HELLO and welcome to the 312th 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 making police shows in 2020!! 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.
Un-Adopted, by Caitlin Moscatello for The Cut, August 2020
YouTuber parents who made hella $$$ from vlogging about their family found even more success when they adopted a special needs child from China. Then shit got… dark.
Sick Days, by Russell Brandom for The Verge, May 2020
Believe it or not, Instacart exploits its workers. This is also a really interesting breakdown of how it works to work for instacart.
Getting High Off Your Own Supply, by Liz R, July 2020
This is long but as soon as I pulled it up I couldn’t put it down. It’s about the 2010s through the lens of a trans videogame designer who is much smarter than me so all I can truly say is that it gave me a lot to think about.
“Anyone who is good enough at manipulating people can leverage this collective thirst for accountability to gain the moral upper hand and find people who will follow them fervently and loyally. Patrick Bateman mastered the art of having the moral upper hand when he spouted out a bunch of nonsense liberal platitudes and it didn’t make him any less of a psychopath. It actually just solidified how much of a psychopath he is.”
Screen Share: A College Teacher’s Zoom Journal, by Ann Fadiman for Wired, June 2020
With the possible exception of Capitol Hill, there is no place more tolerant of Boomers than academia. Instead of being discreetly ushered toward the door at 65 or pressured to dye our hair, we are permitted to age gracefully into éminence grise-dom. But what will happen if we constantly forget that in order to screen-share you have to press the green button and then the blue button, and keep saying “Can you see me?” when of course they can see you, and screw up when we toggle between Gallery View and Speaker View (which, you’ve got to admit, is pretty confusing, since if you’re on Gallery View and you hover your mouse at the upper right corner of your screen, the button says “Speaker View”—by which it means not “That’s what you’re on” but “Click here and that’s what you’ll get”)?
What Was It Like to Be On Supermarket Sweep?, by Marah Eakin for The AV Club, August 2014
An interview with a man who was on the show with his girlfriend many moons ago. THE MEAT IS PLASTIC.
How Does It Feel To Make Police Shows In 2020?, as told to Lila Shapiro for Vulture, July 2020
I was assigned to write an episode for that show about a young Black boy who witnesses a murder and is shocked into silence. I really wanted to talk about the boy’s fear of this white police officer who’s trying to gain his trust, because he’s been raised not to trust this man, based on his position and his job and the color of his skin. But the showrunner, who was white, didn’t have any appetite for that type of storytelling, and we went in a different direction. So the episode becomes a story about a Black boy who instinctively trusts a white police officer, without questioning how that dynamic would really play out or acknowledging systemic racism. It always bothered me and felt completely disingenuous.
Vivian Stephens Helped Turn Romance Writing Into a Billion-Dollar Industry. Then She Got Pushed Out., by Mimi Swartz for Texas Monthly, August 2020
A compelling history of the romance novel industry itself lies beneath this story of how Vivian Stephens revolutionized the romance novel business, founded the RWA, and then ended up sidelined by white writers, readers and publishers who barely noticed she — or other women of color — were there at all.
What Is MasterClass Actually Selling?, by Carina Chocano for The Atlantic, September 2020
They can’t take your education away from you as it’s possible to be. As though it’s revealing another layer of unpaid labor—cultural labor—one is expected to do in order to secure the privilege of performing actual labor.
Viral Video Seemed To Show BLM Storming A Church. The Real Story Is Much Darker, by Anne Helen Peterson for Buzzfeed, August 2020
A church in upstate New York hosted an AR-15 raffle to lure Black Lives Matter protestors to their openly racist, bigoted church, where they took a video of the protest and made it go viral, claiming activists were storming churches, period. “What people need to know is we’re not protesting churches,” local leader Lukee Forbes said. “We’re protesting this church.
Sweatpants Forever, by Irina Aleksander for The New York Times, July 2020
How the pandemic will forever change the fashion industry – which was already due for quite a reckoning, IT SEEMS.
Good Conflict, by Molly Fischer for The Cut, August 2020
I interviewed Sarah Schulman in 2017 and of course dug into this release with intense interest and passion.
Jammed Up, by Lexis-Olivier Ray and Samantha Helou Hernandez for Land Mag, July 2020
The inside story of what went wrong at Squirl, including some really appalling working conditions in a tiny hidden kitchen with no ventilation.
Perverts Like Us, by Heather O’Neill for Hazlitt, June 2020
What I liked most about that day was that we were together, looking at the magazines together. We had triumphed over the adults. We were doing things they could never imagine us doing. It was our collective secret that we were obsessed with sex. Our sexuality was kept secret from us, while it was exhibited, examined and exploited by men.