Corleone Slater.
Corleone Slater.

Question: Is professional surfing an organized crime?

Gabriel Medina ain't going anywhere.

I discovered Francis Ford Coppola’s seminal masterpiece The Godfather when I was sixteen, maybe seventeen, years old and was hooked from that opening wedding scene. Every frame grabbed my young attention, every operatic movement. Marlon Brando with his distinctive bulldog jaw, John Cazale as the bumbling Fredo, Scott Caan’s pappy James all hot and bothered, Al Pacino, playing Michael, as fresh as a daisy.

I loved it and could not imagine that filmmaking could reach a higher plane until racing to the video store, renting The Godfather part II and popping into the VHS. I had been vaguely aware that sequels could best (see: The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) the original offering but to beat The Godfather?

Well, The Godfather part II did beat it and in every way. Young Vito, played flawlessly by Robert De Niro, Michael’s turn to black, it was flawless and I could not wait to get my trembling hands on The Godfather part III so back to the video store I raced, panting, out of breath.

Now, I had heard that The Godfather part III had its problems, that it wasn’t, maybe, up to standard but those damned critics didn’t know Coppola like I did. Didn’t share his vision.

Except the critics were right. The Godfather part III is, all things considered, a terrible, terrible film and maybe one of the worst ever made. Overacted, under-cooked, a smily gooey mess but there is one scene that still reverberates through cinematic history.

Which made me think about Gabriel Medina’s bombshell announcement, yesterday, that he would likely be withdrawing from the tour next year. Taking a “break” after one of the most dominant runs in competitive surfing history. A Brazilian in his prime just walking away.

But he won’t, will he.

Medina’s won’t miss Pipeline, he’ll be wildcarded right in and he’ll make it to the finals and will either beat, or lose to, Italo Ferreira. Since he’s already in Hawaii, he’ll surf Sunset and do well enough and be ranked either two or three. Sponsor obligations will force him to Portugal for the MEO Pro and he will stay two or three in the world, having to then go to Bells for more sponsor obligations.

Now, maybe he’ll skip Margs and maybe he’ll skip the Gold Coast but no way, no how, will he be skipping G-Land, Trestles, Rio, J-Bay or Teahupo’o and look at him, straight back to the second inaugural WSL Finals Day, rinse and repeat the next year and the next and the next.

Mikey Wright can choose to retire but for the best surfers in the world, the tour is an organized crime.

Never out. Always pulled back in.

Feast your eyes on Corleone Slater.

Three times a champ, Gabriel Medina. | Photo: WSL

Bombshell: Newly minted world champion surfer Gabriel Medina “likely” to sit out 2022 season, “It’s been hard to do this for years. I think the time has come when I need to take a break”

"It's been ten years that I have to be at the same level. It's very intense. It demands a lot."

Four days after winning his third world title in, let’s be frank, a canter, Gabriel Medina has told Brazil media he’s probs gonna step away from the tour next season, joining a conga line of high-profile retirees including Julian Wilson and Mikey Wright.

Medina, who is twenty seven and recently married to actress and model Yasmin Brunet, told LANCE that he isn’t particularly driven to do the whole thing over again next year.

Like, maybe it’s time to eat a sausage from the icebox without permission.

“I need to stop thinking about competition for a while, because everything I do today, food, routine… It’s all focused on competition. I never missed a step. It’s been hard to do this for years. I think the time has come when I need to take a break,” said Medina.

He ain’t a hundred percent pulling out of next year’s tour, but close.

“This year was difficult. It’s been ten years that I have to be at the same level, training, making choices to perform better… It’s very intense, it demands a lot. I want to give myself a break, but it’s something I’ll still stop to think about, leaving it day after day… Let’s see how it goes.”

The WSL has already confirmed Medina will be gifted a wildcard into the 2023 season if he does take off.

Kelly Slater (right) and Gabriel Medina.
Kelly Slater (right) and Gabriel Medina.

