5 Terrifying Diseases From History (People Just Made Up)

We’ve all read alarmist news stories about dangerous fads taking over the country which later turned out to be total crap. There were never any Satanic daycare centers, no teenager on the planet has ever played the so-called knockout game, and no one actually likes pumpkin spice. But if you think those are byproducts of a gullible modern age, keep in mind that history gave us mass panics that were even stupider. For example …

5

The “Crack Baby” Epidemic Was Nothing But Bunk Science

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, America was terrified at the prospect of raising a generation of mentally handicapped, drug-addicted children. “Crack babies” were created when women used crack cocaine while pregnant, either ignorant of or indifferent to the effects the drug would have on their unborn children. The New York Times predicted that as many as four million crack babies would eventually be born, crippling the otherwise-flawless American education system.

The fact that you probably haven’t been mugged by a single crack-crazed lunatic manchild this year should tell you that this didn’t come to pass. But how did the media get it so wrong? Well, it was true that crack surged in popularity at the time, but it is equally true that America has never met a trend that it couldn’t blow out of proportion. Sketchy reporters didn’t merely portray crack-smoking mothers as people who had made some bad choices — they painted these women as broken and loveless, barely able to function in society and creating a “bio-underclass” of doomed babies who were “oblivious to affection.” If even half the reports on crack were accurate, society was a generation away from turning into a Phillip K. Dick novel.

“But was the panic based on science?” you may be asking. The answer is … uh, sort of. Specifically, the scare was based on a study of 23 infants who had been exposed to crack. We didn’t forget several zeroes there — the study had fewer participants than a pick-up basketball league. Oh, and it only studied them as babies, which meant there was no information on what kind of adults they would grow up to be. Sure enough, subsequent studies on adults who had been exposed to crack in the womb showed only minor neurological problems, if there were any at all.

The New York Times “If your crack baby is so smart, then why do I beat it in chess most of the time?”

But the damage was done. Women who do drugs during pregnancy were, and still are, punished far more harshly than women who smoke or drink, and get hit with criminal charges or have their children taken, instead of, you know, being helped. Meanwhile, politicians and government officials peddled the myth that crack babies were an expensive drain on society, costing as much as a million dollars each to raise to adulthood.

And yes, the fact that crack was supposedly the scary new drug of choice for poor African Americans absolutely fueled the “crisis.” The Atlantic dug up an old newspaper article called “Disaster In Making: Crack Babies Start To Grow Up,” which argued that a wave of Mad-Maxian criminal youth was on the horizon. The panic was a big part of how we got the equally overblown fear of “super predators,” roving gangs of primarily black teenagers who would commit crimes, but like, really well. Luckily, the media seems to have learned its lesson and is treating the current opioid crisis, which happens to be hitting white Americans the hardest, with much more sensitivity.

4

“K Syndrome” Was Deadly To Nazis … And No One Else

Unlike the other diseases here, K Syndrome’s invention was a good thing, even if it sounds like something you’d get from eating a disturbing amount of Special K. The only known outbreak occurred in 1943, when Nazi soldiers started rounding up Italian Jews. Italian doctor Vittorio Sacerdoti, knowing what that meant and wanting absolutely nothing to do with it, began admitting anyone who could reach his hospital as patients. Once inside, they were immediately diagnosed with K Syndrome, a rare condition remarkable for its ability to repel Nazis.

When soldiers entered the hospital, Sacerdoti warned them that his patients had an incredibly deadly and contagious disease. To sell this claim, the “infected” kept coughing while the Nazis were around, and the sound discouraged the soldiers from entering the patients’ rooms and discovering the charade. And so the soldiers hightailed it out of there immediately, because even Nazis had limits on how far they’d go to do their jobs.

BBC “They would do anything for Lebensraum, but they won’t do that.”

It’s unclear how many lives K Syndome (named after Nazi field marshal Albert Kesselring, and also used to hide political dissidents and an underground radio station) saved, but estimates range from dozens to hundreds. Sacerdoti and his colleagues were honored after the war, and surviving Nazis who learned about the trick probably felt rather silly for claiming that they were part of an intellectually superior race.

3

Scientific Racism Invented A Mental Disorder To Explain Why Slaves Kept Trying To Escape

Back when slavery was legal, slaves naturally kept trying to get to freedom, because (and this is apparently still a shock to some Americans) being a slave sucked pretty hard. Slaveowners needed an explanation for why escape attempts kept happening that wasn’t “Declaring other people to be property and forcing them to live and work in inhumane conditions makes us some of history’s greatest monsters,” so they turned to science for an answer. Science wasn’t available, but its lunatic hillbilly cousin was more than happy to step in.

Enter physician Samuel A. Cartwright. In 1851, he published “Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” and you know with a title like that you’re in a for a rough ride. He outlined two mental illnesses he had “discovered,” because only some bizarre affliction could possibly explain why anyone would want to escape slavery.

via Wiki Commons “No mentally stable non-slaves are uppity about being slaves.”

Cartwright argued that because there’s a quote in the Bible that said slaves should obey their masters, and since God created black people to be inferior servants, any African American trying to escape their natural position was obviously sick (slaves would have presumably interpreted the scripture differently, but Cartwright apparently didn’t get around to asking them). This illness, dubbed Drapetomania, was caused either when white men treated blacks as equals, or when slaves were treated poorly. Cartwright’s prescribed cure was to treat slaves as children — keep them well-fed, don’t overwork them, and be kind, but deny them the freedoms of adults and whip them if they disobeyed. This would supposedly cure the scourge of Drapetomania (unless the slaves lived on the border of an abolitionist state, in which case it was incurable).

Cartwright also invented Dysaesthesia Aethiopica, essentially a fancy name for “not wanting to work 19 hours a day for no money.” Slaves, it seems, sometimes didn’t want to do the work they were being imprisoned and forced with violence to do (if you can imagine). Sometimes they even purposely caused damage or disturbances to avoid work! To Cartwright, this was proof not that slaves were unhappy, but of a mental illness which was the “natural offspring of negro liberty.” African Americans who found themselves with a lot of spare time on their hands from not being enslaved enough, or even at all, were prone to living a destructive lifestyle. Luckily, such a terrible affliction could be cured by ensuring that they were putting in good long days of honest unpaid work.

It’s easy to look back and laugh off Cartwright as a crackpot desperately trying to justify awful behavior. That is, in fact, exactly what free states did when his ideas made it north. But at the same time, his theories were popular among Southerners who wanted a “scientific” explanation for slaves not wanting to be slaves. If you live in a culture in which slavery is normal, then fleeing it is abnormal, and people will bend over backwards to explain that abnormality before pausing to look at their own behavior. That’s a phenomenon that helps explain, oh, about 99 percent of the behavior that you dislike in the world.

2

Werther, The 18th-Century Novel That Made Teens Commit Suicide

13 Reasons Why received some criticism for glamorizing suicide and potentially enabling the Werther Effect, wherein a popular portrayal of suicide inspires real-life copycats. The effects of the media’s treatment of suicide is an incredibly complicated subject with no clear answers, despite what the people arguing on your Facebook page are claiming. But what is clear is that the Werther Effect’s namesake was a bullshit urban legend.

The name is derived not from those butterscotch candies whose presence in every nursing home reminds you of your inevitable decline, but from The Sorrows Of Young Werther, a 1774 novel by the most German-named man ever, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It’s about a sensitive young artist who falls in love with an engaged woman, and is so distraught by the fact that they’ll never be together that he takes his own life. Basically, it makes Romeo And Juliet look like a feel good rom-com.

