Things I Read That I Love #19: Are You Experienced?

HELLO and welcome to the 19th 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 Dartmouth, Barnes & Noble, Trayvon Martin and The Daily Mail. 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.

As I’ve said in the past, I like to publish this on Fridays, but last week I was late so it wasn’t published ’til Monday! So now you probably feel really overwhelmed, but don’t. Okay? Good!

White Before Proven Black: Imagining Race in the Hunger Games (March 2012), The New YorkerThe story behind the tumblr that collected and posted racist tweets about The Hunger Games and the association of whiteness with innocence. (Which we talked about here earlier this week, too.)

Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy (March 2012), Rolling Stone – A profile of the guy who dared to call out his school for its hypocrisy when he wrote an Op-Ed taking down the Greek system for its culture of “pervasive hazing, substance abuse and sexual assault,” as well as an “‘intoxicating nihilism’ that dominates campus social life,” and subsequently became a scourge on campus.

Loving Them To Death (October 1995), Outside – Jon Krakauer takes on the strange and even deadly/abusive world of “wilderness camps” for troubled teens.

Eulogy For Barnes & Noble #2628: A Personal History (March 2012), The Rumpus– A fun, interesting personal essay about writing and working in bookstores and patronizing bookstores. As a person obsessed with bookstores, I was particularly entertained because the author spends time living in Oakland (where I live) and Ann Arbor (where I lived for 14 years and then 4 more years, under different circumstances).

Consider This (March 2012), The Nervous Breakdown  – A beautiful, sad story about being a teeenager, being pregnant, wanting other people to hurt, and losing the baby.

The Making of a Blockbuster (March 2012), -“With the right title, a kid’s publisher can deploy something the world of adult publishing can only dream about: a large, well-oiled and highly networked group of professional and semi-professional taste makers who can make that book a hit even before it’s published.”

(Daily) Mail Supremacy: The newspaper that rules Britain. (April 2012), The New Yorker – Well, this scared the shit out of me.

Men “Experiment” Women “Experience” (March 2012), – An excellent interview with lesbian writer Jeanette Winterson about her new book, growing up in an evangelical household, novel vs. memoir, writing routines, poetry, Occupy, being an introvert, the internet, the importance of literary language (in relation to story) and more.

Shattered Safety Within Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford (March 2012), Tampa Bay Times “For a month — ever since her son heard someone screaming for help and her daughter called 911 and everyone heard the loud snap of a gunshot — Brown’s children have been afraid to go outside. • Her youngest daughter, who is 9, won’t even look out the window. She keeps seeing the dead teen’s body. • “That could have so easily been my son,” said Brown. “He wears hoodies all the time.”

The Non Profit One Percent (March 2012), The Village Voice – Another article that will make you mad about how easy the government makes it for rich people to stay rich and poor people to stay poor.

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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 3182 articles for us.


  1. Oh man, that Dartmouth article. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word vomit so many times on one page.

  2. Regarding the Dartmouth article…I have few words. Other than to suggest that I feel like there’s Law & Order: SVU episode in it somewhere.

  3. Those wilderness camps freak me out, there have been several stories over the years about kids dying at those camps in central Oregon.

    I really liked the Salon article ‘The Making of a Blockbuster’ it’s interesting to get that behind the scenes look to see how they can turn series like Hunger Games into blockbusters.

  4. i’m trying not to but i feel like i’m developing a bit of a hate-on for the hunger games books. they were just so mediocre yet everyone is so effusive in their praise and i can’t wrap my mind around it. i feel like there are other books, “YA” books even, that explore the same themes so much more effectively. damn. i guess i’m beginning to understand how those people who don’t like harry potter feel

  5. What is weird about this article is everyone is like, this was so effective… Sending my kid to an effective concentration camp forcibly… They came back and totally behaved. Yah, I would behave too. Behave and then get the fuck out of there and never see my parents again.

  6. Some things:
    1) Jon Krakauer is the shit. I read “Under the Banner of Heaven” about the FLDS church and fell in love.
    2) These boot camps and residential treatment centers for “wayward” teens are NOT the shit. My parents put me in a boot camp when I was fifteen and it was strange, indeed. Horrible, too. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, girls sleeping with the director to get time taken off of their program sentence, food deprivation…oh, and I got to dumpster dive several times a week to find spoons. No joke. My goodness.

  7. I just had a look at those hunger games tweets. jaysus, some of those people are scum. Why do they feel the need to articulate EVERY thought on twitter regardless of how offensive it might be?

    In school our teacher read To Kill A Mockingbird aloud to us, and when we “discovered” that Calpurnia was black, the teacher asked us to think about why we assumed she was white… I was 14, and felt like an absolute moron for making this assumption. But anger? disbelief? denial of Calpurnia’s race? None of these things crossed my mind. Why do people care? Society is doomed if this is how people think.

  8. My Instapaper is in a constant state of fullness thanks mostly to you.
    My daily 30 minute tube ride is just not cutting it, need to live further away from work to get through everything.

    Don’t stop.

  9. Ohmygoodness – I used to work at a Barnes and Noble and that writer hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly what it’s like to work there. At least in the beginning. Now that they are dying out, the quality is poor and it’s a drag to work there. I would totally judge people by what they bought. Most popular item to buy? Penthouse/Playgirl/Trashy Sex Romp Novels

  10. re: dartmouth hazing…
    ok i go to dartmouth and this Rolling Stone article is getting WAYY out of hand. yes, frat culture/patriarchal, male dominated social spaces dominate social life on campus (i mean we’re in the middle of nowhere and unfortunately frats are all we have). yes hazing is a huge issue that’s perpetuated in large part by this system. an insane number of students, including most of my friends, conform to this ridiculous establishment for reasons i will never understand. at the same time, this institution is so so much more than what’s portrayed in this article…
    i doubt anyone actually cares (as i myself barely do) but just incase:

  11. That wilderness article left me shaking. I got sent to a wilderness when I was 14 and came back severely underweight, so that article really hit home on describing the life of a kid a at wilderness. Honestly, I came back more messed up than I left.

  12. The Daily Fail. How I detest it..
    It’s like the newspaper equivalent of ’empty boats make most noise’

  13. I appreciate so much that you do this. I read them all, every week. I might fail my PhD, but I will probably end up knowing things actually worth knowing instead.

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