I recently re-watched Top Gun with my children. This is what we thought of it: Radical!
As I always do with movies I love, I immediately headed to Wikipedia after the screening to soak up additional context. Turns out, the movie was inspired by this incredibly written article by Ehud Yonay in California Magazine. First published in 1983, Yonay tells the story of two pilots named “Yogi” and “Possum” and how they navigate “Top Gun,” along with two excellent sidebar stories about taking a flight in an F-5 and how to fly one.
“When I climbed out of the cockpit at the end of our hourlong flight, I couldn’t even swagger,” Yonay writes. “Every muscle in my body ached, I was exhausted and slightly nauseated, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. But they tell me the first time is the worst, and I can’t wait to get up there again.”
FUN FACT: Top Gun has since moved to Fallon, Nevada. My family visited it several years ago on a press trip and were floored by the air maneuvers (or “hops” as they used to say). Looked like something out of Inception—jets flying straight up and down at speeds I’ve never seen before!
This long-read by Chris Solomon about losing his father to dementia and what it did to his mother is one of the most moving articles I’ve read all year:
I am still single at middle age. Long commitments have not suited me. The way I feel about love is the way I feel standing before the ocean. Its vastness frightens me—to give yourself over to something so large, so borderless, so beautiful, so brutal. Growing up, I was awed by the devotion of my mother and father to each other, those people whom I admired most. I saw them laughing and bobbing and waving amid the whitecaps of their marriage. As I grew older, I watched couples more closely. I saw the misery that is twin to love and devotion. I watched my parents, near the end. I saw a husband receding from view. I saw a wife with one arm stretched out to him, the other reaching to shore—as Stevie Smith wrote, not waving but drowning.
I don’t know if it was extra poignant since my dad suffers from dementia, but either way it’s beautiful.
The Atlantic on the death of Eddie Van Halen: “How do we categorize his music? Soft hard rock. Light heavy metal… In the end, they were crossover artists. Beloved of girls, beloved of boys, with Eddie always, always taking it beyond. The far brought near. Excess without vulgarity. America, don’t forget how beautiful you are; you created the conditions for Eddie Van Halen.”
Courtesy Mark Manson
Hope you enjoy these recent long-form articles as much as I did:
Courtesy Outside Magazine
- What are borders for anyways?—There was a time when you had to commit a crime, or be suspected of committing one, to have your fingerprints and photograph taken by an officer of the state. Now all you need to do is take a trip.
- Examining illegal birth names—Some working-class names aren’t just looked down upon, they’re illegal. But these laws, which stretch from New Zealand to Tennessee, are often more about oppression than public decency.
- Why this bubble or eventual recession will be different—What we’re seeing today isn’t a dot-com bubble. If anything, it’s a not-com bubble—a period of inflated expectations for companies that had no business being valued like pure tech companies in the first place.
- What it’s like to eat meal replacement shakes for two years—Whether nutrient shakes are the food of the future, however, is up for debate. Julie Heseman, a principal at food service industry consulting firm Foodservice IP, thinks this type of product won’t take off for one reason: it’s just not tasty enough.
- Inside football’s campaign to save the game—Nationally, high school participation in 11-man football has fallen more than 10 percent since 2009. Here’s what the game is doing to attract athletes.
- “Kids these days” are actually better, even if you don’t understand them—Prediction: Today’s “OK boomer” Gen Z will complain about the youth one day. Blame human memory.
- Don’t be a jerk to your online humor editor—It should go without saying, but angrily replying to a rejection will get you nowhere.
- Chaos on top of the mountain—The story behind the viral photo and deathly May day on Mount Everest this year.
- Why a pop star walked across America—Years after he took that pill in Ibiza, Grammy nominee Mike Posner left behind his life in L.A. to go on a 2,851-mile journey in search of redemption, motivation, struggle, and triumph.
Hope you enjoy the below as much I did recently:
As seen on Long Reads, Digg, and my own web browsing:
- Is more democracy always better democracy? Yes, argues The New Yorker, especially since party primaries determine the leading candidates.
- What happens when notoriety kills something? Here’s your answer in a terrific story titled I found the best burger in the country, then I killed it.
- Missing the story. Rebuilding public trust starts by including more voices in the media and diversifying (or at least offering empathy training) to mostly white newsrooms, argues The Columbia Journalism Review.
- Believing without evidence is always morally wrong. Or so convincingly argues Aeon.
- Inside the booming business of background music. Why retailers and sports teams are spending big money on music design, according to The Guardian.
- Why saving the world is crazy hard. According to a hard-to-read personal account of third-world atrocities by The Walrus.
- How $3000 elite teams are killing youth sports in America. Expensive travel leagues siphon off talented young athletes and leave everyone else behind, reports The Atlantic. (Which is partly why my wife is starting a non-profit competitive league next year—go Lindsey!)
credit: lindsey snow
I get quite reflective and often sappy during the final weeks of the year. After reviewing the past 12 months, this is what I learned: Continue reading…