Things I Read That I Love #300: What Are We Doing Here, In This Short Time On This Dying Rock?

HELLO and welcome to the 300th 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 know about Condé Nast!!! 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 Transformation of Conde Nast, by Kyle Chayka for The New Republic, October 2019

“Condé Nast was actually a person” is the first fact in this very interesting dive into the history of this once-deliberately-aspirational brand of magazines and how it has evolved (or not) to the digital media landscape.

One Night in Mount Sinai, by Lisa Miller for New York Magazine, October 2019

Aja Newman went to the hospital she’d been to many times before when shoulder pain became too intense to bear. She was eventually drugged and sexually assaulted by a doctor nobody suspected because of his popular TED talks and prestigious appointments.

The Case for Checking a Bag, by Roxane Gay for Gay Magazine, October 2019

I love to check a bag and felt completely affirmed by this piece.

Inside the “Most Incarcerated” Zip Code in the Country, by Caleb Gayle for The New Republic, October 2019

A searing investigation of how a whole laundry list of racist government policies have come together to oppress a specific community in Milwaukee, with an especially hard look at how the post-imprisonment treatment of convicted felons (incl. being forced to disclose on job applications and being unable to vote) is undermining our democracy and a citizen’s right to pursue health/happiness.

How NBC Killed Its Weinstein Story, by Rich McHugh for Vanity Fair, October 2019

I didn’t expect to find this as engaging as it was; and once we get to the central issue later in the piece OOF it packs a punch.

The Perfect Dealer, by Elizabeth Holmes for Gawker, October 2003

I have no idea why Longform dot org decided to repost this piece today but wow what a sliver of time in this world.

“They used to have an office and they would do it there. All day, every day. They’d just put a piece of paper over the drugs when people would come in. They’d also have a big bottle of cognac on the table that they would drink all day. And they’d only eat sushi. If you do a lot of drugs and your stomach is upset, you can’t eat a lot of fattening foods, really. So sushi, cognac, and coke.”

An Essay of Sexual Violence, by Susan Straight for Lithub, October 2019

The horror of so many stories, so many memories, so many years, so many places to drive by that remind you of when it happened to you or to her. Content warning, of course, for depictions of multiple sexual assaults.

Florida Women Are No Joke, I Should Know, by Kristen Arnett for The New York Times, October 2019

Are you guys watching How to Be a God In Central Florida because it’s SO GOOD I love it you should check it out after you read this really good piece.

“These female protagonists are looking for respect in ways that don’t necessarily fit with their lived experience. In one story in Groff’s “Florida,” two young girls scrabble to survive, left to fend for themselves on an uninhabited island. A section of Madden’s memoir talks very frankly about assault and its aftermath, focusing on what it means to move through trauma over the course of a life. Female characters in my novel deal directly with grief and learn in very different ways how to weather it together. Having children, owning a business, navigating problematic familial relationships, enduring loss: These women have been through tough times and have not just survived — they’ve thrived. It’s the thriving that matters here. It’s how Florida itself continues to exist. Hardy, sustainable despite the setbacks, unwilling to compromise on the things we want most.”

Queer Pleasure as Queer Memory, by Joseph Osmundson for The Los Angeles Review of Books, October 2019

I loved this so much I can’t stop thinking about it.

Books can tell us about who we were, and who we are. And they can connect us to a generation of faggots we lost, and to a city — to a New York — full of crime and grit and public sex, full of cheap housing and working-class fags, a version of this city that is unlikely to ever exist again.

The gritty neighborhoods of Dancer are now all luxury neighborhoods I could never afford.

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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. Re Queer Pleasure as Queer Memory: does anyone listen to Food 4 Thot? The author is on that podcast and I’ve listened to every season, so I could hear his voice in the writing. It made it all the more interesting. Also, I highly recommend Food 4 Thot as a podcast, it is thoughtful, raunchy and hilarious all at once, and pretty much the best.

  2. There is so much great writing done on Autostraddle, so I feel weird saying this, but this is my favorite regular column on here. Even though it is more or less just a link round-up, I just get so much out of it every time!

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