I just finished proofing the March issue from our brilliant designer, Pierre (who is a miracle worker, by the way) and I can’t decide if I’m super excited for everyone to get it or if I should hide in the closet until it’s next month’s kitty bin liner.
For starters, there’s our article on what happened at the Dubai swoop meet in January. Holy shit. I’ll probably have more to say about this in the future, but this thing has already made me lose sleep, caused my teeth to hurt from grinding and put about 8 pounds on me from stress eating. Maybe no one will care besides those named in the article, but clearly it’s made me think. The biggest issue for me, personally, was how to report a situation based entirely on what other people said happened, with some parties more than willing to tell their stories and others telling me that I’m a pretty terrible person and only doing this to bring shame and sensationalist drama to the sport and the event.
I’ve gone over it and over it, and I still think the story is worth telling, if only to tell the truth about a skydiving event for once. In general, I can’t stand event articles, because they’re all the same and never say much about what really happened. Something definitely happened in Dubai, and people are still upset about it. That alone is worth telling. And, not to burst anyone’s bubble, but the world of skydiving is not the roses and sunshine version you read about in association mags.
For the record, as I’ve said many times, the harsh light of reality is not appropriate for association mags. It’s their job to present the sport in the best light possible, and anything other than that would be an irresponsible use of member dollars.
We’re not an association publication. We don’t have to represent the sport in any light but the true one. In fact, you probably gave us your money because you wanted to read about what things are really like, so if anything, we have a duty to you to print the real stories, as ugly or uncomfortable as they may be.
In any case, this article in particular was difficult because it involved my friends. I don’t want them to be mad at me, but I also don’t want to disregard another person’s opinion or version of a story just because I don’t know them well or at all. I’m a silly person and don’t take much seriously, but ethics, fairness and morality is the exception. I can honestly say I did my very best to not take sides in this article and present the stories so you, the reader, could make up your own mind. I hope you’ll read it and send a letter to the editor (uh, that’s me, firstname.lastname@example.org) with your reactions.
I also hope you don’t mind the text-heavy nature of this issue. There was a lot to say! Taya Weiss has a good article about the wingsuit drama and Melanie Curtis is starting an awesome new column about life coaching. Kolla and I both got chills reading it (even though we wouldn’t admit it to each other). Simon “Bones” Palacio teaches you how to brew your own beer! And Karen Woolem tells an epic couch-surfing/BASE jumping/Dudeism story that is 100% Californian.
Important notice: we are running out of booby pictures – both female and male – to print. Please send more!
See? We’d never go 100% serious on you ;)