HELLO and welcome to the 30th 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 drug cartels and Fiona Apple! 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.
I feel like this week’s edition is especially strange and perhaps also distressing.
Remember His Name (September 2006), by Gary Smith for Sports Illustrated – An award winning account of Pat Tillman, the football player who went to war whose story you may be familiar with via The Tillman Documentary. Powerful stuff.
Why Go Out? (July 2007), by Shiela Heti for Brick Magazine – “At home, you can wear your pyjamas. No one is going to snub you or disappoint you. At Trampoline Hall, you could be snubbed or disappointed. The whisky is not cheap. It is less depressing to think the same thoughts you thought yesterday than to have the same conversation you had last week.”
I Just Want to Feel Everything (June 2012), by Dan P.Lee for New York Magazine – Fiona Apple interview/ feature story / relevant to interests.
Bath Salts: Deep in the Heart of America’s New Drug Nightmare (June 2012), by Natasha Vargas-Cooper for SPIN – I knew nothing about this drug until I read this article, but upon reading it I’m comforted to finally understand why that guy ate that other guy’s face.
Self Made Man (June 2012), by Thomas Page McBee for The Rumpus – “And who am I? Not all handsome benevolence, turns out. I’m a flared-up fear of intimacy, despite the eight years I’ve spent with my wife. I’m internalized sexism and transphobia. Even with a recent inspired effort around forgiveness, I’m pushing a boulder of family dynamics uphill, and the hill is more like a stinking mountain of shame. I’m knee-deep in anxiety: of emergency rooms, of the TSA, of what will happen to my unicorn body when I’m too old to give myself a shot.”
The Underground Press (August 1967), by Jacob Brackman for Playboy – This was interesting to me as a media-maker, but also as a female writer I found it FASCINATING that this entire fucking article about how the underground press would topple the establishment press that was filled with agenda-laden dodgy old people managed to completely not even note that every single press-maker they mentioned was male, and that none of these dudes digging an alleged cultural revolution seemed to notice that they were leaving females out of it. I feel like that would be an important part of changing the dominant culture in 1967. But whaddya know, it’s Playboy!
Cocaine Incorporated (June 2012), by Patrick Radden Keefe for The New York Times Magazine – “How a Mexican Drug Cartel Makes Its Billions.” You should read this because of the catapult.
My Mother, My Daughter (June 2012), by Samantha Irby for The Rumpus – “My mother became my daughter when I was nine years old. There had been an accident, a car accident, and it was a bad one, although I didn’t know that yet.”
On Self-Defense and Women of Color (May 2012) from Prison Culture – On women incarcerated for defending themselves from abuse and rape. Good starting point for lots of links on the topic.
On Hysteria, Transphobia, Man-Hating, Sobriety, Anonymity and Writing (February 2012), by Michelle Tea for Radar – “I came into AA a paranoid, man-hating queer, and one of the most transformative affects the program has had on me has been relieving me of my man-hate.”
How To Tell A True Story (June 2012), by Caedra Scott-Flaherty for The Rumpus – How do you talk about rape and violence and love and things like that. By not talking about them. Like this.
Whenever I have already read and loved some of the things that Riese has read and loved, I feel so special :D
Thank you so much Riese, for the Self Made Man piece. It really connected and made me quite emotional.
The part about the tattoo resonated as well. I don’t have any tattoos yet but I’m going to have “No Ones Rival” done at some point soon. It comes from a Pearl Jam song called Unthought Known which made me cry when I first heard it. What it means to me is that I’m not here to beat anyone else or be better than anyone else. That I’m here to be a part of humanity and do my own thing while being open to others. So if I’m not trying to be cool or win at everything, then I won’t care so much about how everyone views me. As someone who struggles in social situations this change in mindset has already really helped.
I’ve spent a good bit of my life being closed off and cut off and only in the last few years beginning to understand why. So thanks again. This is just one more reason that I love this site.
i love this comment a lot
THIS IS TOTALLY BESIDE THE POINT BUT THAT IS A SUPER CUTE PICTURE OF JENNIFER LAWRENCE AND JOSH HUTCHERSON. HIGH FIVE TO WHOEVER PICKED THAT.
I wrote that in all caps because of THE CUTENESS, not because I am mentally unhinged.
Just wanted to clarify that.
Quietly rethinking my excessive ALL CAPS-ing
My favorite column each week is this one. I look forward to your recommendations.
ty so much for the Radar article… I would not have seen that if not for your post and it’s v relevant to my interests, being in recovery for over 10 years.
While I understand where the writer and many of the public figures are coming from on the anonymity issue, I can’t say that I wholeheartedly agree. A program that has saved the lives of millions of people in the last 70+ years unedited from it’s original form doesn’t any sort of “overhaul”.
This deals directly with the Traditions which were put in place to ensure the survival of the program itself. There is a reason for that second “A” – and a very big part of it has to do with humility and no one person or institution becoming a “face of AA”.
Dan P. Lee’s piece on Fiona was sooo well done and relevant to my interests (mostly Fiona Apple). So many journalists present her as something of a caricature of a “tortured genius” type, and Lee actually presented her as she is. And I must say I kinda freaked out at the part where she texted him, because all I’ve ever wanted is to text Fiona Apple, real talk.
Yeah self made man is awesome, I’ve read amazing essays by trans writers also on Original Plumbing. OP is the best.
The article on Bath Salts was fascinating and very relevant to my interests…as a chemist.
Love this every week. Thank you!
I was going to email you (Riese/Autostraddle) the “Why Go Out?” piece! I thought it was very relevant to everyone’s interests.
Man. That bath salts shit is insane. Coke, meth, and ecstasy combined…sounds like a recipe for disaster. Plus, I hear the drip is a bitch.
It’s crazy to think that Columbus was the site of a raid like that! The Joint is not far from where I am. So interesting.
I would just like to say that Brick Magazine is the shit and that after finishing the Why Go Out? article you should go and read more and possibly buy the new issue if you can (there’s an Anne Carson interview if that’s not a reason I don’t know what is) and…yeah. That’s pretty much it. Support litmags from canadia, I guess :)
Riese: I am so happy you dig the Rumpus. It’s such a good mag. That last story is one of my favorite essays they’ve posted. If you feel so inclined check this one out (my roommate wrote it): http://therumpus.net/2012/04/what-burns-in-the-pit/
and maybe this: http://www.fictionaut.com/stories/roxane-gay/the-weight-of-water
That article about Pat Tillman really hit home; Russ Baer is a friend of mine, and was the best man at my brother’s wedding. I remember Pat as Russel’s friend, and, until I stumbled upon this article, I had no idea that he was the Pat Tillman who played in the NFL (although I don’t think that’s how he’d want to be remembered anyway). Thank you for the links, and for the insight.
just fyi, i always really enjoy reading all the comments on these posts, and appreciate the recommendations as well!