But can the company build on the momentum?

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Illustration: Sally Thurer

Last month, Snapchat achieved the kind of virality most companies can only dream of.

On May 8, Snapchat released a photo filter (a “Lens” in Snapchat parlance) that, by rounding a users’ face and smoothing away their wrinkles, transforms them into a toddler. Over the next two days, Snapchat also debuted a pair of gender-swap lenses, which either gave users a square jaw and stubble to look more stereotypically masculine, or a dolled-up, soft glow to look more feminine.

The lenses unleashed a torrent of content, mostly people showing the world what they’d look like if they flipped genders. Men “joked” about being attracted to the female versions of their bros, while women trolled their boyfriends with their rugged good looks. Many engaged in catfishing “pranks” (some of which backfired spectacularly) and others professed to wanting to literally go screw themselves. …

Those who have seen combat suffer through cold sweats, elevated heart rates and night terrors—all for your freedom to blow up loud shit

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This Fourth of July, one thing we can all agree on, regardless of political affiliation, is that it’s a good idea to show some appreciation for military veterans. Practically speaking, that means not being a dick about your firework displays.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is real, and it’s no secret that backyard explosions can be triggering for returning vets. And so, the past several years have seen an increase in awareness about the PTSD-fireworks connection, along with a corresponding call for people to be more courteous about their at-home fireworks displays. In fact, former servicemen have taken to putting placards in their yards identifying them as veterans and asking neighbors to light off their fireworks respectfully. …

Don’t believe me? Let’s ask a doctor.

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Photo via Jitze Couperus/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Remember the Winter Olympics? Yeah, me neither. The 2018 games were as forgettable as ever, but they did give us three important, life-altering revelations: Adam Rippon, Chloe Kim and the discovery that non-alcoholic beer is a great sports-recovery beverage.

Yep — beer like O’Doul’s, once considered the sole province of recovering alcoholics, actually contains the right balance of ingredients for aiding muscle recovery after strenuous exercise. Thank the German Olympic team for bringing this to our attention. …

We chatted with Nashville rock critic Dave Paulson about ‘Sandusky, Ohio,’ his musical retelling of the Chris Farley classic

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They say musical inspiration can come from anywhere, and for Nashville-based rock critic Dave Paulson, that came in the form of the classic 1995 Chris Farley–David Spade comedy Tommy Boy.

After years of working as a rock writer and heading a 1990s-themed cover band, Paulson released his first original, full-length album earlier this week. Titled Sandusky, Ohio, the nine-track album chronicles the travails of Tommy Callahan (Farley) and his triumphant return to his hometown of Sandusky to save the family auto-parts business.

Paulson’s album isn’t just inspired by Tommy Boy. It’s a musical retelling of the film.

It’s an admittedly bizarre, postmodern piece of art, Paulson tells me. But if Broadway can make a musical based on Bret Easton Ellis’ grotesquely violent American Psycho, then a record based on a lovable loser’s redemption journey seems not only plausible but downright inevitable. …

I showed a little leg and fished for compliments on a jaunt around L.A. It went worse than expected

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There’s a hot new male fashion trend, and it has legs. I’m talking about short shorts for guys. And I’m terrified.

After decades of baggy shorts (a trend arguably started by the Fab Five Michigan basketball team of 1991), the sartorial pendulum has swung back in the direction of men showing a little thigh.

We see this trend manifest in the success of Chubbies, an unabashedly bro-y menswear brand that made its name by relentless marketing their WASP-y, pastel-colored short-shorts to college-aged Chads on Facebook. The company has raised $16 million in venture capital funding, according to TechCrunch. The guy-thigh trend has spread to other popular menswear hubs like J.Crew, Bonobos and Everlane, where summer styles aren’t just limited to a traditional 9- or 10-inch hem. …

Here’s what you should eat instead

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Ah, breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

Or is it? A debate has broken out over the past few years within the wellness-industrial complex over the efficacy of breakfast. Some New Age health aficionados actually advocate for an intermittent fasting diet that often eschews breakfast. While their cousins, the keto enthusiasts, do eat breakfast, they opt for a breakfast high in fat, such as a hearty cup of butter-enriched coffee (hence the rise of Bulletproof). Others say a breakfast rich in fiber is needed for optimal alertness throughout the day.

The thing about all these options? None is particularly tasty. And as a keto advocate who puts a glob of coconut oil in his coffee every a.m., I can attest that Bulletproof is actually kinda gross. …

And here I felt guilty for eating sliced ham out of the bag

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You know you’re a bachelor when you’re eating cold cuts by the handful and passing it off as a legitimate meal (an act I’m personally guilty of committing). But some bachelors have elevated the sad single guy meal to new heights—or lows, depending on your perspective.

One of the unfortunate side effects of our patriarchal division of household chores and the dissolution of home economics courses, which were specifically meant to instill in boys the domestic skills they weren’t being taught in the home, is that young men often find themselves woefully unequipped to take care of themselves and those close to them. …

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Life can be exasperating in this simulated hellscape of ours, but occasionally, we’re treated to a delightful little respite — such as Wednesday’s news that Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, spent $2,749.62 on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos.”

The disclosure comes via The Intercept, whose article details the EPA’s runaway spending under Pruitt’s stewardship. For instance, Pruitt has spent $4.6 million of taxpayer money on various security items — $24,115 of which went toward tactical gear and body armor, including a $1,500 pair of tactical pants.

The disclosure conjures hilarious images of Pruitt playing make-believe war games in his backyard with oil tycoons, complete with barrel rolls for dramatic effect. Of course, it also raises a litany of follow-up questions, such as: What kind of pants cost $1,500? …

Emotionally distant at best, abusive and manipulative at worst

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If you’ve wondered why President Donald Trump often appears to be such a callous, bloviating ass, and why his first-born son, Don Jr., so often comes off as an insufferable tryhard straining to appear tough, then this newly published GQ profile of Jr. is more than instructive.

We’ve heard disturbing stories about Trump’s treatment of Donny before — including a college roommate’s account of Donald Sr. hitting his son in the face when he wasn’t dressed in a suit for a baseball game.

This article provides another startling glimpse into Jr.’s upbringing, specifically his fraught relationship with a father who comes off as emotionally distant at best and abusive and manipulative at worst. If we are all, to varying degrees, products of our environments, then learning about Don’s relationship with his father offers some insight into how he became such a relentless (and clueless) purveyor of right-wing propaganda, conspiracy theories and feeble attempts to own the libs. …

Let Brandon Morrow’s embarrassment serve as a reminder of all the hilariously dumb celebrity injuries of the modern age

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The human body is a mere vessel, and we were reminded of its tender fragility yesterday when Chicago Cubs closer Brandon Morrow was placed on the disabled list after injuring his back taking off his pants. Yep, you read that right: He was easing his left leg out of its pant when he suddenly felt his back spasm and lock up.

Laugh all you want at Morrow’s misfortune, but as someone with chronic back pain, I can attest that no one is safe—we’re always one swift, awkward movement away from a locked-up serratus posterior inferior, rendering us unable to walk for several days. …

About

John McDermott

Writer | Low-key thicc | @mcdermott

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