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Sunday Reads: The Anthems of the Nice Guys and the Working Class, Martha Stewart’s Street Cred and the Year-Round Beanie Guys

I ordinarily love to rip to shreds celebrities who hide behind a faux working-class identity. But I refuse when it involves Bruce Springsteen. I probably, though, just gotta accept that when it comes to musicians, a lot of our idols rely on a false persona. I’m sure Alice Cooper really is capable of embodying the whole “No More Mr. Nice Guy” identity off-stage, but it’s probably better that he doesn’t. And if I really want to listen to some true working-class anthems, I have plenty of other options. So I’ll just appreciate Springsteen for creating the ultimate ode to horniness, instead. 

Must Read

Martha Stewart, Ultimate Gangster
In 2004, Martha Stewart faced the indignity of a heavily publicized six-week jury trial that resulted in guilty verdicts across the board. But as her culinary TV collaborator Snoop Dogg loves to point out, she never snitched on anyone. Fast-forward to today, and the current case against Tekashi 6ix9ine, who has testified against various co-conspirators in his RICO trial in the hope of reducing his sentence. If only 6ix9ine knew what Stewart clearly understands: Snitches get finely embroidered stitches. READ MORE

The Week In Features

No More Mr. Nice Guy
When we think about Nice Guys, we probably think about the numerous recent exposes demonstrating how they’re anything but. Yet musicians have been writing songs about Nice Guys for decades, in everything from sensitive ballads to hardcore rap, that have always seemingly understood that there’s a lot more to the Nice Guy than he lets on.

Beanie Babies
The decision to wear a wool cap on a hot summer day defies logic, and yet, that’s exactly what Beanie Guys do. Like, aren’t you warm, bro? To better understand the mysterious year-round beanie wearers, Andrew Fiouzi pretended to be one for a week. And he found that there’s more to this trend than just a fashion statement.

Man on a Misson
We’re all used to people doing strange things for YouTube views, but you’ve likely never seen anything as wickedly funny, genuinely inspiring and incredibly dumb as Tom Davies’ “Mission Across Wales.” Eddie Kim profiled the absolute madlad who decided to walk across an entire country, in a straight line, with a GoPro strapped to him. Naturally, hilarity ensued.

I’m Not Crying at Work, You’re Crying at Work
Crying on the job is a surprisingly frequent occurrence, and the data suggests that, in bathroom stalls, service corridors and stairwells everywhere, workplace blubbering might be on the rise. It’s a side effect of our fast-paced, digital working environment, say the experts, and it can come with tremendous consequences — for both the crier and their co-workers.

The Handsome Director
Somewhere along the line, a lot of the men behind Hollywood’s cameras have gotten really, really, ridiculously good-looking: Cary Fukunaga, Ryan Coogler, and heck, throw David Lynch in there too — just to name a few. So when, and how, did the dudes shouting “Cut!” get so smoldering? Mike Rampton has some theories.

Illegal Tender
There are numerous examples of fake tips that people have shared on the internet — mostly by justifiably pissed-off food servers who, instead of getting the tip they deserved, received some fake money with either a political or religious message.

It’s an obviously shitty move, but is it even legal? Brian VanHooker reached out to the Secret Service — the department in charge of investigating counterfeit money, not the bodyguards — to find out more.

The Worst Kind of Luck
What happens to you when you reach your lowest point? Christopher Nalley knows rock bottom all too well, having been there not once, not twice, but three times as a result of two lung transplants in a battle against cystic fibrosis. Though he might be waiting to die — even the best lung transplants don’t last forever — he hasn’t let it stop him from being happy for every day he has in the meantime.

NoFappers Gonna App
For the typical schmo, habit-tracking apps such as Habitshare are designed to help you live a productive, healthy lifestyle. But for the reformed formerly “unhealthy” masturbators of the NoFap movement, they’re great for another reason: To gamify their abstinence — and thanks to these apps’ social components, make a few friends in the process.

Teenage Terror

Left Out in the #MeToo Cold
#MeToo has rightfully been lauded as a long-past-its-due reckoning for powerful, predatory men, and a new beginning for women tired of being abused (most especially in the workplace). Yet the fact remains — there are men who have also been abused who feel largely left out of #MeToo. And while they applaud the movement’s efforts and decidedly don’t want to make it about them, the “men vs. women” framing isn’t doing anyone any favors — and runs completely counter to its founding principles.

Five Things We Learned This Week

  1. Parking lots aren’t meant to stay parking lots forever. People in the real-estate biz often buy them as a way of covering costs while they wait for gentrification to creep in.
  2. Despite their fishy taste and oily appearance, sardines are the healthiest meal in a can. Sadly, all the salty canned meats that actually taste good are nowhere near as good for you.
  3. Your bachelor pad is the ultimate cock-block. Small things like your sheets, that katana you’ve had since you were 16 and the lotion you keep on your nightstand (for your, um, eczema) can be big red flags for your female guests.
  4. Real men work out in jeans and a polo shirt. They say it saves them time during the day to squeeze in a workout, and that it’s a totally normal thing to do considering people sweat in their regular clothes outside the gym without even thinking about it.
  5. The Red Baron was a real dude, and he was a real killer. How this infamous World War I German pilot ended up hawking pizzas in the frozen-food aisle at your local Piggly-Wiggly is another question entirely

Quote of the Week

Pregnancy pillows are specifically designed to prop up pregnant people who need extra support for an inflating womb — because it’s hard to sleep facedown or faceup when carrying around a beach ball in your stomach. But like all soft things encountered after dark, they’re also catching the leering eyes of curious husbands, eager to test-drive a different sort of nocturnal embrace.

But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…