GQ (Sept. 2017) — I like my wife very much, and I operate under the assumption that she likes me, but our past few months have been made immeasurably better by the manner in which, come nightfall, she and I have nothing to do with each other.
We hadn’t always slept apart. For years I would lie awake beside my wife and seethe at her perpetual pillow-shuffling, the icy light of her Words with Friends game, and, most significantly, her alarm clock, which announced itself every morning at 5:45 A.M. and was followed by her hammering the snooze button with such vigor that I began to suspect it wasn’t a snooze button at all but a switch that summoned waffles and back rubs from some other, better husband. She, meanwhile, suffered through a partner—i.e., me—who apparently snores like an elephant giving birth inside a Dumpster.
Our nightly war fueled a mutual resentment that welled up like water in a dam. Then, one morning, everything burst. “Don’t take this the wrong way,” she said, staring into the first of her multiple coffees, “but I can’t sleep with you.”
Indianapolis Monthly — First things first: It is futile to resist the first 45 minutes of the tour marking the 30th anniversary of U2’s The Joshua Tree, a nine-song block of monolithic power so expansive and relentless that it’s profoundly insane to put it at the beginning of a concert. This is a show that schedules “Pride (In the Name of Love)” fourth, because the rest of the set is frankly already too crowded.
On Sunday night at a packed Lucas Oil Stadium—with the roof wide open, because outside it’s America—U2 mobilized the assembled force of its history to deliver two hours of sturdy argument for the best show of the year. The first half nearly did it alone: Unfolding more or less chronologically, it fires to life with the militant bangs that open “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and going through “New Year’s Day,” the glistening “Bad” and the flight-worthy “Pride (In the Name of Love)” before the stars-coming-out riff of “Where the Streets Have No Name” directs things to the task at hand, which, you’ll remember, is the start of an album that then serves up “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “With or Without You,” and “Bullet the Blue Sky.” It’s a good 45 minutes before you really have a chance to mull another drink.
The Loop / Golf Digest — The Star Wars franchise lost another director this week — its third in the last four months — with the abrupt announcement that Lucasfilm had fired Colin Trevorrow, who was announced back in 2015 as the director of Episode IX and has been working on a script treatment since. With yesterday’s tersely worded announcement on StarWars.com, Trevorrow takes a seat on the bench next to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were themselves canned as directors of the as-yet-untitled Han Solo movie a full four months into production and replaced by your reliable movie-making dad Ron Howard, who’s been recording over their footage since.
In golf terms, this is like shooting par for 16 holes, then walking onto the tee at 17, lighting your clubs on fire, selecting a new caddy, driving to an entirely different golf club and beginning to play soccer. It’s weird, it guarantees most of the Han Solo movie is hot wacky garbage and it makes those of us on planet nerd scream IT’S A STAR WARS MOVIE, HOW HARD IS THIS, and by “scream” I mean “cleverly tweet” because that’s the only way we can work out emotions.
Indianapolis Monthly — About 250 times a day at Fair Oaks Farms, someone reaches into a large and uncomfortable gilt and pulls out a piglet. Usually, this happens in full view of tourists, who come by the busload and make the noises people make when they watch someone remove a baby from a pig. It’s daily life in the Pig Adventure, one of the most popular attractions at Fair Oaks, a 33,000-acre farm that has grown into the largest agritourism site in the country. The farm buses visitors to a massive facility that tracks the animals’ lives from birth to motherhood. Rows of pink pigs—chattering, dozing, and bumping each other around—reach out from the observation windows, while staffers tend to the animals’ feeding and astronomic levels of waste removal. (Naturally, the exhibit opens with a considerable display dedicated to America’s long-simmering obsession with bacon.)
The pig party is far from Fair Oaks’s only draw. There’s a similar Dairy Adventure that teaches milk production by putting visitors directly in front of a cow-go-round, a huge and slowly rotating wheel from which the animals are fed and cared for. There’s a Crop Adventure that promotes sustainability and conservation while laying out a map of what the ag industry might look like in coming decades. And interspersed within the main attractions are plenty of family activities: climbing walls, trampolines, mini-tractor rides, an ice cream parlor, and a cafeteria which contains—with apologies to Grandma—the finest grilled cheeses in Northwest Indiana.