HP Haack To this day, Germans remain unable to laugh.

Werther became a smash hit across Europe and North America, because mopey protagonists will be popular until the end of time. Men dressed up like him, and merchandise like plates with engravings of scenes from the book were pumped out, because nothing enhances dinner like slowly revealing a suicide with each bite of schnitzel. There was only one problem: Werther was also inspiring troubled youths to take their lives, presumably in the hopes that they too would be immortalized on a plate.

One obituary mentioned that a suicide victim owned a copy of the book, and called on readers to “defeat the evil tendency of that pernicious work.” A young man supposedly jumped off a building with the book, and a mother claimed that her son had underlined various passages before taking his own life, among many other stories of suicides staged by victims who wanted to make it clear that Werther inspired them. Citing this rash of suicides, authorities in Italy, Denmark, and the city of Leipzig banned both the book and costumes based on the book (that’s right, they outlawed cosplay). One religious leader called it “heinous,” while another supposedly bought up all the copies he could find to prevent the public from having access to its terrible message. People either couldn’t wait to read it or couldn’t wait to see it destroyed for the sake of the public good.

It was an epidemic … with no evidence to support it. All of those “suicides” were stories of nameless victims that couldn’t be traced back to a legitimate source. It was, as far as anyone can tell, a scandal invented by moralizing hand-wringers. Again, the link between fictional suicide and real suicide is complicated, but at least no one was really throwing themselves to their doom because an 18th-century LiveJournal made it look cool.

1

“Fan Death” Terrifies South Koreans, Confuses Everyone Else

If you live in a climate that feels like Satan’s sweaty ball sack during the height of summer, you’ve probably left a fan on overnight and never given it a second thought. But if you do that in South Korea, people are going to ask you why your dumb ass has a death wish.

A significant portion of the Korean population believes that running a fan in a closed room will kill you dead, even though no one can agree why. Some argue that it causes hypothermia, others say that all of the oxygen is sucked away or rendered stale, while a third theory posits that the fan somehow converts oxygen into carbon dioxide, like an evil reverse-tree which proves man shouldn’t mock nature. And this isn’t some silly urban legend that only kids believe. A state-funded consumer agency listed “asphyxiation from electric fans and air-conditioners” as a common summer accident citizens should be careful to avoid.

Na-Rae Han Meanwhile, North Koreans don’t have these superstitions, or electricity.

You may be tempted to dismiss this as another “ignorant foreigners being wacky” story that your relatives on Facebook love so much, but what do you think South Koreans would have to say about Westerners who refuse to vaccinate their kids, or believe that fluoridated water is part of a government plot to make the population lethargic and malleable? Something crazy can become true if everyone agrees that it is. Stories of fans killing people often make South Korean news, because sometimes people die in their sleep, and you can’t prove that the fan didn’t contribute. One supposed mysterious death from the 1970s, of a man who was found dead in a sealed room with two fans running, is believed to have popularized the myth … unless you want to go further down the rabbit hole, and subscribe to the belief that the country’s military dictatorship invented the myth to curb electricity consumption during a ’70s energy crisis. Of course, that’s exactly what Big Fan wants us to think.

The latest shocking epidemic is buying Mark’s book and following him on Twitter.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25355_5-terrifying-diseases-from-history-people-just-made-up.html

The Dark Side Of Crowdfunding (Nobody Talks About)

If the worst should ever happen to your health, there’s a good chance that you’ll turn to a crowdfunding website, such as GoFundMe or JustGiving, to fill the gap left by our night-terror-inducing healthcare system. The reason for this is simple: There are no insurance brokers or complicated paperwork, just a group of people desperate to throw their money at good causes for the sheer humanity of it all. That’s not hyperbole, by the way. In little under a decade, crowdfunding campaigns for medical expenses have brought in over $1 billion in donations.

When such campaigns go viral, the media often reports them as heartwarming stories of human altruism, proof that although the world might appear to be losing its mind, there are still helpers out there. That’s … a good angle.

It certainly makes us feel better about the fact that these sites are taking a cut of everyone’s donations. There’s a darker narrative, however, which both the media and us are ignoring: the fact that these sites are failing, albeit unintentionally, the vast majority of their users.

These might seem like wildly different things at face value, but launching a crowdfunding campaign is exactly like launching a new business. It’s not enough to have a donations page for your condition; you need to know how to sell yourself to potential donors (something your mom was pretty good at, or so we’ve heard). When it comes to crowdfunding, that involves providing constant updates, writing good copy, producing and editing video, promoting your campaign everywhere, and a whole other bunch of skills and connections. This isn’t something we dreamt up, by the way. It comes courtesy of Indiegogo, and holy shit, it’s so far beyond the abilities of the average healthy and able-bodied person, never mind someone with a long-term, painful, time-and-energy-consuming medical problem. It isn’t even funny.

If you’re lacking in marketing ability, your best hope is to accidentally go viral by, say, being so terribly ill that not donating is, strictly speaking, a crime against humanity. And that’s great if you’re suffering from a “faultless” problem like cancer — you know, something that people can see and know isn’t your fault, unlike mental health issues or addiction problems. The internet is good and altruistic and shit, but it’s still judgmental.

It’s no surprise, then, that only a small number of crowdfunding campaigns succeed — roughly one in three, most of which are perpetual motion machines. When it comes to medical crowdfunding specifically, however, that success rate plummets to … 11 percent, roughly one in ten.

If you’re fortunate enough to make your goal, the problems don’t end there. Although crowdfunded money can help fight off CLL, TB, and LD, it can also cause a case of the horrific condition known as “IRS.” Often presenting in the form of an unwelcome audit, there are numerous cases of people receiving money from campaigns, only to have more stress piled on afterward when the IRS starts asking for its cut.

If you’re able to prove where the donations went, it’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll have to pay what they’re asking. It’s just a massive pain in the ass on top of the other bitingly real pains you’re feeling elsewhere.

If you think the worst thing that can result from receiving mad internet stacks is some mild-to-major inconvenience, think again. If you’re receiving any form of state assistance when you collect your donations, well, you won’t be receiving it for much longer, as these unfortunate welfare recipients found, to their horror. It isn’t like taxes, however, where a couple of forms to declare the donations is enough. If you’re receiving state benefits, you’re categorically not allowed to receive crowdfunded money.

So how do we solve these problems? Well, we can’t. These aren’t problems that can be fixed with an algorithm update. They’re facts of human psychology, with some legislative fuckiness for good measure. You’re more likely to give money to a campaign with updates, because you can see the effect you’re having (and maybe get some sweet, sweet praise), and the vast majority of us will always choose to give money to someone we perceive as an “innocent” victim over someone with a condition that we perceive to have been self-inflicted (e.g. addiction). If you’re one of those people who can look past facts like these and give selflessly without reward or judgment, that’s great. But you’re likely in the minority, and the minority a successful crowdfunding campaign does not make.

