Sunday, August 30, 2009
TOONALOOK POINT, EAST COAST AUSTRALIA: Circus lovers of all ages were treated to an unexpected day of delights as winter's last decent swell coincided with the arrival of a contingent of clowns from the world over.
First to arrive on the scene was renowned circus tramp Otto Griebling, who cut a lonely figure, waxing his clown-board under a solitary street light in the pre-dawn darkness.
Otto, who paddled out off the beach, rode several waves on the end section in a mournful manner, suggesting that his was a lonely existence indeed. Early rising onlookers were said to be close to tears.
Witnesses report this melodramatic opening act was shortlived, however, as a several tiny cars swerved comically into the carpark and began disgorging implausibly large numbers of occupants. As many as twelve representatives of the famed Brazilian clowning and tumbling fraternity were seen falling out of a single early-model Suzuki Swift.
“I didn't know whether to laugh or cry” says local fisherman Tom Parrish. “seeing up to 20 of ’em, all trying to reach the same jump rock at once, challenging passers-by to 'smell my flower' and getting their implausibly large shoes stuck between the boulders – then choosing the exact wrong time to launch...”
Impressively though, a troupe of surfing Charivari clowns of unknown origin turned on a splendid routine of acrobatic maneuvers and spirited jumps off a mini trampoline and vaulting horse positioned on the high tide ledge, and out into the lineup, whereupon they paddled north around the headland never to be seen again.
By 9.00am, the scene at Toonalook was one of no-holds-barred comic gaiety. And as the traditional circus tune floated out over the lineup, local clown Frank Saluto pedalled furiously along the foreshore on a bike the size of a small briefcase, angrily denouncing the number of clowns who had invaded his break.
According to spectators, Saluto approached a trio of Japanese Harlequins performing a humorously synchronised stretching routine on the foreshore and accosted them.
“You're all a bunch of clowns” Frank shouted, “And I'm going to throw this bucket of water over you. Oh yes I am!”
The more the terrified Harlequins protested that Saluto not douse them with the bucket of water, the more animated and insistent Saluto became, until after a protracted theatrical exchange he finally threw the contents of the bucket at them.
Thankfully, the bucket contained not water, but confetti.
“That'll learn yas. Now Fuck Off!” Saluto reportedly exclaimed, taking a deep bow.
As the tide dropped and the swell became less consistent, several custard pie skirmishes were reported from the lineup, the most intense exchanges occurring when ageing campaigner Chester Sherman appeared on a Stand Up Paddleboard with a unicycle and a separate set of handlebars, giving the appearance of a bike-that-comes-apart.
Regular clowns applauded Sherman's follies but the moment he edged into the take-off zone, a number of clowns engaged in the time-honoured 'chase' routine, whereupon they set upon Sherman with most convincing mock violence.
Despite the physically draining nature of the clowning routines – the pulling away of chairs at the last moment, the construction of balloon animals, the pulling of an endlessly long hankerchief from one's pocket – the impromptu carnival lasted from dawn to dusk: as one troop of clowns tired of performing, there appeared innumerable replacement clowns willing to take their place.
One notable exception to this was famed french Pierrot clown Bernard Delfont, who spent the day slouched against the bonnet of his citroen clownmobile, and upon being asked when he was intending to join the frivolity in the water, responded with 'Pfffffft', and flicked his cigarette butt at your reporter.
By nightfall however, calm had been restored. The circus had moved on, and even Otto the tramp was reportedly nowhere to be seen. The only traces of the day was scattered confetti and numerous rubber chickens littering the high tide line.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
By Guest Goldminer Nick Carroll.
Toonalook Point, East Coast Australia – Local Surfers pronounced themselves furious today after they claimed the Internet had not warned them about a lull just before lunchtime.
The lull, which appeared in the midst of an otherwise consistent five foot south east swell, left numerous surfers sitting out the point for over 10 minutes.
“It was like the swell had vanished,” claimed apprentice plumber John Jones, who’d paddled out at around 11am after getting a downpipe installed earlier than expected. “One minute it was pumping, then the next it was pretty much flat. I was worried I might not get back in before me boss got down for the lunch surf check and busted me.”
