Stab Issue 75, 2014
Swan Lake in the Caliphate
For two most long and weary weeks, a group of surfers, including the languid enchantress Noa Deane and the perennial photo boy Jay Davies, toured the Islamic kingdom of Morocco; a trip very important to Stab considering our recent cosmic experience in the Jewish democracy of Israel.
An even hand? Why yes we do!
Such is the even-handedness of Morocco it was determined that Noa, who was listed for both Jewish and Islamic experiences, had to choose one or the other. Morocco, you see, ain’t so keen to host anyone who has been sullied by Jewish hands.
Noa is wearing a pink silk sweater and tight black velvet pants and holding a cigarette in his long fingers on the day I interview him. He captivates when he describes the journey, excerpts printed below.
“It was pretty fucking dry… Jay nearly punched me because I was getting under his skin so bad… the surf was doing my fucking head in… I got the fucking craziest barrels, the biggest cave… the wave was two k’s long… we’d fucking catch waves for a million kilometres, step off down the line after riding a wave for a minute then a car would pick us up and drive us down the point… I kept getting drunk every night so I wouldn’t get sick… we got acid shit in our eyes… this fucking gnarly undercover cop grabbed our guide and ran off with him… me and Jay were so high on hash we went and ate snails… I got pushed up against the wall by four security guards… I was hanging with some Moroccan chicks. Something weird happened but I don’t know what… It was obvious we were staying at a haunted hookers house… that was the heaviest thing that ever has happened to me… I got so fucking high I didn’t know where I was.”
The feature, which is so many pages long, is marked by the theatrical nature of Jay and Noa’s airs. “If you do a big air and bone it, it shows how passionate you are about airs,” says Noa.
Magazine feature writing makes a welcome return in the form of two stories that have ended up book-ending the issue. Shortly, you’ll be struck by Tetsuhiko Endo’s Brutal Love and the Truth of Raising Champions, Dino Andino and the paradox of the sporting father. As it happened, when I assigned Ted (the Anglicised version of Tetsuhiko) the story he bit ‘cause he grew up with a dad hell-bent on turning him into a professional athlete.
“Just think for a moment,” writes Ted, “how complicated a task it is to be both the father of an exceptionally talented child and the teacher responsible for the full realisation of that talent… Sooner or later that will mean asking the creature you love more than anything else in the world, more than yourself even, to push himself past his own limits, to break his body and mind on the mill of his chosen discipline, to gulp the bile of defeat, vomit it back up and ask for more. You will argue viciously with him, criticise his every shortcoming and deny him so many of the little pleasures of childhood that your relationship will be forever tinged with the blood spilt during countless, half-remembered battles.”
The other end of the mag is Jarvis’ The Hardest Bargain, a convincing essay on the desirability of locking up waves from paupers. It’s an environmentally sound theory and will save us all from a blizzard of moral and economic catastrophes, writes Jarvis.
Just ask Shane Doz and Kelly Slater, both quoted at length in the piece. “There are a limited number of consistent world-class waves on the planet and a large and rapidly growing number of surfers,” says Shane. “These spots are quickly becoming super-crowded and nearly impossible for most surfers to catch waves on good days.”
“It’s fucking crowed everywhere,” Kelly says. “I’m not against ‘private’ breaks if they’re in a faraway land and difficult to access and some guy figured it out and set up a camp or boat, but when the floodgates are opened it’s over. I’m happy to pay extra for empty surf.”
Jarvis describes the story as a “great pleasure to write but very painful” involving as it did a switcharoo regarding any democratic feelings he may’ve once held toward other surfers.
I hope you laugh enormously when you read this magazine and exit with a little hope in your heart; a feeling that your ol pal DR has drizzled his warmth along the nape of your neck and in the valves of your heart.