Evan (O'Connor Brothers Vol. 5) jAudiobook narrated by the author Jia TolentinoI really enjoyed listening to Jia read her book 9 essays She s bluntly insightful about the times we are living in without being preachy I admire the way Jia formulates her thoughts brilliantly I became so curious about this magnificent woman never knew of her until now th Recently my rad friend B and I got into it about Roxanne Gay s Bad Feminist which I loudly do not like B argued that it was wrong of me toudge it so harshly because I was not taking into account the deep biases I bring to my own reading I remain unrepentant because those essays are extremely bad but I do acknowledge that I am only a combination of my life s influences I grew up solidly middle class I am a cis het woman and a Jew of European heritage I went to a good liberal arts college and white American intellectual values are the waters in which I have always steeped So perhaps when I say something utterly subjective like those essays are extremely bad I do only mean that they re bad to me and if I were a ueer black woman like B raised and taught and influenced in different ways all my opinions would be completely different Be that as it may I still am me I still have the same brain and biases and I will tell you this Jia Tolentino is exactly everything I fucking love This book to me is basically perfect devastatingly smart and endlessly fascinating and filled with essays that work that interrogate the modern condition from every angle and leave you gasping with new comprehensions They are deeply researched and wildly illuminating and also even funny sometimes when they re not devastating or brutal or so intense you have to put the book down and go take a dazed walk to let your brain synapses cool their firingsAnyway you don t really need me to tell you about Jia s brilliance right I mean she s written and edited everywhere from the Hairpin to Jezebel to now the New Yorker which excerpted one of this book s best essays Losing Religion and Finding Ecstacy in Houston As of this moment her release week she s on a press blitz so thorough that it s the subject of its own roundups and memes If you don t feel like scrolling through find her profiled on Elle interviewed on the Paris Review and reviewed on Vanity Fair see her food picks on Grub Street her skincare routine on In the Gloss and her dog on Jezebel I could go onBut you re here so go ahead and listen to me talk about this book some To wit In one essay she writes about how the internet has fundame Here is who I recommend this book for Anyone who has been in a coma for the last ten to fifteen years a person who ust discovered the internet or perhaps only recently
learned how to read someone over the age of 70 or how to read someone over the age of 70 or the age of 10 who has a suddenly discovered interest in small and GENERALLY FEMINIST HAPPENINGS OF RECENT YEARSEVERYONE feminist happenings of recent yearsEveryone you re probably coveredThere is nothing much new hereThis pains me to say because I like Jia Tolentino a lot I enjoy her New Yorker articles Is this ust a way for me to like Jia Tolentino a lot I enjoy her New Yorker articles Is this A cristalli liquidi (Italian Edition) just a way for me to about reading the New Yorker You tell me I like her voiceBut I did not care for this book much at allAlmost without exception there is not a single essay in this book that has not been extensively covered already in TV shows and thinkpieces and books and article after article after article I in order to air out my frustration and grievances and knowing I wouldn t get around to writing this review for 2 months or sootted down a few examples of well covered topics that are here covered againHere they are very well tread literary analysis about female characters and marriage as in had I shown up to a freshman level literature course with this thesis statement most of my professors would have asked me where the snap was a rehashing of the events of the Fyre Festival which has already had not I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad just one but two extraordinarily well watched documentaries made about it the events of the 2008 housing crisis which would have been bad enough except Tolentino chooses to summarize it through the plot of the already made film The Big Short so it amounts to a uick look through of that movie s Wikipedia page the founding of Facebook the number of books and movies and articles and documentaries and biographies about that alone the founding of Nasty Gal which yes also had a TV show made about it already a seemingly endless list of items sold on and their individual prices For no demonstrable purpose other than to say a lot of things are sold on after that statement is written the Rolling Stone A Rape on Campus article if you haven t read and heard enough about that already to make your eyes and ears bleed message me where you hang out I d like to visit and take a goddamn breatherWhat I m getting at here is that a number of these chapters include pages and pages of what is ultimately literally than summaries of very well known moviesAnd while that would be at best boring and monotonous even in the best case I could forgive it if we were treading well tread ground in order to get to a new point A cool argument An actually inventive thesisAnd maybe the conclusion of this that all of these and other pre established theories and thoroughly analyzed events coa. Trick Mirror is an enlightening unforgettable trip through the river of self delusion that surgesust beneath the surface of our lives This is a book about the incentives that shape us and about how har. .
