Things I Read That I Love #130: Let Jolene Live Fierce and Free and Pure Fantasy

HELLO and welcome to the 88th 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 9/11 museum! 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.

The Worst Day Of My Life Is Now New York’s Hottest Tourist Attraction (June 2014), by Steve Kandell for Buzzfeed“Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark. Annotated divorce papers blown up and mounted, interactive exhibits detailing how your mom’s last round of chemo didn’t take, souvenir T-shirts emblazoned with your best friend’s last words before the car crash. And you should have to see for yourself how little your pain matters to a family of five who need to get some food before the kids melt down. Or maybe worse, watch it be co-opted by people who want, for whatever reason, to feel that connection so acutely.”

Who Killed Lois Duncan’s Daughter? (May 2014), by Tim Stelloh for Buzzfeed – Lois Duncan was a Young Adult author who wrote a lot of teen thrillers including the book that I Know What You Did Last Summer was based on, and then her 20-year-old daughter was murdered, and they never found out who did it and the Albequrque police fucked up a lot and it’s really sad.

Hail Dayton (May 2014), by Rachel Maddux for The Oxford American – About the town in Tennessee where The Scopes Monkey Trial took place, an event they continue to celebrate every year with a special Scopes Festival.

In Defense of Dead Poet’s Society (June 2014), by Christopher Cantwell for Bright Wall / Dark Room – Honestly not sure what it needed defending from, but after reading this am confident I made the right decision not to re-watch it and find out. But the gay thing — fuck, I wish I could remember if I’d picked up on that or not.

Farm Fakes: A History of Fraudulent Food (May 2013), by Shosana Walter for Modern Farmer – Did you know about The Great Lozenge Scandal? I did not, to be honest with you.

Opportunity Knocks (May 2014), by Eli Slaslow for The Washington Post –  Um this was super depressing on just about every possible level, so. It’s about people who train to be nurse aides for elderly people and how it’s this growth industry but it makes everyone miserable who does it and the training is really shitty and so is the pay. It also reminded me of that HBO documentary Paycheck to Paycheck where the woman had this job too.

This Man Is About To Die Because An Alcoholic Lawyer Botched His Case (April 2014), by Marc Bookman for Mother Jones – WELP this sure is fucked up.

Being That Woman (May 2014), by Chelsea G. Summers for Adult Magazine “To be “that woman” is inextricable from politics——whether politics qua politics, gender politics, or sexual politics. To be “that woman” is to divide women into two groups: “that woman” and all the rest. It’s the same old, same old——the whore and the accusing crowd of wives, the menacing Jolene and the status quo that likes its IRS filed jointly. Of course, it’s all a pernicious fiction. No one can take your man because he’s not yours. If he leaves you, it’s because he wanted to leave you, flaming locks of auburn hair or nah. That woman is just a woman, doing what she can to cobble together sustenance of various and sundry sorts. And those who try to set women against ourselves do so to divide and conquer. There never has been “that man.”

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


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 3200 articles for us.


  1. Omg my parents live in Dayton/went to college in Dayton. Daytonians never talk about it but the whole trial was started by the local factory that wanted to make Dayton a huge city. Obviously, it didn’t work, and Dayton is still dirt poor and Appalachia-y and the prisoners are let free onto the courthouse lawn to mill about every afternoon. The Daily Show visited once. It was beautiful. In 2003, Rhea County (of which Dayton is the center/biggest town) unanimously banned gay people from living within its borders. So, you know, Dayton’s great.
    On a completely unrelated note, the 9/11 piece tore me up. I have no words for that.

  2. “who killed lois Duncan’s daughter” i can’t believe its a buzz feed article. I wonder if the journalist who wrote the article has written any books, fiction or otherwise, because the way he’s able to describe a place and people in really few words and yet it be very easy to picture it is incredible. Its not an exaggeration to say i watch all the shows on the ID channel, dateline, 48 hours, and I see families like the Duncans having to face the very possibility of dying without any idea of who was responsible of violating them and causing such trauma and I get so angry with the police. Why is their incompetence acceptable?

Comments are closed.