American Story is a temporary series edited by Jasmine Anderson. Check out the rest of the series: American Story.
A news ticker whizzes past at the bottom of the frame, much like those seen on MSNBC or CNN. Today, it reads: “MISO HORNY.” It’s not CNN—it’s definitely not MSNBC—oh, no, it’s 11 AM, and The Jerry Springer Show is on, and if you’re me, you’re working to achieve an artful balance of slurping down lukewarm coffee, silently cursing yourself (you know, for abandoning the “morals” and “ethics” you’re always yammering on about to watch this shit), and mastering the unblinking stare it takes to watch the show without missing a single thing.
2015 marked a quarter-century of The Jerry Springer Show, an icon of American culture as ubiquitous as the Big Mac or baseball. Every day, as late morning sun beams hot and bright, Jerry Springer is on, as reliable as the rise and fall of the tides at the farthest reaches of our nation. Given all of the public derision aimed toward Jerry Springer and his low-brow onscreen melee, one would think that the show would be long cancelled by now. The jury’s out on why it has survived, especially amid new distractions—social media, Netflix, smartphones—that have driven similar programming off the air, but there are several draws. Jerry Springer is fascinating for its freakishness, a theatre bizarre of daytime TV, and it appears that the show’s onscreen violence garners the same gleeful attention from audiences as the WWE.
When asked why the show remains a hit—holding an average of three million viewers captive each day—Jerry is liable to shrug benignly and say something vague and modest: “I can’t sit here and tell you I know why I’ve lasted twenty-five years … If I’d been hosting another show, I wouldn’t have lasted twenty-five years. And I mean it. People aren’t watching the show to see me.” His response leaves me skeptical. Yes, it is cultural, as Jerry hints; no matter how charismatic and clever the host, a successful television show has to fall within a receptive cultural climate in order to survive and, luckily for Jerry, Jerry Springer hit airwaves in what one might reasonably call a talk television boom, amid the success of contemporaries Phil Donahue Oprah Winfrey, and at least a half a dozen others.
Still, I suspect that Jerry is more instrumental in Jerry Springer’s success than he dares let on. Jerry would rather disown the show even as he profits from it, posing the show’s success as a bewildering testament to today’s drama-hungry, reality-junkie viewers and himself as an uncritical entrepreneur simply providing the public with what it wants … but let’s face it: the show isn’t called Jerry Springer for nothing. When Jerry walks briskly onstage, a grandfatherly smile plastered across his face, the audience doesn’t chant his name because they’re indifferent to him. To an extent—I would argue, a large extent—the man makes the show.
Despite Jerry’s reticence—and the blustering theories of pundits and columnists-turned-bloggers who have theorized for the entirety of the past twenty-five years that the popularity of television like The Jerry Springer Show is an indication of a diseased society—there is no question that the man himself is a living legend, his friendly, crinkled features calling to mind the myriad of cultural phenomena he has birthed, from the bodyguards lurking onstage—among them Steve Wilkos, who has gone on to find success on his own eponymous spinoff—to his much-anticipated Final Thought at each show’s end. The truth is, people would rather point the finger at frowned-upon sensationalism and spectacle than concede that the lure of the television patriarch is nothing new. Whether we like to believe it or not, we are uniquely swayed by the man on television—he has a hold over us that we seem to be powerless against. Just think of our half-embarrassed worship of Hollywood’s leading man—George Clooney of today and Clark Gable of yesteryear—or the much-revered President Ronald Reagan, a former Hollywood star, or Bill Cosby, the TV dad whose real-life counterpart nearly got away with dozens of sexual assault allegations, a vivid and disturbing consequence of our blind hero-worship. Meanwhile, the very same August that Brianna presented a sushi heart to her ex-boyfriend on national television, Mr. Donald Trump lagged a mere three points behind Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Presidential polls.
Today’s guest on Jerry Springer is an eighteen-year-old girl, hair tousled with teal dye and giant eyes framed with square black glasses, a girl one might see strolling down the sidewalk with a comic book tucked under her arm, perhaps termed “quirky.” Her name is Brianna and she is here to win back her ex-boyfriend, Marquise. Today, Brianna is holding a tray of sushi, arranged into the shape of a heart. Within the heart, this message: “MISO MISS YOU.” It makes sense, but barely; early on, Brianna explains, with a kind of dewy-eyed wistfulness, that she and Marquise met often at a sushi restaurant. It was their “thing.” It doesn’t take a seasoned television icon and his decades-experienced staff to spin an affinity for sushi into racist viewer-bait; hence: “MISO HORNY.”
