SundayReads_FakeDeath

Holiday Weekend Reads: Why Everyone Has Ceiling Titties, the Private Investigators Who Know You Aren’t Really Dead and the History of ‘Up In Them Guts’

Sometime in the early 2000s, my mother was able to afford to have our living room expanded to better accommodate my brother’s desire to drive his electric wheelchair through the house. She left the job up to the local Mennonites, whose craftsmanship was unparalleled. Now, I don’t know if it was those religious puritans or my mother who made the decision, but when the renovation was complete, our new living room had a fresh set of ceiling titties. Such ceiling titties have existed since the freaking Pantheon, but it definitely seems like they’ve been installed in every home in America over the last 20 years.

Fake-Death Truthers

According to P.I.s hired by life insurance companies to investigate mysterious, possibly fake deaths, the key to getting away with it is to leave no digital trace. That means abandoning your credit cards and phone, not repeatedly Googling your name and definitely not using Match.com. It also means somehow dodging these guys — who are on your tail from the moment you “die” and just waiting for you to slip up.

‘Natural Born Killers’ at 25

Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers was released 25 years ago amid much hype, controversy and shock. And while it seemed bold and provocative at the time (if frustrating), today the film feels especially shallow. It was supposed to be an examination of our fascination with violence and the tabloid treatment of serial killers, but in light of the very real violence and tragedy the country now deals with on a near-daily basis, Tim Grierson thinks the movie couldn’t have gotten things more wrong.

The Stigma of Therapy

For many, mental health is still a taboo topic. This is particularly true for black men, as they’ve often been raised to believe that therapy is only for “crazy people” or that it’s a “white person” thing. But LeRon Barton knows firsthand how that kind of thinking can nearly kill you, as it was therapy that saved him from a suicidal depression. And so, for him, being open about his mental health is essential to breaking down harmful myths about therapy and vulnerability in the black community

The Mystery of the Blank Tinder Profile Pic

Are the guys who leave their avatar empty intriguing men of mystery, or the height of sketchiness? Or is it sadder still, and they have such little confidence in their looks that they think a blank gray square is the only way anyone would ever swipe right on them?  

A Not-So-Beautiful Dark, Twisted Fantasy

What are you supposed to do when faced with selecting Tyreek Hill, who once strangled his pregnant girlfriend and was more recently accused of breaking the arm of his three-year-old son, in your fantasy draft? Much has been written about compiling an ethical fantasy football team, and others have donated their winnings to causes meant to help those who have been the victims of domestic violence and other transgressions committed by pro football players. But as Eddie Kim explains, it’s not really that clear-cut, especially given the contradictions already inherent in merely watching the NFL.

You Can See Yourself Out, Karen

Because thanks to Troy Aikman, the newest basic bitch is named Doug. And like Aikman, we’re all sick of his bullshit.

Getting Up In Them Guts of ‘Up In Them Guts’

TIL: The phrase “up in them guts” doesn’t simply refer to having penis-in-vagina sex. No, it actually refers to the act of having such extreme P-in-V that the woman’s uterus becomes ruptured, and the penis actually enters the “guts” territory of her body. Of course, not literally, but still. I can’t decide if I like the phrase more or less after reading Madeleine Holden’s cultural history of it. 

Doctor Do-Little

Rather than seeing a primary care doctor as part of routine health maintenance, many Americans see their general practitioner as simply a funnel to specialists — and more expensive procedures. In fact, in the U.S., one in three visits to a general practitioner result in a referral to a specialist, which is twice as many as in the U.K. So what’s the point of a primary care doctor, anyway?

David Arquette’s Indie Wrestling Redemption Tour

Pop-culture fans best know David Arquette for three things: 1) His place in the Arquette acting clan (Patricia, Roseanna, etc.); 2) his role as lovable lug Dewey in the Scream series; and 3) his marriage to Scream co-star Courteney Cox. Wrestling fans, however, know him best for his bullshit 2000 run as WCW World Champion as part of the promotion of the bullshit movie Ready to Rumble. It’s a legacy the now 47-year-old actor-cum-wrestler is attempting to fix by putting his body back on the line by competing in small-time indie wrestling events all over the country.

The Silver Lining to the Pizzadilla

Those viral food videos in which someone spends an absurd amount of time and energy concocting gut-busting (and ungodly) food monsters — such as the “pizzadilla” — are widely hated. But there’s at least one positive to them: For guys with eating disorders, watching these monstrosities be brought to life helps recreate the experience of binge-eating, without any of the consequences. (Now, whether that’s completely healthy or not…) 

Cherry-Picked Stoicism

Stoicism is a fundamental feature of the archetypal American man — he’s never supposed to cry, demonstrate vulnerability or express his feelings, just like the Hellenistic philosophers of 300 B.C.E. before him. But that’s not what Stoicism was back then at all. In fact, contemporary “Stoics” like Jordan Peterson have warped the original philosophy and are using it as an excuse to be an asshole — against what Stoicism once originally stood for.

Questions We Answered This Week

But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…