Things I Read That I Love #182: In The Morning, I Was Eating Peanuts, I Saw A Light

HELLO and welcome to the 182nd 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 Tinder! 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.


Hiroshima, by John Hersey for The New Yorker, August 1946

You might need to set aside an entire afternoon for this one, but you really ought to. It’s a more or less hour-by-hour description of what happened in Hiroshima after an atomic bomb was dropped on the city on August 6, 1945. It took me a week to complete the whole thing.

“I’m No Longer Afraid”: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen, by Noreen Malone with portfolio by Amanda Demme, August 2015

This is an extraordinary compilation that hurts to read. How similar the stories are, how many people were complicit in letting this happen, what it felt like for the women who were assaulted by Cosby at the beginning of his rise and therefore had to hold this secret inside them for all those years when The Cosby Show was everywhere. The world fell in love with this man who had hurt them and gotten away with it, and his fame never really slowed down. You hear from everybody, from Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, from waitresses and actresses and Playboy bunnies, from Cosby Show guest stars, secretaries, teenagers, writers, models (a lot of models, set up by their agencies on meetings with Cosby), and you see them and hear why they thought they couldn’t say anything. And you want to smash this man’s face in.

ISIS Enthrines a Theology of Rape, by Rukmini Callimachi for The New York Times, August 2015

Today in “well this is horrifying.” (And note that this practice is happening “in much the same way as specific Bible passages were used centuries later to support the slave trade in the United States.”)

The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.

Coming to America, by Yahdon Israel for The New Inquiry, August 2015

“These kids treated Africa like an inside-joke. All anyone would have to say is “Africa,” and everyone would click their tongues against the roof of their mouths and laugh. I would have shrugged it off had it only happened once, twice, or maybe even three times, but after months of insults stacked on my shoulders like poker chips, all bets were off. The odds were against me and it was because—to them—I was African. From then on, all things having to do with Africa had to be forgotten.”

The New American Slavery, by Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine for Buzzfeed, August 2015

Foreign workers come into the U.S on H-2 visas from countries like Mexico, Guatemalea, the Philippines and South Africa to take jobs employers say Americans don’t want. Buzzfeed’s investigation has revealed “that the program condemns thousands of employees each year to exploitation and mistreatment, often in plain view of government officials charged with protecting them. All across America, H-2 guest workers complain that they have been cheated out of their wagesthreatened with gunsbeatenrapedstarved, and imprisoned. Some have even died on the job. Yet employers rarely face any significant consequences.”

Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse, by Nancy Jo Sales for Vanity Fair, September 2015

Since this story came out, Tinder’s social media person has gone batshit at Nancy Jo Sales about it, basically serving to make themselves look really bad despite the fact that this article made Tinder users look bad, not Tinder itself. But also it seems like it’s the same game, different platform — the way they describe college boys feelings about women, sex and relationships is the same as it was when I was in college, sans Tinder, early ’00s. I don’t know, it’s hard to get riled up over this or that technology when it’s the underlying behaviors and the culture that probably need more of a riling up.

Built For Eternity, by Elmo Keep for Vice, August 2015

This one time I drove through Nevada and I thought, I am going to die here. This is it. This is the end. Because there was no gas and no human beings for so many hours.

Nevada is the uncanny locus of disparate monuments all concerned with charting deep time, leaving messages for future generations of human beings to puzzle over the meaning of: a star map, a nuclear waste repository and a clock able to keep time for 10,000 years—all of them within a few hours drive of Las Vegas through the harsh desert.

The Misadventures of Issa Rae, by Jenna Wortham for The New York Times Magazine, August 2015

A really great profile of Rae and the story of what’s happening behind the scenes that has made the transition of her show from YouTube to actual television so arduous.