The Loop / Golf Digest — The “Great American Eclipse,” a celestial event of singular majesty that will take place Monday, Aug. 21. And it’s a big deal because it’s a total eclipse, which for large swaths of America will blot out the sun, briefly create an artificial night and herald the beginning of the end of days. (Ha! Just kidding! Unless you’re in Kentucky, then you’re probably on board.) An eclipse hasn’t crossed the continental United States since June 8, 1918, so people are getting really, really excited about this.
Golf Digest — Over the weekend, the global reggaeton smash “Despacito” became the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, a cross-cultural milestone that came as a total shock to the vast percentage of us who have never consciously heard “Despacito.” Released in January and now boasting more than 3 billion views, the track unseated the previous most-viewed thing in the history of Earth, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again,” which unseated the previous previous winner, and there’s no way to accurately get across how hard we’re sighing while typing this, “Gangnam Style.”
“Despacito” is performed by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and reggaeton star Daddy Yankee, two very famous and accomplished musicians whom we would not recognize in the slightest. And while we are experiencing strange sensations of cultural optimism about how America’s wall-happy culture still allows for global-reach music performed in “other languages,” we have no idea what this song is. So, for those of us who confess to being out of touch with this particular milestone (read: are old as hell), a primer to “Despacito,” as written by a guy who will hear it for the first time in approximately 15 seconds.
NCAA Champion — To explore the history of the college sports mascot, to genuinely investigate how we’ve evolved into a culture that can rally tens of thousands of stadium-goers with live buffaloes, flaming spears and dancing anthropomorphic ducks, we must start at the very beginning and reach back to … uh, early 1880s France, apparently.
That’s when the French debuted an opera named “La Mascotte,” a title that translates loosely into “lucky charm.” Mostly obscure now, “La Mascotte” concerns a poor Italian farmer whose crops refuse to grow until he’s visited by a mysterious and lovely stranger named Bettina. His crops thrive, his luck turns, and his life shines. By the 1900s, the term had jumped the Atlantic and become known as a talisman that brought good fortune; by the 1970s, it had come to mean a grown man in a chicken suit. But the centurylong history of the mascot can be described in one very 2017 term: branding. “A mascot is the personification of a school’s brand,” says Michael Lewis, a marketing professor at Emory. “They work because they give something for the community to rally around, something for everyone to have in common. Everyone at the University of Florida knows about the Gators. Everyone at Texas A&M knows the collie. It’s a social point for the university and the community.”
The Loop / Golf Digest — It doesn’t matter if you’re at the pool in your city, neighborhood, hotel or vacation rental you snuck into because the gate was open — danger floats in every end. Well, sometimes it lurks at the bottom. But it mostly floats. Danger usually floats.
The Loop / Golf Digest — Science is hard and includes a seemingly bottomless swirl of absurd words and phrases such as “continuum” and “polyphenols” and “irreversible climate change,” so it helps to only read studies that pertain directly to your life.
For instance, I am an extremely busy content provider, and science is a diverse field that apparently covers food, rocks and outer space, and I don’t know who has the time to keep up with all of its endless flip-flopping — eggs are good for you, no they’re bad, and you should drink eight cups of water a day, except that doesn’t work, and you can’t eat “unprocessed cheeses” when you’re pregnant, which was pretty inconvenient for me.
The Loop / Golf Digest — Today’s minivans are no longer stodgy, dad-approved cubes designed for the sole purpose of taking third graders to and from practice, but sleek, practical and fully modernized vehicles designed for the sole purpose of taking third graders to and from practice. But they also work for vacations, which is nice, because they contain an awful lot of stuff and, if there’s room, people. Here’s how to maximize space in your summer road trip vehicle:
Electronic device: Three hundred years ago, in the ‘80s, travelers were required to pack for road trips by bringing a Walkman, 24 batteries, 30 cassette tapes, a pallet of comic books, an extra set of headphones and myriad Garfield collections, and that was just to make it out of Indiana. Sure, electronic devices may be shattering our attention spans into fragile bite-sized fragments of their former selves, but man, they make packing for road trips a merry breeze. I have found that one game of Goat Simulator can get two children through Tennessee and Georgia, and Georgia is like 16 hours long, so that’s simply technology improving our lives.
Writer: GQ, Men’s Health,
the Washington Post, Success, Indianapolis Monthly, Golf Digest, Vice, BruceSpringsteen.net,
the Indy 500, Billboard, etc. Proud owner of a Bruce-related Guinness World Record. Even longer bio/clips.