Our only solution to these problems, therefore, is to focus on fixing our healthcare system, so that we don’t need to beg for medicine money on the internet like something you’d ordinarily expect to find mentioned as a world-building detail in the background of a dystopian epic. That’s what the media should be focusing its energies on. By continuing to focus on the narrative that crowdfunding is a great way to raise money if you’re sick, news outlets are betraying the overwhelming number of people for whom it does not and can never work, as well as everyone else, since they’re investing time and attention on rare acts of goodwill instead of the overwhelming problems with our healthcare system.

i24News

We’re not being heartless. These are great headlines to see, especially considering the crazy times we’re living in right now. It’s so, so easy to imagine that the world is a cold, hyper-partisan husk of dirt, and these headlines are proof against that argument. This is not something, however, that we as ordinary people should be celebrating. When the chips are down, the media is capable of doing great things, and they should be trying their damnedest to effect real change when it comes to the healthcare debate that’s raging all the goddamn time, not fawning over viral charity drives and creating the illusion that this is doable for everyone who needs help.

For every headline that sells the dream about the money that’ll allow you to live your life (or even keep on living) being a simple case of passing the sign-up page …

Fox40

… there are nine others like this, which prove that dream is nothing but, well, a dream.

We can’t help but stress this enough, but we love the fact that there’s an entire industry working to keep people alive — or at least, alive and without an infarction-inducing medical bill to show for it. That’s the dream of an interconnected world. But we also need to face up to the fact that whenever you see a headline espousing the benefits of crowdfunding, it’s selling a lie to nine in every ten people who take them up on that offer. The truth might not be heartwarming, but it sure as hell beats how heartbreaking that fact is.

Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter about depressing history that you can subscribe to. It’s really good, honest.

Why not help your kids put together their own rainy day fund with a Schylling Rubber Piggy Bank? That way, they can’t break it!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25197_the-dark-side-crowdfunding-nobody-talks-about.html

Schwarzenegger Did A Creepy Soft-Porn Travel Video In 1983

In 1983, Arnold Schwarzenegger teamed up with Playboy Entertainment to make an educational travel video about Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At least, that was the intention. They wound up making something halfway between a manifesto on why Arnie loves Brazilian ass and an instructional guide on how to sexually assault co-workers.

You can watch the entire thing below (NSFW, as if you couldn’t guess). It’s a little over five minutes long, yet crams in more raw sexual aggression by a male actor than anything I’ve ever seen — and I’ve watched all of Entourage.

The first minute and a half is mostly lingering shots of Rio’s natural beauty — its beaches, its vegetation, its gyrating tits and asses — overlaid with Schwarzenegger’s even-toned introductory voiceover, which could be confused for something from a David Attenborough nature documentary if only it didn’t cram in two sets of exposed breasts before the opening titles.

Arnold’s first stop is the Oba Oba night club, where he’s treated to drinks and a dance show with his guide and interpreter, an attractive young woman who wears a petrified expression that perfectly captures what it’s like to be cornered by a horny Austrian Sasquatch. In a moment that tells you everything you need to know about the inner workings of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s brain, she tells him that Brazilians toast by clinking their glasses and saying the Portuguese word for “health,” which Arnold mishears as “power.” There isn’t an accent on Earth in which the English word “health” sounds like the word “power.” There’s something symbolic in watching a clearly uncomfortable woman saying a word that represents well-being, but being misheard by an big man who thinks she said the word for the utter domination of the weak. Arnold Freudian-slipped words that came from someone else’s mouth.

The woman (Who is never named. None of them are. I’ll call this one Ana) explains to Arnold that American men like boobs, whereas Brazilian men prefer asses. Arnold uses this as an opportunity to turn his ass-based kinship with Brazilian men into the first of what very quickly snowballs into the thousands of sex atrocities he commits throughout the video. It begins simply, with an aggressively flirtatious chuckle in his own admission that he likes asses. Ana responds by nervously stirring her drink so aggressively that she might be trying to create a tornado that will fling her thousands of miles away.

As a dancer approaches, Arnold turns his hands into goggles and starts nodding with his mouth open, like he’s a pit bull whose thirst can only be quenched by Brazilian ass.

This moment held such poignancy that Arnold needed the weight and flowery verbiage of his Attenborough-esque narration to truly capture it: “You know something — after watching the mulatas shake it, I can absolutely understand why Brazil is totally devoted to my favorite body part, the ass.” The future governor of California has the observations of a 13-year-old who cites PornHub’s Brazilian fart porn channel in the bibliography of his geography report on Rio.

After quickly proving that South America will lose 87 percent of its chlamydia the moment his plane departs, Arnold is invited on stage to dance. You can see the moment he realizes this dancing thing isn’t really working out for him. Quick thinker that he is, on the spot he comes up with a brilliant three-stage plan to save face:

Stage 1: Grope one dancer’s ass while spinning her to create a turnstile which alternates between horny joy and abject fear.

Stage 2: Start humping another dancer from behind, much to her displeasure.

Stage 3: Shove your face directly into the crotch of the third dancer and perform a head-bobbing motion that looks like you’re sucking on her protruding vagina.

With all three accomplished, Arnold wins dancing. Raise your trophy aloft, Mr. Universe!

With the scene awash in a dreamy haze that lets us know we’re about to watch a walking boner’s actual sex fantasy, Arnold sits down for a mentally stimulating lunch with a beautiful Portuguese language teacher who was tragically born without a name. I’ll call her Sofia. Sofia teaches Arnold the word amore, meaning love. Perhaps to show off a little, Arnie whips out a word he learned the day before: bunda, a Portuguese slang term for ass. Left on the cutting room floor was footage of Arnold showing off more Portuguese words he learned the day before, like “E. coli” and “pinkeye.”

His commitment to their cultural exchange compels him to teach Sofia the word “biting.” He even gives a little demonstration by snapping into a carrot. From there, the two get lost in a wonderful afternoon exchanging ideas, teaching each other words and phrases of their homelands — or in Arnold’s case, adopted homeland. They laugh and think. They learn and bond. Lunch becomes dinner and dinner becomes dessert. When they’re done scraping their plates clean of delicious flan, they walk away intellectually satisfied and spiritually enriched.

None of that happens. Instead he mouth-fucks her with a carrot while moaning “Yes …” indicating to the head of wardrobe that he just ruined another pair of child-sized Bermuda shorts.

A used VHS copy was available on Amazon for $159.99 just a couple of days before I turned in this column, only to be replaced by a new listing for $189.99. VHS copies of this thing are the new Bitcoin. Stock up, then sell them off to pay your kid’s way through college. This five-minute sizzle reel of horrifying misogynistic behavior was available for purchase on Amazon before Arnold ran for governor of California back in 2003. There are still some reviews dating back to that more shameful time, when a man who was caught on tape treating women like sexual puppets for his pleasure could win elected office. Some say it’s corn dogs, but I think learning from past mistakes is what truly makes the human race great.

On July 4, 2003, four months before Californians chose Schwarzenegger to be their new governor, an anonymous Amazon user left a five-star review titled “Arnold’s Intelligence Truely [sic] Shines (sarcasm)” just days before another reviewer said, “If you are an Arnold fan and like the idea of Girls gone wild, get this one.” The highlight of a review from 2005 titled “The Pervinator” points out that “the camera must be manned by a 13 yr old boy because I have never seen such long genital shots before.” Another, going even further back to 1997, is just one word. It just says “END” — all caps, no punctuation. Five-star review. All four of its reviews give it five stars, and not one of them have anything good to say about it.

