The epitaph of weed's coolness came earlier this month, when two anti-legalization scolds for The New York Times and The Washington Post admitted they'd smoked weed in their youth. "The worst effect of the mainstreaming of weed is not massive marijuana overdoses — that's an unfunny hoax, dummies," wrote the inimitable Elspeth Reeve in The Wire, "but that weed is no longer cool."
Now, we have another casualty on our hands: Snapchat, the photo-sharing app beloved by tweens.
Politico scooped — in a very important exclusive — that Sen. Rand Paul, 51, will announce Wednesday that he is joining Snapchat. Not even that he joined it — that he will join it, Wednesday night, or at some point. When he gets around to it.
The senator reportedly learned about Snapchat by reading of its growing influence on the Internet, that mysterious entity first invented by Al Gore. What's worse, he's announcing his plan on Facebook, a form of social media so uncool that even President Obama knows young people don't really use it anymore.
Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Paul's political organization, explained it thusly: "Senator Paul always looks for a way to engage Americans of all ages. Snapchat will allow everyone to follow the senator as he travels around the nation and spreads the message of liberty."
Anyone hoping for an Anthony Weiner-style crotch pic (that is, after all, what youth usually uses it for), will be disappointed. Paul is only planning to offer "backstage glimpses of his trips and media appearances," according to Politico's Mike Allen, who first — did we mention? — scooped this story.
The true nail in Snapchat's proverbial coolness coffin was Rep. Michele Bachmann, who compared Obamacare to the social-networking service. "Obamacare is the health care version of Snapchat," she said Wednesday. "Now you see it, now you don't." Snapchat, the Minnesota Republican explained, is how she communicates with her kids every day. "What you do is you record yourself," she told her befuddled lawmakers. "You know it's like a selfie.... "
But the demise of Snapchat's coolness is one thing for which we cannot entirely blame politicians or Congress. Snapchat was already well past peak cool before Paul, that liberty-loving hater of federal bureaucracy, spoiled it: Taco Bell and Acura, as Allen pointed out, were already using it after all.
Still, some social-media mavens rejoiced at Paul and Bachmann piling on. "I love that Michele Bachmann and Rand Paul are on Snapchat," tweeted Ryan J Davis, vice president of community at Vocativ. "Those are two people I wanna have disappear in 7 seconds."
And procrastinators, too, should take heart. If you've been putting off downloading the app for the disappearing photo service, maybe you don't have to at all anymore.
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