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How a Staunch Pro-Firearm State Found Hope in the Gun Suicide Crisis
How a Staunch Pro-Firearm State Found Hope in the Gun Suicide Crisis

In Utah, gun lobbyists, legislators and researchers worked together on a common goal: to cut down the rate of suicide by firearms. It’s an uncommon story that — even more strangely — seems to actually be working

Will COVID-19 Finally Inspire Paid Sick Leave for All Workers?
Will COVID-19 Finally Inspire Paid Sick Leave for All Workers?

Only in America does your boss decide if you get to help prevent the spread of a pandemic. What will it take for that to change?

The World of Instagram Menswear Is a ‘Matrix’ Illusion
The World of Instagram Menswear Is a ‘Matrix’ Illusion

My trendy floral button-down is part of a massive drop-shipping enterprise that rebrands cheap, Chinese-made threads as trendy Instagram fashion. Is it a scam? Or just capitalism working as designed?

Are Those Pain-in-the-Ass Cooking Tasks Really Worth It?
Are Those Pain-in-the-Ass Cooking Tasks Really Worth It?

From spatchcocking a chicken to making your own broth, our resident culinary dirtbag tests them out so you don’t have to

How the Luxury Condom Business Screwed Itself

High-end status prophylactics were supposed to be the next big sex trend — even though we don’t need them, no one asked for them and they don’t perform any better

The People Walker Is Still Just Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

In Los Angeles, a man named Chuck has become a folk hero for one humble service: taking strangers on walks. He’s proving the buddy system can change lives — one step at a time

The Guitar-Smashing 30-Year History of Rock the Vote

This is how the influential voting organization went from a shower thought to Madonna, REM and MTV — and why the founders are laser-focused on Gen Z as the 2020 election heads to the finish line

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Democracy Is Broken. Here’s Why I’m Still Voting.
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Best of MEL

Fox News Convinced Them COVID Was Fake. Then They Got Sick.

‘I have no doubt that President Trump and Fox News have caused people to die.’ This is what it’s like to lose your dad twice — first to Rush Limbaugh, then to the ICU as he battles a disease he believes is a hoax

The Afterlife of the Male Model

What happens to young men when they quit the modeling industry? While some exit the business gracefully, others take a nose dive, only to find salvation at the Cheesecake Factory

The Wild Ride of America’s Most Dangerous Theme Park

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Action Park — unofficially known as Class Action Park, Traction Park and Accident Park — was ‘Lord of the Flies’ with a Jersey twist and a higher death count

Recent

The Philosopher King of SpongeBob Memes

William Beteet III’s TikTok-friendly explanations of concepts like alienation and freedom make even lofty theories feel relatable

Eavesdropping Is the Hottest Drug of COVID Times

Any conversation between strangers is a welcome escape from yourself

Wrongful Conviction Compensation Payouts Are Wildly Uneven (and Often Grossly Unfair)

Many states don’t even have compensation laws, and for those that do, it can be a long, grueling process to actually get the money

Racial Justice

The American Dream Is a Fraud. What Now?

In ‘Stakes Is High,’ Mychal Denzel Smith argues that justice begins with challenging America’s self-perception

‘Bad Hair’ Is About the Horror Black Women Face Navigating White Worlds

This killer-weave satire thoughtfully explores society’s restrictive views on beauty and the challenges people of color face trying to get ahead in racist workplaces

We’ve Already Defunded the Police. But Only the Ones Policing the Rich.

Worse yet, stripping the IRS, DOJ and SEC of their powers has been a completely bipartisan effort

Culture

‘Circle Jerk’ Comes Full Circle

Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley’s play about canceling white gays went viral during the pandemic — and proved that some memes belong in the Louvre

What the Trendy New Wave of Surf Wear Is Really All About

Who decides a $200 hoodie is ‘surf wear’ when real surfers wear wetsuits?

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Style

How Do Lids (and Other Places That Just Sell Hats) Stay Open?

The profit margins aren’t that big after all the licensing deals, but it’s still a billion-dollar industry

Your Chore Coat Isn’t Up to the Task

Today’s yupster uniform is a storied blue-collar jacket that’s neither warm nor comfortable

George Washington Hair Is the New Pandemic Vibe

Quarantine daddies are looking more and more like Founding Fathers. But if you wanna grow out your hair, you’re gonna have to rock the powdered-wig look

Entertainment

Nicholas Britell Is the Composer You Don’t Know You Love

You might not know his face, but you know his vibe. The songwriter of the moment is the guy behind ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Beale Street’ and the ‘Succession’ theme

Albert Brooks Mastered the Art of Disappointment

Whether subverting the rules of stand-up or making movies about perpetually dissatisfied characters, the man behind ‘Modern Romance’ and ‘Lost in America’ taught us how to love the fact that life isn’t fair

The Best Witch Movies for Every Kind of Witchy Mood

If ‘The Craft: Legacy’ and the new adaptation of ‘The Witches’ have gotten you feeling spooky, here are the movies to scratch that witch itch

LGBTQ

Pope Francis Is a Messy Bitch Who Lives for Drama

Don’t be fooled by the pope’s pro-civil union stance: There is no kindness in empty words

Why Men Love the Men Who Hurt Them

Leopold and Loeb are the model of toxic intimacy in the queer romance ‘These Violent Delights’

Why Has Disney Been Hiding Mickey Mouse’s Hot Older Sister?