I had to know more, so I scrounged up what little information exists out there about Carnival In Rio. Everyone involved in the production except Playboy and Schwarzenegger is a legitimate documentarian. It was the first thing one of the production companies behind it ever made, then they spent the next 20 years producing biographies of old Hollywood stars and historical documentaries for PBS. I figured it was directed by a sleazy early ’80s porn impresario who thought celebrity travel docs would be a great way to sneak full penetration into America’s living rooms. But it wasn’t. The director’s name is Shep Morgan. He produced a lot of boring stuff for PBS, including a bunch of stage plays during his work on the series American Playhouse. One of his early credits was as the production manager on a seminal Cuban-American sitcom produced by PBS’s Miami affiliate called Que Pasa, USA?, which I used to watch as a kid. The director of the video wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger mouth-fucks a teacher with produce was partially responsible for my upbringing. Jesus.

Everyone in this production is trying to tell the fascinating story of the cultural significance of one of the biggest parties in the world, but Playboy and Schwarzenegger kidnapped these PBS dorks and made them film softcore porn and sexual assaults. I could easily imagine these stuffy documentarians telling Arnold to nod thoughtfully while Brazilians spoke with passion about what Carnival means to them, but then falling apart the second he starts fondling their tits mid-answer.

“No, Mister Schwarzenegger! We told you to ask your questions and nod! Ask and nod! That’s it!”

“BUT HOW CAAN I BE EXPECTED TO IKNORE DER BEAUTIFUL TITTIES?! I AM THE UNIVERSE!”

“No, you’re Mister Universe, Mister Schwarzenegger. And it’s more of a ceremonial title.”

“LOOK, I KNOW YOU DWEEBS WANT TO MAKE DOCUMENTTREES ABOUT MARTIN LUTHER AND THE GREEKS, BUT STOP BEING BABIES AND POINT DEE CAMERA AT HER ASSHOLE.”

Luis still thinks it’s corn dogs. You can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Want a musclebound role model who won’t let you down? There’s always Stretch Armstrong! His arms (and his morals) will never give out!

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4 Lesser Known Trump Administration Fuckboys Who Are Actually Shady AF

The Great Orange Meanie himself can be so distracting that it’s easy (and more comforting at times tbh) to forget that he has an entire cabinet of shitheads facilitating his outlandish behavior and allowing him to Tweet come-ons at North Korea and Lavar Ball at 3:00AM. Sure, you know Kushner, Bannon, and Tillerson, but have you heard of these other shady monsters standing blindly standing on the sidelines as America goes down in flames? No? Well then let’s put them on blast.

Steven Mnuchin

You probably saw this picture recently and thought to yourself “Fuck, another God forsaken James Bond movie I’m going to have to endure this Christmas with my Dad.”

Well, I have good news and bad news. You won’t have to suffer through two hours of everyone pretending that Daniel Craig is God’s gift to the world because this is not the latest Bond villain. No, it’s former Goldman Sachs bro and current Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton, his way-too-hot-for-him wife that for sure married him for love. Old Stevie here got his job by having no morals being rich af, and that’s basically it. He had no government experience before taking Alexander Hamilton’s old job, but he did design a mail opening system for Trump Tower and was an executive producer on , so there’s that. Steve is a major supporter of the Republican tax bill –  aka the bill that would give giant tax cuts to people who do shit like take tone deaf pictures holding giant stacks of money and looking slightly off camera – because fucking duh.

We also don’t have time to go into Louise Linton right now but like, shes basically a mashup between a Real Housewife and Cruella De Vil and you should really just Google her or something.

Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt is the Administrator of the Environmental Protection agency, AKA the guy in charge of saving the planet. Pruitt is a literal climate change denier, who went into office promising to back off the “overreaching” focus on climate change that was in place and “move towards things like cleaning up the air, land, and water.” So you’re going to stop focusing on climate change, but also save the environment? Sounds like those might go hand and hand, but I guess I’m not an environmental expert. Oh wait, neither is Pruitt. Scott Pruitt’s claim to fame isn’t that he’s like, a climate scientist or anything like that. It’s that when he served as Oklahoma Attorney General, he sued the EPA 13 times. That’s like, the political equivalent of making you Administor of the [Your Ex] Protection Agency. 

Since taking office he’s held true to him promises, rolling back environmental protections, given the fossil fuel industry sway in public health decisions, and moved towards a system that will likely undermine actual pollution clean-up efforts. At least he’s honest? 

Dan Scavino

Dan Scavino is the White House Director of Social Media and I have only one question for him: What the fuck? What the actual fuck, Dan?

Trump is 71-years-old, are you really telling me that you can’t figure out some way into tricking him into thinking he isn’t tweeting? Remember how Jim opened a Word doc and made Creed think it was his blog? Literally do that. He’ll have no idea.

Better yet, about a month ago it was revealed that Scavino may actually be ghost writing some of Trump’s tweets when an identical tweet appeared on both their accounts at the same time. So, like, Trump’s tweets might actually be  by somebody? Sad! Whatever, Dan. Have fun being a 41-year-old social media director.

Ryan Zinke

As Secretary of the Interior, part of Zinke’s job is to “honor our nation’s responsibilities to tribal nations,” so you can probably guess how well that is going. One look at this guy tells me that that particular duty isn’t high on his priority list, probably because he’s too busy scamming old people and ensuring that Puerto Rico remains entirely powerless months after Hurricane Maria. Yeah, remember that shady two-man company that somehow snagged the $300 million contract for restoring power to Puerto Rico? That was Zinke’s friend.

Another one of his jobs is to sustain America’s water, lands, wildlife, and energy sources which makes that time he told a bunch of oil execs that “fracking is proof that God’s got a good sense of humor and he loves us,” extra poignant. Thanks, Zink!

Oh, and while serving as a Congressman to Montana, Zinke conveniently neglected to mention that he was living in California. I mean, we can’t really blame him for that one, but still. Sketch.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/4-shady-trump-administration-bros

All The Shady Sh*t The Republicans Hid In Their Tax Bill, Explained

Welcome back to tax hell, my friends. Remember last Friday night when Senate Republicans surprised Democrats with a 497-page House tax reform plan at 9:30 PM and then gave them 4.5 hours to read it before voting while we were all drunkenly celebrating the charging of Mike Flynn? It’s cool, neither do we. Ever since the Trump administration started, it’s like my memory wipes itself every 48 hours for self-preservation. Like , but my brain trauma was actually caused by the President of the United States and not by dating Adam Sandler a car accident. (Is that how she loses her memory in ? Idk? I hate Adam Sandler movies.) We’ve already talked about why the GOP Tax Bill is shady af – and that was just about the tax related shit it included. “But why would a tax bill contain reform on non-tax related issues?” you naively ask in this, the cursedyear of 2017.

“BECAUSE EVERY THING IS ABSOLUTELY FUCKING AWFUL,” I cackle back while chugging a can of wine at 6:30AM on a Thursday. It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re all going to be fine.

That’s right, the GOP isn’t just here to make sure you can never own property or pay off your student loans – they want to fuck up other aspects of your life too! Who knew? It’s like they’re actual demons masquerading as rich, white conservatives! Oh. Wait.

Anyway, here’s all the shady shit the GOP snuck into their tax bill while we weren’t looking: 

Unborn Fetuses Are People Now

Honestly, how did we all not see this one coming? They managed to sneak this one in under the rule that allows parents to deduct a certain amount of money for their kid’s education, citing that an unborn fetus is included in the measure. Lol. As if anyone will be able to afford college 18 years from now.

This doesn’t really change how that particular law works, but it does set a precedent for an unborn fetus being a person, the first step in eventually attempting to turn over Roe v Wade. Get your red cloaks out ladies, it’s only a matter of time. Under his eye.

Separation of Church and State? Fuck that.

