Both Financially and In Spirit
A Michael Jackson estate spokesman draws similarities between the two icons
A spokesman from the Michael Jackson estate, who says the star didn’t surf but followed the magazine, couldn’t help but mention the coincidence while delving into Jackson’s archive of Surfer.
Reaching toward a 50th birthday this year, Surfer magazine and its parent company filed for bankruptcy—a situation Jackson had also been teetering on for many months. But it was the magazine’s moral incontinence and lack of loyalty to fans that caused the Jackson estate spokesman to comment publicly. At the media conference, increasing similarities came to light; like the fact that the two icons went through young people to such an untenable extent, that in later years, both were forced to rely on interns and foreign labor.
Sadly, both Jackson and Surfer tried unsuccessfully to reverse course in their final days. In an effort to shore up his finances, Jackson scheduled a series of concerts in London he was clearly unfit to perform. For its part, Surfer forced its staff to take two weeks of unpaid leave and 20-year contributing photographer Tom Servais was dismissed simply because the magazine owed him money it didn’t want to pay. These actions, the spokesman claimed, reveal the nature of the magazine’s decline—examples, he said, of deadbeat practices much like Jackson’s hundred thousand dollar pharmacy bill left unpaid.
One of the world’s greatest performers in his prime, to the credit of his later years, Jackson held enough dignity to die when his star had faded to such a weak glimmer.
Questions of Surfer’s longevity remain.
Establishes ASP’s First Reading Group
After five years struggling to qualify for a top 44 berth through the WQS, San Clemente’s Chris Ward was shocked to discover a massive lack in reading skills among his new ASP Dream Tour cohorts. Ward later recalled that at his first event in the big-time, one competitor asked him how to spell “uh.”
“What do you mean, ‘uh?’” Ward asked.
“You know,” replied the current #4, “like ‘uh’ dog, or ‘uh’ cat. Just tell me how to spell it, Seppo.”
“It’s an ‘A,’” Ward said, “as in A.S.P.”
“What? That don’t sound right, does it, mate?” responded the top athlete before returning to fill out his facebook page.
This conversation came as a milestone for Wardo. The problem of literacy amidst such gifted competitors simmered in the back of his mind for several seasons. At first he was savvy enough to imagine that there must be a way to use their inabilities to his own advantage. He saw a trifecta of drugs, booze and low reading skills at the heart of the Dream Tour’s malaise. Yet, considering Kelly Slater’s relative sobriety and reading acumen, every scenario Ward envisioned still put him at numbers 2 or 3.
Then in January of ’08 Ward was arrested for beating up a couple of girls in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. At rock bottom in the drunk tank, he realized that taking advantage of others’ weak points—like being girly and not knowing how to hit good—did not necessarily make one stronger.
Understanding that a best case legal scenario would force him into some serious community service hours, Ward decided to take action right then and create his own organization for the advancement of reading skill among top athletes: The Chris Ward Book Club. This humanitarian action just might sway the judge in his upcoming court case, or at least fulfill a community service obligation. And if nothing else, his fellow surfers reading a little bit, well, what could it hurt?
The first meeting of The Chris Ward Book Club kicked off in the competitor’s tent at Sunset Beach during the O’Neill World Cup last December. Other than the fact that it would take place during the comp, this book club was unlike others in that there was no one book to be read. Each competitor was asked to bring their favorite books and read a portion to the group in hopes that those who couldn’t read at all, would be influenced into learning.
Wardo started off by holding up his favorite book. It was titled “Drinking for Dummies.” He couldn’t help but feel pride while looking around the tent and discovering that several surfers brought their own books to read. Adriano De Souza brought “Fast Track to Citizenship,” and Andy Irons brought cult classic “Junky” by William S. Burroughs.
Ward thanked them all for participating and began to read from the chapter: “How to Survive a Bar Room Cat Fight.” Before diving in, Ward pointed out that most of the “dos” and “don’ts” were numbered in this chapter, so the others were able to follow along easily.
Just then, Bruce Irons stumbled into the tent. Ward reacted by raising his book so Bruce could see the title, and then followed by “shushing” the drunken competitor as he continued to babble. “Whoa,” Bruce exclaimed loudly, “Paper puzzles! I haven’t seen so many in one place since I was little keiki kine. I used to stare and stare and never could figa ‘em paper puzzles out.”
“Paper puzzles?” Wardo looked up to ask. “You mean books?”
“Yeah, like math and riddles. Supa’ hard to figa, and with crazy letters. But you guys must be pro readas’, shoots? There’s choke paper puzzles here, brudha.”
Andy Irons quickly stood up and grabbed his younger brother, asking him nicely to sit down and read with the group. “No way Brah!” said Bruce, “dis ‘MY Booze Cruise.’” Andy and Bruce then began to grapple.
