"Strong drinks and games of chance and idols and divining of arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork."
Shocking news just in from the Jakarta Globe. Powerful Islamic parties, who control a third of the seats in Indonesia’s House of Representatives, want to ban the sale, production, distribution and consumption of any beverage containing alcohol.
Indonesia, of course, has become a repository for the some of the world’s keenest drinkers, the tropical heat and endless open-air bars, particularly in Bali, making the consumption of booze an all-day ritual.
Roughly one third of Bali’s tourists come from Australia, who also enjoy its conduciveness to street-fighting, silly pranks and so on.
Indonesia is also the world’s biggest Muslim nation, home to thirteen percent of its almost two billion Muhammadans and booze, ooowee, it haraam.
Muhammad, y’see, said alcohol’s potential for sin outweighed its medicinal value, something I think is very easy to agree with.
Peel open your Qur’an to Surah Al-Maidah where Allah says:
“O ye who believe ! Strong drinks and games of chance and idols and divining of arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. Satan seeketh only to cast among you enmity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance, and turn you from remembrance of Allah and from (His) worship. So will ye not then abstain?”
Who hasn’t lost a telephone to a cross-dressing pixie while boozed in Bali or tried to annihilate a wall of night-club bouncers, confidence inflated by arak-based cocktails?
Bit of push-back from bar owners and politicians in Bali, that little Hindu enclave east of Jakarta, as you can imagine.
The head of Bali’s regional legislative council, AA Ngurah Adi Ardhana, said the proposal was “shallow and a piece of Islamic self-interest” and that it is “too superficial; Bali will definitely reject it. We are a unitary state built on diversity, and the potential economic impact involved is unacceptable.”
Gray Lady: In scathing new report, the New York Times eviscerates World Surf League claims of being “The Global Home of Surfing!”
Imagine waking up this morning as World Surf League CEO Erik Logan. Sleep still in eyes. Excited, though slightly nervous, with the start of the 2020/21 Championship Tour Season mere weeks away. Competition. World’s best surfers, world’s best waves. Heats.
Scores in and out of the excellent range.
You get out of bed, make a cup of bracing herbal tea still wearing your Kai Lenny pajamas, check the El Porto surf cam, throwing “Hawaiian Handshakes” to the boys in the lineup and whispering “See you in two shakas…” giggling at the play on words then walk past your wall mounted Laird Hamilton signed SUP to the front door to retrieve the morning paper.
The New York Times.
Only the best.
After flipping through many scary stories of Covid-19 spikes and President Trump’s lasting damage to the nation, you stumble across the headline Endless Subscribers: Surfers Follow a New Path to Stardom with the subhead “In the digital era, a carefully crafted persona has become more valuable than contest results.”
You read again “…more valuable than contest results.”
A shiver races up your spine.
Surely the sentiment was meant in jest. You laugh at your own tension, purpose to do some mindfulness exercises later in the day and press forward, excited that surfing is getting the spotlight it needs and, as surfing’s “Global Home,” it will all reflect directly on Santa Monica.
Except the whole thing starts with Sterling Spencer and his forsaking of contests and going the traditional structures in order to carve his own path.
Spencer’s vision held true. After decades during which legacy surf publications folded and the glow of contests dimmed, the longstanding route for promoting the sport and its participants has almost entirely vanished. Surfers remade it, cultivating their own audiences through the digital world and in turn altering the way professionals map their careers. The value of stories told by surfers soon eclipsed the world rankings, and a carefully crafted persona garnered more currency than contest results.
The piece transitions to Dane Reynolds and how he too became truly famous without contests and then to Jamie O’Brien…
With weekly videos that follow his life on the North Shore of Oahu and abroad, O’Brien has gained 655,000 YouTube subscribers, 10,000 more than the World Surf League.
Alana Blanchard, 30, followed a similar path after leaving the World Surf League’s tour in 2015. Her 1.8 million Instagram followers dwarf the number of her former sponsor Rip Curl by 800,000. O’Brien and Blanchard didn’t just get past the gatekeepers. They leveled the whole structure.
“Ten years after I quit surfing, I became a professional surfer through making YouTube videos,” said Graeff, who is known as Ben Gravy. His career took off when a 2017 video of him surfing off a ferry’s wake in his native New Jersey went viral.
And by the time your eyes find the last line, a quote from Justin Quintall saying, “You are your own media outlet…” tears are also streaming out of them, landing softly on your customized Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch placemats.
A hit piece.
The Gray Lady just carried out a hit piece on your World Surf League.
Hawaiian surf star, sparring partner of Sunny Garcia and former world #19, John Shimooka, dead at fifty-one
“When I looked at my baby boy I knew it was all over… I finally found out what we’re really put on earth for, to reproduce beautiful little human beings like Brandon. I have loved children all my life, and to have one of my own is the ultimate. He’s my jewel,” Shmoo told Hawaii’s Star Bulletin.
Shmoo won a tour event in Japan and was runner-up to his best pal Sunny Garcia at Bells in 1995, riding an ultra-fast Greg Webber. He circled the tour for a dozen seasons, finishing nineteenth in 1995.
A gaming card from 1992 said Shmoo “dances to the beat of a different drummer. His reputation as a party animal may overshadow his abilities in the water, whether tearing the tops off Ulu barrels or going airborne at a California beach break, but does he care? Of course not, as long as he has a chance to speak his mind. In which case he would probably say life is too short to be serious. Shmoo lives the classic surfer’s lifestyle: surf the best you can and have fun while doing it.”
Last year, Shmoo spoke at a surfing contest organised by another former pro, Kurt Nyholm, to raise money for Head Space, an Australian charity that provides mental health support for 12-25-year-olds.
