HELLO and welcome to the 307th 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 know more about College Humor!! 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.
Can Slavery Reenactments Set Us Free?, by Julian Lucas for The New Yorker, January 2020
I… definitely did one of these in what apparently was their heyday, according to this article, which asks if they “confront the country’s darkest history or trivialize its gravest traumas.”
CollegeHumor Helped Shape Online Comedy. What Went Wrong?, by Kate Knibbs for Wired Magazine, January 2020
I remember every minute of their rise and how surprising it was to see how they pivoted to succeed and then the winds changed and the birds flew by and before I knew it I had COMPLETELY forgotten they ever existed and hey wow then I read this article and it all came back to me.
High Maintenance and the New TV Fantasy of New York, by Willy Staley for The New York Times Magazine
This show is so good are you watching it, are you reading this, do you watch it high or do you just watch it sober? I think it’s good either way.
Angola’s Angst, by Beth Shelburne for The Bitter Southerner, January 2020
The author takes an Official Tour of Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the nation, where inmates are paid two cents an hour to work the fields while white guards patrol on horseback, and visitors are invited to enjoy its Penitentiary Museum and craft fairs.
Was Jeanne Calment The Oldest Person Who Ever Lived, or a Fraud?, by Lauren Collins for the New Yorker, February 2019
There is some speculation about the whether or not this woman truly lived to the age of 120. Also a lot of thoughts about very old age in general.
A Battle for the Soul of Marfa, by Mimi Swartz for Texas Monthly, February 2020
Can you believe I read this entire piece waiting for them to talk about I Love Dick and my friends, they did not! But in the end, I learned so many other things about this small town in Texas undergoing a lot of welcome and unwelcome transformation, which is what life is all about.
Adventures in Publishing Outside the Gates, by Wendy C. Ortiz for Gay Magazine, January 2020
The memoir Wendy talks about in this piece was included in this piece I did in 2018 — Queer Books Across America: Incredible Lesbian and Bisexual Novels and Memoirs Set in Every State — and if you didn’t decide to pick it up then, there’s still time to pick it up now!
I wonder about an industry that is constantly taken to task for perpetuating white supremacy in its mostly-white field, from receptionist to first reader to editor to CEO. I wonder about a debut author, under duress of Twitter opinion, who finally reaches out to say she read my book, back in 2015, but trying to create cover by highlighting its other major influences.
Mother/Russia, by Sara Fredman for Longreads, May 2019
On anti-heroes and The Americans.
‘Angels’ in Hell: The Culture of Misogyny Inside Victoria’s Secret, by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Katherine Rosman, Sapna Maheshwari and James B. Stewart for The New York Times, February 2020
An investigation of the company that “defined femininity for millions of women” (for better and for worse) (mostly worse) and was hiding a company in which “two powerful men presided over an entrenched culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment.”
The Desiring Self, by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer for Hazlitt, February 2020
“We see the kiss in film all the time—we long for it as a marker of plot, as if a kiss signifies a kind of attainment, or ending. But as a performative, it never really does solidify anything. Instead, it seems to unleash us from contract. The feeling it gives is one of freedom, or pure lust, of desire run rampant, of desire spilling into itself, of a thing that cannot contain itself. Maybe that’s why it ends in two s’s and sounds as if it wants only to run away (with one).”
Who Thought Sucking on a Battery Was a Good Idea?, by Stephen S. Hall for New York Magazine, February 2020
I threw out a weed pen (is that what anybody else calls them or just us) after reading this and then was like… was that a good idea? I guess we’ll know in 20 years!