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Sunday Reads: Moon-Haters, Mega-Yacht Influencers and Jessica Rabbit-Fueled Fantasies

You hear that? Silence. No football, no drunk football fans, nothing. For some of you, the idea of a football-less Sunday is a welcome respite. For others, you might be counting the days until preseason. Regardless, it’s probably a good thing to have a nice, quiet weekend to sit back, reflect and settle in for some “me” time. And you can’t spell “me” without the M-E in MEL.

Must Read of the Week

“What Does Military Service Look Like for a Gen Z Soldier?”
Which generation is cleaning the latrines, working KP duty and fighting on the front lines these days? It’s not millennials — it’s Gen Z, a generation raised on the internet and looking to get Instagram famous. That, of course, makes it harder and harder for recruiters to fill their 75,000-plus quotas each year. And for the Gen Zers who do enlist, the idea of life in the military often hardly resembles the reality. Andrew Fiouzi spoke to two active duty service members, both 22, about what it’s like to be a member of the military during a time when no one wants to enlist. READ MORE

The Week in Features

Hey Yo, Moon: Kiss My Ass

Some guys hate the moon. Not for any good reason, mind you. They just think it’s plain overrated, while others can’t separate it from astrology, menstrual cycles and man’s unending quest to conquer the unknown.

Killing in the Name of…

How far would you go to stop ecological collapse? As climate change worsens — and politicians in this country appear less and less inclined to do anything about it — a new generation of eco-terrorists have decided that they’re willing to kill to save our world. To ascertain the dangers they might bring, Zaron Burnett III interviewed Jamie Bartlett, author of a controversial essay entitled “The Next Wave of Extremists Will Be Green.”

Scam Season Never Ends

Scams have been seemingly everywhere for a while now, with a hot new one popping up what feels like every few months. The evidence: Billy McFarland and the Fyre Festival; Anna Delvey, aka the “SoHo Grifter”; the Elizabeth Holmes shit-show at Theranos; fabulist Daniel Mallory, er, A.J. Finn. And the list goes on. But were all of these cases actually scams? Was it fraud? Shit, what’s a grift, anyway? We asked some experts to set us straight.

Horny for Rabbit

Having a thing for cartoons is nothing new — just Google “Hentai.” But years ago, one “toon” cut through to the mainstream and sparked a whole generation’s sexual awakening: Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s Jessica Rabbit.

‘It Doesn’t Count, I’m Gay’

For the most part, straight men have been the target of the #MeToo movement — and with good reason. But that same sort of behavior occurs between straight women and gay men, and often goes ignored. Features writer C. Brian Smith explored the complexities of sexual harassment when sexual attraction might not even be a factor.

#YACHTLIFE Isn’t As Good As It Seems

You know, and I know, that most of Instagram is completely fake. Case in point: Professional yacht influencers, who post from mega yachts as if they own the things, but are really only there to sell that “yacht life” to the Davos set.

And You Thought You Were Afraid of the Dentist…

Back in Ye Old Days, a man could go to the barber for a fresh cut AND get his rotten tooth pulled out — all in one visit. Miles Klee takes a gander back to the time of the barber surgeon, the Middle Age’s one-stop shop for just about everything that ailed you.

The Men We Loved This Week

“Meet the #Brickheads — The Millennial Guys Staying Home on Friday Night to Play with LEGOs”

A few weeks back, we wrote about the guys who love jigsaw puzzles. This week, in a supreme effort to one-up ourselves, we talked to some guys who find that same relaxation by building with LEGOs. Or as one such guy put it, “It’s just so relaxing to spend a night in, grab a drink, turn some music on and build a set. It puts my mind into a focus mode that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in my life.”

What Kept Me Up At Night This Week

What’s In This?: Top Ramen

You probably could have guessed this, but there isn’t a single healthy ingredient in a 39-cent pack of Top Ramen. That however, doesn’t make it any less jaw-dropping to realize that there’s a whopping 30 ingredients in a bag that’s ostensibly dried noodles and some flavor crystals.

The MEL Wayback Machine

I Was Importing Mescal Into The U.S. 30 Years Before It Became Popular

I’ve started getting into into mescal lately, and for the first time, I actually care about the ingredients and quality of my liquor, instead of buying the cheapest rotgut on the shelf. This week last year, the first man to import mescal into the U.S., Rodrigo Rodriguez, told us what it was like to be a mescal aficionado before it was hip.

But Dont Just Take Our Word For It

With actor Steve Bean Levy’s obituary hitting the internet last week, many outlets have been revisiting his devastating account of his battle with sino-nasal squamous cell carcinoma (or as he joked, “in English, I translated that to ‘Nose Cancer.’)

Meanwhile, a number of readers pointed to the heavens themselves for our piece on why men must touch the top of doorframes:

Also, even we never thought our recent story about the mystery of hard MALE nipples would find cultural relevance so quickly — thank you Adam Levine!

Best of all, though, we received lots of renewed love for our celebration of Michael Bolton’s contribution to comedy — from Food Network star Ted Allen…

…to the golden-throated, hilarious Bolton himself:

His reaction only made everything worth it: