"Girls who wanted to be my friend wanted to help me get better at being a girl. Like a Bridget Jones
-esque makeover montage, I let them burn my forehead with curling irons, poke me in the eyes with eyeliner pencils, and look me up and down in dressing rooms. I was so thrilled for the friendships I was convinced I enjoyed the forehead burning (my same friend, always burning me in the same place, before every quarterly Junior High dance, as reliable as the changing of the seasons). What began in early adolescence– genuine friendships forged through drag-like gender performance– continued well into adulthood." -- Molly Knefel writes about growing up gender nonconforming
posted by MartinWisse
on Feb 24, 2014 -
How Iowa Flattened Literature
The Iowa Writers’ Workshop emerged in the 1930s and powerfully influenced the creative-writing programs that followed. More than half of the second-wave programs, about 50 of which appeared by 1970, were founded by Iowa graduates. Third- and fourth- and fifth-wave programs, also Iowa scions, have kept coming ever since. So the conventional wisdom that Iowa kicked off the boom in M.F.A. programs is true enough.
Over the past 40 years, creative writing’s small-is-beautiful approach has served it well, as measured by the discipline’s explosive growth while most of its humanities counterparts shrink and cower. The reasons for this could fill many essays. For one thing, creative writing has successfully embedded itself in the university by imitating other disciplines without treading on their ground. A pyramid resembles a pedagogy—it’s fungible, and easy to draw on the board. Introductory math and physics professors like to draw diagrams too, a welcome analogy for a discipline wishing both to establish itself as teachable and to lengthen its reach into the undergraduate curriculum, where a claim of pure writerly exceptionalism won’t cut it.
posted by deathpanels
on Feb 10, 2014 -
After interminable months of campaigning, debates, and roller-coaster polling
, the first official vote of the 2012 presidential race is in -- and boy, is it a doozy. Ames straw poll winner Michele Bachmann
placed second-to-last, while former juggernaut Rick Perry performed so badly he's canceled upcoming events
and is said to be on the verge of dropping out. Meanwhile, perennial laughingstock Rick Santorum, consolidating the support hemorrhaging from Perry, Bachmann, and an ad-blitzed Newt Gingrich
, rocketed past the youth- and independent-backed Ron Paul
and, with 99% of the vote counted, is separated from Mitt Romney by four votes
out of ~120,000 -- by far the closest result in caucus history
. As the shaken field contemplates the path ahead through Romney firewall New Hampshire, conservative South Carolina, Florida, Super Tuesday, and beyond, President Obama staged a quiet redux
of his own dramatic caucus win four years ago
, a dry run for the looming general election. And as for powerhouse Buddy Roemer
? Don't worry -- his team
is ready to do battle with evil
posted by Rhaomi
on Jan 3, 2012 -
“Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that ‘The sun’ll come out tomorrow.’”
Just ahead of the Iowa Caucus
, New Jersey native turned University of Iowa Professor Stephen Bloom
has published a piece in The Atlantic
that has caused quite a stir in the heartland.
The piece, which is very critical of the Hawkeye State and her inhabitants, has a lot of Iowans on the defensive
, with one article calling Bloom the "Michelangelo of hick-punching."
Stephens has said the "feedback has been frightening," but he stands by his story.
Perhaps a 1971 Harper's piece on Iowa
captures the state with a bit more nuance.
posted by Lutoslawski
on Dec 13, 2011 -
Abortion Drugs Given in Iowa via Video Link.
"The situation has played out hundreds of times. From his office here, a doctor asks a woman on the computer screen before him one final question: Are you ready to take your pill? Then, with a click of his mouse, a modified cash register drawer pops open in front of the woman seated next to a nurse in a clinic
— perhaps 100 miles from this city — with mifepristone, the medicine formerly known as RU-486, that is meant to end her pregnancy." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Jun 9, 2010 -
With 12-year old Maggie Wiederholt's permission, Quad City Times reporter Kay Luna and photographer John Schultz followed her and her family for several weeks as the terminally ill Walcott, Iowa girl faced death - and made choices about how to live.
is a heart-wrenching project that captures the last days of a young girl with with a rare form of Behcet's disease. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski
on Apr 6, 2010 -
First, there was the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
. Now, everyone's favorite super-premium conglomerate-owned sticking-to-its-righteous-roots ice cream company has transformed "Chubby Hubby" into Hubby Hubby
(only in VT, only for September), in support of same sex marriage, which is legal in Vermont as of this month. No word yet whether Iowa-based Winnebago will follow suit with a specially-named RV.
posted by ericbop
on Sep 3, 2009 -
It's nearly state fair time and you know what that means - Butter Sculptures
! Yes, year after year several fairs contract with artists to sculpt meltable works of art. Perhaps the most famous is the Iowa State Butter Cow
, carved year after year since the early 1900s. Of course, with butter art comes rivalry. Not to be outdone, state fairs in Minnesota
, Texas, New York
...oh, the list is long...each display these chilled masterpieces. However, this year Iowa has taken the rivalry to a new level and not without controversy -
The Iowa State Fair has decided that this year they will do a Butter Michael Jackson
posted by Muddler
on Jul 2, 2009 -
The Iowa Supreme Court has just unanimously declared
the state's ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. "The decision strikes the language from Iowa Code section 595.2 limiting civil marriage to a man and a woman. It further directs that the remaining statutory language be interpreted and applied in a manner allowing gay and lesbian people full access to the institution of civil marriage." (full summary PDF)
The ruling effectively legalizes same-sex marriage in the state of Iowa.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Apr 3, 2009 -
Hoping for the best for Mefites in eastern Iowa. I was CR born and raised, and just watching the feed
on KCRG is ...disturbing. It looks like the height of the Cedar River is estimated at 25.4 feet, and it hasn't crested yet
. They've lost a railroad bridge
downtown so far, and the news feed keeps tracking the rise of the river by standing outside the studio and watching the water approaching. [more inside]
posted by thanotopsis
on Jun 12, 2008 -
"I would have your wife right in front of you.
I would smoke the last of your glaucoma medication. Then I will surely drink your liquor cabinet dry. However, know this my friend. I will never break an oath to uphold the public trust. My affidavit will be signed in my own blood. A Pirates crimson mark, with real binding effects into my after life. Laugh if you will then ask yourself if you could do it."
is running for congress in Iowa's first district. He accepts no money from anybody.
posted by Navelgazer
on Aug 25, 2006 -
The Oxford Project
: in 1984, Peter Feldstein photographed every single citizen in the town of Oxford, Iowa (676 pictures in all). In 2006, he attempts to do it again
posted by JPowers
on Jun 6, 2006 -