I haven’t written a Read This since November. Grad school killed my ability to read novels, the 2016 election of Donald Trump murdered my ability to fully engage with long-form journalism. I graduated a month ago, and I’ve already read four or five books. Today, I was halfway through a piece from The Washington Post (included in this roundup) before I realized that I’ve apparently regained the strength to read articles again.
It’s hard, isn’t it? Do you know what I mean? In the pie chart of my energy capacity to deal with my country’s bullshit, the rapid-fire CNN alerts I get on my phone take up about 80%. And, frankly, there are too many people on too many websites writing about Donald Trump. I find very few of them worthwhile. I’ve included a couple here, because I think they’re valuable, but this is a relatively Trump-free zone, friends.
Read with me!
The Loneliness of Donald Trump, Rebecca Solnit for LitHub
“The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence. He must know somewhere below the surface he skates on that he has destroyed his image, and like Dorian Gray before him, will be devoured by his own corrosion in due time too. One way or another this will kill him, though he may drag down millions with him.”
‘Hey boy, you want to go see a hangin’?’: A lynching from a white Southerner’s view, Jonathan Capehart and Joe McLean for The Washington Post
Content warning: one explicit picture of a lynching, textual descriptions, anti-black racism
“You cannot have reconciliation without empathy. And you can’t have empathy unless people learn, know and understand the past pain that informs our present and hobbles our future.”
“Mallory Ortberg’s Internet”, Sarah Scoles for Vice
There are not enough words to describe how much I love Mallory Ortberg. Read this piece and cry about The Toast with me.
The Boldness of Roxane Gay’s Hunger, Adrienne Green for The Atlantic
Content waring: body image, discussions of fatphobia and disordered eating, rape
I have not read Hunger yet, because I feel like I need to be very emotionally ready for it. I have, however, read all of the reviews and interviews surrounding it, mostly because I just really love Roxane Gay
Monumental Misogyny: On Female Statues, Public Space, and Harassment, Hilary Matfess for Bitch
I don’t really care a whole lot about the Fearless Girl statue, but this article’s takedown of the many defacements of statues of women in public spaces by men is excellent.
“Unlike living, breathing women, statues cannot run. Their defacement is a reminder to women of what could happen to them if their mobility or flexibility to accommodate misogyny were compromised. The lack of public art commemorating women’s achievements underscores a disregard for female excellence.”
finally, this piece on the AV Club about the conspiracy theory that Avril Lavigne has been dead for years and was replaced by a doppelgänger is wild and super believable if you allow yourself to forget that makeup and photoshop exist.
What are you reading?