Sets began rolling in again fairly soon, but not before a number of surfers and onlookers had begun asking serious questions as to why the Internet had not predicted the lull.
“It’s this sort of unreasonable inaccuracy that causes us to lose faith in this Internet thing,” declared old time local surfer Paul “Piggy” Smith, while others murmured their assent in the background.
“People talk it up, but if the technology was all it’s cracked up to be, it surely woulda warned us about this.”
A spokesman for the Internet later explained that the gigantic global computer network, which links together literally millions of separate databases and server farms into a vast, shadowy electronic web ominously similar to the human-extinction-seeking Skynet from the Terminator film series, had suffered a “glitch”.
Meanwhile, back at the Point, a number of surfers declared they would not be venturing into the water again until they could be sure the forecast was flawlessly accurate. “I’m on surf strike,” said Harry Harolds, a financial services advisor up from Melbourne on holiday. “It doesn’t make sense to waste the effort of paddling out when you can’t be sure there’ll be a set in 25 minutes’ time.
“If the Internet was this hopeless with forecasting the stock market, imagine the state of the world economy. It just can’t go on.”
Friday, August 14, 2009
SAT 15TH AUGUST 2009 – Erratic celebrity demographic analyst Dr Phil Warner has stunned the world of surf academia with a puzzling essay published last week in respected grown-ups journal Quadrant.
Dr Warner postulates that Modern Collective – a band of talented young surfers and filmmakers – has evolved beyond Modernism into the-harder-to-define-creative genre of Postmodernism.
Controversially, Warner argues that the instant Modern Collective came into being, Postmodernism's ironic shadow began to fall over the plucky troupe.
“Surely even coupling the words 'Modern' and 'Collective' is sheer Postmodernism in itself” Warner writes in his typically ill-informed manner.
For the uninitiated, Modernism is broadly defined as a rejection of the immediate past – thumbing its nose at the the certainty of accepted thinking. It's a self-conscious genre of artistic expression, where the process – the act of creation – is as important as the work itself.
“In these respects, the modus operandi of Modernism suits Modern Collective down to the ground” Warner continues in a rare moment of clarity. “These athletes are light years ahead of the pack, and combined with Filmmaker Neville's deft touch there's daylight between the Collective and the rest.”
“Interestingly though, the moment a breakaway flourishes, it becomes a target of sorts, and all manner of counter-dynamics come in to play. A sense of world-weariness and irony infuses the moment.
“Surf magazine forums play host to increasingly vitriolic commentary – a reaction on the part of the everyman, perhaps, who sheds admiration for envy and soon drifts to disdain.
“The young athletes in question are simply doing what any 20 year old with cash and talent would do, yet through the merciless prism of new media – the generic rage of the bedroom-bound forum-hound – the perceived line between rebel and establishment blurs.
“Though their personality has not changed a jot, the anti-hero is soon regarded as a bit of a dick. A customised wetsuit that might have once seemed subversive is now the affectation of a dandy and a fop.”
Midway through his ill-conceived essay, Dr Warner appears to abandon structured prose for a more stream-of-consciousness approach.
“The kids can't win: they're ridiculed for wearing anything remotely fashionable; for wandering into country cafes with sticker-covered laptops; for ordering their eggs benedict; for preferring an onshore ruffle; even for innocently mentioning a creative ambition or two, and – God forbid – referring to surfing their brains out as 'work'.
“Cornered, the Collective scramble for ever rarified territories of fuck-you-we-do-what-we-want – getting inked, tossing money like so much toilet paper away to incredulous croupiers, jaded binges ... possibly white-anting a dignified middle age down the line.”
Dr Warner, possibly writing in a state of drug-induced psychosis towards the end of his essay, continues:
“Look close into the eyes of these acrobatic darlings and you see the haunted clouds of Modernism and Post Modernism colliding in a perfect storm. Or, to borrow a metaphor from politically unsound fable Little Black Sambo, these conflicting genres are the two fighting tigers – who chase eachother's tails, faster and faster, incessantly until they melt into butter.”