In the same vein as other popular talk shows, Jerry’s guests typically have significant personal issues to hash out—infidelity, unexpected pregnancies, abuse and the like. Brianna is not one of these guests. Asked why she is on the show today, she becomes tearful and confesses that Marquise ended their relationship. (The news ticker garishly summarizes: BOYFRIEND DUMPED HER AFTER A YEAR TOGETHER.) The experienced viewer—in this case, yours truly, guiltily turning down the volume so that the neighbors cheerfully gardening outside don’t hear the telltale jeers and shrieks of Jerry Springer—knows that this is the first nudge from the Jerry Springer machine, which has now effectively fashioned a crime worthy of public humiliation from an everyday scenario. Brianna’s issue is a nonissue—which is Jerry’s cue to get creative.
Let the games begin.
In 2016, the leap from television to politics is hardly remarkable. Americans are used to celebrity bleeding into politics—“Ahhhnold” Schwarzenegger, “the Terminator,” addressing the public as the Governor of California and Presidential candidate Barack Obama hosting Saturday Night Live. Now, Mr. Donald J. Trump of The Apprentice is President, ultimately enchanting voters with the same quick wit that dazzled TV viewers in the two thousands. Sound bites like “Jeb Bush speaks Mexican,” and “Torture works!” doggedly followed him (often to his dismay) and, at rallies, stirring his supporters into a fervor, he once condemned his opponent, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton with a nickname fit for a cartoon villain—“Crooked Hillary”—and an uproarious chant which captures the enthusiasm of all of Clinton’s opposition: “Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!” Though politically charged, such notorious Trump quotes are not unlike Jerry Springer’s famous “Final Thought,” a catchy aphorism summing up for the audience what we might learn from the events of the day’s show. Recent history tells us that such quotable moments, whether or not they embarrass at the time, far from hurt a patriarch’s potential for success.
Springer has been an American name for longer than Jerry Springer has existed, though the show is where his name is now permanently tethered. Back when he was young, outrageously handsome, with full lips in a pensive pout beneath serious, dark eyes and a luscious mop of brown curls, Springer began not as a pop cultural sensation but, as many know, a lawyer and politician. Springer was an Ohioan Democrat who worked for the Kennedy campaign and then went on to spearhead the movement to lower the voting age of Ohioans from twenty-one to eighteen, his success prompting five terms on the Cincinnati City Council. At the peak of his political career, he was the mayor of Cincinnati.
The success of Springer’s political career was not to last, however, and when his 1982 bid for Governor of Ohio failed, he turned to anchoring, a fateful segue from politics to entertainment. He signed with Cincinnati’s NBC affiliate, WLWT, and is credited with taking the station to first place in local news—his nightly commentary earned him seven Emmys and the title of Cincinnati’s best news anchor for five consecutive years. The memorable wisdom he doled out on WLWT captivated audiences, inspiring the “Final Thought” that would later become his trademark. He talked, they listened in rapture, and TV executives took notice. In September of 1991, The Jerry Springer Show aired its pilot episode.
Jerry Springer began as a political forum, not dissimilar from Jerry’s news commentary on WLWT. Contemporary issues like gun control and homelessness were frequent topics, high-profile guests were invited for interviews, and the show was purely focused on addressing substantive national issues. But ratings were dismal and, in response to threats of cancellation from NBC, a new producer was hired and the show underwent drastic changes: what was briefly a political forum rapidly became a lurid display of the lower-class cultural dredges. By 1994, Jerry Springer was featuring episodes with titles like “He Wants Her to Quit Bikini Contests!” and “My Boyfriend Turned Out to Be a Girl!” The transition away from politics was, if not what Jerry might have envisioned for his future, a wild success for the show.
Jerry sympathizes, his face twisting from grandfatherly joviality into a grimace of pity, reminding me uncannily of the twin theatrical masks, comedy and tragedy, that my grandmother hangs in her house in dramatic black and white. “A year?”
