5/24/19: notes towards (Tom Cruise)

an essay that revisits Top Gun as an exemplar of toxic masculinity hugely influential on men of my age; that evaluates how the mystique and popularity of Tom Cruise is built on that toxic masculinity; that establishes that the interlinking of us militarism and this toxic masculinity inoculates Tom Cruise against certain forms of critique.


“All these people are just happy and smiling and they are completely oblivious to the fact that they were almost vaporized,” says Simon Pegg to Tom Cruise and the team at the end of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, at once stating a fact and authorizing any covert activities – which used to be, I suppose, acceptable, for black ops. In 2019, however, this statement could sound like justification for presidential malfeasance. I can do something, by this logic, because of all the stuff that you don’t know and I don’t have to tell you.