Things I Read That I Love #95: Oh, She’s Instafamous

timesHELLO and welcome to the 95th 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 Space Jam! 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.

Space Jam’s Character-Ruining Tackiness (September 2013), by Nathan Rabin for Dissolve“To Warner Bros., the teaming of Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan smelled like money. To people like me, who grew up revering these entities in their original context, it smelled like advertising. Warner Bros. and Jordan’s team (that would be his lawyer and agent and manager, not The Bulls) saw the film as an extension of Jordan’s work in advertising, and oh boy, does the film feel that way.”

Out of Season: How a Relationship Brought Me Halfway Around The World For Love, by Ruth Curry for Buzzfeed – You guys it’s Ruth Curry! She’s Emily Gould’s BFF, co-founder of Emily Books and one of my favorite internet humans, and this essay is beautiful and even though I am confused as to why nobody asked me to be in the anthology it comes from, I’m still able to enjoy pieces of it like this essay which got me through a 45-minute wait in a paper gown at a doctors office!

Real Life (September 2013), by Nathan Rabin for Dissolve – On how Mel Brooks’ movie Real Life predicted the Reality TV show with uncanny accuracy. I really need to see this movie now.

The History and Psychology of Clowns Being Scary (August 2013), by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie for Smithsonian Magazine – A really thorough and interesting history of clowns and why some children find them delightful and many humans find them terrifying and horror movies about clowns and clowns in circuses and clowns clowns clowns!

A Conversation With Mary Gaitskill (September 2013), by Cotton Codinha for Elle – DUH OBVS FAVORITE HUMAN. “As her iconic short story collection, Bad Behavior, turns 25—and ELLE’s October issue hits newsstands, featuring her brand new essay, “Halo Effect”—the ever-unfiltered author spills about the perks of playing dumb, her beef with “cheating,” and the problems with pop culture.”

Why Dead Malls Comfort Me (September 2013), by Christopher Leonard for Zocalo Public Square (September 2013) – I don’t know why I like dead malls, but this guy knows why he likes dead malls and so could you.

Friends Without Benefits (Septmeber 2013)by Nancy Jo Sales for Vanity Fair – WELL THIS ONE’S A DOOZY. I don’t know where to start with it, I’m not sure I have the brainpower, but maybe you do! “This year, 81 percent of Internet-using teenagers in America reported that they are active on social-networking sites, more than ever before. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and new dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, and Blendr have increasingly become key players in social interactions, both online and IRL (in real life). Combined with unprecedented easy access to the unreal world of Internet porn, the result is a situation that has drastically affected gender roles for young people. Speaking to a variety of teenaged boys and girls across the country, Nancy Jo Sales uncovers a world where boys are taught they have the right to expect everything from social submission to outright sex from their female peers. What is this doing to America’s young women?”

Fond Farewells (October 2013), by Jessica Mitford for Lapham’s Quarterly – On the lady who shocked the nation in 1963 with her best-selling expose on the ruthlessly mercenary and aggressively overpriced funeral culture in her book The American Way of Death. Really interesting especially if Six Feet Under is your favorite show, like me.

Letter from Kenya: Surviving Westgate (September 2013), by James Verni for The New Yorker – Westgate through they eyes of three people who survived.

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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 3181 articles for us.


  1. Before I read any of these, let me TELL YOU A THING about Jessica Mitford! Did you know she once recorded two duets with Maya Angelou on kazoo? That entire family is nuts. She and her sisters, born into minor British aristocracy, all became: a celebrated satirist on par with Waugh; a lesbian poultry revolutionary; a notorious British Fascist; Hitler’s rumored lover; a shit-stirring communist and muckraking journalist; and Duchess of the most successful estate in Britain. Puts our family reunions to shame, eh?

    • do I want to research the meaning behind “lesbian poultry revolutionary” or just let the phrase linger in my mind as the most perfect three words I’ve read today

  2. Ruth Curry’s essay is very moving, thank you for sharing it! As someone who is currently in a long-distance relationship and planning to leave France to live in Montreal (where my partner is), cultural shock is something that speaks to me, even though there is a huge French community in Montreal. Yet like Ruth wrote, language (French or Quebecois) is not enough to feel at home, and sometimes you can’t help but miss silly things like bagels or French bread. I felt relieved she chose not to come back to NZ once her visa expired.

  3. I thought this might be of interest to many of the people here: Phantom’s List

    It’s a blog that collects links to writings by women around the web. The curator of this list has eclectic taste and finds some interesting stuff!

  4. That fucking Vanity Fair piece makes me want to move to Walnut Grove and change my name to Laura Ingalls. No fucking social media. No fucking internet. No electricity. Nothing to fear but polio. My daughter is 2 and I just can’t let her grow up in a soulless world like this article described.The kids they spoke of were all affluent. I wonder if the lives of poorer kids look brighter in relation to social media. Thoughts?

  5. Riese: I also wish you were in that anthology; please consider writing this essay for Emily Books at some point!

  6. That Vanity Fair piece was pretty damn chilling… Problem with anecdotal journalism, though, is that the anecdotes in question tend to be a) cherry-picked and b) those of rich, attractive white people on the East Coast. At my 50% Asian high school, everyone was more concerned about how to get into the best college than how to get laid. If Sales had interviewed students there, I think her piece would be very, very, different.

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