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All photos by Morgan Maassen.

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Dane Reynolds, 90s closeout water shot-style on MR Twin Fin. Perversely, Reynolds came outta this closeout.

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Craig Anderson on one of three waves he caught in an hour-long murky, sharky, sea licey Maroochydore session. But, photogenic as anything.

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And this is Craig’s third wave in the session. Such was the time between waves, Morgan had time to swim in, dry off and set up on the beach.

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Second-last day of a month-long trip to Oz. This photo captures actor (Craig, star of Slow Dance) and director (Dane, creator of Slow Dance).

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While post-Snapper Pro crowds battled each day after last heat, Dane and Craig surfed D-Bah around the corner, solo, every night.

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Somewhere between Yamba and Forster, lost, as they negotiate back roads to find a right they’d seen from the main road, Craig finds relief.

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The photographer says this photo of Craig getting rad was taken on "the hottest day I've ever felt in Australia."

A Nation of Bored Sissy Bastards

From Stab issue 67: A letter to America on its romancing of a stereotype. What kind of character is going to develop in a country where the living is breezy, wars can’t touch us and if you’re not down with the concept of working, your benevolent ruler will toss you a few shekels every week for your weed and Diet Coke. The photos are totally unrelated, by the way, and feature Dane Reynolds and Craig Anderson tweaking out on the Australian Coast.

Words by Derek Rielly | Photos by Morgan Maassen

Is there any good blood in our veins? Do you really want to know? We might beat our tambourines in glory, but glory there ain’t.

For all of your romanticising of this island continent, this sparsely populated desert land with the cartoonish indigenous creatures and white sand sand beaches strung together for thousand of kilometres, Australia… hates you.

As a nation imprisoned by television, we see the USA as a land of Honey Boos and Kardashians, of Fox News and school massacres, derelict cities and a government driven into ruinous debt by the famous military industrial complex. And they’re the good bits. We grasp conspiracy theories as if they were written on ancient parchment. We worship at the feet of Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky. America, the warlord, America the champion of terrorism finally having a mirror held up to its pockmarked face.

Yes, we are an ally in war. From the atolls of the Pacific to the mountainous ridges of Korea and the tunnels of Vietnam, the dunes of Iraq and the valleys of Afghanistan, the Australian dies for the American cause. When a trigger-happy neocon president (Jeb?) eventually strikes at China over some pointless cause like Taiwan or the Senkaku Islands, our tiny army will again climb the parapet and charge toward oblivion.

Don’t be flattered.

We died for the British cause in world wars part one and its much better sequel. Australians are like that. We tough talk about our inherent anti-establishment nature, our supposed larrikinism and mateship, but there ain’t a thing we like more than to be a bitch to the powerful and mighty, warming our little paws under your skirt and in your privates. In public we bark contemptuous; behind closed doors we moan and gasp.

Yeah, the modern version of Australia began as a penal colony for the British a couple of hundred years back. Convicts, mostly, but free settlers too. Under Governors Macquarie and, later, Bligh (yep, the same one), the European fought famine, the cruelty of 19th century justice and tamed a rough land.

We may’ve stole this hostile ancient land but that doesn’t make us unique. The American screwed the Red Indian, the Spanish did it to the Brown Indian, the New Zealander stole the Maori land (but gave it back), the Canadians, the Russians, the British, the French, the Italian… it was all part in the Imperial playbook.

What makes us unique are the advantages given to us and our response to it. Because for all our geographic isolation (astonishingly difficult to invade – as experienced by the Japanese 70 years ago) and with massive stores of natural resources and the perfection of British-led democracy, and all under the long, warbling persuasiveness of eternal warmth and blossom, we’re a nation of bored, sissy bastards.

How did we get here? How about you imagine the Australian as the child of celebrity parents, the Pitts/Jolies, maybe. The Australian is gifted everything he could ever want. Money. Attention. Good looks.

But does that develop and refine his character? How can it? Character only grows in the troughs of great suffering. You’ll find more within the skin of a kid diving for pennies at a Filipino port or an ice-cream seller on the beaches of Gaza or the father of six massaging the squishy bones of Australians on Kuta Beach.

Open the door and look inside. Australia represents intolerance, selfishness and nationalism wrapped in a banana leaf of good times.

