We were so braindead on Thursday night, which was the longest day in American history, that we forgot to schedule this post to publish on Friday morning, as it usually does! Sorry for the delay!
HELLO and welcome to the 273rd 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 Hello Kitty! 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 In-Between Space, by Andrea Bennett for Hazlitt, September 2018
On gender expression and labels and the bodies that adopt them.
My favourite photo is probably the one of Eartha Kitt, in mid-swing, playing baseball. Most of the other photos and icons—not to take anything away from these women, who are all great women—don’t include people like me. I don’t and can’t see myself in these rich icons: their small breasts, their bony shoulders, the ease with which a pair of trousers glides past their hips and thighs. Taken together, with Mettler’s narrative, “tomboy” is a way of being a woman that fits quite neatly into what we expect of “woman”: a conventional BMI, tousled hair, a camera-friendly approach. Bodies with hips cocked, odalisque’d across the hood of a ‘50s car. Style from brands and stories that are very parochially New York, or what you’d call continental, European. Style that reaches out to rich woman who want to marry rich men to let them know that everything will be okay: here is a way forward that will still appeal to the men and women in your social niche.
Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong, by Michael Hobbes for The Huffington Post Highline, September 2018
This piece went wildly viral and I hope it actually changes something.
What Do We Owe Her Now?, by Elizabeth Bruenig for The Washington Post, September 2018
An extraordinarily written piece, constructed over three years of intermittent reporting, about a girl who nobody believed was telling the truth when she was raped at a party in high school in 2006.
“I Remember Thinking, Ugh, This is Bad”: Scenes from teenage party life in the ’80s, an oral history from The Washington Post, September 2018
I can say things have changed, maybe, but I wouldn’t say they’ve gotten any better. This is a really interesting approach to the current conversation — so many voices about the sexual environment at high school parties in the ’80s.
How Maya Rudolph Became the Master of Impressions, by Caity Weaver for The New York Times Magazine, September 2018
It’s Caity Weaver writing about Maya Rudolph so you’re gonna wanna show up for this.
Separate from the irrefutable fact that God looks like Maya Rudolph is the equally remarkable revelation that Maya Rudolph looks like God — that is, she looks at you the same way, you must imagine, that God takes in his creation: happy to see it, while somehow existentially disappointed in it, but forgiving of it and still maintaining affection for it, even though it has absolutely let him down in some indefinable way only he can understand.
Forty Years Young: Hello Kitty and the Power of Cute, by Julia Rubin for Racked, November 2014
Racked, one of my favorite websites of all time, is shuttering — which means they’ve assembled some handy guides to their best longform and other features of the past four years, including gems like this one.
“…to call it cuteness is just not enough—it goes beyond that. It’s a feeling that you get from looking at Hello Kitty that’s almost like being in love. It’s this insatiable hunger.”
Between Victimhood and Power: The Female Detectives of Television’s Crime Dramas, by Annie Manion for the Los Angeles Review of Books, June 2015
I really loved this. Another thing I’d like to read is a few paragraphs about this particular style of female detective — and journalist, sometimes — that has cropped up over the past few years who is profoundly self-destructive, usually promiscuous, often a heavy drinker, perhaps has suffered one or more tragedies, but is also very gifted, and there’s a benevolent male superior trying to reign her in a lot. There’s always a scene where she shows up after a rough night and everybody is like, “what’s up with her?” You know the type?
How Puerto Rico Became the Newest Tax Haven for the Super Rich, by Jesse Barron for GQ, September 2018
There’s a part near the end when he says, “most of the people who spoke with me for this article seemed unsure of how to talk to a reporter, and it was not uncommon to spend a relaxed afternoon with a person and receive several urgent messages the next day,” and I feel like that part says a lot.
The Deferential Spirit: On Bob Woodward, by Joan Didion for The New York Review of Books, September 1996
This is what it is to get roasted by Joan Didion! It’s a truly delightful piece of writing that I believe was posted on Longform this month in reaction to the recent release of Bob Woodward’s book, Fear, about the Trump presidency, for which he didn’t speak to Trump, which you can read about here.