“I know, right?” Brianna sniffs. His sympathy has lured a tear or two from her, the emotionally charged thrill of a public confession amplified by Jerry’s apparent emotional investment. Brianna’s problem may be more of a bad case of denial than a rotten ex, but that nagging truth, if it has even occurred to her, drifts further and further from her mind the more that Jerry validates her despair—precisely what he intends. Jerry wields a powerful patriarchal tool, unbeknownst to Brianna and, indeed, the brunt of viewers. His brand of condescension is practically undetectable, ambivalent sexism that lies just below the surface of his attentiveness and concern. Protecting her from the truth, he also wields control over her—and, by extension, over the plot arc of the segment.
Still maintaining a visage of utter compassion, Jerry asks: “Do you think there’s someone else in the picture?” A bait, a switch.
Brianna is a little taken aback, stammering that she doesn’t know. At this point, viewers can see the gears shifting internally as she considers Jerry’s question. Jerry feigns naiveté, shrugging with comic nonchalance. I groan sympathetically, shoveling handfuls of Lays into my mouth with an animal vigor. Admittedly a seasoned viewer, I know what comes next. It is now that Brianna begins to realize, as all contestants eventually do, that the show has ceased to be about her—has never truly been about her, in fact.
It’s Jerry’s show.
Enter Marquise. When he walks onstage, he is enthusiastically booed by the audience, razzed into a fervor by Jerry’s infectious energy (plus a pole-dancing performance over the commercial break—a perk of attending a screening). Marquise sighs. Understandably, he is not pleased. He is being forced to confront an ex-girlfriend—one who seems dead-set on willfully ignoring the current state of their relationship, no less—on camera. One wonders why he accepted Jerry’s invitation to participate in the first place. He knows as well as the audience does that there is no way for him to come out on the other side of this looking good. Exasperated, he tells Brianna almost immediately what the rest of us are painfully aware of: “You’re not getting it.” He walks her through the breakup again, baldly stating: “I don’t want to be with you.” You can’t get much clearer than this, one thinks. Hope swells in my chest—perhaps this will be it! Perhaps Brianna and Marquise will both be able to escape unscathed! Perhaps reputations will be preserved, miscommunications cleared, baggage tossed by the wayside!
Yeah, right. Jerry’s got airtime to fill and, by God, if there’s one person who can muddy seemingly transparent waters, it’s Jerry Norman Springer. After Marquise valiantly tries to end an undoubtedly mutually unpleasant conversation (“So … is there, like, another reason you brought me on here? ‘Cause it seems like we coulda done this back in Philly …”), Jerry throws a curveball like the quarter-century champ he is: “Who’s Tiana?”
You and I both know who Tiana is. She’s the other woman, of course! There has to be another woman, lest Brianna not be truly scorned. And out Tiana comes, tall, beautiful, and—of course—livid. Surprisingly, her anger is directed not at Brianna, as expected, but toward Marquise. In a twist perhaps even Jerry couldn’t have anticipated, Tiana embraces Brianna, telling her: “I’m so sorry, baby,” and then turns on Marquise: “How could you hurt this little girl?” The velocity with which potato chips enter my mouth and churn their way through my gullet increases considerably.
You have to feel bad for Marquise—a little. The guy is clearly a womanizing twentysomething douchebag like any other, but because he tangled with someone who has the gumption to bring her problems to talk TV, he is required to play the villain for what surely seems an interminable half-hour. He’s sweating, miserable, another shitty guy trapped in a special hell—the steel trap of Jerry’s “urban” set. Here, it comes out that Marquise was sleeping with Brianna post-break-up, a classic example of what adolescents call “leading her on.” The audience is gleefully horrified, a peculiar emotional combination that seems only to exist in talk-show culture. Then, Tiana drops another bombshell, further inciting howls of gratification from her onlookers:
“I am a trans woman,” she announces—a fact that, judging by Marquise’s pale face, seems to have, somehow, escaped him until now.
At this point, he can take no more. He throws a punch Tiana’s way, and they tussle briefly before Jerry’s trusty security team pulls them apart, stone-faced. I listen, slightly nauseated, as he spits out a series of offensive, transphobic misconceptions. “But, I’m not gay,” he sputters, before accusing Tiana of “tricking him” and hiding in “disguise” and, furthermore, refusing to use female pronouns, even going so far as to call her “bro” a couple of times. My head is in my hands and I’ve about had enough at this point, but I keep watching, because Jerry does what he is paid for well: he hooks an audience. And speaking of Jerry, he’s grinning impishly in the background, utterly delighted in the chaos he has created.