Ward decided to read over the ruckus. The others attempted to follow. But then Florida’s C.J. Hobgood stepped into the tent. “Holy Mowly, so many paper puzzles!” said the former champ, “Me and my kin read paper puzzles in a tent every Sunday, same thang just like this. Septin’ we read the same exact book all together, call it the ‘Good Book.’ Me, I like to count to ten, turn the page, and let the preacher feller tell what was said by Jesus and such.”
Adriano De Souza pointed at C.J. and began to laugh. Then Bruce grabbed Andy’s book and threw it at C.J. The Floridian made his fingers into a cross and began to wail the word “Sinners,” over and over while backing out of the tent. Some say he spoke in “tongues,” others say it was backwoods swamp talk. The rest of the competitors, sensing weakness, pounced on the weakling Christian by throwing their books too. C.J. ducked, the books missed him and the Floridian dodged literacy once again.
That might have been the unfortunate close of the first official Chris Ward Book Club. However, when C.J. went on to win the contest, many of the book club members approached Ward asking about this one “Good Book” of which C.J. spoke and asked, “did it really only take a count of ten to get from the top of one page to the bottom?”
Hurley Pro Subdued In the Act by Victim
“It’s like I told me mate, right,” said the victim, 26 year-old Raffe Wills of Perth Australia. “It’s not like no other mate never given me a wristy before. I mean, in the mines of WA you’re bound to get the odd rough man-job a time or two. But when you’re in Bali on holiday, mate, and the wristy artist turns out to be not only a bloke, but your childhood idol, it’s enough to drive a geezer mad!”
Inside Made’s Warung above the famed Bukit break of Bingin, Willsey claimed he noticed the “Shelia’s” intimate resemblance to Pipe Master Rob Machado once the Banchong turned her/his hand over in order to perform the “Western Grip.” Willsey’s eyes met those of the perpetrator’s, and the fanatic follower of celebrity goofy foots marked a certain something in the subtle wink. “First I just thought this was one hairy Indo cunt, but those eyes are unmistakable, mate. I felt pity and rage and shame and, not thinking right, I grabbed the cunt—a lot scrawnier than you’d accept with all that hair, like a thick cat become wet, and I beat him as Pipeline never did.”
The legend of the “Bingin Banchong,” or “Hairy Wayan,” or “Indo Lady Sasquash,” has grown over the last two years. In a culture in which men are often raised in the arts of womanhood and accepted into the community as full partners, Banchongs move about without notice. The fact that this particular Banchong was in fact a famous Western athlete, many say, slipped under the radar because of the prodigious hair and the deeply tanned face.
“Okay look, I didn’t think she was a keeper. I was on me way to Kuta regardless,” said Roger Drake, Willsey’s traveling partner and second in line for the hand job. “But it’s like any holiday place that becomes too popular—the freaks really show their seedy side. I mean, Bali has been on the surfing world’s radar since 1972, and all of these sponoed-seppo cunts [American Pros] act like they discovered the place. What I have to say to them is: Why don’t you take your millions to some place where you’ll pay a touch more than 20,000 rupes for a hand job.”
This is when Willsey stepped in to correct his partner: “But Drako, the cunt was only doin’ em for free mate, that’s why you was waitin’ after me.”
In fact, once Willsey subdued the alleged surf celebrity, local police were called out to the scene. The police took the Banchong into their custody, but Willsey claimed the he/she pulled a cell phone from its thick mane and quickly dialed.
“‘Riz . . . Riz, you have to help, me.’ The thing said Rizal’s name with an American accent, mate, and that’s even further proof it was him. I think Rizal Tanjung put Machado up to this nonsense,” Drako said. “Maybe as part of his movie, or some marketing stunt. For Christ’s sake, Christian Fletcher and his monkey were hanging around last season, how’s a cunt gonna top that?”
After in depth research, Bali’s Brobot reporter discovered that indeed, the legend of the Bingin Banchong described an incredibly ugly man-lady who performed “wristies” without charge. Many of her victims refused to believe the recent link between Rob Machado and the acts that they’d experienced. Further, all agree that the acts were performed with the humble hospitality that they always encountered from the Balinese people. Others claimed to have seen their Banchong paddling an SUP board on flat days, and at least one say he’d seen his lady friend surfing well for a girl at Uluwatu.
Willsey and Drako maintain that after the hairy perpetrator put a call through to it’s contact, the police cell phones rang instantly. Following brief conversations, the authorities released their charge with sincere apologies to the perpetrator and only after 50,000 Rupiah bribes each, allowed Willsey and Drako to go free.
Santa Barbara California
Santa Barbara native Bobby Martinez, a former 7-time NSSA National Champion and the ASP WCT’shighest rated California surfer of 2008, has announced that he will no longer be representing California or The United States of America on the 2009 ASP World Surfing Tour.
