"It is now a thing to run for elected office in our society and when you lose to just declare that you won."
Surfing is currently experiencing a vast character deficit. Men or women who slide their boards exceptionally but are also magnetic, polarizing, mildly interesting out of the water. Like Michael Dora, Michael Tomson, Micheal Peterson etc. Mercifully we still have Michael Ho but, unfortunately, the room is seasoned with so much Michael Rodrigues that it is sometimes difficult to taste.
Which makes the just-released four-part documentary series Murph the Surf that much more essential. Award winning director RJ Cutler tells the fascinating tale of Jack Murphy, a champion surfer who stole a very famous jewel, went to jail, came out and was convicted of murdering two women, came back out and preached redemption.
Murphy, though, was also a storyteller very much in love with his own narrative, though not the murder portion. Famous surf podcaster David Lee Scales once interviewed and said he would not want to talk about that bit and/or aggressively steer the conversation away, placing the guilt upon a make-believe fifth man.
Cutler agrees and likens Murphy to one Donald J. Trump in a new interview.
He intended to dominate the conversation and to assert his will, and his desire for the series to be something [positive] which viewers of the series will be clear on. It was very important for him to kind of control the narrative, and he was very committed to that, and he went on [when speaking]. He reminded me of a certain recent president of the United States who I had the experience of meeting a number of times and who also liked to speak a lot, and without a particular interest in other people in a conversation speaking.
Jack is a bit of a Trumpian figure, and I think that this is another instance where you experience that there’s no limit to not only what he’s willing to fabricate as truth, but the fact that he thinks that people will swallow it, perhaps because so much of the truths he’s fabricated, or of the truths he fabricated over his lifetime, were swallowed by so many.
Maybe not the best personality trait but it would be welcome reprieve from cardboard cutouts surfing has now. Michael Pupo? Weary fans turn their lonely eyes to you.