HELLO and welcome to the 331st 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 Barbie IP! This “columnwp_postsis less queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is 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.
After “Barbie,” Mattel is Raiding Its Entire Toybox, by Alex Barasch for The New Yorker, July 2023
How Mattel decided “to transition from being a toy-manufacturing company, making items, to an I.P. company, managing franchises” and how others who’ve done the same have faired in the marketplace.
Lorrie Moore Will Not Confess, by Dan Kois for The New York Times Magazine, June 2023
She’s one of my favorite short story writers of all time and this piece was nice also because it was just like a little journey back into all of those stories I loved you know? Then there is this adjacent piece on Slate where the author prints the entire interview he did with Bill Buford about the choice to print Lorrie Moore’s photograph alongside “People LiIke That Are The Only People Here” in The New Yorker in 1997.
The Binge Purge, by Josef Adalian and Lane Brown for Vulture, June 2023
This story is nearly a month old but as SAG/AFTRA begins its strike and the WGA strike enters its tenth week, it provides a useful overview of how streaming broke the revenue models that supported those groups.
Everyone In Stephenville Thought They Knew Who Killed Susan Woods, by Bryan Burrough for Texas Monthly, June 2023
Susan’s family and local law enforcement and every resident of her small Texas town was certain they knew who killed her, so certain that even without evidence to convict him, the real killer was never found. Meanwhile, that real killer was raping women and evading any consequences, let alone inspiring anyone to draw the obvious connection to Susan’s death.
Notes on Affirmation, by Thomas Dai for The Yale Review, June 2023
I am not an unconfident, wanting person, and yet I seem constitutionally incapable of feeling like I’m “done,wp_postslike I’ve “made it.wp_postsIn my mind, I can never be done; I can never have made it. This state of always deferred actualization, of fetishizing my own largely metaphysical lack, feels connected to that part of me which is also all of me: the Asian man in the oak-paneled seminar room, clearing his throat and meekly raising his hand, trying, at long last, to speak honestly about his race.
Everyone Knew the Migrant Ship Was Doomed. No One Helped., by Martina Stevis-Gridneff and Karam Shoumali for The New York Times, July 2023
This story is so sad and horrifying, and it’s also so thorough in terms of describing who was on the boat and why, and how the Greek government failed to help.
Funny Business, by Rachel Wilkinson for The Baffler, July 2023
A WHOLE ENTIRE PIECE ABOUT THEMED ENTERTAINMENT! About its past and its future and you know, amusement parks and themed dining and family attractions and how the industry is changing after COVID and its specific labor issues and more.
KeKe Palmer is the Internet’s Sweetheart, by Danya Issawi for The Cut, July 2023
When people see themselves in me enough to repost a meme or use a GIF, it humanizes me in a way that I think sometimes feels lost in my life. I really do feel appreciative of being a meme. Because what they’re saying is, She’s like me, or they relate to it. It doesn’t get any better than that.
The Romance Scammer on My Sofa, by Carlos Barraga for The Atavist, June 2023
After seeing his Mom, craving connection and feeling lonely, fall for a romance scammer, the author never stopped thinking about who this mystery man was. Eventually he traveled to Nigeria and learned all about the world of “yahoo boys,” aka professional romance scammers.