HELLO and welcome to the 325th 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 TED Talks!!! 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.
feature image by iStock / Getty Images Plus
What Was the TED Talk?, by Oscar Schwartz for The Drift Magazine, January 2022
A fascinating history and analysis!
The story goes like this: there are problems in the world that make the future a scary prospect. Fortunately, though, there are solutions to each of these problems, and the solutions have been formulated by extremely smart, tech-adjacent people. For their ideas to become realities, they merely need to be articulated and spread as widely as possible. And the best way to spread ideas is through stories… and yet, TED’s archive is a graveyard of ideas. It is a seemingly endless index of stories about the future — the future of science, the future of the environment, the future of work, the future of love and sex, the future of what it means to be human — that never materialized. By this measure alone, TED, and its attendant ways of thinking, should have been abandoned.
Every Super Bowl Halftime Show, Ranked, by Brian Moylan for Vulture, most recently updated in February 2022
Moylan knows his shit and I love reading him describe things?
“Maroon 5’s halftime show was exactly like all of Maroon 5’s music: so safe and antiseptic that you hardly remember it’s there until you’re watching a Super Bowl halftime show and you realize you know every single one of the songs and you want to crack yourself over the head with the Rock Band guitar gathering dust in your closet. “
The Unimaginable, Infamous Case of Pam Hupp, by Jeannette Cooperman for St. Louis Magazine, January 2017
“The Thing About Pam,” starring Renee Zellweger as Pam Hupp, debuted March 8th on NBC, and this is the very super weird (multiple) murder story that it’s baed on.
13,000 Pounds at 118 Miles Per Hour, by Ben Ryder Howe for New York Magazine, January 2022
This is one of those stories that I wasn’t drawn to at first glance but was eventually very sucked in and haven’t stopped thinking about — like the conditions of the car accident itself are just mind-blowing.
Tale Spin, by Megan Marz for Real Life, March 2022
“If a novel compresses time, space, and character into a finite text, these blogs were uncompressed. The action took place in real time, in the world I knew, and it wasn’t always “action.” Anecdotes were surrounded by jokes, lists, random thoughts, impromptu book and movie reviews, and recipes I make to this day. I didn’t know where it was going, and they didn’t know either. Reading a blog wasn’t something you could do over a weekend, like reading a novel. It was part of your daily life, until it wasn’t.”
The Wrong Daddy, by Jeremy Atherton Lin for the Yale Review, 2021
This essay on “Morrissey and the cult of the wounded white male” was nominated for a National Magazine Award because it is very good.
“This idol worship seemed tongue in cheek and yet obviously committed and strangely devoid of any introspection about why we all yearned for a grumpy white daddy. Maybe on some level we thought our purchase on Morrissey and his doppelgangers—the ordinary aesthetic, classic grooming tics, regular fit jeans—was empowering. There was nobody to enlighten us as to how ordinary, classic, and regular, like neutral, had been constructed by a culture dominated by whiteness. What’s more, alternative may have been just a different shade: even whiter.”
WAR DIARY: Sixteen Days in Ukraine, by multiple authors for New York Magazine, March 2022
Ukranians in their twenties documenting the first two weeks of the invasion, from denial to disbelief to panic.
How the Atlanta Spa Shootings Tell a Story of America, by May Jeong for Vanity Fair, March 2022
May Jeong tells a detailed, haunting story of the shootings and its victims, contextualizing it all within their immigration narratives and the area’s history and present racism.
Infertility Stung Me: Black Motherhood and Me, by Edna Bonhomme for The Guardian, March 2022
My fertility struggle has shown me that I need new ways to envision parenting outside giving birth. Wright Rigueur shows that Black parenting can be full of laughter and pride, not just the fruit of suffering, but an experience shared by people with common political aims, desires and agency. Her account of Black mothers’ joys reminded me of what I was missing. The stories she recounted, of new life coming to this Earth, revealed Black love, visceral and beautiful, and in a way, validated my pain and how I felt embattled and charred. I want to feel that joy of Black motherhood, the hope that runs through a lineage of survivors.
The Soul of Saugus, by Hannah Selinger for Eater, March 2022
An ode to the family-owned pan-Asian restaurant Kowloon, a colossus of an eatery with a reputable comedy club and the last remaining landmark on Massachusetts’ Route 1, once home to all kinds of “over-the-top roadside attractions.”