Things I Read That I Love #26: Great Power

HELLO and welcome to the twenty-sixth 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 all the ways in which large corporations and other powerful institutions ruin your little lives!

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.

Scamworld (May 2012) by Joseph L. Flatley for The Verge – This is an amazing really thorough look at  how these douchebags scam people out of thousands and then millions of dollars through these “get rich quick” “Internet Marketing” work-from-home schemes. We’ve all seen the ads on teevee late at night or popping up in our faces here or there. These assholes email me often with money-making opportunities for my website blog marielynbernard dot blogspot dot com, or ever-so-often for Auto Straddle. What’s amazing is how persistent they are. They’ll keep emailing and emailing and if I keep ignoring them (which I always do), they just start to annoy Alex instead. Anyhow this is a multi-media article with videos and things, so set some time aside.

Word on the Suite (May 2012), by Ludovic Hunter-Tilney for The Financial Times – “Superabundant, super-confident, flashy – hip-hop is channelling the spirit of rock music’s golden age.”

Fresno (August 2011), by Michael Thomson for n+1  – “Our house cost a quarter of what it would have cost in Los Angeles or San Francisco. And nobody could tell a used Jaguar from a new one on the highway. My mother soon developed a stubborn interest in beautiful and expensive things.”

Grace in Broken Arrow (May 2012) by Kiera Feldman for This Land – How one man molested and sexually abused children at a Christian school in Oklahoma for years and how nobody did anything to stop it –> “This is a cautionary tale. It is about deference to authority, and denial, and the human cost of privileging an institution above people.”

 Arts & Crafts & Money (May 2012), by Christopher R. Graham for The Morning News – Looking for “small batch” solace in North America’s largest consumer craft fair.

The McWane Stories (January 2003) by David Barstow and Lowell Bergman for The New York Times– Another rather hefty exposé. This one looks at of a series of foundries where rules are disregarded and people die or get injured and nobody does anything about it. I read this with great attention — A Family’s Fortune, a Legacy of Blood and Tears and  At a Texas Foundry, Indifference to Life and Death on the Job, Slaps on the Wrist.

Man Up, Bieber (May 2012), by Drew Magary for GQ – I know as little as a person could possibly know about this kid’s actual “work” or product, and I gotta say the magazine articles about him, of which I’ve now read three, sort of paint a portrait of exactly the kind of 18-year-old guy I wanted to punch in the throat when I was an 18-year-old girl.

Tumblr, Teens & Identity (May 2012), by Britt Julious for The Bygone Bureau “For the poster, as images, music, essays and other forms of media are quickly posted on Tumblr connections are fostered, however tenuous. For the viewer, Tumblr provides an outlet for expression and exploration.”

DC Civic Pride (August 2011), by Sara Marcus for n+1” For all the political attacks and social rejection that queerness entailed, I nonetheless felt a sense of safety here, as if teen lesbianism were its own suburb, far away from the mean streets of downtown adolescent sexuality; as if by dissenting from the traditional templates of adolescence we could bypass certain aspects of being young.”

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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 3181 articles for us.


  1. “Is consumerism the right word?” Sorry for bumming everyone out with a Dana reference. Anyway, I’ve stopped caring about my job, so I will obvi save the Beiber and Tumblr articles for reading at work! I just managed to sound like 14-year-old straight girl, yikes.

  2. I genuinely get really defensive about Justin Bieber cause in my mind he is genuinely a lesbian.

  3. Aww, Fresno made it in an article on Autostraddle. *shocked* The cost of living is atrocious compared to L.A. and the Bay. It’s damn near impossible to live in those cities unless you have room mates or you’re well endowed financially, plus for the space you get, it’s laughable. Then again, I guess it depends on what you value and what you’re willing to compromise with. Granted there’s a lot more diversity in those cities as well, people-wise that is. This article makes me miss S.F. now, strangely, as it is my 2nd home away from home. I’m overdo for a visit.

  4. Whoa, whoa, whoa…. Riese. Is it Auto Straddle or autostraddle?! These things are important at 3:30am after I’m not saying how many gin martinis.

    I feel like maybe my brain exploded a little when I saw Auto Straddle, two words.

    • It’s one word, but spam Internet marketing douchebags always think it’s two words, that’s like their signature move

      • Now that I’ve sobered up some, the one- or two-word issue doesn’t seem so important, but…

        OMG Riese answered my question!! And that is awesome. :) Thanks!

  5. i’m halfway through the bieber article and i cannot. stop. laughing. like, i wish i’d have been there, even though i probably would’ve punched the kid out/been punched out by his massive sleeve-ripping bodyguard.

    • I get the same urge with Bieber that I get with my extremely conservative, privileged, sheltered cousin who never does anything outside of her church, not even go to school: steal him and drag him out to meet the real world. Walmart workers and burger joint drive-thru order takers and community college students trying to work and go to school full-time without getting fired or flunking out too many times.

      He’s a douche, certainly. But he’s such a young douche, and it seems like he hasn’t really stepped outside of a Bieber-branded bubble in years. Being locked up with family, employees, and managers 24-7 cannot be good for you. I want to take him and Miley Cyrus (also kind of irritating but tragically over-protected, but worse because she’s 19 and still infantilized because she’s a female child star) and show them what the real world is like.

  6. After reading the Bieber article, I wanted to kick both Bieber and the author of the article in the shins. Honestly, what did I just read? I should have stopped after the donkey punch reference.

    Sara Marcus, on the other hand, is amazing. I would pay to read her thoughts on dental floss or paper towels or something similarly boring.

    • I AGREE! The author wants to “make Bieber a man” by punching him in the face. Or taking him to a strip club. The entire tone of the article sounded like the writer was a frat leader who wanted Bieber to be a pledge.

  7. Fresno. That is where I am right now and that article explains it well. There are these small pockets of Fresno, like Tower and parts of downtown, where it looks like Fresno is trying, but just never really gets it together. It’s like any other city where the poverty lines are clear and neighborhoods reflect that – but it’s all intensified here. The valley is a weird place to be.

    • I think that’s always been the problem with Fresno, it always looks like they are trying, but it’s never enough, something always goes wrong. Fresno, at least in my mind, is easily equated with that old school nursery rhyme of Jack & Jill, no matter how hard Fresno tries, they can never get over that hill and it just comes tumbling down (Granite Park, Downtown, River Park, High Speed Rail, casino on 99, etc). Also, they’ve been talking about revitalizing downtown Fresno for what seems like an eternity. I must say though, at least the outskirts of Fresno are nice, nature-wise and explorer-wise, that is, if you are into that, but yeah, pockets seems like a good way to describe Fresno. I suppose it depends on which pocket(s) you like and which one’s you avoid.

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