Anne Helen Petersen Profile picture
I write Culture Study & also books — most recently, OUT OF OFFICE. Speaking: @prhspeakers IG: annehelenpetersen // email: annehelenpetersen @ gmail
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May 25 5 tweets 1 min read
I process by writing. And right now, it feels like the sorrow is unending. There is nothing we can do, with our country as is, from stopping it from happening tomorrow.

This is what happens when you live under minority rule:

annehelen.substack.com/p/this-is-what… To suggest someone channel their rage into voting feels like a laughable insult. I don’t mean we shouldn’t vote — of course we should. But voting will not, at least for the foreseeable future, effect substantive national change.
May 22 9 tweets 2 min read
The last two months I've watched something curious happen: very Covid-conscientious people, people with paid time off, people who can work from home.....testing positive for Covid and then, unless they're hospitalized, insisting on working through it:

annehelen.substack.com/p/the-normaliz… This is a group that has the most privilege in terms of the ability to take paid time off to truly recover from Covid — and, in many cases, the least willingness to actually do so
Apr 17 9 tweets 2 min read
I wrote about a phenomenon I think of as “the expanding job”: when one person is effectively doing work previously performed by 2 or 3 others:

annehelen.substack.com/p/the-expandin… I started thinking about this years ago during the recurrent academic conversation that went something like "I'd do my work so much faster, if only I had a wife"

But older generations of academics had more than just wives.
Feb 9 4 tweets 2 min read
Difficult to overstate Entertainment Weekly's effect on me. Writing about its rise and slow-motion decline for The Awl, back in 2014, is still a highlight of my journalistic career

theawl.com/2014/06/the-tr… I had *so much* knowledge of what happened, industrially, during its launch — it had been part of my dissertation — but had no idea what actually happened inside & also no idea how to report & the longtime EW journalists who spoke with me were very patient, I was so bumbling
Feb 8 4 tweets 1 min read
The anecdote at the beginning of this story describes the way I learned to ski in Idaho — and I'd love to hear from people with more knowledge of this about what happened to that model of cheap lift ticket, limited amenity, low pressure skiing

nytimes.com/2022/02/05/sty… Is it conglomeration of resorts, as mentioned in the piece? Raised expectations of what skiing should be? Difficulty of sustaining the community ski hills that serve as feeders, in part because cost of living in these towns just goes up and up?
Jan 25 8 tweets 2 min read
A few days before Christmas, I downloaded Candy Crush (again) in a haze of exhaustion and tooth pain and travel. And you know what, this game — which is legitimately marketing itself as a "mindfulness" escape — sucks There is no past or future in Candy Crush — just micro-wins that ultimately feel flat and meaningless. Again: it doesn’t alleviate the feeling of burnout; it matches its temperature, like one of those sensory deprivation float pools
Jan 25 8 tweets 4 min read
.@louise_seamster & @AlanAAja1 making the very convincing case against those "student loan forgiveness is regressive" arguments:

brookings.edu/blog/how-we-ri… This is so crucial: the racial wealth gap is *EXPANDING,* in large part due to student debt:
Jan 24 4 tweets 2 min read
THE KAPPA HOUSE IS FOR SALE (in Missoula, Montana)

🎶🎶Kappas wear the colors of the Kotex Box, Light Blue, Dark Blue 🎶🎶

zillow.com/homedetails/10…? Who is going to buy this 18 bedroom home
Jan 22 4 tweets 1 min read
My 4 yr-old friend, Little Charlie, has a rainbow stuffed bear named Teddy. This bear came with a pin that said "Happy Birthday" so in Little Charlie's world, every day is Teddy's birthday. 1/ Yesterday, he convinced his mom (my friend) that they should make a birthday cake for Teddy's birthday. Okay, okay, his mom says, let's make a cake. She starts putting together the ingredients, and realizes she needs to go check if they have extra butter in downstairs fridge 2/
Jan 21 8 tweets 3 min read
There's a very real (if very quiet, because of NDAs and dynamic of the industry) crisis going on in TV journalism right now:

