HELLO and welcome to the 40th 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 hillbilly heroin and Degrassi! 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.
Teenage Dreams (August 2012), by Emily Landau for The Walrus – “Degrassi treated such issues as teen pregnancy, abortion, and suicide with gravitas. It was the only place on television where kids could see themselves depicted honestly. There has never been anything else like it.”
Oakland, the Last Refuge of Radical America (August 2012), by Jonathan Mahler for The New York Times – When I visited Occupy Oakland (’cause I live here) last year, I said “It looks like Oakland will remain in the spotlight as this movement evolves, especially as low temperatures and snowstorms freeze out protesters throughout the East and Midwest. There is no weather in Oakland, it’s always 70 degrees. Oakland can do this shit all year, bitches!” and this appears to be, in fact, true. I’m not sure how I feel about a lot of his characterization of the movement or Oakland in the article, but it’s still an interesting read.
Pinned Down (August 2012), by Tammy Oler for Bitch Magazine – “The Pinterest phenomenon suggests that when gender is not apparent in online spaces, we don’t see the women who are there; when gender is obvious, it trumps everything else.”
It Just Makes Me Happy When I Can Make Someone Angry: A Special Investigation into the World of Trolling (February 2012), by Claire Connely for news.com.au – “Sarah, like Ben, attributed her trolling to years of bullying she suffered at school. “I dropped out of school in year nine,” she said. “I suppose I’m an asshole to people because I’m carrying all this spitefulness around with me. I hurt people.”
Photographs of a Girl, by Samia Bouzid for anderbo.com – “One day when the girl is eating alone in the cafeteria a boy from English class leaves his friends to sit down next to her. He says, “I know your dad’s a terrorist.” She looks at her food. He leans in close. “I hate terrorists,” he whispers, and then smacks the table as he gets up to leave. We are different, says Ba, but we have to blend in.”
The Hollowing Out of America, Up Close and Personal (August 2012), by Chris Hedges for Tom Dispatch – This excerpt from the book Days of Revolt, Days of Destruction looks at the “sacrifice zone” of Gary, West Virginia, a town destroyed by poverty where everybody’s hooked on oxy, aka “hillbilly heroin,” unable to find work and dying young.
I’m Tired of Watching You Die (August 2012), by Jabriel Donohue for The Glass Playground – “The truth is that you finally hit a fork in the road. Drinking because you’re pissed off and feeling impotently rebellious, or drinking because your best times come with your buddies after a few pints only lasts so long before you’re just drinking to drink. Addiction is like that. Unfortunately a lot of people never realize they are at that fork.”
A Future of No Radioheads (July 2012), by Mike Doughty on Immutable/Inscrutable – “I was kind of shocked that few people knew the ground-level math, the nuts-and-bolts inconvenient truth: the diminishment of labels means there’s little money to fund the initial touring costs of new bands.”
Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital (August 2012), by Matt Taibi for Rolling Stone – “Romney is the frontman and apostle of an economic revolution, in which transactions are manufactured instead of products, wealth is generated without accompanying prosperity, and Cayman Islands partnerships are lovingly erected and nurtured while American communities fall apart. The entire purpose of the business model that Romney helped pioneer is to move money into the archipelago from the places outside it, using massive amounts of taxpayer-subsidized debt to enrich a handful of billionaires. It’s a vision of society that’s crazy, vicious and almost unbelievably selfish, yet it’s running for president, and it has a chance of winning.”