“Do you want to be with Marquise, Brianna?” he practically sings, wrapping up the segment with practiced grace.
“Not anymore,” she spits, disgusted.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s rise to Presidential politics, Jerry—ever the grand-daddy of reality TV—has consulted regarding Trump’s success more than once. For his part, he is eager to discuss Mr. Trump’s transition from entertainment to politics. “Yeah, he’s a reality television star,” Springer tells USA Today, “which, by the way, is the reason he can do what he does. It’s not because he owns hotels. He can go over the head of the Republican leaders and go straight to the people. The masses will decide, and it’s not always using the same criteria that the institutions would.”
It’s not always using the same criteria that the institutions would. True—President Trump’s authority is a matter of power, not gained through practiced political maneuvering or business acumen, but incrementally built through years of fame: a man onscreen, literally and metaphorically larger than life. Jerry would know: he has earned his popularity in much the same way—his admirers not conservative American voters, but the lower classes, whose basic cable packages include few entertaining alternatives to Jerry Springer.
In this way, Springer is still quite the Democrat: anyone can tune into Springer, the polar opposite of HBO’s coveted dramas, expensive as they are glossy. Still, he is no politician, widely mistrusted and seldom appreciated, but rather a patriarch of the masses, an arbiter of societal rules with the power to dole out influential approval or dismissal amid the upper echelons of trash TV. Unsurprisingly, given Jerry’s target audience, he cashes in on low-brow subject matter. As if to drive the point home, his stage imitates the inner city, all diamond-plate steel, spray paint, and steam pouring theatrically from artificial grates. Every color is exaggerated, oversaturated like neon. It’s just dangerous enough to require security guards.
Ambivalent sexism is a the insidious, partially hidden prejudice that now typically dominates in the place of the overt, socially sanctioned sexism of the days of yore. Unlike printing separate job listings for women—secretary, teacher, nurse—or husbands subjecting wives to corporal punishment, ambivalent sexism frequently appears beneficial to women. It is often paternalistic or fatherly, emphasizing old-fashioned ideas about women’s innate purity, their necessity in men’s lives, and their need for physical protection by men. Ideas such as these seem harmless—if a bit misguided—though the ideology behind such assertions does substantial, if subtle, damage: the belief that a woman’s value lies in her “purity” positions sexually active women as lesser, for instance, the belief that women need men’s protection suggests that they are constitutionally inferior, et cetera, et cetera. We so often praise “chivalry,” ambivalent sexism’s popular and beloved other half—the Ben Affleck to ambivalent sexism’s Casey Affleck, if you will—but, ultimately, chivalry (and ambivalent sexism) are based on the (often subconscious) conviction that women are simply less capable.
Do you recognize what I’m describing? If you’re a woman, you likely do, whether ambivalent sexism calls to mind your male coworker loudly protesting when you hold the door for him, your boyfriend making a cutting remark about the length of your skirt, or your brother getting in a bar fight over a lady’s honor. Perhaps, like me, you see echoes of this in Jerry Springer.
The rise of President Donald Trump over the past year or so has rendered Jerry’s sweet-tempered paternalism downright old-fashioned by comparison—an ironic notion, considering that Jerry’s negotiation of kindliness and assumed authority is seemingly more modern, nuanced and understated, unlikely to spark outrage so much as a faint bristling at something that might or might not be condescension. Trump may be just as old as Springer, but his style is quite different and his influence is greater—democratic as talk TV might be, daily entertainment for a sizable swath of the U.S., the news has twice, three times, ten times the reach. On news stations and rogue YouTube clips alike, Trump deals a sexism that is raw and pungent, undisguised by a hint of charm or tact (in contrast to dimpled Springer, who can emit both in droves). Whether Trump will be beloved in twenty years’ time is still a matter of conjecture; all we know for now is that he is getting more press, bloating soundwaves and television screens with words like “fat,” “pig,” “slob,” and “dog,” all references to various women.
President Trump is at least alarming enough to hustle three or four million women out of housekeeping, childcare, school, or regular old nine-to-five jobs to haul their weary asses to the nearest Women’s March last January, invariably armed with a clever, Magic-Markered sign and a raised voice. They largely wore strange pink knitted caps, indecipherable unless you were in on the joke: their square shape is intended to emulate a cat’s pointy ears, a tongue-in-cheek response to a Trump-ism that will go down in history … an unseemly reference to “grabbing [women] by the pussy” in a now-historical video from Access Hollywood.