We’re one step closer to Pence’s America, folks. The House tax plan repeals the Johnson Amendment, which previously banned non-profit groups from engaging in political activism AKA churches can’t openly raise money and campaign for a candidate. If this bill makes it through the Senate review, every little Evangelical hellhole can start raising money to send their very own neighborhood pedophile to Washington DC.

Health Insurance Is (More) Expensive

SHOCKING. The plan repeals the Obamacare individual mandate, which made universal health care cheaper by spreading the cost of it across everyone because everyone had to buy insurance. Now that you’re not legally mandated to have health insurance, premiums will go up. You get cancer? Bankrupt. Break your leg? Say goodbye to your future. Get strep throat? Have fun living on the street you fucking animal.

Alaskan Oil and Gas Drilling

Because we learned nothing from the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Senate tax bill would open 1.5-million-acres of the 20-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There’s nothing fun or witty to say here, we’re just destroying protected land now. This bill has literally divulged me of a sense of humor. Thanks, Republicans.

Public School Funding is at Risk

Your favorite serial killer senator Ted Cruz snuck an amendment in that makes private or religious schools cheaper, but potentially cuts off funding for public schools by eliminating deductions for state and local income taxes and capping deductions for property taxes. Mandatory free education for children? Who needs it! Reading is overrated.

Beer and Wine Are…Cheaper?

Could there possibly be good news hidden within this sham of a bill? Maybe, as long as you’re not worried about cheaper alcohol raising the rate of drunk driving related deaths and addiction. Tbh, if any of us make it to 2020, alcoholism is the least of our concerns.

The bill would reduce special taxes on beer and wine, meaning an extra $4.2 billion in benefits. It’s not crystal clear if this is a win, but it’s the closest thing we have so I’m gonna take it.

The kicker in all this? Trump and his team are relying on the election of Roy Moore, A PEDOPHILE, to secure this bill. That’s right, our collective future depends on the discretion of a man who fucks children.

Cool. Everything is so great. I’m gonna go finish that box of wine now.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

Read more: http://www.betches.com/hidden-tax-bill-items-explained

5 Myths About Food You Believe Thanks To Jerk Companies

According to the very latest scientific data, you require food in order to live. But do you know what you’ve been wolfing down alongside a lifetime of Chipotle burritos, Taco Bell burritos, and questionable gas station burritos? Lies. Heaping helpings of lies, all carefully seasoned to ensure that as much of your money as possible winds up in the grease traps of greedy corporations. For example …

5

We Have Orange Juice With Breakfast Because One Year, California Had Too Many Oranges Lying Around

No breakfast is complete without a nice tall glass of orange juice. A single serving of this vitamin-packed wonder liquid gives your immune system the healthy kick in the ass it needs to get through the day. But don’t take our word for it. Just look at this 1922 Sunkist ad, in which 3,000 physicians opine that breast milk is a thing for savages and tiny babies who couldn’t hold down a job long enough to afford vital, life-giving orange juice.

Sunkist, via Atticpaper.com“Its the brain-frying avalanche of sugar that developing bodies need.”

That ad is how the whole American orange juice craze started. In the early 20th century, drinking OJ was nearly unheard of in the U.S. That all changed in 1908, when the over-planting of orange trees in California caused a massive glut in the market. So Sunkist developed a cheap juice extractor, interviewed thousands of totally real doctors who said that orange juice was the best possible thing to give to babies, and soon everybody’s mom was shoving OJ down their kids’ gullets if they so much as sneezed. Never mind that drinking the equivalent of four oranges in a single serving is about as healthy as kicking off the morning with a Big Gulp.

4

The Idea That Coffee Stunts Your Growth Was Invented By A Coffee Competitor

While you may practically have it on intravenous drip today, chances are you never had so much as a drop of coffee before you hit adulthood. Part of that is because coffee is objectively disgusting, and kids don’t need chemical assistance to face another day of work. But it’s mostly because your parents didn’t want you consuming something so caffeinated that it could stunt your growth.

Via Smithsonian.comApparently, back in the ’30s, you were graded on height.

The thing is, there’s never been one shred of scientific evidence that drinking caffeine keeps children tiny. The whole idea was the brainchild of cereal magnate C.W. Post. Near the turn of the 20th century, he introduced Postum, a caffeine-free “coffee alternative” made from roasted wheat bran and molasses. Because as any trucker can tell you, the only important components of coffee are 1) its hotness, and 2) its brownness.

Postum sounds like something you’d use to torture trade secrets out of a Starbucks barista. Perhaps that’s why in order to sell it, Post first had to launch a massive smear campaign against coffee, doing his damnedest to convince consumers that everyone’s favorite steamy breakfast beverage was liquid Satan in a cup. The campaign was so successful that Post’s wheat-based sludge is still available to this day, finding popularity with people like Mormons — who, coincidentally, view coffee as liquid Satan in a cup.

3

There Was No Tradition; You Buy Chocolate On Valentine’s Day Because Of Cadbury

Among many other things, the Spanish conquistadors stole the Aztecs’ love of chocolate. Back then, chocolate was served as a foamy beverage brewed similarly to coffee, and in his 1662 book The Natural History Of Chocolate, physician Henry Stubbe concluded that it was great for “supplying the Testicles with a Balsam, or a Sap.” And now you’re going to feel really weird when handing your little nephew a steaming mug of hot cocoa this winter.

Henry StubbeMmm. Warms you right down to the nutsack.

It seems only natural, then, that hot chocolate would be paired up with the boningest of holidays. (No, not Presidents’ Day. The other one. Valentine’s Day.) It took a good two centuries from the time of its Western discovery for British chocolatier J.S. Fry & Sons to develop a version of chocolate that didn’t require a cup. It then took another decade for Richard Cadbury (of modern-day Cadbury Creme Egg fame) to arrange said solid chocolates in fancy boxes. They were an instant hit. Victorians, being huge fans of both fanciness and boxes, snatched them right up.

Fast-forward another seven years to 1868, and Cadbury finally produced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates, right in time for Valentine’s Day. Today, Americans alone buy an estimated 40 million such boxes each year. Meanwhile, allegations of chocolate’s sexual benefits are still as full of shit as they always were.

2

We Use Inferior White Sugar Because A Sugar Company Ran A Smear Campaign Against The Natural Stuff

Today’s brown sugar is basically the over-refined white stuff with some molasses added back in. But did you know that sugar wasn’t always white? Back when it was shipped in its raw form to England in big-ass barrels, sugar often arrived with the molasses content having oozed toward the bottom. Rather than attempting to redistribute the molasses, it was more feasible to refine the sugar — a 32-step process that saps it not only of its brownness, but also of everything that makes it awesome. Whereas today’s sugar can be described in one simple word (i.e. “sweet”), the sugar of yesteryear boasted an array of flavors that would make a pretentious sommelier stammer.

But why did white sugar become the norm? Surprisingly, it had nothing to do with racism. It’s only because sugar giant Domino wanted it that way. Around the turn of the 20th century, Domino launched a media campaign featuring blown-up photos of the natural, harmless, but admittedly gross-looking microbes present in brown sugar. And the public, always down for a good ol’ misinformed scare, almost immediately stopped buying it. Domino then rode to the pinnacle of the market atop a literal sugar high. And ever since, the world has been a bit less sweet and a lot more white. Ain’t that always the way?

