Things I Read That I Love #266: A Wikipedia-Hole From Which I Barely Emerged Alive.

HELLO and welcome to the 266th 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 head injuries in professional hockey! 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.


Can You Believe? An Oral History Of ‘Queer Eye’, by Matthew Jacobs and Melissa Radzimski for The Huffington Post, June 2018

Having been here for the original in all its glory and now being here for the new one — this was a very nice snack for my eyeballs.

Dinner Theater, by Linda Besner for Real Life Magazine, September 2017

Blue Apron and TV Dinners.

The box opens out as a kind of introduction to the basics of idealized family life: this is what dinner is; this is what home is. Each ingredient is individually wrapped and Saussureanly labelled. “Green Beans,” it says on the green beans. “Saffron,” it says on the saffron.

On Chicken Tenders, by Helen Rosner for Guernica, June 2015

The author, now a professional food critic regularly dining out on inventive, expensive and delightful meals; finds herself drawn, in her downtime, to the simplest of foods. Like Chicken Tenders, which are perfect.

The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company, by Ellen Huet for Bloomberg News, June 2018

A long long time ago our writer Hannah went to a OneTaste workshop and had a very interesting experience there … and now, here we are, where these types of things so often seem to lead!

Of Breakdowns and Breakthroughs, by Jenny Aurthur for Longreads, May 2018

This story, which addresses, among many other things, the impact of familial suicide on its survivors, slaughtered me in a way I hadn’t quite expected.

I Made the Pizza Cinnamon Rolls from Mario Batali’s Sexual Misconduct Apology Letter, by Geraldine DeRuiter for Everywhereist, January 2018

A reflection; a warning.

Intimacy, infamy, by Kristen Roupenian for The Times Literary Supplement, February 2018

The cynicism the anthology evoked in me when I tried to read it all at once was largely a function of compression and repetition. By the time I’d even finished the introduction, I’d completely lost the word “kiss” to semantic satiation: it had emptied itself of meaning and transformed into a purely silly sound. Kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss.

A Company Built on a Bluff, by Reeves Wiedeman for New York Magazine, June 2018

I can’t believe that Vice still exists and has tons of money even though Shane Smith is so full of lies! It’s bizarre how many exposés have been done on various aspects of this company and how despite it all, they plow gamely forward. I can’t imagine a world in which your audience just arrived at your doorstep without you inviting them over, again and again, and asking if they wouldn’t mind bringing some chips or hummus for the potluck.

“SKAM,” the Radical Teen Drama That Unfolds One Post at a Time, by D. T. Max for The New Yorker, June 2018

Reading this reminded me of that piece I read about Degrassi in The New York Times Magazine a billion years ago, like, so this is what the children are doing and then before you know it I was a goner, I was doing it too. But even if you’ve got no interest in the show, this piece has lots of interesting things to say about storytelling and teenagers and our relationships to social media and television as a medium! Honestly the way this show imposes itself into interfaces where we typically only interact with real people has really intense implications.

Meet the New Mormons, by Sarah Scoles for Longreads, June 2018

A lesbian and her mother, estranged from their religion since its attack on same-sex marriage, attend the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake, a “a yearly gathering that includes liberal Mormons and ex-Mormons who are redefining their relationship with the church.”

Several Articles on The National Hockey League’s “Enforcers”

This week I ended up in a very unlikely k-hole, for me, a person who has been a total of two hockey games in my entire life (both in college) and beyond that my only relationship with hockey is through The Mighty Ducks franchise. It started here, with this not well-written but still very captivating story from The Player’s Tribune linked on longform.org. In it, retired NHL player Nick Boynton discusses the depression and physical pain he has endured from his years as an “enforcer,” a position which apparently involves just having fist-fights with other hockey players? I didn’t know this was a thing. This led me to Gone, by Daniel Carcillo, a 2015 video he made after the death of his friend, Steve Montador, a 12-year NHL vet, at 35.

Then I was like… what the hell is this? So I started googilng some of the other names that had popped up — it turns out several enforcers have died by suicide or overdoses — which led me to a three-part New York Times series from 2011 about Derek Boogaard, who died of an overdose of alcohol and oxy at the age of 28. His post-mortem brain examination revealed more advanced levels of chronic traumatic encephalopathy than other enforcers who died in middle age. In sum:


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Riese is the 36-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. 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 2567 articles for us.

14 Comments

  1. I enjoyed that chicken tenders article thoroughly. I don’t eat a lot of meat these days – maybe once a week – and try to just have it when I’ll REALLY enjoy it. Which about 3/4 of the time is when we order chicken tenders. They were also all I wanted to eat as a kid. Chicken tenders, peas and carrots. And any variety of starch. But I do have to disagree with “If you want a vehicle for ranch dressing, order the crudités.” It made me cackle but a light dip in some BBQ sauce gives a perfect sweet salty crunchy combo. Fight me.

  2. Im having really hipster feelings about the US Skam because the Norwegian show had themost beautiful high school gay plotline I’ve ever watched and I just feel like the US one will ruin everything

  3. Thanks for the rundown on articles re hockey enforcers. It’s such a thing. Until relatively recently they wouldn’t even talk about the details, but it’s called “the code,” there’s a book about it by the same name. Derek Boogaard’s story finally got everyone’s attention, and players started talking about it openly. It will probably lead to the end of fighting in the NHL.

  4. This is an amazing list of things to read. So far my brain is feeding well-nourished.

    From Rosner’s Chicken Tenders:

    “… perfection leaves no room for wildness or risk. Perfection is passive, it’s static, it verges on bland. It’s a circle. A cloudless sky. An unmarked page. It’s everything and it’s nothing, and it’s glorious, and it usually comes with fries.”

  5. “ The recurrent question of what to have for dinner is exhausting because hiding in its shadow is an even more unshakeable and troubling question: How and why do we keep on living?”

    Good lord, that Dinner Theater article is so heavy hitting, and really took me by surprise

  6. That hockey rabbit hole is pretty fascinating, I ended up in a similar one a few months ago reading about professional wrestlers… particularly Chris Benoit murdering his wife and kid before committing suicide. His brain was found with a similar advanced Alzheimer’s-like appearance, perhaps because of his signature move, the diving headbutt.

    So sad that a sport can lead to such dark places

  7. k-hole means something very different in the UK, I guess, because when you said you were in an unlikely k-hole reading about hockey players I was like – you took too much ketamine and were compelled to read about hockey players? and you want us to share in that experience?

    love the link round up otherwise tho

  8. Re: the hockey article — Malcolm Gladwell did a similar piece in his podcast about American football, talking about a young man who committed suicide (and then the brain damage issue effecting football players more widely), and how shocked the family were as this was so out of character.

  9. I had heard about and read all sorts of pieces on the concussion/long-term brain damage issues in the NFL but I had yet to see this much coverage coming out about the issues in the NHL. Here’s hoping the league (and fans) take these players seriously so more are not lost in this insidious way.

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