HELLO and welcome to the 276th 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 Erotic Photo Hunt! 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.
An Out-of-Print Novel About Gay Activism, With a Trump Stand-in As Its Villain, by Peter C. Baker for The New Yorker
I loved this book (which inspired RENT although the writer of RENT never admitted it), and I love this take on this book (which the author confirmed with Sarah Schulman — the “evil developer” was indeed inspired by her walking into Trump Towers and being like “it was so ugly, so anti-New York. It was offensive”) and wow, you should read this book and then also read this article! Maybe you read this book already like I told you to when I interviewed Sarah Schulman.
Revenge of the Lunch Lady, by Jane Black and Sam Kaplan for Huffington Post Highline, February 2017
This one’s been sitting on my instapaper for a while and I wish I’d dug in sooner (GET IT?) ’cause it’s very good and interesting — mainly focusing on one middle school where an ambitious woman is doing everything she can to get healthy food to her kids — and also about the history of the U.S.’s school lunch program and how one functional aspect of it is at risk with the present administration, who would prefer for kids who can’t pay for lunch to just starve. I wonder if that has already happened!
U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism. Now They Don’t Know How to Stop It., by Janet Reitman for The New York Times, November 2018
This has been maybe the most discussed longread of the past two weeks — why aren’t white nationalists and alt-right extremists being pursued by the government and law enforcement with the same fervor dedicated to Muslim extremists, when the alt-right has been responsible for significantly more carnage in recent years? (I mean, we all know why, but this is a good piece on the topic.)
If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Kitchen, by Madison Miller for Bright Wall Dark Room, July 2018
“When God closes a phone booth door, He opens a window—through which Brad Pitt enters drinking straight from a hose.”
African Hospitality Served with Spaghetti Bolognese, by Yemisi Aribisala for Popula, September 2018
I love, specifically, the observations on being an introvert in an intensely extroverted culture.
Without reading the small print I had presumed my introverted self would be queen in my marriage. I thoroughly overrated the cuteness of my quirkiness. Quite confidently, my husband presumed I would be turning to an extrovert, a caterpillar to butterfly, as soon as we were married. In Nigeria that was the unwritten expectation, that women bent where they were pressed. Where a tree falls there it lies, great or small the tree, no exemptions.
Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman Dreamed of Writing the Second Chapter in the #MeToo Story Instead, they got scorched, by Maggie Bullock
Remember when Ashley Merriman was that really cute girl with short hair on Top Chef? Well, this is what’s going on with her now.
Highly Recommended: Erotic Photo Hunt, by Marian Bull for Eater, January 2016
It has recently come to my attention that not everybody even knows what Photo Hunt is? I feel like I’ve played it in multiple states — definitely a lot in Michigan and I’m pretty sure in San Francisco, too. If only my memories of playing it were not so similar to one another (zero’ed in, as we were, on the screen) and also so drunken… according to this piece, Photo Hunt has been discontinued but she doesn’t know why! A true human tragedy!
Dorothy Allison: Tender to the Bone, interviewed by Amy Wright for Guernica, May 2018
Every word that Dorothy Allison speaks is so great and every story she tells is so wonderful.
On the Edge of Seventeen, by Sarah Kasbeer for Guernica, October 2018
A seventeen-year-old boy, a violent incident, and twenty years of reckoning: the writer remembers the boy she visited in prison before one day sending him there.
The Stranger in The Shelter, by Earl Swift for Outside Magazine, November 2018
Late in this story — which is the weird and disturbing tale of the first man ever murdered on the Appalachian trail — there’s a mention of a prison escape in Jackson, Michigan. There’s a lot of hitch-hiking in this story. I grew up near Jackson and remember there were signs on the side of the road near the prison that said “prison area: don’t pick up hitchhikers” and I remember asking my parents about them and that’s how I first learned about hitch-hiking in general.