This may be his most famous sound bite so far, this strange audial artifact of an elderly man huffing and puffing over a failed rape attempt—“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it … I did try to fuck her … I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there”—but the stream of outright sexism that pours from Trump is endless. He is frequently offering unwelcome opinions on various women he knows, a male authoritarian of women’s most important attributes (their looks, their agreeability, their willingness to fuck) solely by his own appointment: according to President Trump, Miss Universe of 1996 is “Miss Piggy,” Huffington Post’s media mogul Arianna Huffington is “extremely unattractive,” Fox Correspondent Megyn Kelly is “a bimbo,” Senator Clinton “can’t satisfy her husband.” No one, it seems, is exempt from Trump’s prying eye and low opinion, no matter how conservative, how powerful, how successful—no matter if she literally won a contest deeming her the most beautiful woman in the universe.
And, here, actually, is where Trump fails and will continue to fail—where dear, old Springer has succeeded. In the eyes of the public, Trump has cemented his reputation as supreme sexist—and while it’s true that no one can do a damn thing about it (and one does wonder how his aides plead when his thumbs hover over his mobile Twitter app each night, ready to tap out one hundred and forty characters of new and grotesque content), public opinion counts for something, particularly in politics. People can be scummy, short-sighted, as dim-witted as Trump … but, let’s face it, very few want to go down in history as the one who cheered on the man who joked that he would fuck his daughter if given the chance.
To be clear, I am not placing undue confidence in the American people. We’re hardly world leaders when it comes to morality, and we’ll overlook quite a lot if offered the chance. But there’s the rub: we need to be offered the chance. Trump has not given us pause to reconsider him—not once. There has been no reprieve, no much-needed breath between sexist remarks during which a reasonable American could, in a brief swell of optimism, reflect with wonder: Perhaps all of the misogyny has finally come to an end. Perhaps, now, we can put aside base issues, faux pas typically reserved for gas station attendants and NASCAR racers, and see Trump as something other than a problem—someone who could lead the men and women of the United States alike. Perhaps, now, female supporters need not compromise their humanity.
No. Not even the most conservative woman can offer her support without tacitly accepting that, to the leader of the free world, she is less than a person, hardly more than the cheap rubber sex dolls that embarrassed men shove to the back of closets to accumulate dust and grit. No one can honestly deny the sexism that underlies Trump’s every word. Just reading the summary of remarks I listed earlier, directed at women from all backgrounds and political stripes, from a Fox News commentator to a beauty queen, leaves little room for doubt. Those four women have one thing in common, and perhaps just one: they are women. Sure, occasionally Trump will throw out the unctuous remark, no doubt intended to smooth over the hatred with a bit of old-fashioned deference—“I love women. Nobody loves women more than I do”—but the leap from blatant sexism to a marginally subtler type is a leap too small, and we are not fooled. To allow ourselves to be fooled—and we desperately, desperately want to be, because the burden of a President who is blatantly disgusted by at least half the population is a weighty one—we need, at the very least, a semblance of a disguise—a smiling mask that beams in all its joyful, paternal glory. That face is the face of longevity, a face that has been proven to endure: it is Springer’s face, a flash of white smile, the tongue-waggle, a reassuring wink.
And for its longevity, of course, the ambivalent smile, the mask, the under-the-radar, so-quick-you-could-miss-it paternalistic sexism that Springer doles out is all the more dangerous. Let’s face it: Trump is temporary. But Springer … Springer and his ilk are forever.
Unlike Oprah Winfrey, Wendy Williams, and Barbara Walters, television’s maternal figures, soothing guests and offering them advice, Jerry offers masculine protection—even more so than the bodyguards at the ready just offstage. After he makes his anticipated verdict, extracting wisdom from even the most ridiculous conflict, he pulls together all parties involved for an awesome spectacle of reward and punishment. The lucky ones earn a compliment or an approving nod. The less lucky ones are, if not outright condemned, certainly cajoled into the brawl that is always just waiting to occur on-set. The audience has much to do with this, amplifying Jerry, boos and cheers in perfect time with the sway of the conversation, from sighs of sympathy to screamed insults. You might say that Jerry Springer makes his money running a stupid talk show, and I guess technically you wouldn’t be wrong … but Jerry does so much more than that: he protects the unspoken rules of urban American society, ensuring that the status quo lives on.
