HELLO and welcome to the 264th 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 Raffi! 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.
Ira Glass’ Commencement Speech at the Columbia Journalism School Graduation, by Ira Glass for This American Life, May 2018
Is this interesting to me because I’m an editor/writer or because it’s just plain interesting??? WE’LL FIND OUT!
This is awful to say, but so many human rights stories – it’s so hard to get people interested no matter how important they are to document … so many social justice stories, so many criminal justice stories, so many of these issues that we cover and I think are so important to cover. It is very hard to get anybody to listen to. We still do those stories, and they require cunning. They require cunning. To get people to listen. And when you guys do them, that should be part of what you think about. I really believe that the more idealistic your mission, the more cunning you have to employ to get people to engage with what you have to say.
It Was Gold, by Patricia Lockwood for The London Review of Books, January 2018
Ahem just another thing about Joan Didion thank you sorry my love
Perhaps she offers the feeling that if you write the facts down, the facts might somehow remain standing at the end, after the end. There is a small, unobtrusive reporter in the corner. She has outlasted everything else.
Gloria Allred’s Crusade, by Jia Tolentino for The New Yorker, October 2017
How she does what she does and why she does it.
Pet Project, by Megan Greenwell for Esquire Magazine, May 2017
I feel just barely too old to be really skilled at meme-style internet humor, but look at what the kids are doing these days!
Blood Will Tell, by Pamela Colloff for ProPublica / New York Times, May 2018
A man imprisoned for a murder he did not commit and how his fate was tightly related to the somewhat suspect field of “bloodstain pattern analysis.”
Traumatic License: An Oral History of Action Park, by Jake Rossen for Mental Floss, May 2018
When it comes to my capacity for reading stories about Action Park — a New Jersey waterpark that became legendary in the ’80s/’90s for its reputation as a place where you’d very likely get very injured on a ride — the limit does not exist.
From Taylor Swift to the world’s largest T-shirt cannon: An internet reader, by Lyz Lenz for The Columbia Journalism Review, May 2018
Manages to articulate so much, and so well.
The internet, with its irreverence and short attention span, is a perfect vehicle for crassly delightful send-up humor. This isn’t uniquely internet, and yet the internet has become most often the unique repository for this referential humor.
Take a Look: An Oral History of Reading Rainbow, by Jake Rossen for Mental Floss, May 2017
This was my favorite show, I was obsessed with this show and with LeVar Burton what a magical time in our lives.
Finding Raffi, by Sheila Heti for New York Magazine, May 2018
What a week for my own personal childhood nostalgia and pieces on things that mattered deeply to me in the ’80s! I was surprised to read a profile in New York Magazine that allowed the author’s voice and thoughts to play such a major role, into it.
How Ryan Murphy Became the Most Powerful Man in TV, by Emily Nussbaum for The New Yorker, May 2018
Nussbaum, who wrote this profile, also wrote a piece for The New Yorker a few years back that articulated Murphy’s appeal to me in terms I’d not yet considered but that made perfect sense. Amongst other interesting insights offered in this lengthy profile that perhaps nobody will read in its entirety besides me, it turns out that in 2008, Murphy filmed a TV pilot that included, at one point, Dot-Marie Jones and Alexandra Billings playing a trans couple. They were seeing a closeted trans gynecologist played by Joseph Fiennes. In general it’s a really interesting profile for anybody who has loved/hated his work and is excited about Pose.
Slow Pan, by Bryan Washington for Hazlitt, May 2018
A queer man of color on why we need more movies that tell stories like his:
When you see Tom Cullen come out to Chris New, as a fly on the fourth wall, it feels like you’re observing an Olympic feat, the highest you’ve ever seen anyone leap. You’ll watch it for the rest of your time with this boy, and then, when he’s gone, you’ll watch it even more frequently afterwards. You’ll think about it with the partners that follow. You’ll think about it through first dates, new apartments. It is you and him or you and them but also Tom Cullen and Chris New on that mattress. You’ll think about the way the light played across the camera when you wake up in the morning, comparing and contrasting.
Raffi AND Reading Rainbow!?! I am so stoked to read these <3
Commenting just to say RAFFI!!!! In all caps.
RIESE THAT ACTION PARK STORY IS WILD.
„Because when you’re starving, you don’t skimp at whatever you’re offered: you eat. You make toasts out of tap water. You imagine it’s a banquet.“ Oh, the Slow Pan‘s article.
Oh man, that Action Park story, I went there a couple times when I was a kid, but didn’t get seriously injured. I fell down an internet rabbit hole of reading other ridiculous stories about Action Park-I don’t think I realized how dangerous it actually was, even going there on a day camp trip with other campers excited about going to “Traction Park.” The Cannonball Loop was never open when I was there, and I can’t decide if it looked dangerous or fun. If anyone’s interested, I’ll leave you with this 2014 article: http://www.nj.com/sussex-county/index.ssf/2014/04/action_park_10_things_you_didnt_know_about_the_craziest_park_ever.html
which includes the line, “There are no confirmed reports of anyone actually being flung into space at Action Park,” and a tweet from Cory Booker about how he still has scars from the park, but wants to go back.
FLUNG OUT OF SPACE
“But while Pierce seems like a highly competent and engaged teacher, Nelson could be the one at the front of the lecture hall.”
UGGGH whatever esquire.