Felicity Fieldmouse is an instant style icon and I want to be her. Where in Disney lore did she come from?

Health

The Science of Loud Dad Sneezes

Am I doomed to inherit my father’s wall-rattling laryngeal explosion?

Is It Possible to Adjust to Allergies?

Repeatedly being exposed to something you’re allergic to might fix the problem — or it might make it way worse

How to Choose the Right Pillow for Your Neck

Your current pillow is as supportive as a Post-it Note — just admit you need help

Early Aughts

Conor Oberst’s Road to Joy

With his reunion world tour on hold, the Bright Eyes frontman is riding out the pandemic at home in Nebraska. Still, after years of grief, the indie-folk wunderkind has a newfound hope for the future

What Kids Did All Day in the Year 2000

The youth of today want to know how we passed the time before smartphones

The Humbling of Dane Cook

In 2005, there was no bigger influence on guy culture than Dane Cook, the king of obnoxious bro comedy. But his hard fall from grace was anything but a failure

Relationships

A Year Without FOMO

I’m almost embarrassed to ask it: Am I adapting too well to this?

Mutual Masturbation Is the Solve to Your Pandemic Sex Woes

It’s hot, it’s easy and you don’t even have to shave your taint. Why haven’t we been doing this all along?

Are You Slick Enough for the Snowflake Emoji?

It’s cuffing season, so don’t trip up: Be a ‘glacier boy’ and shoot your shot with a ❄️

Life in a Pandemic

Why Does the Same Virus Affect Different People in Different Ways?

Almost a year after the first COVID case, we still don’t know much about it

More Hours for Less Money: The Bleak, Grueling Reality of a COVID Pay Cut

Workers with slashed pay are losing hope of their careers rebounding — and as these cuts likely herald another era of wage decline, things will only get worse

The People Wearing Double Masks Aren’t Crazy

Until the rest of the country starts wearing a single one, the two-mask camp fears there’s no such thing as ‘too safe’

Money

Can You Have Too Many Credit Cards? The Big Myth About Your Credit Score

It all depends how you’re using them

Why Are Warranty Periods So Short (and Such BS)?

Basically, because capitalism. You might want to check your credit card perks, though.

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Mental Health

For My Sanity’s Sake, How Much Am I Allowed to Not Care?

You’re allowed to avoid checking the news for the next two weeks — in fact, your immune system will probably thank you

How to Stop a Bad Mood From Becoming a Bad Day

It’s easy to let a bad mood ruin your whole day, but it’s also easy to turn it around

The Gloomy Science of Doomscrolling

My last drop of serotonin dried up months ago, but my thumbs cannot be stopped

The Manosphere

Is Netflix’s ‘Love, Guaranteed’ Hollywood’s First Incel Love Story?

The only thing this film guarantees is a headache. In the pandemic, though, it’s a must-see

Soy Boys Make Better Managers Than Chads

If you want to know how to be a better manager, you can start by being a better person

The Outsized Fury of the ‘Manlet’

Bodybuilder bros created a whole new kind of insecurity about being under 6 feet tall

Food

What’s in This?: Bazooka Bubble Gum

All nine ingredients in this old-ass mouth cement, explained (yep, even butylated hydroxytoluene)

What’s in This?: Gummy Bears

All 14 ingredients in this chewy mini-mammals, explained (yep, even carnauba wax)

Did Pepsi Have One of the World’s Largest Navies? No — But the Truth Is Mind-Boggling

What do the Space Race, Nixon, Khrushchev, Russian fast-food workers with venereal disease and the mujahideen have in common? They’re all part of this insane true story that’s been lost to history

True Crime

The Doomed Cult of Vissarion, Russia’s Cop Turned Neo-Jesus

This is the insane true story of a beat cop, painter and messiah figure who outran the law — until he ran afoul of Vladimir Putin

‘American Murder: The Family Next Door’ Turns the Killing of Shanann Watts Into a Queasy Found-Footage Documentary

The Netflix film draws from text messages, Facebook posts and other media to tell the story of Watts and her daughters’ murder. Rather than providing insight, though, it becomes an uncomfortable exercise in rubbernecking.

‘The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius’ Grapples With a Murder Whose Motives Remain Murky

The champion South African paralympian was an international feel-good story. Then in 2013 he shot to death his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Was it premeditated or an accident? A new ESPN documentary argues that, either way, it’s a tragedy.

Oral History

An Oral History of ‘The New Hollywood Squares’

The ’80s game show was a nightly mini-cabaret that was way weirder and more fun than ‘Jeopardy!’ or ‘Wheel of Fortune’ — and left an outsized legacy on network TV

The Oral History of the Vodka Red Bull

As told by the bartenders who first poured it — and created a monster

The Definitive Oral History of Reddit GoneWild

Before amateur porn was all the rage, horny exhibitionists created one of its most popular (and free) spaces online