1

The Definition Of “Overweight” Was Refined To Benefit Food And Drug Companies

BMI is the two-digit number that medical professionals use to determine how expansive your ass is. Anything higher than 30 means you’re obese, while anything in the 25-29 range means you’re overweight. We’ll leave the validity of the BMI itself aside for now — after all, it’s nothing but a formula calculated based on your height and weight. But who set that scale? Who decided that 25 was overweight, and not, say, 26 or 27?

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesThe scale clearly has some problems when The Rock fits comfortably into obese.

That would be the World Health Organization, and by extension, its International Obesity Task Force, headed up by one Professor Philip James. In 1997, following two years of study, the IOTF lowered the “overweight” cutoff to 25 from its previous value of 27. And do you know who financially backed the IOTF’s study? Pharmaceutical companies Hoffmann-La Roche and Abbott Laboratories, producers of the weight loss drugs Xenical and Meridia, respectively. Now, for his part, James maintains that the drug companies didn’t push any sort of agenda on him (they merely pushed him lots of checks for $200,000 apiece). Still, there’s no denying that by shifting an arbitrary dot on an arbitrary scale, James expanded said companies’ markets by millions of instantly overweight people.

Of course, none of this is saying that it’s cool to burst right through the top of the body mass index like some sort of French-fry-powered rocket-person. We’re simply saying that as a general rule, anyone attempting to define a human being in two digits or fewer probably has some ill intentions.

Dr. Claudio Buttice, Pharm.D., is a former hospital pharmacist who eventually grew bored being just a doctor and became a freelance medical writer. He’s also a screenwriter and journalist who contributed to several magazines, such as The Ring of Fire, Digital Journal, Techopedia, and Business Insider — and he managed to look cool every time. If you want to offer Dr. Buttice a writing gig or just want to throw money in his general direction, feel free to contact him at tyresia2@gmail.com or on LinkedIn.

The Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition can help you by starting to sort all this craziness out.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25164_5-myths-about-food-you-believe-thanks-to-jerk-companies.html

19 Mental Health Self-Care Tips You Swear By (Instead Of At)

We’re making memes smarter. So can you. Visit the Photoplasty and Pictofacts Workshop to get started.

The holidays are pretty much here, and to help us cope with the stress, we asked readers to tell us their personal tips for staving off the inevitable panic attacks.

They told us …

19

Entry by JarOCats

Entry
by JarOCats

18

Entry by Chan Teik Onn

Entry
by Chan Teik Onn

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/pictofacts-836-19-mental-health-self-care-tips-you-swear-by-instead-at

‘Inspirational’ News Stories That Are Anything But

It’s impossible to spend more than a few minutes online without encountering an inspirational story meant to brighten your day. Which is nice, because it’s probably sandwiched in between a story about a church getting shot up and a story about a mall getting shot up. Maybe there’s a cool new technology, maybe an animal is being adorable. But it’s increasingly common to see a headline like “Michigan Grandfather With Cancer Takes Up Uber Driving to Pay Off Home for Family.”

“But wait,” I assume you’re objecting for the sake of this rhetorical device, “that sounds so depressing that a bottle of cheap vodka has somehow appeared before me, as though it knows it will be needed.” Ah, but if you read that very real article, you’ll discover that it’s “actually” an uplifting tale of love. This 69-year-old man, Kenneth Broskey, loved his daughter and grandchildren so much that when he was told he only had two to ten weeks left to live, he continued to drive for Uber to help pay off a mortgage that his daughter otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.

Broskey was successful thanks to a GoFundMe started with the help of one of his passengers, who said, “His love for his family is limitless. This man is dying of cancer, and yet he’s still out there driving an Uber cab just for his family every day. That’s indescribable love.” That’s true, but what goes unmentioned in all the news on Broskey is how indescribably horrifying it is that a terminally ill senior citizen was compelled to spend his final weeks driving a fucking Uber. Maybe it would be more inspirational if the only thing standing between a couple of people getting kicked out of their home wasn’t their dying grandfather working instead of being with them (or going into hospice care, as his doctors advised him to).

According to “Dying Grandpa Refuses To Listen To Doctors, Then SHOCKS His Family When He Does THIS,” which is ironically filed under the “Life” section, Broskey did the “unthinkable.” But the writer meant it in the sense that you’d declare someone shotgunning a six-pack on spring break despite their doctor advising them not to drink “unthinkable” before high-fiving them and pouring them a shot of tequila. Meanwhile, Business Insider declared it “touching” that the GoFundMe (complete with a hashtag promoted by Uber, which is what people get instead of functioning heath insurance now) got the job done. No one talks about how fucked up the situation was, because it’s becoming so common that we no longer think of it as sad. The unspoken assumption is that this is the new normal, and we should feel inspired because we might one day have to do it ourselves.

This is part of a genre of news story that normalizes tragedy, papering over economic flaws and pathetic gaps in social services by looking up “inspiring” in the thesaurus. Here’s a “feel-good story” about the internet raising $128,000 for a homeless man … after a “YouTube prankster star” (which is the job title you have when you really want to get Satan’s attention) gave him 100 bucks under the mistaken assumption that he would spend it on liquor. (What a hilarious prank!) Here’s a man who paid off $85,000 of school and vehicle debt by living in an RV for years. He got his budget down to $400 a month by, among other things, not running his heater when temperatures hit -40. This was presented as an inspiring story of economizing that’s now given him the freedom to do whatever he wants, like travel and maybe not freeze to death. Perhaps you too can pay off your debt, assuming you have no dependents and don’t mind torpedoing your quality of life!

Behold a 15-year-old Puerto Rican raising money for solar lamps for his community while his family was still being forced to heavily ration food in the wake of Hurricane Maria, an eight-year-old using his meme fame to raise $90,000 for his father’s kidney transplant, an 11-year-old working to save for college, a 19-year-old raising her two younger siblings, a 19-year-old whose co-workers bought him a used car so he doesn’t have to walk ten miles a day while working to support his siblings and sick mom, a single mom who worked three jobs until she somehow managed to write a bestseller, and “5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt.” Their inspiring methods included not eating at a restaurant for 2.5 years, not celebrating holidays, and averaging “117 hours a week of billable time for eight months.” There was no “5 Horrible Ways Exploitative and Predatory Systems Allowed People To Each Accumulate $100,000 In Debt” companion piece.

The variables keep changing, but the stories are endless. And they’re always presented as an inspirational “If they can do it, so can you!” morality tale. It’s taken for granted that everyone has medical problems, crippling debt, or three jobs, that the situation is implicitly their own fault, and that the only way out is to either literally work yourself to death or be so goshdarn adorable that the internet masses step in to crowdsource your rescue. The continued presence of a monolithic system that can kick you in the genitals so hard that they’ll shoot out of your nostrils and then tell you that you created your own gaping groin wound is assumed, to the point where there’s no need to even mention it.

It’s great that these people were able to improve their lives, but that doesn’t make their stories inspirational. These are problems that are desperately getting fixed, and that desperation is held up to us as an example of hustle and a hard-working attitude that we should all aspire to have. It’s like congratulating someone for patching the holes in their rowboat with chewing gum while ignoring all the guns that continue to rip it apart, because we assume there’s a good reason they’re being shot at. Also, there are sharks circling. If this was a political cartoon, they’d be labelled “bankruptcy.”

Most of those boats just quietly sink. Go look at GoFundMe’s medical section, which accounts for half of all of its campaigns (the fact that so many people have to ask strangers to pay their medical bills is also somehow considered inspirational). The ones that fail don’t look as inspiring, do they? The average amount raised ($1,126) is nowhere near enough to get someone an upbeat story in the news, or to accomplish much at all in the long term. So they just vanish without ever being noticed, contributing to the illusion that the day is always saved when needed. Maybe they didn’t have enough hustle.

