Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content marketer, executive ghostwriter

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Tagged Long Reads

“Top Guns:” The brilliant magazine article that inspired the movie

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!

Does “until death do you part” apply to spouses that lose their mind?

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 Mad Genius of Eddie Van Halen

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.”

Long reads: Garbage language, disinformation, DJing, history of work, quitting the news

Courtesy Mark Manson

Hope you enjoy these recent long-form articles as much as I did:

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Long reads: Big money pop songs, Silicon Slopes, Spirit Airlines, and 50 years of losing

These are the best long-form articles I’ve read recently:

Long reads: Cozy up and learn something new with one of these

Courtesy Outside Magazine

Long reads: WeNotWorking, Ballon Boy, unstoppable Amazon, trailer lottery, millionaire complacency

Courtesy Medium

I really enjoyed the following long-reads recently:

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These recent long-reads are fascinating


Please enjoy:

Recent long-reads: Surviving tree falls, Rick Steves, the raisin mob, 40 year-old rookies

Courtesy New York Times

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7 new long reads that will make you smarter

Hope you enjoy the below as much I did recently:

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Recent long reads that will make you smarter

As curated by yours truly. Enjoy.
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Recent long reads: Protein bars, science of miracles, paid to do nothing

I learned a lot reading the below recently. Hope you do too:

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Recently discovered: 7 terrific longreads that I think you should… um, read.

Shutterstock

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!)