HELLO and welcome to the 278th 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 the husband stitch! 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.
Perversion of Justice: How a future Trump Cabinet Member Gave a Serial Sex Abuser The Deal of a Lifetime, by Julie K. Brown for The Miami Herald, November 2018
First of all it must be said that this story was covered by Gawker back when and it’s one of those stories nobody else wanted to touch and they did. Anyhow, Jesus Fucking Christ, this is a very in-depth look at how a terrible evil person got away with a ridiculously lenient sentence for basically running a child sex ring. But it looks like already this Miami Herald investigation has led to something, hopefully.
A Business With No End, by Jenny O’Dell for The New York Times, November 2018
A journey into a strange and surreal network of Amazon merchants linked to the same cult-sponsored church and bizarre storefronts (both real and virtual) and products with names like “Portable Key Holder/Organizer From Kiartten Eliminates Bulging Pockets Holds Up To 14 Keys Compact Easy To Carry Durable Construction Fits Most Keys Great Gift Idea Find The Right Key Instantlys.”
The Lasting Effects of the Lolita Complex, by Lacy Warner for Longreads, November 2018
I was… oddly into Lolita. I saw the film and it was mostly confusing. The pictures of Dominique Swain described in this article are as vivid to me as my own face. There’s a lot of talk recently about this particular era in women’s sexuality — when the Lolita movie remake came out, not when the book came out — via pop culture. It was a regressive time masqueraded as a progressive time.
My Thoughts are Murder, by Pete Coviello for the Los Angeles Review of Books, December 2016
On Heathers, then and now, on being queer, on Elephant, which I sometimes feel like nobody but me has seen, and on teaching Heathers to a classroom of young people in December 2016.
I’m here to tell you that some of that incredulousness adheres to the film even now, transmuted and in fact amplified by the years. You realize, watching it again, that here is a film that, for all its hyperstylization and hypergenericization of teenage life – its overdrawn typologies of high school, its commitment to what Winona winningly calls “convenience-speak” in the 7-11ish store where she flirts with Christian Slater – is nevertheless not that interested in getting you to disavow wordy, disaffected, sex-having adolescents who set about murdering the more dull and cruel of their classmates. In 2016, this is in multiple respects remarkable. A glinting and unchastened malice shines through every moment of Heathers, not less but more visible now.
‘I Am a Girl Now,’ Sage Smith Wrote. Then She Went Missing., by Emma Eisenberg for Splinter News, November 2018
On the unsolved disappearance of a black trans woman and the family fighting to see her case prioritized by an inconsistent and unhelpful police department in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Husband Stitch, by Carmen Maria Machado for Granta, October 2014
Everybody else read this piece when it came out, or in her award-winning book of stories I still haven’t read (I know! It’s next on my list!) but I didn’t read it til just now and DAMN.
The Year in Taxidermy, by Kristen Arnett for Hazlitt, December 2018
Wow, my future wife Kristen Arnett is a really good writer you guys!
I’ve thought about taxidermy the way I’ve thought about my own body. A site of violence, a thing I’ve curated, tended, flesh that other people have touched and marveled at, an organism hollowed out, rubbed, constructed with purpose. Taxidermy is queering; it is an othering, and that is also me, a thing queered up and fucked up and positioned with intent.
Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto’s Nouveau Riche, by Laurie Penny for Breaker Mag (December 2018)
This was interesting on a few levels, including of course my love for any and all writing about cruise ships, but another one of them was the paragraph about how “one of the ways men bond is by demonstrating collective power over women.” But the ending really goes in a cool direction.
I have so many feelings on this topic that I felt overwhelmed simply by sitting down to read it — and for a culture I was surrounded by in college (but not before then — where I grew up the Jews were hippies, not JAPs) and a concept I’ve thought about a lot, there was surprise! so much I didn’t know. Also the paragraph about early 2000s signifiers is so spot-on, apparently middle schoolers and college students were in cahoots. I loved my Hard Tail pants though I’ll tell you what. I wore them every single day.