HELLO and welcome to the 38th 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 read them too and we can all know more about bath salts and hipster conservatives! 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.
+ Firstly, two stories on topics I’ve posted TIRTL essays about before because I like these new stories maybe even better than the old stories.
In TIRTL #30 I linked you to Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s SPIN story about bath salts. This month, Rob Fischer at Vice has a great look at how the legal sale of bath salts ravaged this whole area of Virginia in Bath Salts In The Wound.
In TIRTL #11, I linked you to a Harper’s story about for-profit colleges. This month, Chris Parker at The Village Voice has a cover story about For-Profit Colleges Only A Con Man Could Love which will make you feel super-pissed at the government and their support of these terrible for-profit college scams, as per ushe.
Spike Lee: The Fix Is In (August 2012), by Andrew O’Hehir for Salon.com – “I did not drink the Kool-Aid, and I did not think that racism would be eradicated at the exact moment he put his right hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible.”
He Hit Send: On the Awkward But Necessary Role Of Technology in Fiction (August 2012), by Allison K. Gibson for The Millions – “I’m interested in novels that render what Gates calls “this new mode of living” — those that successfully incorporate technology into their characters’ experiences.”
Has Dominique Moceanu Flipped? (February 1999), by Skip Hollandsworth for Texas Monthly – After the Olympics, it seemed like the very young Moceanu was on the top of the world… and then she was in court, trying to get a protective order against her parents who she claimed were abusive and thought of her as just a money-making machine.
The Week Social Media Broke My Heart (September 2011), by Manjula Martin for The Rumpus – “Perhaps what we should bring back along with the rest of ’90s culture is sincerity. Forget witty bitterness; show me a critic who believes in music the way that the musicians in Nirvana and R.E.M. believed.”
Are You Worth More Dead Or Alive? (August 2012) by James Vlahos for The New York Times – So basically you can sell your life insurance policy while you’re still alive, and there are like whole companies just made of doctors determining how long you’ve got left to live to see if buying it is a good investment. So this is the world we live in!
How Your Sweet Valley High Gets Made (August 2012), by Grace Bello for The Hairpin – Interviewing one of the many people who worked with “book packaging” firm Alloy to churn out Sweet Valley High books in the 90’s. Apparently the writing procedure involved smoking a lot of weed.
Attack of the Hipster Conservatives (July 2012), by Eugenia Williamson for The Boston Phoenix – This is terrifying! Jesus.
Strange Times at the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos (August 2012), by Nathan Rabin for The AV Club – If this article leads you into a Juggalo k-hole, I apologize, but wow this is some special shit.
I Wish My Mother Had Aborted Me (August 2012) by Lynn Beisner for The Guardian – “This is no ‘I wish I’d never been born’ howl of angst. I love my mother, and having an abortion would have given her a better life.”
There were two kids in my high school that I can remember that were really into ICP. Sadly, they’re both gone now…one to suicide, one to some kind of alcohol poisoning. Clearly the band attracts people with issues, but may not be helping them deal with it in a constructive way.
(what I’m trying to say, in a nice way, is THIS SHIT IS CRAZY).
This shit be crayons.
That article about technology in fiction was fascinating.
Did anyone else read Jeanette Winterson’s The Powerbook? I’ve read pretty much everything else she’s ever written (even Boating for Beginners) but I couldn’t get past the fact of The Powerbook’s name. It was just so outdated by the time I got to it that I couldn’t take it seriously.
He’s right though – it’s just like anything else in a good novel. As long as its used to aid in characterization it works fine.
Yup, I read _The Powerbook_, a few years ago, and from what I can remember — it’s “modern” enough in that Winterson way once you get past the slightly dated title. She uses “laptop” within the text.
I don’t understand how they found multiple libertarians that were willing to say with a straight face that they were going to vote Romney. Small government + voting on economics = ROMNEY!?! LOL 5EVER.
Yeah I can’t tell whether it was the reporter’s fault or the subjects’ fault or what, but I do wish the discussion had gone a little deeper than just going around from libertarian to libertarian and talking about how CAN YOU BELIEVE these kids who don’t even look like Republicans and how they can’t talk politics with their friends. Most of these people say they were less conservative when they were younger — what happened in their lives to change that? Why do they think that protecting the ability of people to be massively rich is more important than the array of social values they give lip service to, so much that they consider Romney the “lesser of two evils”? I’d love to read that story.