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S of the state and everyone around you your needs will slowly cease to exist This is of course not the case for everyone but for plenty of women becoming a bride still means being flattered into submission being prepared through a rush of attention and a series of gender segregated rituals the bridal shower the bachelorette party and later the baby shower for a future in which your identity will be systematically framed as secondary to the identity of your husband and kids I d read Jia Tolentino s grocery lists if she let me A bit of a mixed bag Highlights The first essay The I in Internet is excellent Always Be Optimizing had some great ideas but a bit circular and seemed to be holding something back some great ideas but a bit circular and seemed to be holding something back personal experience essays Reality TV Me and Ecstacy were diverting enough I enjoyed them DownsidesSome of the essays cover some really well worn ground at this point Often the context and asides are too heavy on research and info dumping that isn t fully relevant or it s Pip Sueak Saves the Day Medici Books for Children just dull Several times I felt like I was waiting around for the point to emerge We Come From Old Virginia and sometimes there was no thesis at all Pure Heroines A few essays and sections simply failed to catch my interest I like Tolentino but I think I prefer her ideas in shorter form and fully distilled Lucid and enlightening the essays of Jia Tolentino s debut collection Trick Mirror Reflections on Self Delusion consider what it means for Millennial women to navigate a culture of spectacle scam and oppression In sharp prose across nine essays Tolentino takes on everything from the troubling rise of athleisure to America s obsession with reality television difficult women an I really enjoyed this actually even though any collection of essaysstories tends to be uneven I probably also enjoyed it since it said a lot of things that I already agree with or thought to begin with I tend toust like being reaffirmed in my view point what can I say I really didn t enjoy the essay on drugs and religion and spiritualism very much I did enjoy the ones on feminism a little like the ones examining the way lodging any criticism at any woman becomes grounds for calls of sexism I liked the undercurrents of the fragility of identity and the ideas about performing an identity that went hand in hand with the idea of commodification of the self I enjoyed that there was context brought to each of the essays though maybe at times it felt a little excessive like other readers have mentioned in their review lots of excerpts from books the list of items of almost made me put the book down Personally liked it but I think if you go into this expecting some kind of new hot take on things then you ll be disappointed It does cover a lot of the things people have already talked about and especially talks a lot about this current cultural moment so I do think there s a limitation to new things that can be said I feel awful terrible giving such a low review because i was so so so excited for this to the point where I refused to read any press so I could have a pure unmediated experience but only like 3 of the essays in here were good the ones where she reflects on her own life Which is funny because I used to get kind of annoyed at the way she would unnecessarily drop in details about her life into unrelated articles la girl who went to Barthelona I think there really is an inherent difference between the kind of writing you do for the Internet thinkpieces cultural criticism tied to news cycles and importantly to deadlines vs the kind of writing that deserves to be printed into a book 4 of these essays were essentially ust saying things everyone Knows By Uotingrearrangingsummarising A Lot by uotingrearrangingsummarising a lot secondary sources very lukewarm takes on feminism and modern life that don t provoke thought as much as make you go yeah lol Like maybe the target demographic is people who don t know these things I agreed with it all way too much to the point where I was wondering why I was even reading this like 10% of the book is unfortunately ust summarising extremely well known narratives like the birth of Facebook we ve all watched the social network 10 times baby which while I understand is necessary for her to be able to then make her point about said narrative is to me ultimately totally redundant because i agree with and have already independently thought the same things about the narrative So who is this book for Surely readers of The New Yorker also know these things Anyways I never thought i d say this but yes Jia Tolentino please tell me about your year in Kyrgyzstan This is an outstanding rigorously researched and written collection of cultural criticism I really admired the depth of thought here I felt like each essay was a master class on how to write cultural criticism I was definitely taking notes Some of the essays ran too long and could use some tightening but that is a subjective opinion I was particularly interested in the essay about the UVA rape case and the one about uncritical feminism and how it can flatten discourse in really troubling ways This is well worth a read I read it slowly so I could really think through each piece It is a rare book that encourages me to do that. Scammer as millennial hero; the literary heroine’s ourney from brave to blank to bitter; the mandate that everything