Things I Read That I Love #248: Good F*cking Luck Fighting Off Those Bowls of Baby Snickers.

HELLO and welcome to the 248th 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 essential oils! 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.


#CasperNights, by Sean Cooper for n+1, October 2017

This spoke to me about things I have been to, in some way, and there’s also a real genius paragraph near the end, it’s not the one I’m pasting here but it exists

I came to the museum to share in a moment with others who feel the creep of the internet slipping its way past the borders of work, commerce, and recreation and into the private space of thought and solitude. I had naively considered the possibility that in the spirit of an exhibit that spoke on paper about pushing against the nefarious elements of our favorite technology there would be a parallel spirit, in real life, calling out the brand sponsor as suckers. As if we’d so easily give ourselves over, congregate as consumers, pose for the photographs, product test the pillows for a video hit. I look around the patio wanting to see somehow someone saying all right, OK, I think that’s enough, look how far we’ve taken it, but once I hear the music and taste the sliced fruit I realize there are no words available to form that kind of resistance.

Dirty John Part 1: The Real Thing – Los Angeles Times, by Christopher Goffard for The Los Angeles Times, October 2017

The story of an epic asshole who took advantage of women with enormous capacities for forgiveness and lots of longing. Apparently The LA Times has also recorded this multi-part piece as a podcast, what a time to be alive.

A Life on the Line: Cecilia Lam by Vivian Ho for the San Francisco Chronicle, October 2017

Being aware that a victim of abuse will almost definitely lie about the abuse she’s experiencing when the abuser is present and there are no assurances that the police intend to arrest or remove him from the premises is PRETTY FUCKING BASIC. Reading this made me very irate. A woman died and it could’ve been prevented.

Parentage, Poolside, by Kelsey Ford for The Nashville Review, July 2017

I think you’ll get this from the vibe but this story involves references to sexual assault. It’s got such a great rhythm and the narrator’s whole world and the swimming pool is so clear and beautiful.

Mom is good at friends and her circle is wide – not many sink away once they are in. Sometimes she gets to glowing when there are many people and she is the truest limelight. Candy calls her a dish and I guess this means beautiful even though it’s something you eat from. Men at work started a Karen Scott fan club in her honor. I feel salty thinking about it – who are they to be her fans – but when she told me this lying on the couch in jean shorts, she was giggling and I understood because she was more beautiful than the prettiest picture I’ve ever seen, which is a photo of James Marsters leaning back on a chopper. Mom’s yee-haw can be nice. She lets me fly on the rope swing at the creek, even if the water is mostly mud, and is fine with me clopping around the house in plastic go-gos, even though I know the noise is a drag. But I am a soft and slow talker – why are you so serious? is what she asks me.

The Hugo Problem – Los Angeles Magazine, by Mona Gable for Los Angeles Magazine, March 2014

Don’t know if you’ve had your fill of male feminists who victimize women this week but if not, here’s Hugo Schwyzer for you!

Dear Olive Garden, Never Change, by Helen Rosner for Eater, October 2017

It is no secret around here that I am a former employee of The Olive Garden and therefore had an ethical responsibility to read this tour of Italy of tours of Italy. I did not regret this choice, it was marvelously written! A real delight.

The Last Days of the Leather Fortress, by Tina Horn for Hazlitt, October 2017

A former Kink.com performer visits the San Francisco armory that housed Kink.com for the last ten years and will cease doing so this year.

So in some ways, the Armory’s imposing physical presence has been a stalwart icon of a fading San Francisco, the queer mecca whose leather shops and dyke bars are shuttering under pressure of a thriving tech economy. Yet in other ways, they are leaving because they were never fully embraced there in the first place. Kink.com, then, finds itself between a neighborhood rock and an ideological hard place.

Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled White Nationalism Into The Mainstream, by Joseph Bernstein for Buzzfeed, October 2017

WELP THIS IS HORRIFYING. If you get far enough into it, you’ll learn that the gay male editor of Broadly was a secret ally to Milo, feeding him stories from Broadly that could be made fun of by alt-right dudes who think feminism is ridiculous and basically a non-stop abortion party! Real cool, real scary.