World’s greatest shade painter Kelly Slater pours Gabriel Medina’s glass half empty after Brazilian wins third title: “I mean, really, I would’ve been expecting him to be sitting on eight World Titles by now.”


The singular glories of World Surf League Finals Day on Lower Trestles cobbled stone is still reverberating through the hearts of professional surf fans everywhere. Oh, we’ve discussed in depth, here, here, here etc. but storylines are still sprouting from the field of gold.

Scotland’s best-ever surf export JP Currie noted, masterfully, how the 11x World Champion Kelly Slater delivered an “unmatched commentary performance” from the booth and he was exactly right.

It was peak Slater with all the garnishes, describing, opinionizing, taking complete control and euthanizing Turpel, Fanning, even Strider with his oratory.

One thing left off, though, was the absolute masterful shade he painted over Gabriel Medina’s third title.

As the elated Brazilian floated up the beach toward his adoring public, Slater offered, “I mean, really, I would’ve expected him to be sitting on, like, eight World Titles by now.”

And amazing, deftly pouring Medina’s glass half empty.

Even if Medina had gone on a torrid run, winning every single title after his first in 2014, it would still not be enough to match Slater’s 11.

Let that sink in for a minute, both Kelly Slater’s dominance and how every other professional surfer moving forward will only be a footnote.

Shade of which hues have never been discerned by the human eye.

Every color of grey.

The Greatest of All-Time.

“Woke locals” ploy to chase culturally genocidal tourists from Hawaii backfires as hospitality workers laid off in droves: “Capacity is well below where it should be for this time of year!”


In the height of the summer, the paradisiacal yet hellish (buy here) Hawaiian islands received a surge from mainland tourists breaking free from a year of lockdown. The influx, however, coincided with the new and nasty Covid-19 Delta variant and Hawaiian officials, including Governor David Ige, worried that the infrastructure could not handle the numbers so asked those mainland tourists to slow their roll.

“Reduce travel to Hawaii to essential business activities only.”

Woke locals, or “woke-als” seeing an opportunity, piggybacked on the Governor’s request declaring that tourism contributed to cultural genocide in Hawaii by “perpetuating harmful tropes like hyper-sexualized hula girls or doormat natives” etc.

Well, the tourists listened but according to a new Wall Street Journal expose, listened too well.

Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism show that passenger counts in recent weeks are down 30%, hotels are seeing cancellations every day, with 50% occupancy where it should be 75% to 80%, and hospitality workers are losing their full-time jobs, only being offered gigs on a week-to-week basis.

Fear is setting in that, unless the state authorities change their messaging, winter tourism will be decimated leaving many of the island’s residents in true financial turmoil.

On the plus side, colonized narratives redefining aloha will revert to previous meanings.

A win, all told.

PM also wrote Facing Death in Cambodia, a ten-year project about the Khmer Rouge's genocidal reign. | Photo: Fainting Robin

Surfer-turned-war-crimes investigator Peter Maguire and the books you absolutely have to read, and the one genre you must avoid, “If they think their hatred of Trump somehow absolves them of their rank intellectual dishonesty… they should visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center” 

Beach reads for summer!

Here’s a story. Peter Maguire, whom you fell in love with two weeks ago on Dirty Water, lived, for a time, at Mokuleia, on Oahu’s North Shore.

Real quiet, real pretty lil place you go when you want to steal away from the seven-mile miracle’s crowds. Head west from Pipe towards Kaʻena Point etc.

And Pete, with his loaded nine mm pistol on a desk, and his ominous… serenity… spooked all the heavies so much they kept a real wide berth.

Figured he was a spook, CIA, maybe.

When he’s not teaching Chas Smith to grapple, punch, choke, he’s a surfer, war crimes investigator and, among plenty of other things, the author of the seminal Law and War: American History and International Law.

Recently, Peter answered Thirteen  Questions in the Pensive Quill’s “A Booker’s Dozen.”

To wit, what books you might wanna read, and those you should a mile away from.

