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Sunday Reads: The Cult of Joe Rogan, A History of Snitches Who Got Stitches and Wife Guys Gone Wild

God, I miss the days when Joe Rogan was only known as the host of Fear Factor. That said, the “ya fired” dude from The Apprentice is now the president, so I guess it only makes sense that “eat this plate of buffalo dick” Rogan is now a thought leader for young men everywhere. Shit, his fans’ obsession is so far around the bend that they’re trying to analyze his podcast for clues of his mental state. Maybe they’re worried because he’s been acting weird lately. Or maybe, Joe Rogan’s just making DMT-loving edgelords flex a little bit of their emotional intelligence

Must Read

The Back-Stabbing Cultural History of the Rat
There’s few things more hated in street culture than a snitch. To rat out your friends, colleagues and crime associates is to break a sacred code, a betrayal one can never recover from — assuming they manage to stay alive. Yet after his arrest for racketeering and weapons charges, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine snitched out everyone from Jim Jones to Cardi B in hopes of a lesser sentence. But while 6ix9ine is certainly the rat du jour, he certainly wasn’t the first, nor the most famous (we’re looking at you Judas). READ MORE

The Week in Features

The Hard-Shell Debate
If Taco Bell is the Facebook of hard shells, then Mitla Cafe, in San Bernardino, California, is the Winklevoss twins. That’s just one of the amazing stories in this oral history of the hard shell, where preeminent taco scholar Gustavo Arellano, food historian Jeffrey Pilcher and Mitla Cafe co-owner Michael Montaño have many, many more about this love-it-or-hate-it “Mexican” food.

Matt Lauer, Asshole

Eat The Rich?
Eddie Kim watched all three parts of the new Netflix documentary about Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Inside Bill’s Brain, and found himself tempted to view Gates as the last of a different kind of billionaire. Given his curiosity and desire to fix human problems, rather than obsess over his own place in a shining technocratic future, could it be that Gates is an actually decent guy?

Stop Hitting Yourself
Ever notice how hard it is to be nice to yourself? Being nice to other people seems easy by comparison. Psychologists think they’ve finally figured out why that is, and the reason is surprisingly straightforward.

When The Wife’s Away…
Like death and taxes, it’s quite certain that when the wives are away, the Wife Guys will play. But the longing to abandon all standards when you’re alone suggests that in some of these cases, men are substituting being in a relationship for personal growth.

What Hath Balloon Boy Wrought?
Ten years ago this week, a silver, helium-filled balloon drifted south from Fort Collins, Colorado, toward Denver International Airport. The nation lost its collective mind in the process. Without a doubt, the Balloon Boy hoax — i.e., when wannabe reality TV star Richard Heene attempted to use his son Falcon as a stepping stone to fame and fortune — was the original “Fake News.” In fact, the whole sorry saga bore the hallmarks of the bullshit that has consumed digital culture ever since.

The ‘Killers’ on TikTok
For the past few months, hundreds of teens and tweens have been role-playing serial killers and their battered victims on TikTok, paying homage to each in bizarre, tone-deaf videos that air for an audience of millions. While not quite as popular as some of the social video app’s other trending topics, it’s enough that TikTok and its users are beginning to see some well-deserved backlash.

The Trading-Card Economy
The threat of recession on the housing market, employment and our bank accounts is bad enough for most people. But then again, fans of popular trading-card games like Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering aren’t most people. Still, recession fears are alive and well among those communities, too — namely, will their prized decks hold their value? Or will they crash and burn, like everything else? Collectors are worried.

Five Things We Learned This Week

  1. “Fast-acting weed pills” are “fast-acting” because the cannabinoids are coated in fat globules. It’s one of the lil’ bits of innovation bringing weed consumption into the 21st century. 
  2. Cocaine makes you need to shit because it impacts certain neurotransmitters. Your digestive system is closely linked to your brain, meaning serotonin and dopamine play a big role in dictating when you’ve gotta go.
  3. About one in 5,000 people are born without a butthole. As you might expect, it’s a pretty miserable condition.
  4. Compared to fake butter, real butter isn’t all that bad for you. Margarine is so full of trans fats, even McDonald’s has stopped using it.
  5. Ya boy Bernie Sanders may be an old dude with heart trouble, but damn it if he can’t SWING IT. Say what you want about his politics, but he wields the lumber better than Aaron Judge

Quote of the Week

Laugh if you must, but it’s not just King of the Hill’s Dale Gribble who believes that “pocket sand” is the ultimate repellent against physical attack. What started as a harmless joke about one of the show’s seminal gags has now seemingly morphed into an actual defense strategy for a large number of dudes.

But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…