals alone can be comic gold: chintzy living room orgies, lunch spreads in sick hues of ham and Jell-O, drippy free-love nudist communes. But the plot is ultimately traumatic: Seeking the liberation the sexual revolution promised, Barbi finds nothing but degradation and abuse. It’s “funny,” I guess, in the way that Hamlet is “funny,” but really it’s closer to tragic.
Millennials Are Screwed, by Michael Hobbes for The Huffington Post, December 2017
Well I will tell you this, my friends: the way this is laid out visually is super interesting and great! What a time to be alive, this era of graphics and animation and fonts and screens and hearts and souls. screams into a pillow
The Reckoning: Women and Power in the Workplace, by so many women for The New York Times Magazine
A collection of art and essays from a diverse array of authors and artists including Jenna Wortham, Jazmine Hughes, Parul Sehgal, Vivian Gornick, Ruth Franklin and Meghan O’Rourke. There’s so much here to take in and think about. Zoe Heller’s piece, in particular, resonated deeply with me, as did Laura Kipnis’.
I’m disappointed that the story has remained focused so squarely on the villainous doings of the metropolitan elites. I was never under any illusion that this was the beginning of the end of the patriarchy, but I had hopes that there would be more of a ripple effect, that we would begin hearing about sexual harassment and abuse in the farm industry, in fast food, in retail, in hotel housekeeping…
…Instead of moving outward, much of the conversation among women on social media has been taken up with identifying and decrying lesser forms of male misconduct — dirty jokes, unsolicited shoulder massages, compliments on physical appearance. It is inevitable that in the great outpouring of female wrath, minor grievances, as well as major ones, should have emerged. And hostile work environments aren’t built on violent sexual assault alone. Nevertheless, we seem to have wound up spending an inordinate amount of time parsing the injurious effects of low-level lechery on relatively advantaged women.