Now go check out “Here’s How Parents Who Work 100 Hours A Week Get Everything Done,” which includes tips for executive power couples like “Yes, you’ll likely need a lot of paid help.” Or go read literally any profile of a rich entrepreneur who works 80 hours a week but has a weakness for relaxing on their sex yacht in their spare time. The target audience is different, but the “inspirational” language is identical. Those inspiring people who paid off $100,000 in debt? Suggesting a 117-hour work week was on the same article that offered relatable, everyday advice like “Used a $40,000 inheritance to pay down debt, instead of taking a lavish vacation to Hawaii.” We’ve equated multi-millionaires working on a new app called Cream 4 U (it delivers ice cream by paradigm-hacking the ice cream truck industry) with people trying not to wind up homeless or dead. Which is how society ends up with ads like this:

Metro

We demand that people always be working, regardless of whether it’s productive or just a few more hours of futilely trying to barricade the door while the zombies break through all the windows (the zombies also represent bankruptcy). Work that goes toward a luxury vacation and work that goes toward paying off crippling medical debt are considered equally inspirational and equally necessary. If you want the vacation instead of the debt relief, you just need to get even more inspired and work even harder, you lazy debt-having cancer victim.

At the risk of copping out, it’s beyond the scope of this column to singlehandedly solve America’s complicated problem with debt and overwork which is compounded by a victim-blaming Calvinist streak. (I’ll be solving that problem in next week’s column.) But debt and medical costs are reaching dangerously unsustainable levels, while the “gig economy” (which we should instead be calling the hashtags for healthcare economy) skyrockets, and so far, our solution has mostly been to present it as a problem for go-getting individuals to solve by outworking everyone else. We’ve degraded from “Working extremely hard and making sacrifices will make you rich” to “Working extremely hard and making sacrifices will let you survive while others fall around you” and dressed it up like it’s fun and rewarding. Want to pay off your crippling student loan? Go be a “Student Loan Hero!” Are you flat fucking broke? You’ve just got to follow your “Piggy Bank Dreams.” We’re trying to fix a rotting infrastructure by slapping a fresh coat of cheery paint on it, which is only effective until the house collapses on us.

Mark is a go-getter on Twitter, and has an inspirational book.

If you loved this article and want more content like this, support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Or sign up for our Subscription Service for exclusive content, an ad-free experience, and more.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/inspirational-news-stories-that-are-anything-but/

5 Haircut Trends That Will Be Everywhere In 2018

We’re exactly one month away from the new year, which is great because this year I’ve been trash has been the worst and I can’t wait until it’s fucking over. And with a new year comes the inevitable hope that there will also be a “new you”. Maybe a you who doesn’t buy her work attire from Forever21 or who isn’t in an emotionally committed relationship with her Seamless guy. Well,  a girl can dream. Anyway, here are 5 haircut trends that are about to be everyfuckingwhere in 2018 so you can embrace the best “new you” aka the same you, but with better hair.

1. Curtain Bangs

Curtain bangs are officially happening and we can thank the psychos on Pinterest who gave this trend a 600 percent increase in pins this year. It’s a dreamy, yet romantic look that works best on people who have straight hair. So if your New Year’s Eve resolution is to be more “daring” but you don’t actually want to take any risks, then this haircut might be right for you. It’s like getting bangs, but not, because they’re basically almost all grown out anyway.

2. Extra Long Hair 

Kim Kardashian has been trying to make fetch extra long hair extensions happen for a straight-up year now, and apparently she’s going to get her wish, because 2018 is the year of long-ass hair. Extra long hair or “Cher hair” is predicted to be one of the hottest hair trends of 2018, which is great because I literally just got a lob last week. Seriously. This is v good for my my mental health rn. Anyway, unless you can afford to import hair extensions from a starving child in India *cough* Kim K *cough cough*  then you better start growing your hair out now. 

3. Blunt Bob With Bangs

If you’re one of those who wants to look betchy AF but doesn’t want to commit to hair that’s long enough to accidentally touch a toilet seat, then the blunt bob/bang combo is going to be the haircut for you. I’m not gonna lie, it takes one hell of a confident woman to pull this look off, but if Elena Gilbert—someone who survived after her entire family died, turned into a vampire, hooked up with her ex’s brother (and got away with it), found out she was a doppelgänger to the nastiest skank bitch in town, and still had to graduate high school during all of this—can pull of this look, then so can you. 

4. The Grown-Out Pixie

Is it wrong that I’m predicting style trends based off of someone who hasn’t even hit puberty yet? Whatever. If it’s wrong, then Netflix shouldn’t have made a 12-year-old so fucking chic I don’t want to be right. Last year the pixie cut was everywhere, so naturally the grown-out pixie, or as I like to call it, the wtf-have-I-done-I-just-want-long-hair-again cut is going to be the “it” look of 2018. I mean, how else should you start a new year if not with a haircut that says you’re full of shame and regret from last year’s poor decisions? Anyway, if you got the pixie cut because one time Millie Bobby Brown got a pixie cut, then this is the perfect new look for you. Try leaving it extra long on top to give you some more styling options.

5. The Meghan Markle Knock-Off

In case you’re a mole person and missed it, the hottest European ginger is officially off the market thanks to Meghan Markle. That lucky fucking bitch. But if you can’t have her man, you can at least attempt to replicate her hairstyle so that you can feel close to Prince Harry like an actual princess in the new year. This isn’t so much a haircut as just a look you can attempt before hitting up happy hour. It’s the first Friday back at work after the Thanksgiving holiday, what the fuck do you want from me. Long hair and bouncy curls are about to be everywhere because of this bitch, I’m calling it now. 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/haircut-trends-2018

Betches Holiday Gift Guide 2017: The Best Gifts For Everyone In Your Life

It’s the most wonderful time of year again, ho ho hoes, when your mind is filled with beautiful ideas of all the amazing things you can buy yourself, and on occasion, some cool things you can buy for others. If you need some help figuring out what to buy for whom, yeah same, we put our heads together and came up with kind of a perfect list. We have products that are great for all the different people in your life, and if we’re missing someone, idk, that’s just not our problem anymore. Try to get through this list without wanting everything for yourself, k? Here we go.

FOR YOUR FRIEND WHO COMPLAINS ABOUT BEING OUT OF SHAPE BUT NEVER GOES TO THE GYM: BARRY’S BOOTCAMP

Time to get your shit together. We get it, working out or committing to a workout class sounds like a lot. You’ve probably heard of Barry’s Bootcamp, and if you haven’t, you should. It’s not as terrifying as it sounds, so don’t let your friend think you’ve signed them up for 10 classes of hell. It’s actually a really fun place (I’m serious) and an amazing workout that has the Betches stamp of approval. Even the laziest of us enjoy it. It’s basically a one hour HIIT workout that combines treadmills and strength training. If you literally never workout, you can pace yourself and choose your own speeds, but the instructor is so motivating you will actually push yourself, I promise. Best part: The studio is dimly lit, so when you need to take that extra five seconds to catch your breath, no one will notice.

