“It must be said that Mayman’s engineers have done a remarkable job with the balance and the intuitiveness of the controls. Instantly, it feels correct, all of it. That is, until the buckles and straps. There are many buckles and straps, and they fit precisely like a skydiving kit, with an emphasis on groin-cinching. Before I can say anything about the groin-cinching, Jarry is explaining the throttle, which is in my right hand and gives the jet turbines more or less fuel … Mayman fills the pack with kerosene, and steps back to the side of the tarmac, remote control in hand. Jarry asks if I’m ready. I tell him I’m ready. The jets ignite. The sound is like a category 5 hurricane passing through a drainpipe.” We were promised jetpacks. And as Dave Eggers explains, we have jetpacks and we do not care. (I thought the whole point of being a famous writer was that you didn’t have to take crazy risks. You just stayed home and wrote about them. Now every time I think of Eggers, I’m gonna think of this moment from The Right Stuff.)

+ The American circus is in decline, but performers thrive on TikTok.