“This is a sad day for American surfing” stated Janice Aragon, NSSA director during Bobby’s amateur reign.
After continuing to ramp up his latino image throughout his emergence on the ASP World Tour, Martinez had apparently intended to enter 2009’s competitive season surfing for Mexico but after an alleged botched attempt to smuggle the young pro south to Tijuana via one of the Arellano-Felix Cartel’s drug tunnels and a previous paddle-across attempt (stymied by water quality issues in neighboring Imperial Beach) Martinez decided to stay in his own barrio of central “Aztlan” and fight the good fight. As he pulled up to our interview, his truck was conspicuously bare of the usual bevy of sponsors stickers and instead bore a simple slogan writ large in Old English on a tattered bumper sticker:“Aztlan: Love it or Leave it.”
“Bobby,” who has asked be referred to only by his given name, Roberto, is also dropping the nickname “BMart” as “it sounds too much like a “cut rate retail operation indicative of the oppressive imperialist and racist policies we are wishing to combat in this decision, eh?”
Bobby or, perdon, “Roberto” has thus decided to pull out of competing for his native U.S. to represent “Aztlan”, the spiritual Aztec homeland that encompasses much of the western coast of North America, including his birthplace in central California. Robert Gerard, Rules and Disciplinary Judge, for the ASP World tour, commented “The ASP simply cannot allow its surfers to represent “made-up” countries.”
Contesting the notion that Aztlan is a made-up country, Martinez noted that, “The ASP already sanctions competitors from Euskadi (a semi-autonomous region of northwest Spain and southwest France often called the Basque country) and Hawaii (the not so largely-autonomous 50th State of The United States of America), so in response to the ASP’s decision not to honor competitors from Aztlan, I say ‘No way, guey.’”
Roberto has also announced that he will seek legal guidance in his case to represent Aztlan as its first international star athlete from Mr. Esteban Zul, the . Mr. Zul was quick to mention that Aztlan was the only one of the three “made-up countries” to join “The Coalition of the Willing” offering 500 homies to Bush’s war effort in 2007, and stated that “the ASP’s decision to allow competitors from Euskadi and Hawaii was an important show of politically solidarity in the revolutionary processes of those regions but would lack any real meaning going forward were it to exclude the latino struggle for Aztlan in its campaign to represent indigenous peoples movements.
“It’s really hypocritical,” Mr. Zul noted, “and no coincidence that unlike Euskadi and Hawaii, Aztlan is home to the center of the surf world’s imperialist capitalist ventures.” And perhaps it is no coincidence either then that Broberto ( as Brobot likes to call him) is the only Top 10 surfer headed into the 2009 WCT Season without a major sponsor—or a country to call his casa.
When Robert Gerard was reached for further comment he asked only that we “drop this nonsense of made-up countries” and focus on his intervention in Coco Ho’s notorious 2008 interference against Layne Beachley other high profile issues.
Where Debate Always Rages
Brobot recently caught up with 9-time world champ Kelly Slater at the New York City celebration for his second official “tell-nothing” biography. A “who’s who” of NYC glitz and glamour, the event definitely captured the grandeur of a man who’s earned two biographies in his 36 years. Slater graciously signed first edition copies for fans, and even sat for rare interviews. Sal Masekela, host of E! Entertainment’s Daily 10, asked questions like: “What does the champ eat for breakfast?” or “When you think about love, what do you think about?” and “Do those love feelings get into your song writing?” and “Do you think you’ll write more nice songs after you retire?”
Brobot, of course, took charge of the opportunity to pry away answers to his readers’ most thought provoking questions. Slater’s thousand-yard-gaze met Brobot’s ocular consul, the two shook hands, and they sat down to business.
Slater: (silence, looks around for manager)
Brobot: Oh . . . So, sorry, wrong opening question. That one was meant for Kid Rock . . . My bad . . . stupid robot.
Slater: (further silence)
Brobot: Okay . . . Well, next question: when you were living with your college girl and her roommates earlier last year, did you kick in anything for rent?
Slater: (agitated silence, shifting in seat)
Brobot: Munchies, study snacks . . . anything? Blink if it was over fifty dollars . . . No? Alright. So, you recently told the L.A. Times, quote, “I’ve always worked on my mind and my emotions.” Does dating a girl who none of your friends or competitors have ever hooked up with (except Dane Ward, of course) feed into that?
Slater: (cold silence)
Brobot: But you’re not friends with Leo DiCaprio, are you?
Slater: (stony silence)
Brobot: Because sources have told my staff that after dating Giselle Bundchen and Bar Rafaeli, who were both connected to Leo at one time, you called Leo up, introduced yourself and asked if the two of you could still be “cool”—because, well, you were chillin’ with his former dates.
