Things I Read That I Love #153: Feminine Marvelous and Tough

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 Kathy Acker! 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.

Life In Chains: Finding Home at Taco Bell, by John DeVore for Eater, November 2014

From a series where “writers share the essential roles played in their lives by chain restaurants—great and grim, wonderful and terrible.” Keywords: Racism, Taco Bell, Queens, Taco Bell / Kentucky Fried Chicken , Mexican-American, 1990s.

My Evil Dad: Life As A Serial Killer’s Daughter, by Melissa Moore for The BBC, November 2014

“Keith Jesperson is notorious in the US as the Happy Face Killer, who raped and murdered eight women in the 1990s. Here his daughter, Melissa Moore, describes how she learned the truth as a teenager – and eventually found a way to live with it.

A Desperate Town Hands Over Its DNA, by Amanda Wilson for Pacific Standard, July 2014

A mill shuts down in a small North Carolina town and is replaced by a huge medical research facility that uses the town’s residents as test subjects.

Mississippi, Burned, by Sarah Varney for Politico, November 2014

How the Tea Party and the ultra-conservative right wing came together to ensure that their most vulnerable citizens most in need of health insurance would not get any through the Afforadable Care Act.

The Indictment of Jimmy’s World, by Bill Green for The Washington Post, April 1981

The Washington Posts’s Ombudsman tells the entire (true) story of Janet Cooke, a journalist who delighted her editors so thoroughly that an article she completely made up, about an 8-year-old heroin addict, Jimmys World, galvanized an entire metro area and won a Pulitzer before anybody started checking the story’s facts or the various embellishments and fabrications on the resume she’d applied with. I’ve read about this case before but never in such depth.

What It Takes To Be The French Jennifer Lawrence, by Mac McClelland for Medium, November 2014

In which the following topics are discussed in an article about the voiceover artists who dub for American films: l’exception culturelle., Hollywood beauty standards, working mothers, racism and ageism in Hollywood, French film, French/American relations, fitting French words and phrasing into English mouths, Hollywood’s international impact, Netflix’s international expansion, and more.

Not All Nerds, by Christopher T. Fan for The New Inquiry, November 2014

“Yet the figure of the nerd makes it easy to accept the rhetoric of “white and Asian” predominance, and thus grant Silicon Valley a baseline level of diversity that downplays its racism. An entire culture industry of nerd-revenge narratives has helped promote this fiction. The mythology of the avenged nerd grew out of the biographies of figures like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozniak: straight, white, male outcasts who transcended their nerdiness.”

Discuss Rules Beforehand, by Chris Kraus for The Believer, September 2014

“FEROCITY AND VULNERABILITY IN A POSTHUMOUSLY PUBLISHED COLLECTION OF EMAILS FROM WRITER/ARTIST/FEMINIST ICON KATHY ACKER. DISCUSSED: Disjunctive Narrative Style, Butch/Femmeness, The German, Het Shit, Miss X, An Awkward Niche, Brigantine Pirate Girls, Rats without Working Maps, The Fistfucking Closet, Vanilla Sex, Untweezed Brows, Susan Sontag.”

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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 3211 articles for us.


  1. I’m disappointed in The Indictment of Jimmy’s World.

    It focuses on such an interesting event however it’s just not that well written. I found the overall structure of the article weak, and towards the end distracting. Such a pity.

    • It wasn’t actually intended to be a work of journalism, just a clear and complete summary of events from their ombudsman, who’s basically hired to provide objective feedback to a newspaper, so that might be why?

  2. AAAH I just read that essay about Kathy Acker last weekend and it motivated me to go buy a book of hers that same day. Neither of the bookstores I went to had any Acker in stock though … BUT TO CUT TO THE CHASE I just picked up a copy of Blood and Guys in High School. it is strange _like woah_ but I’m fascinated

    • i find her work so great but also SO WEIRD!! like i LOVE bits of it but honestly i have read like half of three of her books and never actually completed one in its entirety. a lot of it is just too esoteric from me.

  3. i wonder whatever happened to janet cook, because without a doubt she is/was talented. how can people trust you when its public knowledge that you can lie so well? also first time I’ve ever heard of an ombudsman,.., wonderful articles riese!

  4. the one about the town in NC was really interesting, especially since i looked it up and realized it’s only an hour away from where i live–it’s crazy to think about that kind of thing, especially so close. i also read the one about the daughter of the happy face killer; didn’t know much about him before, i liked learning about it from her perspective.

    ALSO, a link on the side of healthcare article led to me a super interesting one about extreme daycare, which is a trend i had not heard about before.

    so thanks for all the good reads!

  5. Love love loved the Taco Bell article, and the French dubbing one – I never knew I cared about French dubbing but now I deeply DO.

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