Tag Archives: Dear Sugar

Sunday Scraps 71

1. GLOBAL SEXUALITY: New York Times report on the global domination of Cosmo and how cover to cover, mag to mag, the content shifts to accommodate cultural norms from Kazakhstan to Singapore.

2. HELEN: More Cosmo: Letters of Note has a spectacular letter from legendary Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown to the editor of Turkish Cosmo berating her for the offshoot’s content.

3. OLYMPICS: What happens to the Olympic facilities after the Games have come and gone? Sociological Images has a gallery.

4. FOOTBALL: When NFL players commit suicide, Ann McKee is the doctor they send their brains too. Grantland profiles McKee as she investigates what football does to the brain while also trying to save the sport she loves.

5. ADVICE: Four advice columnists, including Dear Sugar and Dear Prudence, gather for a roundtable to discuss advice-doling strategies and the most common dilemmas (#1 = How do I get over an ex?).

6. AMERICA: America Ferrera, who I’ve missed dearly since saying goodbye to Ugly Betty, is back with a web series called Christine. Worth a look.

Related Post: Sunday 70 – Louie CK, boys in dresses, US ladies at the Olympics, teen books

Related Post: Sunday 69 – Divers, books and bikinis, gun violence, big grocery stores

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Filed under Gender, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex, Sports

My First Poetry Reading

Last week, I went to my first poetry reading. Okay, that’s not quite true. I think in college an English professor or two compelled me to attend a few, but those were stuffy affairs in attic classrooms filled with cheese cubes and dusty podiums.

I love to hear authors read, and over the last ten years, I’ve seen Zadie Smith, Sherman Alexie, Isabel Allende, Eric Larson, Geraldine Brooks, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers, and the like. I never go to concerts, so novelists are my rock stars.

With the exception of one Mary Karr poem, poetry rarely, if ever, sticks with past the 80 seconds it takes to read, and that’s my own fault. There are a number of diagnosable reading styles, and mine involves sending my eyes vertically down a page and only darting briefly to the edges. I read very fast, but the nuance of punctuation and structure that makes poetry so complex is often lost on me. As is, one would imagine, much of the most eloquent and lovely prose….

Point is, I’ve never gone out of my way to see a poet read aloud. But last week, The Rumpus (one of my favorite literary blogs and the home of the Dear Sugar advice column) visited Chicago and hosted a reading. Sugar brought me to the room, but poets Sommer Browning and Brian Spears actually made me laugh. Browning narrated single frame comic strips to hilarious effect, and Spears recited Twitter-based poetry composed from tweets hashtagged #MiddleAgeWeRollHard. This looks ridiculous as I type it, but it never occurred to me that poetry could be funny.

Related Post: Three question interview with author Megan McCafferty.

Related Post: Jennifer Egan reposted my Goon Squad diagram!

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Filed under Art, Books, Chicago, Really Good Writing by Other People

That Time of Year When Everyone Makes Lists

This time of year makes me want to make lists of bests. Best books I read. Best movies I saw. Best songs I sang in the shower. I suppose I could do worsts too, but that’s just not how I roll.

So here’s the first list of however many I feel like writing. They will be arbitrary in category, arbitrary in length, and arbitrary in order.

Best Things I Read on the Internet in 2011

  • “Dear Sugar #44: How You Get Unstuck” – The Rumpus: “She had to grab like a drowning girl for every good thing that came her way and she had to swim like fuck away from every bad thing. She had to count the years and let them roll by, to grow up and then run as far as she could in the direction of her best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by her own desire to heal.”
  • “The Shame of College Sports” – The Atlantic (Taylor Branch): This incredible, sprawling essay on the intersections of sport and education, class and race, economics and entertainment, managed to flip my views on the subject of paying college athletes 180 degrees.
  • “My Summer at an Indian Call Center”Mother Jones (Andrew Marantz): Chock full of fun facts, Marantz’ first person essay has all of the cultural curiosity that Outsourced lacked.
  • “And That’s Why You Should Learn to Pick Your Battles”The Bloggess: Jenny Lawson is pretty much the most popular blogger in the world (ask Obama!) and this is my favorite thing she’s ever done. I dare you not to pee your pants.
  • “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?”Mother Jones (Charlie LeDuff): This trippy journey through the remains of what feels like post-apocalyptic Detroit is enough to give credence to claim of one doctor, that bullets didn’t kill Aiyana Stanley-Jones, “the psychopathology of growing up in Detroit” did.
  • “Here Be Monsters”GQ (Michael Finkel): Three teenagers took off from the cost of an atoll called Tokelau in a tin boat with a few gallons of vodka and some coconuts. 51 days later, they were rescued.
  • “Why Gay Marriage is Good for Straight America”The Daily Beast (Andrew Sullivan): Besides the turn of phrase “soul-splintering panic,” which I can’t get out of my head, Andrew Sullivan’s take on growing up gay, emigrating to the United States, and all the hopes and dreams that that entails, is the best case I’ve read yet on why marriage is the name of the game.

Wow… this list is getting long. Let’s call this Part 1, and keep an eye out for Part 2 next week.

Got any good reads from 2011 you want to share?

Related Post: A list of all the reasons this article about millennial women quitting is stupid.

Related Post: My “5 Books” interview with Persephone Magazine.

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Filed under Really Good Writing by Other People