HELLO and welcome to the 327th 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 OXO kitchen products!! 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.
The Future of Abortions in America, by Irin Carmon, maps by Marcus Peabody, May 2022
This is an incredible resource and guide that really drove home the impact of today’s ruling, I recommend it highly. (They also include several stories from people with planned pregnancies who were unable to terminate pregnancies when it was discovered that the fetus would definitely not make it to term or survive post-delivery — I don’t think I realized until beginning the TTC process myself how common it is to have complications of that nature.)
I Have Studied Child Protective Services for Decades. It Needs to Be Abolished, by Dorothy E. Roberts for Mother Jones, April 2022
I think I said the exact same thing in the last TIRTL about how disturbing these CPS stories are — how commonly CPS fails to protect abused children like the Turpins while aggressively pursuing unnecessary interventions against poor Black people.
“Yes, some parents do abuse their children, and in some relatively rare cases, the only available recourse is to remove children from the home. But the facade of benevolence makes most Americans complacent about a colossal government apparatus that spends billions of dollars annually on surveilling families, breaking them apart, and thrusting children into a foster care system known to cause devastating harms… Besides hiding the trauma inflicted on families, the state’s fictitious compassion serves a crucial political purpose: blaming the most marginalized parents for the impact of race, class, and gender inequalities on their children, obscuring those unequal structures and the need to dismantle them.”
Influencer Creep, by Sophie Bishop for Real Life Magazine, June 2022
“The mark of influencer creep is the on-edge feeling that you have not done enough for social media platforms: that you can be more on trend, more authentic, more responsive — always more. It lodges in the back of your mind: film more, post more, respond more, share more. And as with mission creep, there is no apparent way out.”
The Deracination of Literature, by Mary Gaitskill for Substack, June 2022
It made me realize I might sound either absurdly arty or just really old-school but—I think people still do look out the window. They might not think about trees, or beat-up buildings or cars or people or whatever else is out there–but they experience them. Or at least they used to. 2000 was before everybody had a phone and earbuds. That’s changed things. We are now much less likely to experience trees because…we may not see them even if we do look out the window.
The Sad Young Literary Man Is Now a Middle-Aged Dad, by Elizabeth Weil for The Cut, May 2022
Keith Gessen used to write novels and Emily Gould wrote a memoir and a novel and personal essays but now Keith Gessen has written a memoir about raising their son Raffi and also they all still live in a very small apartment and have to move soon. Here we are all aging together!
How OXO Conquered the American Kitchen, by Dan Kois for Slate, June 2022
OXO has not yet conquered my American kitchen but now that I have read this article I feel like it should???? Also it said that OXO basically transformed the salad spinner, practically “inventing the category,” in 1997 and my Mom definitely had one before that and now I know we were living in the dark age of the salad spinner. :-(
Joel Kim Booster is So Hot Right Now, by E. Alex Jung for New York Magazine, June 2022
Someone I love profiling someone else I love, loosely centered on a film I love! Funny and sharp and everything nice.
Safety Town, by Ilana Bean for Guernica Magazine, June 2022
I tried to explain Safety Town to someone recently and got a blank stare that such a thing ever existed so this quote specifically was apt: “Maybe the safety kits will slide into some box in their memory that they rarely access, becoming a surreal image they try to explain to a boyfriend in college, swearing it existed, unable to locate it online.”
Who Stops a “Bad Guy With a Gun”? by Larry Buchanan and Lauren Leatherby for The New York Times, June 2022
A review of the data from 433 active shooter attacks in the United States from 2000 to 2021 found that most are over before the police arrive, and that it was incredibly rare for a bystander to intervene and stop an attack by shooting the shooter. Also, a lot of people can be killed in even one minute before a “good guy with a gun” arrives.
17 and Cancelled, by Elizabeth Weil for The Cut, June 2022
I feel like I’m sharing a lot of New York Magazine / Cut stories this week but I can’t stop thinking about this! What the boy in question did was f*cking terrible and he deserved to really have to deal with the consequences of that… but when are people allowed to make mistakes and learn from them if not as children, or teens, at a time when peer pressure is high and many are just acting out what they experience at home or saw on television.
When Innocence Isn’t Enough, by Chris Pomorski for The New Republic, June 2022
This guy got convicted for a murder on zero evidence!! Last year, five states account for 54% of total exonerations, so states like Missouri — where it’s nearly impossible to get a conviction overturn — remain dedicated to the status quo, no matter how overwhelming the evidence that somebody has been wrongly imprisoned. In this case, Dunn learned that relief for prisoners “is unavailable for cases in which the death penalty has not been imposed” because it is not ENOUGH OF AN INJUSTICE.
The Life, Death, and Rebirth of MTV Books, by Rachel Verona Cote for Hazlitt, May 2022
I remember MTV Books for the same reason everybody else does — I still have my copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This piece talks about that but also about MTV’s impact on culture in the early aughts in a way that resonated DEEPLY for me as an elder millennial. There’s also a section that made me nostalgic for hanging out in Barnes & Noble.
What a heady, beguiling paradox: come as you are, and you can be like us. I was addicted to the possibility of belonging and resonance, particularly when it was stained with rebellious aspirations. Relatability is more pleasant when it rhymes with validation, when the person on the page reminds us of ourselves, if only we were more audacious or capable of poignancy at the most cinematic moments.