Ahh, I remember my mom letting my little brother go to the gathering when I was in high school. I don’t think she really had any idea what went on there! I think it is kind of funny that my brother, who is now a smart, articulate journalism student/music snob still loves them. Whatevs, I guess I just will never get it.
“The Week Social Media Broke My Heart”, “The Attack Of The Hipster Conservatives” and “I Wish My Mother Had Aborted Me” are my favourites.
I always log onto facebook when it’s changed and see people giving out about it, and then see people giving out to the people giving out about it saying things like “Oh no! Facebook changed! First world problems for you” and all I can think is, well yeah there are bigger things going on, but that doesn’t mean that people can’t be annoyed at the little things too.
I know people who are conservatives but don’t look like it, and I know people who are very liberal and don’t look like it either. My father has tattoos and was a rowdy teenager who went to raves, and took drugs and all that good stuff, but he’s so bloody born-again-christian conservative that it drives me to tears sometimes. Whereas my Grandad’s wife is in her late 50’s, goes to church every Sunday, lives on the Bible Belt of America, and she’s still very liberal (atleast on social politics, we never got around to talking about the economic side of things). You never really know these things until you start to talk about them.
I’m a very pro-choice person. I believe that a woman shouldn’t have to have a baby if she either doesn’t want it, if it would cause her harm to carry it to full term or something like that, or if the baby might have a bad home life because it was born. And people who say “No abortions, carry the baby and put it up for adoption if you’re not going to keep it.” annoy me. I say that a woman shouldn’t have to sacrifice 9 months of her life to carry a baby that she’s going to give up if she doesn’t want to. My argument to people who are anti-choice is usually something along the lines of this: What if it was a 12 year old girl that was raped? Usually they back down and say that then it would be ok, but for the ones that don’t I continue: The girl that was raped is 12 years old, and she has a terminal, genetic illness, like Huntington’s disease, and it’s been passed down for so many generations that by the time she’s 16 it’ll be fully progressed, and that the child will start developing it early, and will probably be dead or an invalid before it even reaches adulthood. Now can she abort the baby?
I know people don’t agree with me on some things and I respect that, but when they’re all “IM RIGHT YOU’RE WRONG SO SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP” shit goes down.
I don’t really comment but I read the comments and again for the second time in the day, I find a comment by you (oh shit I sound weird..) and it seems I always laugh, agree, or all of the above when it comes to your comments:)
Ugh, these are all so excellent. Thanks, Riese!
LOVE The Week Social Media Broke My Heart. I was thinking about that stuff a lot when Whitney Houston died and my newsfeed was half “RIP Whitney” and half that obnoxious “One person dies, a million people cry; a million people die, no one cries” meme with the Anonymous Starving African Babies. Ugh. I’m glad someone wrote that article. “It’s not a competition”–exactly!
there are loads of conservative, super religious hipsters in texas.
but hey, you do you. regardless of how little i agree with it.
I agree! I live in Texas and maybe due to being raised in the south I tend to have some conservative views but besides that I guess I’m more liberal. Honestly I just don’t mention politics here, or anywhere for that matter, especially ever since my friends mom didn’t know I was gay and while watching fox news kept bashing the Ellen/JC Penny thing… Lol
I loved Sweet Valley High. Its just like when I found out Nancy Drew wasn’t actually written by Carolyn Keene. : (
‘Attack of the Hipster Conservatives’ was interesting, and yes, slightly terrifying, especially considering I know so many people like those in the article. To me, ‘I’m a libertarian’ roughly translates to ‘I know almost nothing about economics, I am a selfish asshole who doesn’t give a shit about anyone who society has screwed over, and I wear a fedora.’
This. This exactly.
The bath salts article/essay was craaaazy. THOSE are the stories that we should be hearing about, not the hyped-up ridiculous Zombie Stories. I work with teenagers (in an area that is becoming increasingly drug-laden), and they think the face-eating shenanigans are humorous, not scary or a lesson. Heart attacks, though? People described as looking like unwrapped mummies? That shit is powerful.
Well, to me. For teenagers, you never know, really.