Things I Read That I Love #323: Pulp Fiction With a Hint of Social Justice

HELLO and welcome to the 323rd 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 more about non-alcoholic beer!!! 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.

An Ex-Drinker’s Search for a Sober Buzz, by John Seabrook for The New Yorker, September 2021

The author is sober and painfully aware that “maintaining abstinence in an alcohol-soaked society can feel like serving a medieval sentence of banishment, and many heavy drinkers fear the cure more than the sickness,” he laments. So he finds Bill Shufelt and his 2017-founded company Athletic, which aims to create alcohol-free beer that allows sober people to return to drinking rituals without the health risk, and wonders if this indeed could do the trick.

Mr. Weber’s Confession, by Nancy Jo Sales for Vanity Fair, September 2021

A former Exeter student finds herself at the center of an anonymous accusation of sexual misconduct, for which Sales was named as the alleged victim. Sales is certain that the accusation is baseless and is surprised to find that her refusal to corroborate is irrelevant to the investigation’s trajectory.

Revolt of the Delivery Workers, by Josh Dzieza for The Verge, September 2021

Lacking protection from the apps they ride for, delivery workers in New York are banding together to support each other under increasingly difficult conditions. This is also just a really interesting explanation of how meal delivery apps function in New York City.

Beyond Britney: Abuse, Exploitation and Death Inside America’s Guardianship Industry, by Heidi Blake and Katie J.M. Baker for Buzzfeed, September 2021

An extraordinary three-part investigation into widespread courriuption in the conservatorship industry — talking to the people who’ve had their lives taken away from them unjustly by the courts. Basically “I Care A Lot” is a documentary, it turns out, and Britney Spears is far from alone in her perdicament.

You’ve Heard This One Before, by Andrea Long Chu for Vulture, September 2021

For a critic, it is easy to attack, harder to understand, hardest to understand one’s attackers. Yes, the rhetoric of harm can be paranoid, flattening, and reductive; yes, it can reify “tinny stereotypes of bully and snowflake, target and troll, defender and supporter, perpetrator and victim.” But reifying something doesn’t actually make it real; it only pretends to, and hopes you won’t notice the difference. The rhetoric of harm is just that — a rhetoric. It does not really divide the world into victims and perpetrators of harm, either literally or metaphorically. Where is its army, its police?

Media Theranos, by Pooja Bhatia for the London Review of Books, October 2021

I have been following the story of the implosion of Ozy Media with rapt attention because it is so wild that this man got so much money to run a news website that nobody actually read and meanwhile here we are lol! Anyhow this is all fascinating materials w/r/t how their newsroom was run and the industry in general.

How Kidz Bop Turned A Simple Idea Into Chart Domination, by Jessica M Goldstein for Buzzfeed, September 2021

Kidz Bop provides a “safe” listening experience for families — but does it also deprive kids of something else? Isn’t a meaningful, formative part of childhood to be exposed to art that goes over your head, grasp for it, and understand it anew as you mature?

Has Witch City Lost Its Way?, by Kathryn Miles for Boston Magazine, October 2021

First of all, as many as 5,000 of Salem’s 43,000 residents identify as practicing witches. Second of all: this is a history of Salem’s tourism industry and how “a new generation of witches and warlocks selling $300 wands conquered Salem.”

How Hot Is It inside Southern California’s warehouses? Ask the workers at Rite Aid, by ANna Phillips for The LA Times, October 2021

In a country increasingly hooked on speedy delivery and online shopping, warehouses have been popping up all over, and many of them in the Inland Empire and the Central Valley, where workers are forced to work long hours in un-air-conditioned buildings on 90+ degree days.

Truth and Consequences, by Blair McClendon for The Drift magazine, October 2021

On the current state of the documentary format, where the most popular films follow “close on the heels of splashy events — cult investigations, suspicious murders, scams and grifts, celebrities rising and falling,” where viewers aren’t often aware how the editing process works or how much bias is baked in, where “Frankinbiting” has become the norm… etc.

Why Many Police Stops Turn Deadly, by David D. Kirkpatrick, Steve Eder, Kim Barker and Julie Tate for The New York Times, November 2021

The Times found that in the past FIVE YEARS “police officers have killed more than 400 drivers or passengers who were not wielding a gun or a knife, or under pursuit for a violent crime.” The Times found many of those encounters involved officers placing themselves in danger and then firing their weapons and claiming self defense.

The Real CEO Of Succession, by Rebecca Mead for The New Yorker, August 2021

This article will be entertaining solely to those who like me are deeply invested in the television program Succession. I was particularly entertained by info on the research writers have done to accurately represent the world of the ultra-rich.

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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 3213 articles for us.


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