Things I Read That I Love #110: That Room With The Ashtrays and The Stereo and The Bed Sheet

HELLO and welcome to the 110th 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 the cannibal cop! 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.

Transformed Into White Gods (January 2014), by David Byunghyun Lee for Gawker – Really incredible. “…every once in a while, I secretly feared that I wasn’t so different from what I made fun of. I was scared, despite all my Asian disses, that I was still an Asian boy who joked his ass off to become American and failed. So I overcompensated by over-consuming culture. I read books, listened to music, watched movies, and watched television more than any of my friends. I broke every Accelerated Reader record at my school, watched every movie in the IMDB Top 250 that I could find, listened to whatever album got over 8.0 on Pitchfork, and watched whatever television show that kids talked about in school. I figured that if I knew more, read more, watched more, and listened to more of American culture than any of my friends, no one could tell me that I wasn’t American. In 2004, I hated being Korean, but I was obsessed with being American.”

Has America Progressed? (July 2013), by Kiese Laymon for ESPN Another brilliant essay by Kiese Laymon who can do no wrong, this one is especially relevant to your interests because it’s about sports and gay athletes and what it means to accept somebody versus to tolerate, and he ties everything together in that brilliant way he always does.

The Innocent and The Damned (April 1994), by Gary Cartwright for Texas Monthly – This story, which is one of many about humans who were caught up in this “modern day witch-hunt” in the late ’80s and early ’90s to find and prosecute people alleged to be engaging in Satanic Ritual Abuse, is just really stunning and unfortunate. (You should also read this story from Slate about the whole craze and the two people who this story is about, who just got out of jail last week.) The whole thing is really sad, because the last thing actual victims of child abuse and molestation need is situations like this that cast doubt on the validity of children’s experiences — and the lasting psychological effect on the children who weren’t abused, but were called on to testify in these SRA cases, is probably also quite substantial! I obviously got sucked into a K-Hole after reading this, reading about the Little Rascals case (they have a site about it on Frontline) and the McMartin case… there’s definitely another one I’ve read about before.

The Morning After (December 2013), by Lauren Quinn for Vela Magazine – A strong and compelling personal essay about addiction and abortion.

Wilderness Women (January 2014), by Eva Holland for SB Nation – The writer competes Wilderness Women, in which the ladies of Alaska compete for Alaskan bachelors by throwing sandwiches at their face and sawing logs and running with buckets of water.

The Troubling Case of the Cannibal Cop (January 2014), by Robert Kolker for New York – “When do awful thoughts, shared with complete strangers, become criminal actions? The troubling case—in every direction—of the “cannibal cop.”

Comedy Isn’t Funny (March 1995), by Chris Smith for New York – I feel like the level of access this writer got to the cast and writers on Saturday Night Live is incredible! It’s wild to read about like, Chris Farley just hanging out on a couch. Anyhow this is about when they were in a “slump” and there’s a lot of shit about Lorne Michaels.

Remote Control (January 2014), by Sarah Marshall for The Believer – You guys it’s a brilliant literary essay about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, it’s basically longform Christmas.

A Dangerous Mind (January 2014), by Robert Kolker for New York Magazine – “When do awful thoughts, shared with complete strangers, become criminal actions? The troubling case—in every direction—of the “cannibal cop.”

Losing Aaron (January 2014), by Janelle Nanos for Boston Magazine – “After his son was arrested for downloading files at MIT, Bob Swartz did everything in his power to save him. He couldn’t. Now he wants the institute to own up to its part in Aaron’s death.”

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, 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! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3228 articles for us.


  1. A Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan story! This is like pixellated crack.

    I think I would click on anything that purported to be a Harding/Kerrigan story…like it would be the best way to phish me if anyone ever fancies stealing my bank account.

    Also, dubious gender-role implications aside, I loved that Wilderness Women article! Especially the descriptions of the sandwich flinging. Batshit-crazy folk sports really are the best.

    I am not sure I’ve read any notable longstuff this week, but I’m kind of hoping that the passing of Mae Young will usher in a few retrospectives of female wrestling. She, too, seemed batshit crazy in a very badass way, and also had a really gay-sounding living situation in her later years.

    • i was just the right age when that happened to be very familiar with the media story due to my obsession with olympic figure skating, and to still believe that news was absolute, unquestionable fact. this story blew my mindddddddd.

  2. Have I ever mentioned how much I look forward to this every week? Even if it does make me deal with phrases like “cannibal cop”.

  3. the dangerous minds one made my skin crawl. i agree with the author in that it felt like the minority report, but as a heavy consumer of everything ID channel related, the leap from thought to action is a teeny tiny one.

  4. I have a more than passing fascination with the satanic witch hunts of the 80s so I can’t wait to read the innocent and the damned article, and you know, every other article linked.

  5. I remember in the early 1990s some women at the National Women’s Music Festival having workshops on ritual abuse and how it was a real issue for lesbians. Yet, no one ever talked about the lesbian four case in Texas. We got caught up in the madness too, partly because sexual abuse was all too real.

  6. i’m sorry, i just can’t get over that harding-kerrigan article. also, the writer’s name was Sarah Marshall? Hard to forget. :P

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