Jerry may seem utterly ridiculous to onlookers like me, too separate from the experiences of the show’s guests to truly understand the nuances of each situation, but to some, he is a guru. There is a reason why he has no shortage of guests on the show. Admittedly, it has not a little to do with the thrill of attaining those coveted fifteen minutes of fame, the irresistible appeal of one’s image materializing on television screens from sea to shining sea. However, there is also something to be said for Jerry’s effect on people: his gentle smile can soften the outwardly toughest guest; his disapproving, crinkled brow can wilt the swagger of the cockiest. It could be that here is where his experience in politics comes into play, the charisma that earned him political nominations and widespread respect—God-like, Jerry’s is still the word of law, echoed by the audience’s chanting as the man himself strides through flickering, fluorescently lit hallways to the stage:
“JER-RY, JER-RY, JER-RY!”
After a commercial break for me—and a mud-wrestling match for the live studio audience—the third segment of “Miso Horny” begins. Once again, there is a young man nervously holding flowers onstage. Once again, the Lays are entering my mouth in exceedingly large quantities.
Jose is here—you guessed it—to woo his beloved, this time a young woman named Elena, who he has had a crush on for quite some time. So besotted was Jose with Elena, he began a vigorous exercise regimen. Though muscular, there is very little body fat on Jose, and he informs Jerry that, prior to his transformation, he weighed two hundred and fifty pounds. Additionally, he enlisted the help of his best friend and notorious ladykiller Andy to teach him “how to talk to women.”
At any rate, Jose has learned well from the master, for when Elena comes onstage, she is beyond delighted, both by the flowers he hands her and his professions of undying love. She enthusiastically agrees to be his girlfriend. The new couple embraces, and Jerry beams in a false show of relief—because, of course, he is about to throw a wrench in the works, as per usual.
Enter Andy. The best friend. The ladykiller.
“You had sex with Elena?” Jose howls.
Yes. Yes, he did. Jose is hurt—rightfully, in the eyes of Jerry. As seasoned viewers know, one of Jerry’s cardinal rules is that men do not sleep with their best friends’ wives/girlfriends/baby mamas/crushes. To some extent, I understand this rule. Although I would argue that sleeping with a friend’s crush is more insensitive than morally wrong, I know that such indignity can invoke rage in its recipient.
Suffice it to say that things have gone terribly, terribly wrong for Elena. She had just snagged a boyfriend, one who seems like a pretty solid catch, when Jerry threw a one-night stand in her face. That’s right: her face. Because, aside from Jose’s initial outburst, Andy is more or less ignored for the rest of the segment. Every bit of Jose’s vitriol is aimed at Elena. He asks her how she could do such a thing, how she could betray him, why she would do such a thing. Jerry nods along seriously. You could easily show a clip of this segment in a Women’s Studies class as a textbook example of ambivalent sexism: once again, a young man’s desire has transfigured woman to possession, one to be shielded from others at all costs.
Elena, to my dismay, clearly feels terrifically guilty. Her face is brimming with regret. She pleads with Jose again and again: “I want to be with you, Jose! I want to be with you!” She even tells him that Andy “couldn’t get it up”—yikes—crudely insulting him in an attempt to win over Jose’s sympathies. He is unmoved. After all, Elena, as beautiful and kind as Jose described her at the segment’s start, is less than even a possession now: she is damaged goods, purity wrecked in a moment of carnal weakness. Jerry looks on, not bothering to correct such a flawed assertion. At seventy-two, Jerry is too old now to change. And so, neither will the show, an apt microcosm of the world so many live in.
Katy Major is a writer and critic from Medina, Ohio, having earned her Creative Writing degrees from two Ohioan universities: her BA from Otterbein University and her MFA from Ashland University. Her award-winning work has been featured in Otterbein University’s Quiz & Quill Magazine and, most recently, will be featured in Adelaide Magazine‘s summer issue. Katy is currently at work on her first essay collection, Self(ie) Made: American Essays. You can find her on Twitter at @wildthingwriter or visit her website on all things horror at WildernessHorrorBlog.wordpress.com.