HELLO and welcome to the 313th 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 the tyranny of chairs!! 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 Sanctuary, by By Wes Enzinna for Harper’s, October 2020
The story of an unprofitable Sheraton Hotel in Minneapolis that was turned into a temporary cop-free homeless shelter by volunteers in the days following the murder of George Floyd. So this is how they tried to make it work, and how it ultimately did not, but there is a lot to learn in the journey.
Ramona Forever, by Adrienne Raphel for The Paris Review, September 2020
Though Ramona isn’t from any one particular time period, she has to feel real at the moment she’s being read, and to do that, even the smallest details have to ring true to her readers. So even though Ramona looks anachronistic in her newer iterations, it’s these very inaccuracies that make her all the more real.
The Tyranny of Chairs, by Sarah Hendren for The Guardian, August 2020
IT’S TIME TO RISE UP AGAINST CHAIR AND TABLE CULTURE. Because the thing is that “so many of the products brought to market by the profession of industrial design were not created for many bodies. Instead, they were designed to be plentiful, novel rather than necessary, and cheap.”
Judith Butler on the culture wars, JK Rowling and living in “anti-intellectual times”, by Alona Ferber for The New Statesman, September 2020
This has been all over twitter because it is BRILLIANT to watch Judith Butler destroy this interviewer but like, in a Judith Butler way.
The End of the University, by Astra Taylor for The New Republic, September 2020
The coronavirus pandemic did not cause the current crisis like an unexpected blow to an otherwise healthy patient; it has exposed and exacerbated an array of preexisting conditions, revealing structural inequalities that go back not just decades but centuries. Capitalist imperatives and racial exclusions have distorted and damaged our education system since its inception.
What Happened Inside Ed Buck’s Apartment?, by Jesse Barron for The New York Times, September 2020
One fascinating elements of this story is its deconstruction of the narrative that Buck got away with what we did because of political influence garnered through political contributions, which was a story I’d heard again and again, and believed. Nope it was just racism!
How the Black Vote Became a Monolith, by Theodore R Johnson for The New York Times Magazine, September 2020
A valuable history of the relationship between the Black electorate and the political parties who dominate our political system.
Convicted of Sex Crimes, but With No Victims, by Michael Winerip for The New York Times, August 2020
Yet another angle from which policing in this country is doing a bad job.
Utopia/Dystopia: Unpacking Fox’s Startlingly Racist, Sexist, Retrograde Flop of a Reality Series, by Mark Harris for Grantland, September 2014
The people cast on Utopia may, outside of the context of this series, be pleasant and functional human beings. However, as presented on the air, they are, almost to a man and woman, loudmouths, bullies, narcissists, and/or nitwits who seem to have been chosen based upon how many negative stereotypes they might serve to reinforce. At least half of the men are drunks or assholes in a losing battle with serious rage issues; the women, when the show bothers to notice them, are interested primarily in the men. They are presided over by (but do not interact with) a cartoonist turned vested Cabaret MC named Dan Piraro, who stays outside the gates of their walled-in universe and styles himself to look like the world’s most evil old-timey sarsaparilla salesman.
Buying Myself Back, by Emily Ratajkowski for The Cut, September 2020
It’s horrifying that it’s somehow perfectly legal for this photographer to do what he did with the pictures he took, but it’s more horrifying that legality was all he considered when publishing his book, rather than, you know, basic ethics.
The Eco–Yogi Slumlords of Brooklyn, by Bridget Read for New York Magazine, August 2020
HAHAHAHAH THESE PEOPLE ARE TERRIBLE READ IT AND WEAP FOR US ALL
How Work Became an Inescapable Hellhole, by Anne Helen Peterson for Wired Magazine, September 2020
An essay adapted from How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, a piece i have previously read and loved!
How We Quarantine, by various authors for the California Sunday Magazine, September 2020
This is so cool! A bunch of little stories and photography from different types of people and different families about their quarantine. The “A first-grader on learning from afar, with notes from her teacher” piece of this made me laugh and smile, it was just a cute little delight. It’s also fascinating to find out what children think about spending all day on a computer doing work. Long-haul truckers, parents, a zookeeper, a North Dakota Ojibwe community, a couple who just moved in together. So many stories!
Not So Bored in the House, by Carina Chocano for Vanity Fair, July 2020
Well, I’m a 39 year old woman who like so many out-of-touch humans has only recently engaged with TikTok and I truly find it delightful! I still hadn’t taken time to learn anything about it besides that it existed and people made videos on it — I joined initially because I wanted to see Sarah Cooper’s videos the exact moment they debuted — but this piece about TikTok influencers and the growth of the platform was fascinating!
The Enduring Fan Base that Boosts Bath & Body Works, by Kaarin Vembar for Retail Dive, September 2020
“While some people amass figurines or salt shakers or magnets from their travels, there are Bath & Body customers that visit stores multiple times a week, conduct haul videos of the different scents, or talk in forums on Reddit and Facebook about the company’s latest product offerings, going into detail about packaging and a particular candle’s “throw” while discussing which stores carry which scents.”
Our Most Vulnerable Election, by Pamela Karlan for The New York Review of Books, October 2020
Hahahaha HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET RID OF THIS MAN