HELLO and welcome to the 319th 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 gymnastics!! 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 Gatekeepers Who Get To Decide What Food is Disgusting, by Jiayang Fan for The New Yorker, May 2021
As someone who finds a lot of really normal foods disgusting, this was interesting on multiple levels, including its lil background on disgust and also its challenge of who decides which foods are disgusting, and the problematic nature of stripping them of their context and presenting them in this setting.
What Became of the Boy Who Shot His Sister Dead, by Monica Potts for The Trace, October 2015
The life of a boy who accidentally shot his sister with his father’s gun when he was ten and she was six and now he has to live with that forever.
A Worldwide Workers’ Revolt Against Amazon Has Begun, by Luis Feliz Leon for In These Times, April 2021
It turns out that the strikes in other countries have sometimes been more successful than those in the U.S. Anyhow this article gave me a little hope.
Black America, 1895, by Dorothy Berry for the Public Domain Review, February 2021
This is about the summer when a Brooklyn park turned into an “exposition” called Black America, “a combination slavery cosplay, ethnographic exhibition, Black performance review, and all-around spectacle.” In a Renaissance Faire style village, more than 500 Black performers lived and worked, “playacting slavery” in a faux-plantation and performing in rotating shows to an outdoor amphitheater of white people in search of what they considered “edutainment” that “played into the ethnographic racial science that educated White Northerners used to elide their racism.”
Is it true that gymnasts peek in their teens, and are most capable at their smallest and youngest? What if it’s not true? Some gymnasts have started challenging norms of the sport, including the idea that abusive, harsh coaches produce the most successful athletes.
The Child Care Industry Was Collapsing. Mrs. Jackie Bet Everything on an Impossible Dream to Save It, by Lizzie Presser for ProPublica, May 2021
I read this story on the plane to New Orleans to visit my brother and meet my niece, who goes to daycare every day which enables her parents to both work full-time. But pick-up times can be tough to meet and daycare in general is hard to find. I’m not sure if that’s why I kept thinking about this article and Mrs. Jackie but I did, I still am. She’s just so dedicated to the kids!
The Oral History of Office Space: Behind the Scenes of the Cult Classic, by Stacey Wilson Hunt for Entertainment Weekly January 2019
Did you know that Office Space was originally inspired by a short about Milton??? This tidbit and so many more made for a delightful aimless read.
The Story of a Trans Woman’s Face, by Rebecca Mead for The New Yorker, May 2018
On the history of facial feminization surgery and one woman’s journey towards it and through it.
My Secret Life as a Personal Assistant to “America’s Most Eligible Man”, by Joanna Greenberg for Narratively, June 2020
A feminist lesbian gets a job as an ‘executive assistant’ to a reality TV show star who wanted to digitize all the women’s numbers he’d collected.
He Helped Build an Artists’ Utopia. Now He Faces Trial for 36 Deaths There, by Elizabeth Weil for The New York Times, December 2018
I hadn’t thought about Ghost Ship in a long time, and this has probably been sitting on my instapaper for three years now. I was surprised by how much this story drew me in and set me off towards another k-hole of reading about everything that’s happened since it was making headlines that winter.
On Being Bipolar, by Andrea Bennett for The Walrus, September 2020
“Sometimes, I dream about how wealthy I would need to be to take a break from feeling the fear that propels me to remain stable. I don’t dream about not being bipolar, because I don’t know where my self ends and where the illness begins—and if there is even really a difference. And I don’t know what I would dream to render the divisions between good sick and bad sick unnecessary, to make it so that we all get to remain people, without sacrificing some of us to quarantine and cautionary tale.”
What Was The Office?, by the Editors for New York Magazine, April 2021
This is a multi-part situation that I read in print and it was very cool! It’s a very sweeping look a the office — little essays about office politics and the dynamics of specific offices, how its portrayed in media, the evolution of offices in New York! great issue. Then my niece ripped off the cover and put it in her mouth.
The Anxiety of Influencers, by Barrett Swanson for Harper’s, May 2021
Every major publication must have a grown-up observe and remark upon the TikTokkers! It must happen it must be so. I remain fascinated that I look at TikTok truly far too often and yet none of the major influencers I read about in these pieces have ever come up on my feed! Or maybe they have and i just didn’t notice. Who can say.
Sometime last spring, when most of us were making bread or watching videos of singing Italians, the houses began to proliferate in impressive if not mind-boggling numbers, to the point where it became difficult for a casual observer even to keep track of them. There was Hype House and Drip House and a house called Girls in the Valley. There was FaZe House (for gamers) and Alt Haus (for outcasts) and one called Byte House, the first of its kind in the U.K. Perhaps the most recognizable was the Sway House, tenanted by a cohort of shaggy-haired bros whose content consisted mostly of lifting weights and pretending to have sex with their smartphone cameras.