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The Sadness of John Travolta

The actor’s loss of a son and wife is compounded by his life as a Scientologist and personal secrecy

Rufus Wainwright’s Not-So-Foolish Love

Contentment has been the ruin of many great artists. But Rufus Wainwright wears it well — just like marriage, fatherhood and that fantastic new beard

The Complex Legacy of Black Comedians in Blackface

How African-American comics came to subvert and reclaim minstrelsy as their own — and ensure Black comedy could no longer be defined by white people

Every Great Director Needs a Gale Anne Hurd, the Engine Behind ‘The Terminator’ and a Bold New Era of Action Movies

In 1982, an ambitious young producer optioned a script from an old friend for a dollar. In doing so, she helped redefine a whole genre of movie-making.

The Deep Shame of Telling Your Friends You Probably Gave Them COVID

With public health departments struggling to keep up with testing, individuals have been left to do their own amateur contact tracing. And it’s getting awkward.

An Afternoon at Adult Film Star Stoya’s Now-Virtual Book Club

At the monthly gathering of Sex Lit, the goal is to try some smut that tickles both the mind and loins

The Funky Tale of How ‘Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow’ Came to Mean ‘It’s Doin’ It Time’

Essentially an onomatopoeia for the noise of strumming a guitar while stomping a wah-wah pedal, the funk-inspired lick has been permanently seared into our brains as the soundtrack of sex

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WhenPeopleSay‘RealAmericans,’WhoDoYouPicture?

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Recent

How to Rehome a Cat, Dog or Pet as Humanely as Possible

Rehoming a pet should never be taken lightly, but if it has to happen, there are things you can do to ensure they have a bright future ahead

The Communists Who Love Watching ‘Shark Tank’

The reality show is a love letter to capitalism. But to leftists, it’s a juicy portrayal of capitalism’s (and America’s) most shameful failures

Bruce Lee’s Unfinished Dream Project Mirrors His Unfinished Life

‘Game of Death Redux’ shows just how important Lee’s central philosophy was to his work — and why it’s continued to endure

Culture

Nobody Made Reading Look as Cool as Shaq Did

Why an iconic 1990s library poster had a second life as a book-lover’s meme

How Do the Hulk’s Pants Always Remain Intact? Experts Explain

Other than the fact that Marvel seems to be made uncomfortable by giant green penises

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Entertainment

Jimmy Stewart 101: Your Guide to the Great Actor’s Most Pivotal Roles

Whether playing affable idealists or obsessed lovers, Hollywood’s finest everyman was a master of subtlety and empathy

13 Movies That Blur the Line Between Documentary and Fiction

The critically acclaimed ‘Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets’ is part of a fine tradition of hybrids that are part reality, part classic movie storytelling

‘Blast From the Past’ Is Now the Most Accidentally Prophetic ’90s Movie

Just ask the parents and young memers who adopted the Brendan Fraser flick as a quarantine classic

Protests

The Okra Project Is Feeding the Bodies and Spirits of the Black Trans Community

Talking to the Okra Project founder Ianne Fields Stewart about how support for Black trans lives can continue far beyond Pride month

‘I Love Black Dick’ Protest Signs Aren’t Going to Save Us

Black fetishizing for ‘justice’ is one of the louder heads of a sexually racist capitalist Hydra that plagues gay communities and beyond

Radical Catholic Boomers Are Rising Up

The Catholic Worker Movement and Plowshares belong to a long tradition of radical religious activism in the U.S. Now, in response to the protests spreading across the country, they’re reckoning with their complicity in racism and police violence

LGBTQ

How Ryan Phillippe’s Ass Made a Generation Queer

But the enduring queer legacy of ‘Cruel Intentions’ is about more than just those perfect cheeks

Walter Mercado Was a Trailblazer Who Never Let Us See Behind the Mask

The gender-nonconforming Latinx astrologer decided at an early age to be his own fabulous creation. Netflix’s new documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ honors this beloved figure — but stays, disappointingly, on the surface

Dating Apps Won’t Protect Trans Users — So They’re Doing It Themselves

But by self-policing abusers on Grindr and Scruff, they may be the ones violating the terms of service

Health

There Absolutely Is a Correct Order for Washing Your Hands, You Sickos

If you apply soap before wetting your hands, please seek help

Wait, I Can’t Use Cleaning Products on My Fridge?

Apparently I’ve been cleaning my delicate refrigerator wrong my whole life

How to Road Trip Safely(ish) During COVID

If you must go, quarantine for 14 days first so that you don’t potentially infect the rest of the country

Early Aughts

Before I Was Adult Star Tasha Reign, I Was Rachel Swimmer From ‘Laguna Beach’

My town is known for creating wholesome reality stars, but I’m the only one who took to the Hills to become the princess of porn

A Marxist Analysis of ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop’

Kevin James’ everyman hero is just a tool for an inequitable system of labor and capital

The Sweet Catharsis of Emo Minimalism

Let’s just pretend that all that terrible, maximalist ’90s cover art was never meant

🔥Scorching-Hot Summer Takes🔥

Actually, Really Dry Hands Feel Good

Call it pandemic Stockholm Syndrome, but I’ve actually begun to enjoy the feeling of parched palms. Why?!