For his closing argument, Warner goes on to compare Modern Collective with the Angry Penguins – an Australian breakaway literary and artistic movement of the 40s, the first two seasons of Desperate Housewives, and seminal '70s American music outfit Grand Funk Railroad, (which explains the photo back up the top, if the reader has made it this far).
Sunday, August 9, 2009
SUN 9TH AUG, COOLANGATTA – One of surfing's most enthusiastic “Save Kirra” proponents has been sighted on Greenmount Hill in a state of great uncertainty, sources report today.
Mark Britmore spent upwards of half an hour leaning dejectedly on the railing of the popular lookout, which affords a sweeping panorama from Snapper Rocks, through Rainbow Bay, Greenmount and through to Kirra.
Where once the three foot swell would have provided Mr Britmore and others with a snappy righthander from Snapper through to Coolangatta, the Tweed Heads surfer struggled to identify a section worth paddling out into.
“This isn't what I had in mind when I called for a return to the good old days” complained the 34 year old self-employed mechanic. “I wanted all-time Kirra AND The Superbank but now I've got farken nuthin'.”
Friends and family claim they first noticed a lessening in Britmore's conviction in early July after a run of frustrating sessions in the Coolangatta area.
“Originally, Mark was quite the evangelist about the need to bring Kirra back,” Mr Britmore's father, Stan, told The Goldmine.
“Should have seen him after the Australia Day 'Save Kirra' rally and paddle-out in January – came over for dinner that night draped in an Aussie flag, sunburnt and drunk, and told us all how criminal it was that the Superbank had effectively buried surfing's priceless jewel under tonnes of sand, and that he wouldn't rest until Kirra was restored and everyone was getting the shacks of their lives.
“I didn't have the heart to point out to the lad that if Kirra ever did come back, there wouldn't exactly be the same sense of camaraderie that everyone felt during the Oz Day paddle-out, and he could basically look forward to a Superbank-sized crowd getting condensed into single, tight take off zone.”
Stan – a lifelong Coolangatta resident who's surfed the area for four decades, continued:
“I also didn't want to prick his bubble by pointing out that the nostalgic testimonials delivered by the celebrity locals – where they described Kirra as providing the 'most incredible barrels of their lives' – well, shit, some of em musta been fricken 12 years old back then, so their recollections are undoubtedly distorted by the passage of time and the wide-eyed wonder of youth.
“Call me a cynical old bugger,” the 60-year-old chuckled, “but one minute the superbank's the greatest thing since sliced bread, the next it's the villian and boo-frickedy-hoo-cry-me-a-river for Kirra... let's not forget that Kirra'd sometimes only get epic a handful of times a year anyway, and generally needed a shitload of swell to get moving if it wasn't angled in just-so from the east.
“Nah, I've kept those thoughts to meself ... and it's been good for Mark, at least he's got a cause to get behind. But I think he's in for a bit of a letdown when Kirra shapes up again.”
“He's also been getting a bit wistful about the good old days of the Superbank. That didn't take long.”
Sources close to the Britmore family say that Mark's seven-year-old son Tyler could be the biggest victim if the reborn Kirra doesn't live up to expectations.
Until recently, Tyler's bed-time stories have been exclusively devoted to the mythical break.
“Daddy told me stories and he swore they were true – how every day at Kirra was better than the day before, that the water was actually lemonade, the rock groyne was made of chocolate, swells came in million-wave sets, and the Pizza Hut employed fairies who'd fly out the back with slices of super-supreme so you could stay out and surf all day with no-one but your bestest friends ever.
“Sometimes when Daddy would tell me these stories he'd start crying and I'd ask him 'why are you crying Daddy?' and he'd tell me it was because he thought that maybe Kirra was too beautiful for this world.”
When pressed for further comment, Mark Britmore held his hand up to the wind, groaning “FARK! Now it's goin' farken northerly!” – and wondered aloud about forming an action group to raise awareness about the injustices of spring.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Average Surfer Disappointed To Find Self Not Surfing Like Joel Parkinson After Purchase Of Joel Parkinson Model Surfboard.
