Things I Read That I Love #115: I Go From Zero To Bitch In 2.5 Seconds

HELLO and welcome to the 115th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about Sabrina the Teenage Witch! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

Girl Power (May 1998), by Susan Orlean for The New Yorker - “They are more proudly tomboyish than girls were when I was fifteen, and at the same time they’re more willing to be frilly and babyish than we were. They wear super-feminine nylon-net camisoles with photo-transfer images of a Fra Angelico Madonna, or Meow-brand cotton undershirts, decorated with tiny pictures of kittens, paired with huge, manly cargo pants. They buy a lot of music; in fact, last year, for the first time in history, girls bought more music than boys did. They watch a lot of TV that features tough but cute girls- a lot of hours of “Clarissa Explains It All” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.”

4chan Is The Most Important Site You Never Visit (October 2013), by Fernando Alfonso III for The Daily Dot – The history of 4chan and its inventor Christopher Poole. Pretty interesting. Also it’s funny because like, yeah, I have never actually been to the site. I feel like it would eat my computer.

*I Haven’t Been Nearly Mad Enough (February 2014), by Jenny Diski for The London Review Of Books – “It’s the knowing you won’t get help however urgently you want it that ratchets the feeling up into madness, a spiral that runs out of control. It is not that ghastly notion of the ‘inner child’ we hear so much of, but Taylor’s ‘madness-is-childish’ that speaks, howls this stuff, while the despair, non-mad-non-child, knows no one can possibly ever care enough or do enough, however much they want to, even though it’s their job and you pay them, or they love you for some reason, or simply would do anything to get some respite from your demands. The despair comes from knowing that no one is going to help, that only finding some way of getting on with it is going to help, and getting on with it is the very last thing you are capable of. Except that you have to. But you can’t.”

Figures in a Mall (February 1994), by Susan Orlean for The New Yorker – I CAN NEVER READ ENOUGH ARTICLES ABOUT TONYA HARDING. NOT EVER.

On The Rights And Privileges Of Being An Alien (January 2014), by Toni Nealie for Guernica“Wherever I travel, it seems that I have a special status. Something about me invites scrutiny, official inspection. Something about us, the few who are flagged, shuffled into cubicles for an extra pat-down, a secondary interview, for the snap of a rubber glove, to have our luggage and our bodies rifled through.”

Leaving Reality (July 2005), by John Jeremiah Sullvian for GQ - “Where do you go after you leave the cast of The Real World? To a universe where your only job is to be young and famous and keep the party jumpin’. Or to a tiny hell of endless exploitation.”

Why Abercrombie Is Losing Its Shirt (February 2014), by Matthew Shear for New York Magazine - I was in the primo Abercrombie demographic at Abercrombie’s peak and I gotta be honest with you, their jeans did not last very long, they got holes in them very quickly. I’m just saying. Thinking about that store gives me anxiety because it reminds me of being 17. I can smell it. Now I go into Hollister and feel like the jolly green giant.

Sex and Death on the Road to Nirvana (June 2013), by Nina Burleigh for Rolling Stone - Some white dude decides he is a religious oracle, makes a shit-ton of money, someone dies and the dude is fine. Michael Roach and Christie McNally also appeared in a New York Times article about their special marriage where they were celibate and never apart by more than 15 feet because of “a high level of Buddhist practice that involves confronting their own imperfections and thereby learning to better serve the world.”

I Left New York For LA Because Creativity Requires The Freedom to Fail (February 2013), by Moby for The Guardian – I was prepared to not be into this, but actually he made a lot of good points.

Who Killed The Jeff Davis 8 (February 2014), by Ethan Brown for Medium – Eight murdered prostitutes and nobody has been charged with a crime. The author of this piece has seen the evidence and he is voting that the cops are corrupt and involved. It seems like he’s probably right.

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Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1763 articles for us.

6 Comments

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    But what if you did read one too many Tonya Harding articles? What terrors could be unleashed? What if you stayed up just a little too late reading TIRTIL and fell into a fever dream, haunted by images of Tonya Harding? Would that be crazy?

    I think that would be crazy.

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    That leaving reality episode is spot on. My sister recently finished a stint on a pretty popular reality tv show and she’s sort of stuck in a hole that is completely odd and that few can relate to.
    Also I love all things Tonya Harding. It’s like some kind of Black Swan but real life. So great.

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    Enjoyed the Abercrombie article. Interesting to learn the history of the company and about the weirdo who runs it. I get the marketing image. I am so glad current inclusive and diverse societal trends buck the exclusive, preppy anglo popularity of 10-15 years ago. Let’s hear it for the youth of today!

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    The 4chan article took me down a rabbit hole that led to learning all about the Dark Web, where most of the internet lives and can’t even be accessed by search engines or regular web browsers. And there are sites where you can hire private assassins or mail order drugs. I feel like everything I thought I knew about the internet is a lie.

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    the Harding article seemed classist and smug, Didion-like but lacking insight. ESPN was said to have broadcast a pretty good documentary addressing such issues (Kerrigan was given her spot on the Olympic team over Michelle Kwan, who actually qualified?), but I wasn’t able to see it. Whatever. Tonya brought the crazy, but skating is pretty corrupt anyway.

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      They might’ve done that because it was Kerrigan’s last chance to go to the Olympics, and Kwan had pleeenty of time (she was thirteen or fourteen). I know that’s happened quite a few times. And hey, it worked out. Kwan did pretty damn well for herself.
      For the record, I ADORE Michelle Kwan. Grew up watching everything she did. Love love love her.

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