HELLO and welcome to the sixth 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 homes for troubled teens and plane crashes! 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.
Just in time for the Holidays, here are some things you can read instead of doing whatever it is your holiday companions want you to do!
Who’s That Girl (Dec 2011) – The New Inquiry: “How did someone acquire so many quirks in the first place? Take away the funky glasses, colorful dresses, and bursts of song, and Jess Day ends up having more in common with a naked paper doll than her TV-sitcom predecessors or viewers.”
What Really Happened Aboard Air France 477 (Dec 2011), Popular Mechanics: I didn’t think I’d necessarily like anything from Popular Mechanics, but I did so really like this.
Lorrie Moore (September 2009), Elle: All about one of my top five favorite writers OF ALL TIME!
Hannah and Andrew (January 2012), Texas Monthly: “In October 2006 a four-year-old from Corpus Christi named Andrew Burd died mysteriously of salt poisoning. His foster mother, Hannah Overton, was charged with capital murder, vilified from all quarters, and sent to prison for life. But was this churchgoing young woman a vicious child killer? Or had the tragedy claimed its second victim?”
The Adventures of Super-Boy (March 2011), Rolling Stone: This is the only thing I’ve ever read about Justin Bieber –> “God, girls, and boatloads of swag: how Justin Bieber went from Canadian YouTube oddity to the biggest teen idol in the world.”
Sex in Advertising: Retail Therapy (Dec 2011) – The Economist: “How Ernest Dichter, an acolyte of Sigmund Freud, revolutionised marketing.”
Horror Stories From Tough-Love Teen Homes (July/August 2011), Mother Jones: Faith-based homes for “troubled teens” are free from government regulation, which is how so many teens taken to these places report unfathomable tortue — if they get out at all. Another piece I’ve read on this topic is called Want Your Kid to Disappear? from a 2004 issue of Legal Affairs, about the people who are hired to pick up the kids stealth-style and transport them to homes like this.
The Last Lion (August 2011), Outside : “After 34 books, endless Hemingway comparisons, and too many battles with gout, legendary author Jim Harrison is unsurpassed at chronicling man’s relationship with wilderness. His secret? Ample wine, cigarettes, fly-fishing—and an inability to give a damn about what anyone else thinks. Our author takes a literary pilgrimage to Montana.”
The 1 Percent, Revealed (Dec 2011) – Mother Jones: Barbra Ehrenreich breaks it down with incredible clarity — this is seriously a must-read. It’s short, too!
Now That The Factories are Closed, It’s Tee-Time in Benton Harbor, Michigan (Dec 2011) – New York Times Magazine: Clearly I have a soft spot for anything about Michigan, which means I’ve read a lot of things about various initiatives to “fix” various areas of Michigan. This is one of those.
Peyton’s Place (October 2011) , GQ: The true story of a family who let One Tree Hill use their home as a set for many many years and how it became, eventually, too much to bear.
Pill Culture Pops (June 2003), New York Magazine: “With the stigma attached to mood-improving (not to mention sex-life-improving) drugs all but gone, New Yorkers are becoming their own Dr. Feelgoods, self-medicating as never before. Inside the new (totally respectable) drug scene.” [This feels really true to a frightening degree, surprised I wasn’t interviewed for this story.]
Could you stop reading awesome things please? My Instapaper queue is daunting enough as it is. Just give me a fortnight or so to catch up and then feel free to read some more.
Thanks in advance.
oh you should see MY instapaper queue!
i just read the “tough-love teen homes” story… so horrifying. i just wonder what compels these people to keep re-starting these homes – is it a big money maker or are they just evil, evil people? also I just hate the fact in the US that kids have so few rights, its all about parents’ rights. if kids were given the basic human rights that would be a different world for sure.
yeah, right? like why do they basically torture them in that way when they could just as easily like, NOT torture them?
it does seem pretty easy to not torture people, doesn’t it
Re: Hannah and Andrew
I hope they are appealing her case! it seems pretty cut and dry that it should be appealed! If he did have PICA or prader-willy (ok, not the way it is spelled, just the way it sounds) than no human could prevent him from consuming dangerous things all the time. One of my students ate a box of gloves, another ate glass, and no one was to blame except a shitty condition that causes the urge to eat scary things.
i know, i stayed on the elliptical for ten extra minutes to finish reading that one, i was like, what the fucking hell is this, this is fucking insane, she’s gotta get off!
Oh my God, Riese, you need to stop* because I haven’t even really finished TIRTIL#3** yet.
*Don’t stop on account of these are awesome.
**You can totes steal TIRTIL.
Oh YES! Now I have something to read on the stairmaster [aka stairMONSTER] Thank you Riese
that is the best workout machine for reading
That article on the New Girl really helped me put my finger why I cannot watch that show, despite Zooey Deschanel’s face being in it.
re: pill culture
it seems as if the lust for “normal” feelings or “stable” feelings or, perhaps, “heightened” or “lessened” feelings now has a socially and chemically constructed component that comes from both inside and outside of the self. if you think about it, maybe our sense of how a drug should make us feel is partly based on other people’s feelings about our feelings, you know? that is to say, my apparent mania could be even more reinforced by your vicodin induced tranquility.
now more than ever we are probably basing our own drugged feeling choices on other people’s drugged reactions to our drugged feelings…
there’s nothing inherently wrong with the drugs, but it makes you wonder about capitalism and consumption all over again.
this is good for psychopharmaceutical companies, right? the more we can convince each other that we need to correct brain problems, the less work they have to do and the more money they make.
“maybe our sense of how a drug should make us feel is partly based on other people’s feelings about our feelings, you know?”
yes. i think that’s part of the problem — why can’t we accept that sometimes people are stressed… i just feel like there’s a lot of pressure to do everything that you can do to make other people want to be around you more in whatever context. like showing how you really feel will scare everyone.
I think this is a thing you might love if you read – Lorelei Vashti’s dressmemory.com – it will take a couple of hours but is super engaging and so beautiful and witty. I usually hate reading about clothes, and this seemed like such a vanity project, but it is completely sublime.
thanks for the recommendation!
re: The Adventures of Super-Boy
I don’t know much about Justin Bieber or his music, but he seemed cute, Canadian, and earnest. After reading that, I just think he’s annoying…
(commented because I’m not sure if that’s the effect the article is going for)
i don’t think i had any expectations about him, but i think what you say seems right
I stayed up til 6am reading all the ‘Things I read that I Love’ columns. AMAZING. I often don’t know where to go on the internet for the good stories, please keep these coming!
thank you! i will