Things I Read That I Love #271: Academic Celebrity Soaks Up Blood Like a Pair of Thinx

HELLO and welcome to the 271st 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 tourism to places you’re not supposed to travel to! 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.

The Final Flight of Martin McNall, by Danny Wicentowski for The Riverfront Times, January 2017

“The golden age of airplane hijackings” is such an intriguing period to me, when you could just walk right onto a plane with weapons and when dealing with hijackings was considered par for the course of air travel. Get a load of this guy, though.

Hell No I Won’t Go, by Ellen Willis for The Village Voice, September 1989

Auspicious thoughts on “The War on Drugs” from when it was just getting started.

Horrific deaths, brutal treatment: Mental illness in America’s jails, by Gary A. Harki for
The Virginian-Pilot, August 2018

Read this one on your computer not a phone because it’s a multi-media situation, bringing together extensive research to expose a critical human rights issue happening in America’s jails.

The Most Popular Personality Test In The World is a Joke, by Bradley Babendir for The Outline, August 2018

I had no idea Myers-Briggs had even been around this long. This piece barely gets into its point, unfortunately, ’cause I could’ve read two thousand more words on it.

Ghosts, by Ashon Crawley for The New Inquiry, May 2018

I got drawn in ’cause nobody in the history of my life on this planet has ever wanted to talk to me about Kids Incorporated, which I could talk about forever, and I stayed because there’s so much else in here to think about.

“To tell the stories of a blackqueer heartbreak and forestalled nostalgia provoked by the Disney Channel is to draw energy from a ghosting of severed connections, an otherwise movement of unnamed but present intimacies.”

I Worked With Avital Ronell. I Believe Her Accuser, by Andrea Long Chu for The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2018

The irony is that those who survive this destruction often do so at the cost of inflicting the same trauma on their own students. Avital, now a grand dame of literary studies, who Reitman alleges bragged to him of a “mafia”-like ability to make or break the careers of others, still feels persecuted. She makes it the job of those around her to protect her from that persecution: to fawn, appease, coddle. The lawsuit against her reads as a portrait, not of a macho predator type, but of a desperately lonely person with the power to coerce others, on pain of professional and psychic obliteration, into being her friends, or worse.

To Be Clean, by Natassja Schiel for Longreads, August 2018

A personal essay that covers so many of my favorite areas for personal essays to cover; sex work, addiction, weird family shit, queer awakenings.

The Disaster Tourist, by Kent Russel for Highline, January 2018

This is a long story, like novella-length story, but I’ve always been curious about Russian tourism, and was intrigued by this travel company, Young Pioneer Tours, made famous for their role in the death of Otto Warmbier, that the author himself assumes to be “a clutch of maladaptive nihilists who made good money escorting louche tools to the most politically and culturally sensitive locations on the planet.”

Everywhere and Nowhere: What It’s Really Like To Be Black and Work in Fashion, by Lindsay Peoples Wagner for The Cut, August 2018

Wagner reached out to “more than 100 black individuals, from assistants to executives, stylists, celebrities, models, and everyone in between” on how racism has impacted their careers in this appearance-focused industry. (It was also interesting also to see how this was laid out online vs. the print edition, which styled the quotes differently and didn’t have headshots)

The Untold Story of Otto Warmbier, American Hostage, by Doug Bock Clark for GQ, July 2018

What actually happened to Otto Warmbier in North Korea after he was arrested for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor was not the story the Trump administration, or many of Otto’s loved ones, chose to believe.

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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 3198 articles for us.


  1. Riese, I will ALWAYS want to talk about Kids, Incorporated. Particularly the fact that Jennifer Love Hewitt was on it and called only “Love” at the time.

  2. YESSSSS The Disaster Tourist is one of my favorite lingform pieces! I could read about Russia literally forever.

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