Things I Read That I Love #284: The Sharpest Pain I Have Ever Felt and a High I’ve Never Matched Since

HELLO and welcome to the 284th 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 facebook moderators! 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.

She Never Looks Back: Inside Elizabeth Holmes’s Chilling Final Months at Theranos, by Nick Bilton, February 2019

Have you ever spent an hour on YouTube searching “Elizabeth Holmes real voice”? I have, and therefore this article and any other supplemental materials on this story are like a nice bowl of Matzoh Ball soup on a rainy day.

Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans, by Anne Helen Peterson for Buzzfeed, February 2019

Tressie McMillan Cottom proposes that “at heart, higher education is both a means of redressing socioeconomic inequality and perpetuating socio-economic inequalities in new guises.” For so many of us, it is our salvation and our damnation. It gets us everywhere and nowhere. It is our pride and our shame. It is invaluable and worth nothing at all. American life is rife with contradictions. But in our current moment, few such contradictions feel as isolating, as disproportionate, as insurmountable and heavy, as attempting to reconcile the education gospel and the student loan industrial complex.

The dodgy, vulnerable fame of YouTube’s child ASMR stars, by Amelia Tait for Wired, February 2019

I didn’t know ASMR was a recently coined term, which is one of a few things I learned in this article about yet another YouTube world I was essentially unaware of!

Homicide: Death on the Screen, by Eric Thrum for The Los Angeles Review of Books, October 2014

The question of the corpse, as it is viewed/treated/served or not by shows like Law and Order, The Following, Bones or CSI.

Love City: 24 Hours of Love, lust and Heartache in New York, by multiple authors, June 2019

This is a huge multimedia situation you should view on your laptop. There are so many cute little features here — I love particularly this photoessay about couples in their beds (look out for Coco Layne and her girlfriend!) talking about their night-time routines and this one about a triad of Jewish teenagers within which one declares that nobody in New York is straight and “San Francisco is the capital of white gay men. New York City is the center of queer youth.” Writers involved in this include two of my faves, Taffy Brodesser-Akner and Sam Anderson.

Where Not to Travel in 2019, or Ever, by Kate Harris for The Walrus, February 2019

John Allen Chau, who imposed himself upon the Sentinelese to bring them Jesus and was killed for doing so, is in fact one of many who see this type of trip as important or interesting when it’s actually just invasive and immoral.

How Esquire lost the Bryan Singer story, by Elon Green for The Columbia Journalism Review, February 2019

This is intriguing — especially in light of the cover story Esquire did run this month — all the reporting for The Atlantic Bryan Singer expose was done for Hearst, who then killed the story.

The Greeter, by T Kira Madden for The Sun Magazine, February 2019

Damn, this is difficult and gorgeous — about addiction, and starving on purpose, parents who can’t parent, pain that feels like a high, and pain that’s just pain.

The Trauma Floor, by Casey Newton for The Verge, February 2019

HOLY SHIT this is about “the secret lives of Facebook moderators in America” and honestly wow, I had no idea. I wasn’t particularly compelled to read this piece but it kept popping up around the internet and I finally relented and was like, wow.

Ariana Grande And Dua Lipa Are Joining Pop Culture’s Lesbian Lookalike Party, by Shannon Keating for Buzzfeed, February 2019

I am so here for this kind of analysis!!!

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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 3183 articles for us.


  1. omfg that student loan article 😭 I’ve been in a months long loop of phone calls to FedLoan trying to sort out my loans, and every time I get different answers to what I’m calling about. It is so frustrating, demoralizing, and nonsenical, I usually end up in tears when I get off the phone. I really appreciated this article, and wow my self blame game is So strong— part of me still believes that if I just tried harder, was more diligent, or better at phone calls, I wouldn’t be in this mess.

  2. RIESE. I will also consume any media related to Elizabeth Holmes or the Theranos story. I just received John Carreyrou’s BAD BLOOD at my personal home, and have spent the past 6 weeks listening to every episode of THE DROPOUT podcast as it airs. No one wants to talk about this stuff with me anymore, and I really need my friends to get it together.

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