Things I Read That I Love #267: The Internet Can Turn a Stupid Flirtation Into The Age of Godd*mn Innocence If You Let It

HELLO and welcome to the 267th 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 tumblr! 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.

Reading Joan Didion in California Restaurants, by Sara J Benincasa for Medium, July 2018

Thank you Sara for writing this for me, can we be friends, it seems we have many mutual interests. I have been asking myself why exactly I am here (a thing Sara asks herself in the essay) for about six weeks and although this didn’t answer that for me, it helped, and was beautiful throughout. I thought “wow this is long” but before you know it I was like “NO WHY IS IT OVER.” I highlighted so many things in it.

if you read her in California and if you love California and if you are not yourself a native daughter of the Golden West, you will, inevitably, ask yourself why exactly you are here, and why you had ever been so foolish as to live anywhere less heartbreaking than this.

In 2018, Tumblr Is A Joyless Black Hole, by Gita Jackson for Kotaku, July 2018

I can confirm that every time I go to tumblr it’s like 99% social justice call-out posts? Also now that autostraddlecaptionsarefunny and fuckyeahautostraddle are barely ever active, tumblr makes me sad. But also, sometimes, tumblr has really great Hayley Kiyoko gif sets or I find stories I wouldn’t have heard anywhere else! I used to check tumblr first thing every morning and maybe like 100 times a day, now it’s usually once a day. It’s crazy to think there was a time when the tumblr was a huge part of Autostraddle, too — that’s where we posted when the website was down, where we did advice-a-thons and it was our major social media referrer.

The Trouble With Johnny Depp, by Stephen Rodrick for Rolling Stone, June 2018

Turns out the trouble with Johnny Depp — who I once loved dearly (back in the Edward Scissorhands, Benny + Joon, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ed Wood, Fear + Loathing in Las Vegas, Blow era) — is Johnny Depp. Sounds like a real true asshole this guy.

Sweetness Mattered, by Aaron Hamburger for Tin House, June 2017

A sweet gay story for you.

Naked in Death Valley, by Claire Vaye Watkins for Guernica, May 2018

This is not really a longform piece but it’s really pretty and it’s by a writer I really like and it’s about hot springs and the desert and also, if we could bring it back to me for a second, she’s gotta be talking about Ann Arbor here, right? —> “This is the sensation John Muir chased up waterfalls in Yosemite, and which I have begged for, smoking weed in my SUV in the parking lot of Oasis Hot Tub Gardens in a city named for trees.”

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Debt to Me, by M.H. Miller for The Baffler, July 2018

The problem, I think, runs deeper than blame. The foundational myth of an entire generation of Americans was the false promise that education was priceless—that its value was above or beyond its cost. College was not a right or a privilege but an inevitability on the way to a meaningful adulthood. What an irony that the decisions I made about college when I was seventeen have derailed such a goal.

The Story of Vicente, Who Murdered His Mother, His Father, and His Sister, by Sandra Rodríguez Nieto for Longreads, December 2015

Last time I brought you ZERO stories about murder! Back on that grind again though, you’re welcome.

The Case of the Vanishing Blonde, by Mark Bowden for Vanity Fair, December 2010

I’m gonna be honest with you that I have been very sad this week! Which, according to my friends who care about such things, is normal for “Cancer Season.” But when I’m sad and have trouble focusing, my friends, there is one type of story I am still capable of focusing on: MURDER STORIES!

The Body in Room 348, by Mark Bowden for Vanity Fair, May 2013

So, somebody who read that story above got in touch with the PI who broke the case to help them with a murder case that seemed unbreakable too. Let me tell you this one has QUITE the twist.

The Demands of Cold Blood, by John Davidson for The Morning News, November 2011

A former crime reporter looks back on the uncomfortable and exploitative elements of his former job as a crime reporter, and on one specific case that turned out to be part of a much larger case.

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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 3211 articles for us.


  1. The link to the Vanity Fair article doesn’t work! I always love your true crime recommendations.

  2. Man that Sara Benincasa is marvelous. And something I needed but didn’t know I needed.

  3. Since tumblr is whomever you follow, and I follow only hilarious, kind, and badass women, it’s is pretty great for me. It’s too bad that it seems to be mostly fandoms that have these toxic dynamics.

  4. “Which, according to my friends who care about such things, is normal for “Cancer Season.””

    thanks for seeing me / sorry i’m like this / i know it’s not just me / but also it’s true and real.

    also text me back so we can hang out and at least feel sad together? wait til i tell you about the eclipse season we’re about to embark on…


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