HELLO and welcome to the 256th 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 RuPaul! 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.
Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, And The Western Rehab For White Masculinity, by Anne Helen Petersen, January 2018
You could read a hot take about skin care being real or not, or you could read this! The days of our lives like sand through an hourglass, etc.
‘Dawson’s Creek’ Turns 20: Kevin Williamson Reveals the Teen Drama’s Deepest Secrets, by Lesley Goldberg for The Hollywood Reporter, January 2018
I saw every episode of this masterpiece!!!
It’s the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech, by Zeynep Tufekci for Wired Magazine, January 2018
The most effective forms of censorship today involve meddling with trust and attention, not muzzling speech itself. As a result, they don’t look much like the old forms of censorship at all. They look like viral or coordinated harassment campaigns, which harness the dynamics of viral outrage to impose an unbearable and disproportionate cost on the act of speaking out. They look like epidemics of disinformation, meant to undercut the credibility of valid information sources. They look like bot-fueled campaigns of trolling and distraction, or piecemeal leaks of hacked materials, meant to swamp the attention of traditional media.
Beyond IKEA: Why quality, affordable furniture is hard to find, by Andrew Zaleski for Curbed, November 2017
This is a question I have actually asked, and this is the article that attempts to answer it.
How to Not Die in America, by Molly Osberg for Splinter, January 2018
I don’t know if you’ve heard or read this yesterday because it was in the AAA, btu the health care system in this country is malarky!
Peter II and Harry Brant, by Andy Warhol for Interview Magazine, August 2012
So Interview Magazine did this thing where they took questions the now-dead Andy Warhol had asked subjects in the ’70s and ’80s — people like Jodie Foster, Diana Ross and Bianca Jagger — and asked them to… other people. These two fellows are the sons of Interview’s chairman and his wife Stephanie Seymour and they live quite a life, I’ll tell you what.
WARHOL: Do your horses step on your flowers?
HARRY: They don’t step on our flowers. First of all, I tend to lead a horse away from the flowers. My mother would get very upset if the horses trampled them. Also, our flowers are protected with a hedge so that animals can’t get to them. But I’ve really been enjoying riding lately. It’s very beautiful this year in Connecticut, with the willow trees and the rain. So if I’m not on the polo track, I’m riding. I ride around the trails. It’s lovely, very Old World, as if you’re in a time machine.
Is ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ the Most Radical Show on TV?, by Jenna Wortham for The New York Times, January 2018
This is such a great piece that talks about so many things relevant to our collective interests!
One day his therapist told him he could be Superman regardless of his attire. “She said, ‘The power you feel in drag is available to you 24/7,’ ” he told me. That realization, he said, is what he is trying to relay in each season of the show, to both the queens and the viewers. Charles is rarely in drag these days — only for special occasions, and during the judging and elimination rounds on the show — a shift that he made about a decade ago. For Charles, the confidence and fun of drag is a state of mind, not an outfit change. But he is always keenly aware of the power dynamics (the ones Halberstam noted) that favor men, even when they are taking on female personas. “We never forget the fact that we are men in a male-dominated culture where masculinity is a currency that is valued more than gold. For men to do anything with femininity, to use femininity as a palette, it’s basically an act of treason in our culture.”
This week we said goodbye to The Awl and The Hairpin, and I celebrated with quite a binge. Here’s a place to start if you’re interested in doing the same.
Goodbye to Awl That, by Josephine Livingstone for The New Republic, January 2018
The great irony of losing The Awl to brainless data and centralized platforms is that John Herrman wrote so well there about losing our best media to brainless data and centralized platforms.
Bonfire of the Inanities, by Jacqui Shine for The Awl, November 2014
I love everything good and bad about The New York Times‘ Style Section, and also this brilliant deconstruction of it which includes a big chunk about the history of “women’s news.” Your reward if you get to the end of this piece, as I of course did because that is my job and I love it, there is all manner of gay shit in there. Also, as the editor of a publication frequently derided for too much or too little coverage of this or that despite no factual basis for such claims, I also loved the bit at the end about how much Styles-related hand-wringing fails a similar evaluation.
True Summer, by Taisa Kitaiskaia for The Hairpin, May 2014
One minute you’re eating a tomato and red onion sandwich off your belly while loading up Netflix, and the next you’re pouring a glass of water and feeling somehow closer to God.
SoulCycle SoulCycle SoulCycle, by Mark H.K. Choi for The Awl, December 2013
Here’s the main reason I go: three out of the five times I go, I cry. No joke. I’m obviously workshopping a mess of garbage in these 45-minute, $34 (I KNOW!!!!) spurts and when I went full-time freelance in February I stopped buying clothes, shoes, cigarettes, weed, cocktails (what a racket) and pounds of bulk gummy candy. It’s not that I became healthy necessarily but I am working hard to be less pissed off all the time since I’m by myself a lot. I’m also trying out tea as a concept and so far it’s going pretty good.
Negroni Season, by Evelyn Everlady for The Awl, May 2010
A real classic! Sometimes I wonder who wrote this.
Why I Have To Be So “Rude”, by Jia Tolentino for The Hairpin, July 2014
AHHH AND THIS TOO
After watching the video, I became heuristically unable to understand “Rude” in any other framework outside it being a joke. My friend’s roommate, a successful music producer, got home and said, “Oh yeah, love that song,” and I was 100% convinced that he was kidding; even now, after several more of my tunewise, trustworthy friends have voiced genuine enthusiasm for it, I can’t imagine any possibility other than them kidding me and everyone trolling from Magic! on down.
The Awl, 2009-2018 – The Awl
I loved you, you inspired me, we launched at almost exactly the same time, your commitment to writing a publication with topics chosen by editorial whimsy was a light that guided me across dark waters onto sandier shores.
ooooh if this JT article turns out to be what I think/hope it is, this is the hot take I’ve been waiting for
IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT !!
here to recommend that AHP article on the west and white boys and also because jacqui shine is my favorite
Negronis ate heavenly. Every season is negroni season.
I’ve never had a Negroni, but my favorite Memorial Day tradition is telling people that it’s NEGRONI SEASON in tribute to Evelyn Everylady, whoever she may be.
This is just such good writing. I love Jia Tolentino.
“‘Rude’ is like a Dorito bag that got stuck on a spike of the crown of the Statue of Liberty: it’s a pop object with no content and only as much form as is necessary to deliver brief chemical gratification, which, through an unlikely ascension, becomes newly visible as a pure expression of tragedy, degradation and American garbage. … It doesn’t matter how or why people like it, because the Dorito bag has ascended, and ‘Rude’ has hit #1.”
Wonder of wonders, I get in the car not even an hour after reading that article and Rude came on the radio and I almost fucking screamed
Ugh she’s SO GOOD! And that was like one of her first pieces ever published and she was already that good!!
“it’s the aural equivalent of a man listening to reggae for the first time in his racecar bed, slowly fucking the hole in a Kidz Bop CD”
Laughed out loud on public transit
I used to be so obsessed with Dawson’s Creek…
I find that Rude gets exponentially better in this cover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAYxgFeCvzQ
i miss the awl so much already and negroni season destroyed me emotionally, which i mean as a deep compliment