The New Yorker’s Dana Goodyear just went long on a profile about Michael Heizer, an anthropomorphic ball of tumbleweed blowing across a plain who also creates extremely large sculptures made of granite. In it, Heizer is revealed to be less a person than a real life personification of the Marlboro Man multiplied by every country song ever written — his woman left him and he don’t know why, his sole companion is an old dog named Tomato Rose, he uses words like "sumbitch," etc.
Here are the top five macho moments from the piece, with sixth place being a tie between every single other sentence.
1. "To me, he said, 'Wanna see the loader work?' and went at the beam again. He took his hands off the controls like a bronco rider, swaying, and put his fists up—whoop, whoop. I hadn’t seen him happier. Three workers in orange vests looked away."
2. "Heizer spent his convalescence wiring the ranch for solar, and soon he was back on the loader. Unable to straighten his knee, he wore a metal leg brace that allowed him to reach the gas pedal. 'He looked like something dug up from the grave, but he was working,' Lannan said."
3. "Driving around in the old loader, moving rocks, with Shanahan and Mackiewicz as his riggers, Heizer let the insults fly. The women called these bruising sessions Fun with Mike."
4. "Soon after the sculpture was finished, Heizer decided to go where no one could hear him talk."
5. "He sat down on a Pendleton blanket—he collects them—and took a call on his iPhone ('What’s smokin’ and what’s chokin’?'), drank another espresso."
• A Monument to Outlast Humanity [New Yorker]