By Guest Goldminer Tim Fisher
WEDNESDAY 5TH AUGUST, Curl Curl NSW – After a highly anticipated first-surf on his new board this morning, Beacon Hill surfer Boyd McKillop emerged from the water with a sense of deep puzzlement at his performance, sources close to the 31-year-old stated today.
The cause of McKillop’s bewilderment stems from the recent purchase of a Joel Parkinson signature model produced by Gold Coast manufacturer JS Industries.
Well-known surfboard creator Jason “JS” Stevenson based the “Parko” model around designs for team rider and worldwide surfing celebrity Joel Parkinson.
Of the model, the JS Industries website says it “is built around Joel’s progressive manoeuvers and seamless flow that continues to push surfing boundaries each year.”
McKillop, who has met neither Mr Stevenson or Mr Parkinson, was crediting the Parko model with a vast improvement in his own surfing as early as 4.30pm yesterday, while still in the carpark of Pacific Juice Surfxess, Manly.
Despite not having ridden the board, he put his confidence down to Parkinson’s incredible competitive year and an email received last week via popular social networking website Facebook.
“When I saw that post from JS on Facebook saying the Parko signature model will blow your mind … well, I’m not usually a sucker for advertising, but I’ve always watched Parko’s video parts and thought I kinda approach waves the same way he does.
“I realised that one of the major obstacles in my own performance was simply that I’ve had the wrong equipment under my feet for years.
“Besides,” McKillop added, “the guy in the surfshop reckoned this board would suit me to the ground. And he threw in a free block of wax.”
Longtime surf partner Ray Greive was present during McKillop’s first session on the Parko model, and says he wasn't surprised by McKillop's latest purchase of celebrity-endorsed hardware.
“Boydy's always been a bit of a sucker for pro gear. When Billabong brought out those ‘Rising Sun’ boardies that year Andy was going for his last world title, Boydy was the first person on the Northern Beaches to buy a pair. And I’ve often heard him scoff at other mates for buying a cheap Balin or O&E tailpad, instead of the Bruce Irons signature pad he swears by.”
Witnesses of McKillop’s first session on the Parko model say early signs were promising – sprinting down the beach and paddling around the lineup with a striking degree of confidence and excitement.
Sadly, this enthusiasm did not increase McKillop’s success with any of his regulation manoeuvres, which include floaters, and three-stage cutbacks. Several awkward changes in direction not consistent with the smooth style Parkinson is known for were also reported.
“The board’s way too narrow and thin for Boyd,” said Grieve. “Not that I’d tell him that. He’s so psyched on it, but you could tell straight away he’s going to struggle with the thing. I mean, the bloke’s never done a vertical re-entry in his life, and you wouldn’t exactly describe him as an in-the-pocket kinda surfer.
“The board looks amazing, but it's not gonna help him get to his feet in one smooth motion.”
McKillop, who spent several hours studying the Parko signature model on the JS Industries website before his purchase, responded indignantly to suggestions that the subtleties of a finely tuned professional-model may not result in the expected quantum leap in his own surfing performance.
“They reckon this is the best board EVER produced,” McKillop said, his voice rising slightly. “If the most naturally gifted surfer in the world is riding them, they speak for themselves.
“I’m kinda surprised my reos weren’t a bit sharper, sure, and there was that carving 360 where I came unstuck at the end, but give me a week to feel out the rail and I reckon you’ll be watching a different surfer.”
The yawning chasm between McKillop and Parkinson both in and out of the water was compounded when McKillop made his way up the beach to a maroon 1989 model Ford Telstar. Kneeling next to the front bumper to retrieve his hidden car key, he paused briefly as a group of young women made their way to the beach. The three girls, aged between 19 and 22, did not return McKillop’s glances, despite the Parko signature model clearly visible next to him on the gravel.
When contacted about the morning’s events, both Jason Stevenson and Joel Parkinson declined comment.