Michelle Weber
Senior editor, Longreads. Chief Semicolon Advocate, WordPress.com. Professional writer, editor, napper, and dog-snorgler. Knows you are, but what is she?
Filter
  1. Too Close to Call

    “Across our 50 states we vote by mail, ranked-choice selection, provisionally, and by absentee— the fact we can know anything on election night is nothing short of a bureaucratic miracle. So the spectacle of election night television should be considered as just that: entertainment only loosely connected to determining the shift in political power.”

    Current Events
  2. I Applied to 200 Jobs and All I Got Was This Moderate-Severe Depression

    “Like most ambitious English majors, I hoped I would find work in either teaching or writing after graduation. Long story short, I ended up graduating magna cum laude, won my department’s award, and learned that no one really wants to talk about E.M. Forster while playing beer pong. Go figure.”

    Academia
    Image from Flazingo Photos via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  3. An Extraordinary Machine

    “Same kid. Different wrapper.” In 2004, the Smartypants family adopted baby Nora. In 2018, they amended Nora’s Certificate of Foreign Birth when Nora transitioned, changing his name Aaron.

    Family
  4. But neither are you free to desist from it.

    “If the hill is civil rights, if the hill is justice, if the hill is moral goodness or righteousness or whatever you personally call that, then the child that is the United States started pulling the sled up the hill in the late eighteenth century. And we didn’t start near the top.”

    Current Events
  5. John Wayne Gacy and the Birth of the Murderabilia Industry

    “Some people collect out of historical interest, some see it as a natural extension of their interest in true crime, while others may see it as a way of keeping controversial artifacts out of the public eye. And, of course, some collectors just get a kick out of owning something attached to a dark history.”

    Art
  6. Are There Limits to Self-Identity Language?

    “When a marginalized person claims language to describe their oppressed identity, they are speaking themself into existence in a society that is trying to annihilate them.”

    Gender
  7. Why Did American Music Festivals Almost Disappear in the 1970s and ’80s?

    In the 1970s, music festivals went “from cultural phenomena to endangered species.” We’re in a new golden age of live music now, but what happened in the interim?

    Culture
  8. Redefining the Hero: The Extrapolated Costume Design of Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman was filled with beautiful, powerful costuming, and a rich, detailed culture for the Amazons — and it all came from Lynda Carter and her 1970’s leotard.

    Fashion
  9. Digging into the Racial Politics of ‘Ugly Delicious’

    David Chang’s Ugly Delicious explores some nuanced ideas around race and food while also reproducing some harmful cultural narratives. Media culture Ph.D. student Rachel Kuo identifies five ways she’d like the show to push further.

    Cooking
  10. The desert island.

    “…I think about all the photos of fat ladies with bodies like mine that have been used as objects of ridicule on funny cards and websites, because they dared do something as transgressive as wear a bathing suit at the beach, as though they were human or something.”

    Culture
    Illustration by Hana Jang (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
  11. On the Circle of Privilege

    This is what privilege looks like: “Because of that small step up, everything else was given to us. The guarantee of rest, of proper food, of an exuberance of attention that continues at the hotel we are staying at. We were given more because we had more to begin with.”

    Education
    Photo by Kapil Bhatia via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  12. How Fatphobia Impacted My Gender Identity

    The discrimination and shame that often accompanies being fat can impede medical care, relationships, work — and your understanding of your own gender identity.

    Gender
  13. Let’s go to a meeting

    M. Kelter at Invisible Strings on work, coping, and autism: “The words people say slowly turn into a staccato exchange, a call and answer that makes me think of birds. I listen along and pitch in verbal pauses and silences that hopefully convey a subtle attentiveness.”

    Autism
    Image by © Corbis via Flickr
  14. Depression is a Loaded Gun

    Derek Powazek comes to terms with his lifelong companion, depression: “I cannot keep doing the things I always have done. I can’t let depression define me, I can’t fight it, I can’t pretend it away. I have choose to do something else.”

    Jetpack
  15. Why Bitcoin is Stupid

    “Government-issued currencies have value because they represent human trust and cooperation. There is no wealth and no trade without these two things, so you might as well go all-in and trust people. There are no financial instruments that will protect you from a world where we no longer trust each other.”

    Current Events