Thursday, April 17, 2014

‘Hawaiians have been surfing for more than a thousand years’

September 8, 2012Print This Post         

From The Believer:

Eddie Aikau was born in 1946, and grew up with his five siblings in a Chinese graveyard in Pauoa Valley, on Oahu. Hawaiians of Chinese ancestry have lived in Hawaii for more than two hundred years, though most showed up in the mid-to-late nineteenth century to work on booming sugar and pineapple plantations. Pops Aikau and his kids maintained the cemetery grounds, digging up old bones and placing them in a mausoleum. The close-knit Aikau family spent most of their free time in the ocean. Diving, fishing, and paddleboarding animated a day-to-day existence of near poverty. As they became more proficient in the waves, Eddie and his brother Clyde started surfing with the native Hawaiian beach boys who partied with tourists and flirted with divorcées on the pristine beaches of Waikiki.

Hawaiians have been surfing for more than a thousand years. There are legends and prayers dedicated to surfing, and the practice deeply influenced and reflected Hawaiians’ social status. In Waves of Resistance, a groundbreaking study of the relationship between surfing, Hawaiian identity, and the movement for native sovereignty, historian Isaiah Helekunihi Walker identifies a “culture of respect and exchange” on the beaches of Hawaii. For hundreds of years, how one behaved in the surf defined one’s place in society. Surfing brought prestige and generated community. A poor kid living in a graveyard could make a name for himself by holding his own in ocean breaks. Pops Aikau knew this, and convinced a local teacher and activist named John Kelly to take Eddie surfing on the winter swells at Waimea Bay.

Though the ocean is placid and family-friendly during the summer months, winter swells on the island’s North Shore are about as welcoming as a New England blizzard. Originating from storms in the north Pacific Ocean, the waves at Waimea Bay, one of the fifty-one beaches covering the North Shore’s eleven miles of shoreline, may not be the world’s biggest, but, measuring from the face of the wave, they reach heights of more than twenty-five feet. From behind, they’re taller than four-story buildings. These were the waves that would come to define Eddie as a surfer.

“Eddie is Gone”, Nicole Pasulka, The Believer

Editor's Picks
Literature:Poetry:Philosophy:

Inherent Vice’s Two Directions

Albert Rolls

The jokes certainly strike one as sophomoric and the latter one as clichéd, further below Pynchon’s intelligence than one would like to think he would stoop, at least in print. Discounting them and moving on, or throwing the book across the room as Parker half implies we should do, however, would be to lose sight of “that high magic to low puns”.

Read More

Auden, Larkin and Love

Ron Rosenbaum

I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb” contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”

Read More

Plato, Our Comrade?

Daniel Tutt

Not surprisingly, there have already been critics of Badiou’s translation. The first is that his translation breaks the formal rules of translation to such a degree that the original meaning of the text has lost its significance. But this critique is inadequate at face value because Badiou’s hyper-translation is forthright in its intention of taking Plato’s concepts and modifying them into his own lexicon.

Read More
Copyright ©  Berfrois.com