A History of Love (of Bookstores) by Janet Potter
Potter reminisces about the bookstores she’s worked at over the years as if they were men who were in her life, her first love, the rebound, the one-night-stand, etc…and the result is pretty charming.
When Doris Lessing Rescued Me by Jenny Diski
An account of how, as a teenager, Diski was invited by Lessing to live with her and got an invaluable education on the reality of living and working as a writer.
Abusing Foucault: How Conservatives and Liberals Misunderstand “Social Construct” Sexuality by Jesi Egan
It’s refreshing to see someone write with such clarity and in such a straightforward manner about Foucault’s theories. Usually explanations of his theories are as obfuscating as Foucault is. Not even after reading The History of Sexuality multiple times and pestering professors, until they probably began dreading the very sight of me, to discuss sections of it with me until I felt I really grasped it, have I had such a clear sense of the social construct theory.
“When you talk [in interviews] about the shows that have been especially important to you, you always mention Buffy, My So-Called Life, and Freaks and Geeks. Do you think there’s anything to be said about the fact that these are all teen shows, or at least shows about teenagers?
Yes! I actually have this theory that I’ve never written up: that teenage girls and middle-aged men are the source of the best modern television. They’re both emotionally labile figures going through a period of identity formation. They’re angry and horny and they bridle at the dullness of social conformity. They’re unnerved by the way their bodies are changing. They feel like the world is ending. Those two iconic figures both been the central characters in a lot of the best shows—the cable masculinity dramas (The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood,Breaking Bad) and the shows you mention, which are less often considered key to the Golden Age of TV [in the late ’90s]. But they should be, both because these shows are wonderful and because they were stealthily revolutionary, modeling all sorts of important things: They mixed comedy and drama with a free hand; they treated family and romantic drama with sophistication (rather than melodrama or sentimentality); and, just in general, they were shows that managed to be humane without being sappy. Two of them also only lasted one season, in an only-the-good-die-young sort of way, so it seems particularly important to bring them up, so they don’t disappear.Although some of this is just personal taste, and yes, for whatever reason, I’ve always liked smart teen stuff.”
From Why Can’t I Be You: Emily Nussbaum, an interview by Anaheed Alani. Emily Nussbaum is currently one of my favorite people with opinions, and I love this interview with her.