“Shmoo spoke of his struggles and the dark places they’ve taken him,” another tour surfer Toby Martin said. “Now we have Sunny(Garcia). So it has to stop, and we need to find ways to help. This event offered a passive way for surfers to reach out. It was a platform so surfers could let their guard down. That helps stop guys from becoming isolated, which I know from my own personal experience is where the problems start.”
Surfers claim “depressive syndrome” and “emotional imbalance” to climb through loophole circumventing France’s no-surfing edict!
An encouraging letter received this morning from Hossegor, a surf-rich town in south-west France and a favourite of BeachGrit, less so for shaper Matt “Mayhem” Biolos who describes the joint in winter as “like the Blair Witch Project.”
Worldly readers will have read of a spike in COVID-19 infections in France, the Republic’s president Emmanuel Macron warning the country risked being “overwhelmed by a second wave that no doubt will be harder than the first”. Kinky Manny “My bodyguard is not my lover”, who began dating his teacher, later his wife, when he was sixteen, said that France must “brutally apply the brakes” to avoid being “submerged by the acceleration of the epidemic”.
Manny said that people need to fill in a form to justify leaving their homes, you can’t cruise around at night and social gatherings are banned.
“Like in the spring, you will be able to leave your house only to work, for a medical appointment, to provide assistance to a relative, to shop for essential goods or to go for a walk near your house,” he said.
Importantly, for the safe of the Republic, no surfing.
Our reader, broadydaz, writes,
On the 28th of October, things started to get shitstain-in-your-pants serious in France for surfers.
The President had just announced the country was locking down for another month from Friday morning. Surfers started to lose their mental biscuits as the thought of being forbidden from surfing: It had already happened once this year earlier in March and it lasted for two months.
Apart from a handful of crafty and courageously selfish surfers who got an occasional fix the majority of the surfing population went dry.
It was a heavy lockdown and even driving around was risky.
This time however there were loopholes and the biggest one was the beach was open. Albeit only for the privileged minority that lived within one kilometre. Also for a sportsman who needed to train.
The last day of the freedom was only accessible for the few who would brave Belharra. The Friday (day one) of the lockdown was primed to be all-time and after watching the forecast closely for ten days it was maddening everyone to tears.
Day one dawned and the webcams proved the forecast correct.
They also witnessed something else. Startingly or perhaps not at all, surfers were surfing.
How could there be so many professionals! At every spot.
Paddling out at Hossegor’s prime big wave location La Nord punters were surprised that it was crowded! Even more surprising was the atmosphere, surfers were happy to see other surfers.
Safety in numbers. Solidarity. Rebellion. Revolution.
Macron had said the forces of law and order would go easy on everyone till they returned home from holidays Sunday night.
Rumours were rife. The police were sending reinforcements and they would arrive the following Tuesday.
Surfers were frenzied over the offshore conditions for days. Fines were to be 135€ and surfers starting calculating how much a three-hour session of six foot waves should cost.
Then dividing sessions into 135€ Tuesday came and no sign reinforcements.
New loopholes surfaced.
Medical certificates could get you a surfing pass.
Surf Instructors had the greenlight.
Then more rumours.
Everyone was abusing authorities and the beaches would be closed from Wednesday to everyone till February. It freaked the surfers out so they surfed more. Others that hadn’t been surfing gave up and went surfing.
Doctors recorded an increase in surfers needing prescriptions to surf.
People were very sick, troubled, needed to surf. New rumours that medical certificates didn’t work and instructors weren’t allowed resurfaced.
Soon no-one would be able to surf.
The surf got better, the wind went more offshore.
More swell. All sorts of size. Big waves, small waves, hollow and fast waves.
More rumours. Second fines would be 3000€. First fines would be 3000€.
Surfers discussed their different certificates.
Surfboard builders were professionals too. They needed to test the equipment.
Every surfing parent needed to train their children.
Surfing became for those few weeks a revolution for some.
It spoke of the passion they had inside their hearts.
They were selfish. Creative. Rebellious.
The beaches would close. But still, they surfed.
New evidence suggests spate of Killer Whale-on-boat violence not tied to revenge but to fun: “They just play, play and play. And the game is getting worse and worse!”
It was first reported,here, two months ago, that a pod of Killer Whales off the coasts of Spain and New Spain (i.e. Portugal) was exhibiting never-before-seen behavior in carrying out coordinated attacks on boats. Scientists and researchers puzzled and puzzled over what it could all mean and, a month later, many concluded they were revenge assaults over injuries sustained.
That the Killers “may have felt compelled to act when they saw a sailboat in order to slow it down by going after its rudder.”
Well, another month on and the situation has grown much worse with attacks increasing in both ferocity and damage. Some last for hours with terrified passengers and sailors praying for a merciful end.
Scientists and researchers reconvened to get to the bottom of this wild business, identified the three culprits and named them Gladis Black, Gladis White and Gladis Grey and have now abandoned the revenge theory, settling on an assumption that the big boys are just having some good ol’ fashioned fun.
Renaud de Stephanis, a biologist who is part of the team investigating, told the BBC, “I’ve seen them hunting. When they hunt, you don’t hear or see them. They are stealthy, they sneak up on their prey. I’ve seen them attacking sperm whales. That’s aggressive. But these guys, they are playing. It’s mainly two of those guys…that are just going crazy. They just play, play and play. And the game is getting worse and worse. They love it. And don’t know why. It just seems to be something they really like and that’s it.”
Well now I like them and like everything they are doing.
I get it and am going to swim out to the lineup at Cardiff Reef and start ramming the fins of every SUP I see with my head for fun.
By the way, did you know that Elvis Presley’s beloved mother was named Gladis but she spelled it Gladys?