You can buy Stab issue 67 as well as our complete back catalogue, right over here.
  • banta

    Surely you could say he same for every western country

  • Rudy

    In the USA they kill each other randomly; whereas in Austrália people prefer to kill imigrantes, Brazilians for example.

  • Stu Azole

    Aussies, particularly the women, should just start with trying to fix their crooked teeth. The rest will get better from there.

  • Spooner

    i didn’t read any of this, the photos of ando made it seem too gay

  • disqus_GVRd6IlGKb

    this was shit

  • David Van Rensburg

    the only australians i know are good ones and , having never been to oz, I’ve no real idea of day to day life there. You make out that suffering is good for character. many people with great character have never suffered and when a person suffers too much ,there is no good in it. If your politics and economy follow america then it’s pretty obvious the oz govt is on a downward curve. As are many govts around the world. Anyway don’t worry, their are quite a few other countries who could be accused of the same acts , minus the banana leaf

  • noodles

    Australia is america”s 52nd state, the 51st. being the UK. Its a cultural desert… just a bunch of rednecks guzzling shitty australian beer, and drunk driving their utes on beaches.

  • burwood

    thank you. I know.

  • Matty H

    Not sure what the fuck this has to do with surfing, but the part where Rielly spouts, “We died for the British cause in world wars part one and its much better sequel.” is fucking demeaning for the thousands of men and women who gave their lives for our freedom and to ensure that fascists and Nazis didn’t seize power. Hardly a sole “British cause” but rather the free world fighting for freedom and as for the throwaway terminology of WWII being a sequel is pretty insulting.

    • banta

      There’s a clear distinction between using casual language to maintain the tone in a piece and ignorance.. but then again that whole paragraph is quite vague.

  • Guest

    What exactly is the point of this article? Australia hates America? Or, Australians have no character? Or, Australians are a bunch of racist, two-faced bogans? It seems to lack a central argument. And regardless of that, what I could make of it seems pretty rich coming from Stab, who, let’s face it, is the biggest trend-following, hipster-worshipping, we’re-really-anti-establishment-but-wait-here’s-an-article-on-Billabong-slash-Quiksilver-slash-whoever-else-is-cool mag in the country (if not the world).

    Rielly, as a long time surfer/surf magazine reader, I still remember an ASL On-Location issue where you wrote an article entitled ‘God and Filth’. That was a fucking cracker of an article. Unfortunately it’s also probably close to fifteen years old now. What the hell happened? Nowadays, if you’re not writing using the idiom of a fourteen year old girl, you’re pumping out this wannabe controversial rubbish that resonates about as loudly as a fart in a paper bag. I hate to be the one to say it, but it might be time to hang up the pen, old mate.

    • Andy

      They worship trends yet i see you post on nearly every article every day? Doesn’t look like you’re opposed to worshipping trends yourself

  • jimmy

    Not sure what kind of statement this was trying to make, but it obviously fell flat on its ass. The “Red Indian” and the “Brown Indian”…? classy. “World wars part one and its much better sequel” wow, even better… Stab might want to stick to lifting videos off of surf blogs, because other than the occasional decent interview, it seem its all you guys are very good at.

  • Grant Colliar

    So you live in Australia Derek Rielly but you are from Peru, so let me get this straight you calling me and the rest of Australians “a nation of bored, sissy bastards”. I have a great idea why dont you go down too Maroubra and tell the locals that and that goes for any town in Australia, you would not last two minutes.

    • Stu Azole

      That’s because they’re bored sissy bastards and likely hopped up on some sort of white powder. If they got jobs they’d not be as bored.

      • Grant Colliar

        Oh sorry so most Australians are unemployed and on drugs. I will admit there are some fuck wits in Aus but no more then any other country. Most Australians are employed, respectful, proud and are not ” bored, sissy bastards”. Australia is a beautiful country with beautiful people and lots of opportunity.This Articles repersents such a small percentage of Australians.

        • Stu Azole

          yeah, not the Maroubra locals you referred to though. They’re largely unemployed, or at least under-employed, and bored. Hence those stupid tats and all that brother’s keeper nonsense. Real men don’t have time for such things.