Hunting Rebecca Francis, by Kerry Howley for New York Magazine, July 2015

The intro to this piece notes that the story was published three days before the story of American dentist Walter Palmer killing a lion went mostly viral. This story is based on something else that went viral — a picture of Rebecca Francis lying down next to the giraffe she’d killed. Rebecca Francis is very serious about killing African animals for sport.

The Tricky Ethics of The Lucrative Disaster Rescue Business, by Abe Streep for WIRED, August 2015

This is a thing that I didn’t even know existed but it’s quite interesting that it does.

The fact that well-heeled travelers can summon Green Berets and wilderness paramedics almost instantaneously can present an ethical conundrum. The places where Global Rescue operates are often poor and short on resources; the company’s business model is predicated on delivering goods and services to its clients first. It makes an effort to help locals when possible, but as Richards puts it, “We are not the Red Cross. We don’t have the ability to just deploy our services to people who haven’t paid a member­ship fee.”


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Riese

Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com 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 California. 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 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3003 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for the excellent round-up, Riese.

    I was glad for the NY Mag piece about women accusing Cosby of assault. I thought the article was well done, and I hope it will go a long way towards educating mainstream readers about the history of stigma around reporting rape, not to mention bringing justice to these and other women.

    The fact that these women were all photographed wearing white drives me crazy. It seemed sooooooo regressive compared to the message of the author and the interviewees, in the sense that women wearing white is so loaded with patriarchical baggage of chastity. Like we can only sympathize with rape victims if they are chaste.
    Wearing black also seemed like a missed mark; black is for mourning but it wasn’t connected explicitly to message these women wanted to portray, so it was some kind of distracting symbol without clear meaning.

    It just seemed so dumb and counterproductive to me. I’d be interested in others’ thoughts on this.

    • color can often show confusion right? so i think they went with white and shades of it to make sure the women weren’t coming off as hysterical and chaotic. Everything looks so…..blank like a platform. This is the chance for the women who didn’t have a way before to speak their truth. To me it seemed like they (photographers,editors) made sure that the only point of focus would be on the women and their words. thats my take anyway

      • i agree that minimizing set/prop variation in the portraits allows the viewer to focus on the women themselves and their powerful message. i think it’s that all of the white clothes look so bridal to me that the chaste symbolism was obnoxiously loud.

        It would have been more effective for me at least if the visual unity was achieved a different way, such as having all the women wear a white t-shirt (no longer bridal connotation), or having them all hold the same prop (like a sign with a hashtag printed on it or something).

        I kind of missed seeing the women in a less orchestrated wardrobe b/c I wanted to know more about them as people in their everyday lives, so for me if they were allowed to wear their own colorful clothes it would have made them seem less like dolls in a row all playing the brave victim prop, and more like dynamic strong individuals with colorful interesting lives and personalities, who also happen to have a terrible experience in common, but their lives are bigger than that and they aren’t defined by it. Instead they are really defined as individuals and as a group by their solidarity and courage.

  2. Riese, this would have been timely for me to mention last week, but have you listened to the Longform podcast? Noreen Malone is on an episode talking about the Bill Cosby cover story. There’s also recent interviews with Tavi Gevinson, Cheryl Strayed, etc.

  3. This is by far my favourite column and I look forward to it every week, so glad to see many articles I want to read this week, and not one I have already read…. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad that my Instapaper will never be empty, there’s never enough time to read everything!

  4. I was kind of amazed that Sales wrangled the word count that she did out of that Tinder piece; I felt like it basically said exactly what you’d expect. I kept hoping to be surprised or enlightened, but it never happened. (Autostraddle’s Tinder writeup from a while back, on the other hand.. :) )

  5. You’re right – the piece on Hiroshima was long, but absolutely worth it. I read somewhere recently that many people believed/still believe that atomic bombs vaporize people, because the photographs of the destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki shown in the West don’t contain any bodies, and that those photographs were taken by American military units who didn’t arrive until September…This piece gives a much better sense of the effect of the bombs on human life, from a perspective I had not seen before.

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