Ridley Scott’s ‘Gladiator’ Is Still a Terrible Movie

Relentless, baffling historical inaccuracies are the least of the Oscar winner’s many, many problems

We Should Be Putting Hot Dogs in Pitas

What’s crazy about replacing the tired old bun with a vessel in which every topping — no matter how much of it you pile on — can sit comfortably inside, with no obvious risk of overflow?

Relationships

Is It Cheating to Sneak Junk Food Behind Your Partner’s Back?

Who among us hasn’t secretly inhaled a Crunchwrap Supreme before coming home to a loved one?

Alan Dershowitz Is 2020’s Worst Wife Guy

The galaxy-brained lawyer has an alibi made for the meme circuit

The Toe-Curling Thrill of Sexting With Voice Notes

Safer than a nude, more intimate than a DM and less committed than a phone call, voice notes are impossibly sexy — they make pics and texts seem like G-rated child’s play

Latest on Coronavirus

A Gentleman’s Guide to Beaching It During Coronavirus

You can enjoy your summer sun ‘n’ fun without contributing to the pandemic if you do it right

The NBA’s New Practice Court Is Gonna Be Hell for Jumpers

The ceilings at the NBA’s practice facility in the Orlando bubble are lower than most high school gyms. How is that going to mess with shooting performance?

The Best Way to Avoid Mask Acne Is to Clean Your Mask

Yes, you really are supposed to use a fresh mask *every* *single* *time* (or wash it *every* *single* *day*)

Money

Why Are Guitars So Freaking Expensive?

It might be hard to swallow, but the reality is that they’re probably cheaper than they should be

Why Airlines Could Tank the Value of Your Travel Points and Miles

If you’ve noticed flights are suddenly worth way more miles in the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. Reward-travel inflation is real — and might just get worse from here

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Wellness

What Are Those Two Lines Between My Eyes, and How Do I Get Rid of Them?

When it comes to your ‘elevens,’ the only real cure is to not move your face at all

Five Lies You’ve Been Told About Boats

Are you screwed if you sail through the Bermuda Triangle? And is that *definitely* a nautical-themed pashmina Afghan? Let’s find out the truth.

Can Hangover-Prevention Products Actually Treat Hangover Anxiety?

Cheers Restore is designed to help in this regard, but next-day dread might have more to do with your behavior than the alcohol itself

Ultimate Summer Movie Guide

The Eternal Parody of the Pottery Scene From ‘Ghost’

For 30 years, we’ve been spoofing that Oscar-winning romantic drama’s most famous sequence because we can’t get enough of its sincere, grownup, playful sexiness

The Origin Story of Will Smith, King of Fourth of July

In the mid-1990s, the sitcom star and hip-hop lightweight was simply the Fresh Prince. But with ‘Independence Day,’ he remade himself as one of the all-time best summer action heroes.

Why Weren’t the Racist Robots in ‘Transformers 2’ Canceled by the End Credits?

With Skids and Mudflap, Michael Bay wanted to introduce some hip new Autobot characters that could appeal to kids. What he ended up with were offensive Black stereotypes as comic relief.

Food

Why Thousand Island Dressing Has Replaced Ketchup as America’s Condiment

The endlessly versatile ketchup-mayo mash-up is the secret sauce (literally, in the case of several major burger chains) to improving just about any dish

Hot Dogs Are America’s Food, So Why Aren’t They a Fast-Food Staple?

America’s biggest fast-food chains just can’t seem to get hot dogs right — but they continue to try

Do You Really Need to Wait to Go in the Pool After Eating?

Turns out, binge and cannonball goes together like Netflix and chill

True Crime

How Did Police Get the Greg Kelley Sexual Assault Case So Wrong?

The sobering, enraging Showtime documentary ‘Outcry’ recounts the 2013 investigation of Kelley, a star Texas pro-football prospect who was convicted of molesting children — but never stopped insisting he was innocent

Rethinking the Legacy of Christopher Dorner, the Cop-Killing Cop

Dorner became infamous for a 2013 killing spree that ended in a fatal standoff. But seven years later, his message resonates louder than anyone could have expected.

‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ Is a Touching Eulogy for Michelle McNamara, the Writer Obsessed With Finding the Golden State Killer

The true-crime author didn’t like making her stories about herself. But this HBO documentary series, based on her acclaimed book about the infamous serial killer and rapist, wouldn’t be nearly as cutting without her voice at its center.

Oral History

An Oral History of Hulk Hogan and ‘Real American’

From ‘most patriotic song ever’ to Hulkamania soundtrack to ironic punchline, the song continues to fight for what’s right/its life

An Oral History of Big Mouth Billy Bass

How the famous singing fish swam to the heights of fame, before being flushed down the drain of the pop culture commode

An Oral History of The Onion’s 9/11 Issue

Immediately after 9/11, humorists struggled with what many called ‘the death of irony.’ Then ‘The Onion’ returned and showed everyone the way