HELLO and welcome to the 288th 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 Ramona Quimby! 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 Truth About Dentistry, by Ferris Jabr for The Atlantic, May 2019
I think that this article is a WEE bit sensationalist in some of its language but also, very interesting! I got vague Dr. Death feelings thinking about all these people getting root canals they didn’t need. So many root canals were had in this story! I’ve never had one, they sound awful.
Inside The World Of Stay-At-Home Moms Who Blog For Profit, by Kathryn Jezer-Morton for Buzzfeed, April 2019
I love it when an intrepid reporter digs deep into the world of something that makes no sense to me — in this case, it’s … the profitability of “printables.” You can make a lot of money if you genuinely don’t care about whether or not your customers get what they hoped to out of your product, is one thing I learned. Also the commenters who are totally misreading her piece, that’s another thing.
Selfie Deaths Are an Epidemic, by Katheryn Miles for Outside Magazine, April 2019
There’s an interesting take in here from social scientists saying that selfies are actually totally normal human expression — “we’ve always wanted to document our feats in living color—we just had to wait for technology to catch up before we could do it efficiently.”
Unfinished Work, by Maggie Doherty for The New Republic, April 2019
Well it turns out that Jenny Shecter wasn’t the only one who’s Iowa Writers Workshop professor had creepy sexual feelings about her. No but, there’s a lot to chew on here about all the ways non-cis-white-male voices have been systematically drowned out in academic writing programs, including the most prestigious one of all.
Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream, by Kathryn Joyce for Huffpo Highline, March 2016
An incredible piece to read in anticipation of our upcoming Outsiders issue — on the association of the outdoors with masculinity, of sexual harassment and assault on the trails, and making space for women in wide open spaces.
Death and Its Souvenirs: On Murderabilia, by Daniel Elkind, September 2018
“Yet, this fails to account for the full disappointment of murderabilia, which is a letdown precisely because we expect something to emerge from the mind of a serial killer — some kind of unsettling, twisted authenticity right out of Max Ernst’s nightmares. We expect to see excursions into megalomania, or the ferocity and violence of their acts rendered in form and color. Murderabilia marketing extends the promise of prying up floorboards in an old, mysterious house — we expect to find secrets hidden there.”
A Search for Answers / A Search for Blame, by Katherine Joyce for Huffington Post Highline, April 2019
WOW. I didn’t realize that there was a very loud conversation happening in Parkland right now of this nature. This story is upsetting and sadly predictable:
The first to land on PROMISE was Jack Cashill, the conspiracy-minded author of a book about “the railroading of George Zimmerman.” Cashill had long argued that Trayvon Martin, the black teenager whom Zimmerman shot and killed in 2012, was in fact a budding criminal whose aptitude for “street fighting, drugs, guns, burglary and mixed martial arts” had been obscured because his Florida school district participated in a program to reduce student arrests. Now, Cashill theorized that Broward had similarly excused Cruz because, although he is white, his name made him “a statistical Hispanic.”
How Ramona Quimby Helps Kids Make Sense of This Unstable World, by Rachel Richardson for LitHub, April 2019
That scrappy troop of resourceful, ordinary kids changed me, and the little one, Ramona, shines the biggest light. She’s irrepressible, zooming her lopsided two-wheeled trike in circles around the driveway. She’s going to make it, and she knows it. I’m grateful for her reminder that earnest effort, in childhood and always, is what makes a heroine. It makes a great story too.
Farewell to Payless and Its Terrible, No Good, Very Cheap, Occasionally Meaningful Shoes, by Sara Tatyana Bernstein for The Outline, April 2019
I was already super here for this piece and into it before they started talking to someone who studies ““how queer women’s identities are negotiated in everyday styles by women in the Midwest part of the United States from the late twentieth century to the present.”
For The Thirsty Girl, by Soraya Roberts for Longreads, April 2019
I’d love to see this topic analyzed through a queer lens, if anybody has a pitch.
“That this statuesque blond with the kind of face you only see carved out of marble not only has to, God forbid, ask for it, but that she can speak like a sailor about it, shatters the pristine image of beauty — no wants, no desires — she otherwise projects. Theron’s words jolted us back to her humanity. The balls she asked for were the balls to approach her with desire, knowing that she has the power not to desire in return. Charlize Theron is dictating the expression of her thirst, but also the man who is worthy of it.”