Norway’s Bastoy Prison is widely considered the world’s most lovely place to be locked up (amongst connoisseurs of such things).
It’s an island one square mile in size. It’s got no fences, no cells. There’s tennis courts, beaches, saunas, the works. According to Time, it’s Scandinavia’s line in the sand as far as treating all humans, well, humanely. rapists, murderers, drug czars—they’re all there, basking in the sun, debating: sauna now, tennis later? Or tennis now, sauna later?
And yesterday an inmate—a “sex offender in his 20s”—grew tired of doubles games and beach bronzing, and set out from the island via surfboard and plastic shovel, paddling the two miles to shore before disappearing.
Obviously, with Bastoy being so posh, escape attempts are super rare. Not just because it’s so nice, but because if you try and escape and get caught, well, you ain’t coming back to the beach. Escappees are instead sent to the more standard correctional facilities.
Time’s report claims the prison’s response to escapes is particularly precious:
“When inmates come to his island jail, [Arne Kvernvik] Nilsen, the governor, gives them a little talk.
Among the wisdom he imparts is this: If you should escape and make it across the water to the free shore, find a phone and call so I know you’re OK and ‘so we don’t have to send the coast guard looking for you.’”
As of this writing, the inmate is still at large. And he hasn’t called.
A Rohingya girl shreds Bangladeshi waves and inspires!
When the act of surfing extends beyond sheer selfishness it sure does warm the heart. Julian bravely paddling toward Mick. Tyron Swan duct taping his friend’s paraplegic mother onto his back.
And here we have Nassima Akhtar in southern Bangladesh. Her story is a few years old, now, but even more inspiring than ever because the plight of her Rohingya people is increasingly bleak. The small minority group, predominately Muslim, hails from Burma (Myanmar) and is widely persecuted. The Burmese government does not recognize them as citizens. The women are sold into sexual slavery, the men killed. Pope Francis recently said that the Burmese government’s treatment of the Rohingya constitutes war against them. Thousands try to flee via rotten boats and are lost forever.
Nassima, pressing through not only ethnic discrimination but sexual too, is a true inspiration. Get that girl a sponsor! #ImWithNassima!
The best recent edit of Kelly Slater pulled down for breach of copyright…
The Kelly Kut, a free-time edit project that distilled twenty-plus years of the best surfer ever into a beautiful bite-sized morsel of awesomeness, is no more. A quick trip to Vimeo to give it a watch shows:
Vimeo has removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Poling Productions claiming that this material is infringing: The Kelly Kut
I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. It was, after all, completely comprised of “borrowed” footage, and in this day and age it doesn’t matter how creative you are, a DMCA request will take you down in a heart beat.
Poling Productions, founded by Florida natives Jack and Clark Poling, undoubtedly has every right to protect their product. And, honestly, filmers don’t earn shit or get nearly the respect they deserve, so I can understand feeling salty when someone else reaps a ton of positive press employing footage they snaked from your product.
It feels petty, though.
When your website is dead, your company has no social media presence and the video the footage was lifted from is unavailable for purchase, what’s the point of enforcing your rights?
Sour grapes? Envy? Outright dickishness?
I know I’m not being fair, and I’m sure if I asked my lawyer wife about it she could give me ten million totally valid and fair reasons for the Polings to enforce their copyright.
But that doesn’t change the fact that it was a sick edit, a ton of work obviously went into it, and I’m kind of pissed because I wanted to watch it this morning while drinking coffee and trying to come up with an idea to write about.
Now it’s all over the world’s most prestigious online retailer of men’s clothes.
And whatever you think of a joint that doesn’t blink at trying to sell you two thousand-dollar sneakers (Berluti, Playtime high-tops) and plain grey tees for $1500 (Elder Statesmen, Cutter Cashmere T shirt) y’gotta admit, Mr Porter has…polish.
And, apart from its grating imitation Fantastic Man tone (Mr Kelly Slater this, Mr John Moore that), the interview with Kelly contained within its website as it launches Outerknown, is very, very good.
Here’s a taste. Link for the whole story below.
