Sunday, December 19, 2010

Da Cat

"To what avail the plough or sail, or love, or life - if freedom fail?
Freedom. Freedom to what? Escape, run, wander turning your back on a cowed society that stutters, staggers and stagnates every man for himself and fuck you Jack I've got mine?
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea - "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to sea men, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot or will not fit in.
Little has been said or written about the ways a man may blast himself free. Why? I don't know, unless the answer lies in our diseased values....Men are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security," and in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man really need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Dedication to the sea is the symbol of migration and movement and wandering. It is the barbaric place and stands opposed to society and it is a constant symbol in all of literature, too.
As Thomas Wolfe said, "It is the state of barbaric disorder out of which civilization has emerged and into which it is liable to return."

Sterling Hayden, Wanderer, 1964

Miki Dora, Da Cat, The Dark Prince of Malibu and the basis for every single damn counter culture surfing stereotype for the past 60 years. He was one of the most important, and possibly the most iconic individual, in the history of surfing - not for contest results, but for being at the top of the pile through the boom and then leaving the whole stinking mess behind in the persuit of his personal freedom to ride waves at any expense. He spent some time on the FBI's most wanted list, hung with film stars, smuggled gold and jewels, circled the world continuously, was a pioneer at Jeffreys Bay, pissed some people off, became a cult hero and kept surfing and sticking it to the man right to the end.
All he ever wanted to do was surf, and he did, at almost any cost. The path is made by walking and Dora walked it, that's why his name is permanently graffed on the wall at Malibu - to remind the rest of us what to do.

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