Slater: (angry silence)
Brobot: And sources say that Leo’s response was: “Who are you?” Is that true?
Slater: (Rises in seat)
Brobot: Champ, wait . . . When you told Andy Irons you loved him just before your Pipe Masters final together, did you mean it?
Slater: (Begins to leave)
Brobot: Do you think your later rejection of him, has fueled his current turmoil?
At that point Slater’s manager terminated the interview.
Stay tuned for an even deeper foray Inside the Slater Dome!
Primate Side-kick Opens Up About Adult Relationship
Earlier this year, Brobot learned that aerial pioneer Christian Fletcher had obtained a new side-kick during an extended stay on the Indonesian island of Bali. Yet Medusa, as the small monkey is called, has ascended mere companionship, and has taken on the “co-pilot” position in the visionary surfer’s next performance innovation.
According to sources, Fletcher claims that he won’t leave the island until he gets barreled at Padang Padang with Medusa on his back. In a recent conversation with Brobot, the monkey confirmed the goal, and said that the only question now, is whether he or Fletcher will drag hands on the barrel’s face. If he gets the nod, Medusa would prefer the double-handed stall perfected by Tom Curren, but he’d settle for the roof drag made famous by Andy Irons. And if Fletcher insists, the monkey may just flip a finger at the camera.
When Brobot commented on the incredible athleticism and unity between the two knuckle-draggers, Medusa commented, “I think we were the last two looking for a relationship. I know I wasn’t.”
The following is a partial transcript of that conversation:
Brobot: So Monkey, not to be blunt, but what the hell has Christian Fletcher been doing in Bali all these months?
Fletcher’s Monkey: He’s on a spiritual type . . . quest . . . to, um, get to the other side of gnarly. I mean, we all know that Fletcher’s gnarly, but he’s taking it further. Pushing the envelop, so to speak.
Brobot: And you’re with him on this quest.
Monkey: Yeah, we’re roll dogs. We get gnarly together.
Brobot: Can you give me an example?
Monkey: Well sure, like, one time Fletcher’s driving a van full of heads down to Desert Point on Lombok. He’s jammin’, squirlin’ out and getting gnarly. Then, just as we’re coming up on the spot, Fletcher says, “Monkey, take the wheel.” And I do.
Brobot: But monkeys can’t drive.
Monkey: I know. We crashed.
Brobot: And some of the passengers, some of your crew, were injured.
Monkey: Yeah, pussies . . . not gnarly at all. I mean, you could lose more skin on Uluwatu’s “racetrack.” So, we kicked the whiners out of the van—we’re rollin’ with different heads now.
Brobot: If we can be frank for a moment, is Fletcher on the lam from authorities in the U.S.? Is that why Surfer magazine wrote that he’s “in so deep, he’s never coming back?”
Monkey: Hard to say. I haven’t seen anything . . . wasn’t there . . . pleading the 5th on that one, and besides, I don’t know anything more that a monkey should know.
Brobot: Rumor has it, though, that the arrest involved a tranny hooker in Los Angeles.
Brobot: So, I suppose there are subjects that can’t be broached even between robot and monkey. But tell me a little about your day-to-day life, you’ve become quite famous as Fletcher’s “roll dog.”
Monkey: Yeah, I mean, it’s like the other day. Chris Ward recognizes me and tries to give me a book as part of his literacy program for the Top 44—that’s when I knew I’d reached another level.
Brobot: What was the book about?
Monkey: Like I told Wardo, “What the fuck? Monkeys can’t read!”
Brobot: What did Chris Ward say to that?
Monkey: He said that Bruce Irons told him the same thing but that Brucey eventually took the book and had someone read it to him.
Brobot: And did Fletcher read your book to you?
Monkey: No, he’s vowed not to read until we achieve our goals . . . I mean, there’s doing and there’s reading about it—and reading about people doing is just not gnarly.
Brobot: So I notice that you and Fletcher look so much alike, you even dress alike sometimes. Is that a conscious kind of decision, or just happenstance from hanging together.
Monkey: Can’t say. I don’t dress myself.
Brobot: Who dresses you?
Brobot: Oh, right, that began to occur after you . . .
Monkey: Shit on his shoulder. It happened at Ocean Beach, the club in Kuta. But we’re past that now. I mean, it’s not as if he never shit himself.
Brobot: And about the quest to get barreled at Padang Padang together?
Monkey: Yeah, we’re still working on that—practicing flipping the bird and grabbing my junk for the cameras.
Brobot: But any chance of nailing the shack soon?
Monkey: Yeah, um, I gotta go. Fletcher wants to go grab a mushroom shake, but thanks for the chat.
Brobot: Thanks, and best of luck, Monkey.
Monkey: Yeah, stay gnarly, Brobot.