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Sunday Reads: An Oral History of the Throat-Rip Scene in ‘Road House,’ Tripping Balls on Iboga and Condom Vending Machines, RIP

Last week, Twitter was set alight arguing over whether Brad Pitt was the last good-looking white man. Some agreed that he was; others balked at the claim. Personally, I think everyone’s got their heads up their asses, because the last good-looking white man was clearly Patrick Swayze — and he died a decade ago. You really think Brad Pitt at his Legends of the Fall-finest could hold a candle to Swayze as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing? I think not. Don’t even get me started on Swayze as John Dalton in Road House. Sadly, though, most people don’t remember Road House for his hotness and instead focus a bit more on the film’s iconic throat-rip scene. Funnily enough, we just published an oral history on the topic

See the segue I just pulled off there?

Must Read

The Perilous Trip of Iboga, Africa’s Premier Psychedelic
Iboga, the product of the root bark of a shrub with powerful psychoactive properties, has been used for shamanistic rituals in Equatorial Africa for centuries. So today, of course, there’s a booming eco-tourism industry offering foreigners the chance to try it. But exploitation comes at a price, namely the disruption of local communities and the commercialization of something that was never meant to be monetized. Still, scientists agree the therapeutic potential of iboga is limitless, particularly in regards to opiate addiction. READ MORE

The Week In Features

A Fryer Without the Fat
Could an air fryer be the fat-reducing olive branch in the war between fried foods and a desire not to die young? In his never-ending quest to cheat his way to a healthy life, Jeff Gross attempted to find out

Have you seen the bit about how men only contribute to housekeeping and child-rearing so that their wives will sleep with them, or in one viral version online, give them a blow job? 

No one would actually do that, would they? Unfortunately, it seems they would. In fact, Madeleine Holden found that bartering chores for sexual favors is relatively common. A sad fact that highlights how, despite improvements in the division of household labor, cleaning and taking care of the kids are still often considered a woman’s job

RIP to the Condom Vending Machine
We haven’t stopped using condoms — thank God for that — but in the last 30 years or so, the once ubiquitous condom vending machine has almost entirely disappeared. Brian VanHooker unwrapped the 100-year history of the men’s restroom convenience, and found that, while condom vending machines were once so common blue-collar workers could build a career solely around servicing them, one massive change in our culture has meant that there’s just no market for them anymore

There’s Gains, and Then There’s #FaceGains
You can’t just open and close your mouth 100 times a day and expect to build muscle and burn fat off your face, and yet, many Fitness Instagrammers using the #facegains hashtag are seemingly to be obsessed with the possibility

Working-Class Heroes
As more young people seek flexibility and purpose over compensation and stability, what it means to among the working class is shifting as well. With an increasingly diverse and highly educated demographic filling the category, the working class of the future may not look the same as it has in previous decades.

The Week in Film

  • There’s only been one male “scream queen,” and he promptly disappeared after his debut. As a closeted young gay guy, Mark Patton hoped starring in a Nightmare On Elm Street sequel would kickstart his career. But because of the movie’s homosexual overtones and his girlish scream, it ended his career entirely
  • The Fast & Furious franchise isn’t successful because it’s “good” by intellectual standards, but because it’s good by our most fun and reckless ones. For some reason, the latest installment, Hobbs & Shaw, doesn’t seem to get that.
  • When an actor is cast as a superhero, he usually needs to make a massive physical transformation. At press junkets, he’ll often chalk up his impossible swoleness to working out and brown rice and chicken breast. But should we believe it?
  • Lulu Wang’s tragic but deeply funny debut feature,The Farewell, explores the regret and pressure many millennial immigrants feel in the context of their family and tradition. Eddie Kim, the son of Korean immigrants, explains why the narrative of loss in The Farewell feels so relatable

But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…