On style: Style, for a teen Mr Slater, was only something to be found in the sea. “The only style I recognised or understood was surfing style,” he admits. “The way someone’s arms looked when they surfed, the way someone bent into a turn, or whatever. I’ve never really thought of people as my fashion icons.” Mr Slater is both the archetypal surfer and the transcendental one. He still cuts an amphibious figure at surf competitions around the world but he’s also at home on the red carpet – recently donning a dark navy Brioni tux to the Met Gala, fashion’s Academy Awards. He’s representative of a new breed of surfer – evolved from logo-loving rebellious young guns and competition-rejecting rambling free spirits – into something more refined. These days, when he’s not surfing – or searching out new spots – Mr Slater enjoys the good life; fresh cuisine, rounds of golf and writing and playing music with his guitar (he downsizes to a ukulele on the road).
“I think that as a kid I always thought I’d have more of a home and a family, more of a normal life, but as I’ve grown and evolved, I think it’s not abnormal now [to be nomadic],” Mr Slater reflects. “Almost all my friends that I’ve made around the world are travellers of some sort. I don’t think I’ll ever be settled. I love too many places and people around the world to stay in any one of those places for too long.”
On his legacy: We all want to have a legacy of some sort. Although you can’t think too hard about creating it because then it’s not real,” says Mr Slater. “It’s pretty simple. I’d like to be thought of as a good, honest guy who stuck to his principles and followed them through.” He goes on to tell me about his daughter’s boyfriend’s graduation speech – the tale of how Mr Alfred Nobel turned his legacy from “the merchant of death”, as the inventor of dynamite, to one of ultimate pacifism, founding the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s one of many anecdotes that Mr Slater is able to bring to mind at any given time throughout our conversation. He seems genuinely amazed by these stories of wisdom, almost childlike in his curiosity.
The mention of his daughter catches me off guard. Would he wish his unorthodox life, I can’t help thinking, for her too? “It’s been fun and it’s been a blessing; the people I’ve met, the places I’ve gone and the access I have to experiencing different things around the world is really second to none,” he says. “I mean, yeah,” he continues, laughing, and reverting to something of a Southern drawl in his appreciation, “not to toot my own horn, but you’d have a hard time finding a better lifestyle than what I got.”
This morning CEO Paul Speaker sent out a heartfelt email:
I hope this finds you well
As you may or may not be aware, I am the CEO of the World Surf League, the WSL.
On Sunday, July 19, time came to a grinding halt for the surfing world and then to the world at large when three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning fought off a Great White Shark during the Final of the J-Bay Open on live television. It justifiably became the biggest story in the world and Mick’s actions during the intense encounter as well as his humility and candor in the press frenzy that followed have been nothing short of inspiring.
The experience has, however and understandably, left its mark on Mick. The WSL, with help from our friends, is putting together an #ImWithMick support campaign as he readies for the upcoming event in Tahiti.
Details are available in the attached document, but I would encourage you to join us in supporting Mick through this campaign in recording a short message of support for him as he prepares to reengage with his 2015 campaign for the world surfing crown.
Create a short video via your smartphone expressing your admiration and support for Mick in his journey back to competition in Tahiti. Each video should end with “I’m With Mick”.
Post the support video on your social networks using #ImWithMick and @WSL
Thank you in advance.
CEO Speaker and the WSL rallying behind Mick is an inspiration! But maybe a touch clunky featuring bizarrely hagio… Oh never mind! #ImWithMick!
I quickly emailed our wisest scribe, Matt Warshaw, to see if #HesWithMick too. He responded:
My guess, Mick being Mick, is that he’s gone all Iron Man and will be perfectly fine at Teahupoo. This looks, smells and tastes like WSL trying to PR-spin the shit out of what happened at JBay. Ride that shark for as long as you can. I like to think that Bethany Hamilton has enough devil in her to be rolling her pretty eyes. While holding her newborn child with her remaining arm.
Bethany Hamilton really and truly is the world’s greatest living surfer (nothing against Mick. #ImStillWithHim!).