including our bodies should always be getting efficient and beautiful until we die. Lesce into a culture of self delusion in which all millennial women live is new but it s hard to even remember that that s the conclusion when all of the essayschapters are so separate and so totally not uniueWorse they never coalesce in a satisfying way leaving each chapter feeling like a Sparknotes summary of something that happened in the early aughtsThe best part of this is 17th of the chapter The Story of a Generation in Seven Scams which describes the descent of feminism into a capitalist friendly GIRLBOSS subvein that encourages participation in a fundamentally uneual economy in order to demonstrate one s commitment to euality buying shirts and mugs becoming the symbol of economic ineuality that is a CEOI love this thesis Unfortunately I ve read about it in a far satisfying way Already Too In A Boston Globe Article too in a Boston Globe article by a classmate of mine whose daughter after receiving a shirt that said GIRL POWER asked why her brother and boys
At Large Didn Tlarge didn t to wear shirts to remind them of their power Now that s what we call a good angle You can read her article hereBut I digressBottom line If you fit into one of the groups I outlined earlier there s no better way to play catch up on the last dozen years of pop culture than in Jia Tolentino s voiceIf not you may be in for a frustrating read 45 starsI have to start this review by sharing that when I finished the last essay of Trick Mirror I Thee Dread I literally started clapping and whisper screaming oh my god Jia really did that and ugh ueen of delivering a fatal blow to the capitalist patriarchal wedding industrial complex we stan a self aware icon Mind you this fanboying took place while I sat alone on my couch in my apartment where I m typing this review right now I Thee Dread serves both as an essay about how Jia Tolentino has never wanted to get married and an analysis of weddings broadly their history and social function This piece encapsulates what Tolentino accomplishes when she reaches her peak in this collection a powerful examination of her own psyche and how it runs parallel to the forces of history and popular culture Here s a uote from I Thee Dread that I love And still I wonder how much harder it would be to get straight women to accept the reality of marriage if they were not first presented with the fantasy of a wedding I wonder if women today would so readily accept the uneual diminishment of their independence without their sense of self importance being overinflated first It feels like a trick a trick that has worked and is still working that the bride remains the image of womanhood at its most broadly celebrated and that planning a wedding is the only period in a woman s life where she is universally and unconditionally encouraged to conduct everything on her terms Tolentino applies this sharp insight to a gamut of fascinating topics throughout Trick Mirror including how we construct ourselves on the internet the constant pressure we face to optimize every aspect of our lives rape culture in relation to her alma mater the University of Virginia the American scammer as millennial hero and Several reviewers have used the word millennial to describe this collection and I feel like that fits These essays all feel timely fresh and almost funny in a I m feeling distressed about the crushing rise of student debt so here s a meme that I ll post on Twitter about the collapse of the climate thanks to global capitalism kinda way What I admire most about this collection is Tolentino s voice Her writing voice is confident distinct and captivating yet consistently aware of its own potential shortcomings I also appreciated her incisive feminist takes that pushed the envelope on mainstream liberal ideologies such as by explicitly naming whiteness and how characters of Asian ethnicity are pushed into the background as well as how having women adopt the role of the male oppressor eg serving as prison guards instead of abolishing prisons altogether may not truly further ustice I did feel at times that some of these essays felt like they drifted away out of her control like they would go on these stream of consciousness explorations whereas I wanted a bit focus around a central point or argument At the same time I applaud Tolentino for an impressive essay collection which I hope many people will read She includes reflections on self delusion in the title which I think fits very well Once you gain an awareness of the delusions you tell yourself you move one step closer to freeing yourself and living your life on your own termsI also want to end this review with one uote from the I Thee Dread essay because I loved it so much as ya ll can probably tell Here it is The conventional vision of a women s life in which the wedding plays a starring role seems to be offering an unspoken tradeoff Here our culture says is an event that will center you absolutely that will crystallize your image when you were young and gorgeous admired and beloved with the whole world rolling out in front of you like an endless meadow like a plush red carpet sparklers lighting up your irises and petals drifting through your lavish elegant hair In exchange from that point forward in the eye. D it is to see ourselves clearly in a culture that revolves around the self In each essay Jia writes about the cultural prisms that have shaped her the rise of the nightmare social internet; the American. ,