  • El Snatcho

    Please review your history. The Australian government was prepared to give a large portion of the east coast to the japanese as a way to avoid a massacre on your own shores. It wasn’t the difficulties of invading your island continent but rather the heroism and sacrifice shown by American troops in the Pacific that saved your asses. I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin…..

    • brian

      thank fuck for Peal Harbor !

  • TH

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. I disagree tho with being allies to greater military nations. I think alliances are required and happen in a lot of countries. Australia would have to be the most isolated country in the world, you would have to be crazy not to have some sort of Alliance. If we want to be naïve and think we don’t need allies, well you will never govern this or any other country.
    But that aside, I think the rest is spot on. something has happened to this country, I love my country, but not so much the people in it. I know a lot of people from other countries and they say they find Australians very angry and egotistical. Sadly, I agree.

  • poopoobrown

    Derek, you are the man – don’t let these guys get you down mate.

  • discodisco

    the ironic thing i’ve noticed about australians, however, is their obsession with pretty much everything american. yet so much hate!

  • ThatDank

    craig definitely is the catcher

  • LandonO

    Australia, more than anything, represent making good on the glory of a second chance at freedom, Mr. Riely.
    STAB, I am American, but still disappointed for all people especially Australians, on this runaway train wreck on your most esteemed nation. You need a well grounded social psycho-analyzer to simplify the labyrinth of modern existence into discerning textual reality. Otherwise I usually like your shit. C2C ( I am available).

  • fleshofswine

    haha spot on……high five

  • David Van Rensburg
  • Rudy
  • American Me

    Whaat!? An annoying, self-righteous, egotistical, boisterous, arrogant Australian? They don’t actually exist do they!!?? PS. You lost me at “worship Michael Moore.” Get a clue Skippy. In the meantime you should print this joke of an attempt at journalism out to remind yourself next time you want to take a trip into my country.

  • the roller

    How can one expect to take your lazy writing serious when you get the facts WRONG straight away?

    Defense spending comes in a distant third to all of the freeloaders loading up on “free”shite.

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/01/defens/

  • cuttiesandfloaters

    We’re all sissy bastards as there’s a common theme in all nations of the West; a corporate Government that has, no matter the party elected, used the spell of democracy and the pacifying effect of choice, the planned diminishment of the population’s intelligence through educational policy and the general lobotomizing effect of TV and incessant advertising from a insidiously controlled media, to create nations of zombie sheep who allow the ruling elite free reign to mold their lives to fit the decades, if not centuries long plan for a one world government, where the ruling aristocracy will live like gods and the rest as proletarian meat units. Got to love Jimena Ochoa’s cans and camel combo though, I choose to look at that and get an uncomfortably mild form of horny at my work desk all day.

  • Peter Jelly

    So what was the point of this pretentious piece of writing? “Australians hate Americans with the passion of the Ayatollah…and we Australians suck just as much as the asshole Americans.”

    Garbage writing, not to mention the wrong place for it.

    As an American, I’d say we’re pretty fond of Australians. Generally thought of as some of the most decent people on the planet.

  • madethatway

    Let’s just clarify one small point here –

    It’s politicians who eagerly sacrifice their own to appease loud-mouthed outsiders who can’t help but stick their noses into every other nations business to goad them into a fight. If that doesn’t work, then they’ll set them up via lies and global media propaganda to make them look like ‘dangerous criminals’ (the Iraq war being a clear-cut example), so they can justify controlling resources they’d ordinarily have to pay for.

    That’s the bottom line – and no amount of doctored history books in the western world will ever change that.

    Anyone with a working brain knows it. We might not say it, but we think it, and we know it. In a schoolyard setting, it has a name: bullying. And we’re all guilty of aiding and abetting by not standing up to them.

    If anyone is to be accused of “demeaning the thousands of men and women who gave their lives for our freedom” (because they’re always brainwashed into believing freedom is at stake, and they bravely go to war like lambs to the slaughter), then lets put the blame where it really belongs – with the bullies and their castrated, Norman Gunston-type, sycophantic Aussie politicians.

    As for the rest of the article, I’m confused as to what the actual point is, but if it’s to bellyache about Australia not currently being a third world country constantly embroiled in someone else’s bickering, or not being bankrupt since WWII, then I’m really not seeing the problem and I think the author either needs to change his tampon, or drink a bucket of prune juice.

  • Billy Red Face

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