FOR YOUR DAD WHO WANTS TO BE A COOL DAD: TWINKLY

This is his opportunity to become a cool dad forever, because this is the most incredible thing we’ve ever seen. Twinkly has created the world’s first app that controls LED lights with unlimited combinations of colors and patterns that you can choose from your phone. We are shooketh. There is nothing more Instagrammable than this. Rock Center will have nothing on your tree if it has Twinkly lights. Do you celebrate Hanukkah? Get a tree anyway, and make the lights blue and white. Get a tree in July for Independence Day, and make it red, white, and blue. Get a tree for Valentine’s Day, and make the lights black (that just means don’t turn the lights on, but still). We are literally so obsessed and can’t wait for it to provide endless hours of entertainment.

FOR YOUR FRIEND WHO HAS NO FILTER: SHOP BETCHES

If you haven’t perused Shop Betches yet, first of all, you are a moron, but seriously you’re missing out. Not to toot our own horn, but looking through all our shit is like, a really fun time. Here are some ideas for the perfect gift: our shot glass set, our lashes beanie, and our candles. The shot glasses will hands down be the center of attention at any party. The lashes beanie is 100% guaranteed to receive compliments (this has been scientifically tested). The candles are the easiest way to add personality to your room without overspending or trying really hard to figure out what your personality even is. And since we’re so fucking nice, we’re giving you 10% off your order if you use the code GIFTGUIDE2017, valid until 1/1/18. You’re welcome.

FOR YOUR INSOMNIAC FRIEND: SLIP PILLOWCASES

This might help. If you’ve ever dreamed (ha) of sleeping on silk but figured it was a little too fahncy for your lifestyle, think again. Slip makes beautiful, high-quality silk pillowcases at reasonable prices. Plus, it comes in so many colors; it’s hard to choose just one. What’s the benefit of sleeping on silk? It slows aging, doesn’t cause sleep creases on your skin, and won’t give you bed head (aka won’t damage your hair like cotton cases do). And if you love your pillow cold, you won’t have to worry about flipping it over to get to the cold side with these. And besides all those health benefits, please tell me what is more chic than a bed with silk pillowcases. I’ll wait.

FOR YOUR BROTHER WHO IS TERRIFIED OF THE DENTIST: QUIP 

He’ll never be nervous about cavities again if you get him a Quip toothbrush. It’s the perfect gift for literally anyone because you know they need it, you know they’ll use it twice a day, and they’re just the chicest toothbrushes you’ll ever find. Quip refreshes the head every three months, plus you can opt in to get toothpaste refills! If you don’t dread running out of toothpaste and milk that tube for all it’s worth, then you’re not as lazy as I think you are. It’s so easy that you can even pre-pay for a year’s subscription, and deliveries will be sent straight to your door. Our whole office uses Quip and is obsessed, so like, trust us—this is a really nice gift.

FOR YOURSELF: VS PINK 

There is nothing wrong with treating yourself. If you’re like any other betch in this universe, every morning when you’re going through your underwear drawer, you think to yourself, “K, I really need new bras and underwear.” Naturally, you never actually order any. Now is your time to shine. While you’re at it, check out all the other amazing products Pink has (that you now realize you need) like the Sherpa Boyfriend Quarter Zip, which looks like something I could live in for the rest of the winter. And if you’re one of those psychos who enjoys running, they have super cute fleece lined leggings, so I guess we’ll see how much you like running outside in the cold. And if you just can’t decide what you want, don’t forget you can buy yourself (or a friend) a gift card.

FOR YOUR ROOMMATE WHO KEEPS STEALING YOUR MAKEUP: BOBBI BROWN

What highlighter does she use? Bobbi Brown. Well maybe she doesn’t yet, but now she will, every single day. Never again will you have to passive-aggressively ask if your roommate has been using your makeup, but now, you might want to get Bobbi Brown’s Highlighting Trio for yourself. The colors are Nectar Glow, Pink Gold Glow, and Gold Bronze Glow, and they look amaze on all skin tones. Just ask anyone at Betches HQ, our faces are looking v illuminated these days. Shine bright, shine far.

FOR YOUR BOYFRIEND WHO THINKS HE’S HUGH HEFFNER (RIP): PARACHUTE ROBES

You may think you know Parachute, but you could be wrong. You probably know them because of their amazing bedding that everyone swears by. But here at Betches HQ, we like to be a little more luxurious. Extra, if you will. So we’re going to introduce you to the most amazing robe you will ever meet. It’s made of 100% long-staple Turkish cotton (no idea what that means, we just know it’s soft) and has two pockets. Fucking love pockets. So you could get this for your boyfriend, and you could get this for yourself, or literally anyone because who doesn’t love a fuzzy robe?

FOR YOUR SISTER WHO HAS HER SHIT TOGETHER 100% OF THE TIME: GLAMSQUAD

You can help keep up her appearances by giving her a gift card to Glamsquad. Located in NYC, Miami, LA, and DC, Glamsquad provides hair, makeup, and nail services, anytime, anywhere. Does that mean you could get your hair blown out in your own bathroom? Yup. Fun fact: Glamsquad HQ is located right below Betches HQ in our building, so you know we’ve become friends with them. They’re awesome, and we always feel like Kim K after a service with them. Lucky for you, they’re giving new users $25 off with code BETCHESLOVEGLAM. Valid through 12/30/2017, so get on it.

FOR YOUR SISTER-IN-LAW WHO TRAVELS A LOT FOR WORK: SEVEN DAUGHTERS WINE

Yeah that blows, but she can pack a couple cans of wine for the train ride. Yup, I said cans of wine. Seven Daughters is changing the way we think about drinking wine. It’s not just something you enjoy after a long day when you finally get home, or to the hotel, but you can pack it up and whip it out whenever, wherever. So if she’s on a three hour Amtrak full of coughing, sneezing, and a screaming baby, she can crack open a can of pinot noir and pretend this isn’t her life. Side note, they also make a really cute stocking stuffer. BONUS: You betches can get 20% off your order when you use code BETCHES7D for any order of Seven Daughters product on uncorked.com. You’re so welcome.

FOR YOUR UNCLE WHO SINGLE-HANDEDLY CAUSES YOUR WEIGHT GAIN OVER THE HOLIDAYS: TOVOLO

Stop fucking baking me cookies for the love of ALL THAT IS HOLY. Okay, don’t actually stop, though. We’ve been obsessed with Tovolo for a while now—it’s this chic kitchen and cookware brand that makes the coolest products. Some products you actually need, and some products you just NEEEED, OMG. They make super cute cookie cutters that are dishwasher safe, food safe, and BPA free. The cookies come out of the oven looking very legit, so your Uncle is gonna be pumped about this. Other Betches favorites are the Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker for some highly fancy entertainment and the Skull Ice Molds, because why not? They’re literally us. You honestly can’t go wrong with anything from Tovolo.

FOR YOUR MOM WHO DRINKS A BOTTLE OF RED BEFORE BED: MARTHA STEWART WINE

That’s a lot of wine…for a mom. Betchy. She probably has to make runs to the liquor store as much as she runs to the bathroom, so save her the hassle and sign her up for Martha Stewart’s Wine Club. Have you ever heard of anything more motherly? Idk, I haven’t. Launched in April this year, Martha Stewart Wine Club sends you wines and pairing suggestions every six to eight weeks. Who handpicks the wine? Martha. Who makes the serving, pairing, and entertainment suggestions? Martha. Can you choose your preference of red, white, or both? Yup. And if you’re a psycho and don’t like the wine you receive, they’ll replace it for free. But you’ll love it all because if you can’t trust Martha, who can you trust? And trust us, your mom will love it.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/betches-holiday-gift-guide-2017