What are you currently reading?

I never read just one book at a time. I am currently reading Worth Defending, Richard Bressler and Scott Burrs’ new book on Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Fashionable Nonsense, Alan Sokol and Jean Bricmonts’ book on postmodern claptrap, Peter Dimmock’s remarkable novels on American imperialism Daybook From the Sheep’s Meadow and George Anderson: Notes For a Love Song in an Imperial Time, and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness to remember what great writing sounds like.

What are the best and worst books you have ever read?

I loved George Orwell’s Animal Farm for its spartan and bitingly precise characterization of Stalinism. Edmund Morgan’s brilliant history American Slavery, American Freedom articulated America’s central historical contradiction for me in a way that no other book has. Morgan forgot more than all of the authors of the tendentious The New York Times 1619 Project will ever know. Voltaire’s Candide is also a favorite because it shows that good intentions do not necessarily yield good results. C. Wright Mills The Power Elite is also a favorite because Mills was so prophetic when it came to America’s fame at any cost culture. Hey Rube, one of Hunter S. Thompson’s last books, was also remarkable because nobody more accurately predicted where America’s “downward spiral of dumbness” would take us after 9/11.

Worst book?  There are so many to choose from.

Neocon cheerleader Max Boot’s Savage Wars For Peace was dreadful as was David Frum and Richard Perle’s An End to Evil. Both provided the pseudo intellectual underpinnings for America’s ill fated Global War on Terror. A Problem From Hell by journalist-turned-politician Samantha Power was not only grossly over-rated, but also totally unoriginal. Like Boot and Frum, Power provided the neoliberals and “the humanitarian hawks” with their intellectual rationalizations when the Obama administration’s turn came to play world cop.

Book most cherished as a child?

I grew up on boats and in the sea so The Dove by Robin Lee Graham was extremely inspiring to me as a child. At 16, Graham left my home port of Marina Del Ray, California, and sailed his 24-foot sloop, The Dove, around the world. He was the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe and did it without Loran or GPS. He made me want to do similar things.

Favorite childhood author?
Margret and H.A. Rey’s Curious George series and the many authors of The World Book Encyclopedia. I probably spent more hours reading the encyclopedia (A-Z) than any other book as a kid.

First book to really own you?

Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe or Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss.  I was always fascinated by stories about survival and self sufficiency.

Favorite male and female authors?

George Orwell and Joan Didion.

A preference for fact or fiction?

Fact, I don’t read much fiction.

Biography, autobiography, or memoir that impressed you?

I loved Charles Bukowski’s Ham on Rye because it was set in Los Angeles where I grew up and explained so much about Bukowski’s deep loneliness and sadness. Gore Vidal’s Palimpest was an eye opener for me because I knew little about America’s 20th century ruling elite. Vidal was an American aristocrat and his memoir provides a very uncensored expose of so many prominent people.  I have never looked at the Kennedys the same way after reading it.

Any author or book that you point blank refuse to read?

Anything written by the neoconservatives who cheer led America’s disastrous Global War on Terror – William Kristol, David Frum, Max Boot, the ubiquitous Kagans, Thomas Friedman, and many others. I also try to avoid anything written by neocons turned “Never Trumpers.” If they think their hatred of Trump somehow absolves them of their rank intellectual dishonesty and colossal errors of judgment, they should visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

A book to share with someone so that they would more fully understand you?

My book Facing Death in Cambodia and my introduction to my book Thai Stick.  

The last book you gave as a present?

I gave Harry Crews novel A Feast of Snakes to a Yankee friend. He was talking nonsense about the South and Southern writers, but had never been south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I prefer southern and western fiction to the many well publicized New York centric tales of angst and neurosis.

Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?

My book Thai Stick.

A must-read you intend on getting to before you die?
Volumes 1-7 of Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Hans Delbruck’s The Barbarian Invasions, Medieval Warfare, and The Dawn of Modern Warfare. I have nibbled at all of them, but have yet to read them systematically.