How Essential Oils Became the Cure for Our Age of Anxiety, by Rachel Monroe for The New Yorker, October 2017

Essential oils! Multi-level marketing! Lavender fixes everything! People who’ve gotten in trouble for practicing medicine without a license and even involuntary manslaughter are now major essential oil vendors! What about the environment! Also did you know that Utah has more multilevel-marketing companies per capita than any other state? I did not. However I got an omnihome essential oil diffuser for my birthday last year and it’s real good at making rooms smell real good, I recommend it.

Welp and here let’s be honest about the longform stories I spent the most time on this week, no real description necessary…

Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for The New York Times, October 2017

Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Others Say Weinstein Harassed Them, by Jodi Kantor and Rachel Abrams for The New York Times

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories, by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker, October 2017

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder 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 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 3181 articles for us.

14 Comments

    • Yes! When I first saw that I was puzzled as to why there was a man on Broadly’s senior staff then I was like ‘WAIT IS HE GAY PERHAPS’ and of course he is, because there’s a certain kind of women’s website *cough* Jezebel *cough* that will always have gay men on the staff because… gay men’s experiences are super-relevant to women somehow? It’s a very weird thing when publications which are outwardly ‘kill all men’ centre gay men’s perspectives. Especially in the case of Jezebel as they don’t have any content about queer women.

      Anyway, I hope this incident makes people think twice about that practice of lumping women-and-the-gays together in future.

      • A lot of gay men openly long for the kind of privilege straight white men experience on a daily basis. From my experience as an activist, very few gay men are actually interested in more than removing stigma from their lives so they could just be one of the boys. It comes as no surprise that they mock feminism among themselves while riding the coattails of the achievements won by the hard work of lesbians, bi and queer women and trans women. And yet it still revolts and angers me! I’m so glad that story is out in the open!

      • The older I get the less patience I have for this shit. I would give a kidney for Themyscira to be real

    • also that guy was the editor on the broadly piece about us (which was written by a queer woman who interviewed a diverse range of autostraddle team members who didn’t show up in the final draft much to our collective chagrin)

  1. I don’t know, it’s starting to feel like we are getting to a place where (finally) sexual assault is seen as a real problem with consequences instead of just “boys being boys.” It’s rough but I’m also very grateful we’re talking about this.

  2. Can I just say that Things That I Read That I Love is my favorite column? I get so happy when it gets posted, I wait for it all week.

    Also I am trying to get pregnant (IUI w/ donor sperm) and this amount of interesting long form is keeping me from obsessing. And also saved my sanity last week when my wife and I spent 24 hours on airplanes or in airports coming back from Europe.

    Sometimes I save each link and allow myself a little bit at a time so that I parse it out over the whole week, or I devour the whole thing greedily.

  3. I think this probably isn’t the right place to rant about this in a general way but-yes!! I get so damn fed up w the “gaytriarchy” which is a term I have never heard before but is perfect. Gay men can be amazing and inspiring and beautifully supportive but damn is it hard to deal the unique brand of misogyny some of them regularly spit out.

  4. That Cecilia Lam piece: “‘You don’t want to send an angry girlfriend into a house, go collect things for a guy, because they’re probably not going to come back in one piece,’ Lee later explained.” No, you definitely don’t do that, otherwise people might think a woman’s life is worth more than a man’s old sweater. Ugh.

  5. That Broadly was implicated is not surprising but super disappointing. I love their work to amplify trans issues (Diana Tourjee should get a Pulitzer) and the abortion fight, but often the tone there is so scattered I do not know what to make of it.

  6. If you don’t want to read the Olive Garden thing you don’t have to but I need to tell you 3 things about it.

    THIS HEAD AND SUBHEAD:
    Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks
    The agony and the ecstasy of America’s favorite chain restaurant

    INTRO:
    It opens with Paul Gauguin in 1889 and mentions his buddy and former roommate Vincent Van Gogh

    THIS PULL QUOTE:
    “Despite the promises of the name, it can be a challenge to find actual olives at Olive Garden”

    goodbye

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