nytimes.com/2022/01/20/us/… Look at these unconscionable pay stats (made possible by deregulation + lack of labor protections + 'passion job' bullshit)
Oct 17, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
I wrote about the vague, amorphous blob that is Fall Regression: feeling like you'd maybe figured some part of your life out but nope, jk jk, not at all

annehelen.substack.com/p/whats-that-f… A teacher recently told me that there’s a rule in her department: no major life decisions in October. The same holds true, she said, for March. But March is well-known for its cruelty. I didn’t realize it was the same for October, even though it makes perfect sense
Oct 17, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
"What we’re seeing now is strike activity beginning to rise from a decades long trough as the “essential” worker — a new category of worker born of the coronavirus pandemic — challenges the boss to make good on that designation."

theintercept.com/2021/10/17/joh… "The same forces making work intolerable for so many — not enough workers and too much work — are simultaneously preparing workers to fight back."
Sep 21, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
"The real question—that may very well determine whether or not universal free lunch becomes a permanent part of the American education system—is: Will Nice White Parents let our kids eat school food?"

virginiasolesmith.substack.com/p/please-stop-… "Just over half of this group of parents are paying for a meal—and investing time and labor in preparing said meal—that their children could be eating for free."

virginiasolesmith.substack.com/p/please-stop-…
Sep 19, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Pretty compelled by the connection between workism + "revenge bedtime procrastination"

medicalnewstoday.com/articles/reven… "This means that the less enjoyable things a person could do during the day, the likelier it was that they would try to reclaim that time at night and engage in the more pleasurable activities they had not been able to do during the day."
Sep 19, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Oh no Instagram is targeting me for very nice and very expensive Norwegian sweaters, I'm done for OH NO OH NO I'M ON THE WEBSITE
Sep 19, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
I wrote about the myth of the productive commute — and how the unwritten norms of your industry have been continuously rewritten to benefit your employer:

annehelen.substack.com/p/the-myth-of-… Over the last year, I've found myself frustrated with people pushing for a full return to the office & citing the usefulness of the commute as one of the reasons. Mind-clearing! Productive! Great bumpers to your day! Short and lovely! THIS IS A FANTASY COMMUTE FOR 97% OF PEOPLE
Sep 12, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
Against Kids’ Sports:

annehelen.substack.com/p/against-kids… I purposefully wrote this as a polemic — the overarching intention isn’t to make anyone feel like shit, but to just think more about the entire situation. Also w/the hope that instead of starting it looking for exceptions, consider sitting with why we're so quick to look for them
Aug 27, 2021 18 tweets 4 min read
A few months ago I tweeted the latest "MOMS ARE NOT OKAY, NO REALLY, THEY'RE NOT" article one women's reply stuck with me "People keep writing this pieces, she said, and everyone is like yes, this, and posts the piece and some sentence about how bad and broken it is. But then….nothing changes? We just keep going? Until the next piece is written and the cycle begins again?"

(if this was you, hi)
Aug 26, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
I've spent the last month talking to people providing eldercare — esp. people providing care for family members at home.

Everyone is so, so tired, and the exhaustion is made worse by how invisible the labor remains:

vox.com/the-goods/2263… This work — both paid and unpaid — has been feminized and racialized, which, like so much in the US, means we either don't think of it *as work*....or we don't think of it as valuable work. The system has been broken for a long time. But now it's collapsing on caregivers.
Aug 25, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Jul 22, 2021 22 tweets 5 min read
So let's talk about the one-year Master's of Arts Program in Humanities and Master of Arts Program in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago!

Current tuition for one year: $62,640.

Cost of living, supplies, and additional quarterly fees: $30k, if not more If you don't know about the University of Chicago, it's difficult to describe the reputation other than it's not an Ivy but prides itself on being more rigorous than an Ivy. It is home to a lot of very prestigious PhD programs, which is important context