Pipe and Andy // Two types of silence

Ding Alley
Ding Alley

No-one’s more gutted than Ding Alley about the unfolding dramas faced by the Woz right now, and can only imagine the phone calls Elo’s still making – perhaps, erm, feverishly – as the good ship Woz founders on the rocks mere moments after casting off on the fraught voyage of season 2021.  

Poor bastards seriously can’t take a trick. 

Our collective response to the scenario on the North Shore has been almost as fascinating as the drama itself. And while the Woz should certainly be hit with a rolled up newspaper and scolded for its sins of silence over the last 72 hours, we should bear in mind that no doubt a fucking diabolically difficult situation has been right in the balance, and perhaps there’s been nothing concrete to tell us.

I dunno, despite all the direness, and the non-existent comms, it seems to me like we might be a bit hasty calling for Elo’s head, and even though it gives us the feels of knowing betterer, maybe it’s a bit shrill and pearl-clutchy? 

Guess it goes to show, ironically, how much a lot of us really, really want to have pro surfing in our lives. How important it must be to us, even those who reckon it’s fucked and they’re all doing a shit job, etc.

But perhaps I’m too forgiving of the Wozzle and their Shemozzle. Back in 2016 I spent a year working for a similarly maligned organisation – the local council – who, among the community, were to blame for everything bad under God’s green earth. 

Never mind having our shit flushed away daily via the elaborate miracle of underground sewage, our poorly-separated rubbish collected weekly, all the parks and verges and firebreaks maintained, countless services etc – the moment that dog poo bag dispenser runs out at the park, Council are Fucking Hopeless and they should All Be Fired. 

It’s often a very different story when you see the reality on the inside, for starters you get a clearer picture of the circumstances and contexts and constraints that people work under, and so with that information you get to see why some things are as they are, and a bit of compassion creeps into your call.

Not saying Council or the Woz are faultless, of course, or should be exempt from scrutiny, but we should always ask ourselves, when calling for dramatic intervention (perhaps the most outrageous example I saw somewhere was that Elo be taken out into the cane fields and executed), is do we really know enough about what’s really been going on to sincerely pronounce our judgements? Or are we jumping the gun?

But while we do well to think before we speak, the Woz would do equally well to simply SPEAK. As the masterful Longtom has pointed out – with the air of a weary schoolteacher going over the basics of the screaming-fucking-obvious to a lazy student for the umpteenth time – for God’s sake, control the effing narrative, boy. What’s the worst that can happen? Nothing worse, surely, than a bunker-mentality-shutdown-void that will inevitably be filled with speculation by the collective of ill-informed idiots (of which I am a proud card-carrying life-member.)

Anyway – speaking of ill-informed opinionizing – in Ding Alley’s day two recap, we passed fairly critical judgement about the tributes to Andy that intersperse the wozcast, reproduced in part here:

“We all love Andy Irons and remember his irreplaceable talent, but gotta say the one-note lionisation of AI through the ad breaks is unsettling. It feels like a missed opportunity to use the power of his story to an effect greater than simply trying to shift Rising Sun merchandise. 

“Why not do a spot using Andy’s story to encourage anyone who’s struggling with life to talk to someone, to know they’re not alone, and perhaps take the first step on the long, often hard-yards journey of rigour, discipline and self-love that is healing and recovery. It’d be challenging to execute such a message the right way, especially for an organisation estranged from nuance, but not impossible. 

“Imagine if AI’s legacy counted for something vital like that.”

If you’ve missed the Pipe Wozcast so far, basically the AI spots are nice, touching tributes to Andy’s unique, otherworldly, influential brilliance in the water. But as to the story of his life and his struggles, well, there’s another variation on that silence.

After calling the Woz out about their one-note tributes, and suggesting they could also have put something together that carried a different level of meaning, your Ding Alley writer has remembered that it’s harder to criticise once you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes. 

And so to that end have put together a VERY lo-fi demo, sketching out what such a suggested ad-break clip might look and feel like.

 

 

Hastily written, using pilfered lo res images from the net, generic library music and my unfortunate nasal twang for the voice-over, this effort is not what you’d call slick, but it’s an exercise in putting our money where our mouth is.  

It’s not like this message would replace the other spots – you’d only run it occasionally so as not to hit punters over the head with repeated sermonising – but we reckon something along these lines would be a worthy part of the mix.

And, yep, you could accuse D.A of virtue signalling here – not without justification – and, it must also be said that we’re not authorised or qualified to inform or educate about Mental Health, but I’ll stand by it, complete with whatever flaws are within, because even if there’s anything in it that’s offensive, or wrong, it’s got to be better than the mute button the Woz (and the Bong, in this case) seem to instinctively apply to anything challenging or uncomfortable. 

Maybe the Woz could take notes from Andy’s approach in the water, and not be so timid. 

// DING ALLEY
Ding Alley is Illustrator David @maccatoons McArthur and Writer Gra Murdoch. 

Comments

Dillosurf's picture
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Dillosurf commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:19am

Love the video lads. Such a simple but powerful message. Here’s hoping it goes viral in our community.

Chaz's picture
Chaz's picture
Chaz commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:21am

Go ding!!!!!

mattlock's picture
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mattlock commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:25am

Great stuff again Ding Alley.

kieranol's picture
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kieranol commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:28am

No bad for a demo. Probably if you could get some current or former WSL surfers to contribute on what they experience in the way of emotional roller-coasters throughout their journey and how they cope with it might generate a bigger impact for more people with the idea that more of us are struggling with life than we all really realise. Just a thought !

Tooold2bakook's picture
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Tooold2bakook commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:32am

Thanks guys for doing some good

surfinado's picture
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surfinado commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:33am

Even though it’s only in regards to the selfish shitshow of surfing, your work has such power and models the type of compassion and consideration that humanity needs to save itself and the planet. Ding Alley for PM.

Livin large, lovin life

derra83's picture
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derra83 commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:42am

Up the Dingers!

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:48am

Very , very good. You make it look too easy , Ding Alley .

And here’s the knife twist - the fact that an Oprah Network alumni who specialises in marketing couldn’t come up with something similar shows just how deeply entrenched the inauthenticity runs through the culture he represents.

Sympathy for the WSL is a non existent. I feel for the surfers who’ve given their all to become the best and I feel for employees on an individual level for having their livelihoods threatened but give zero fcks about the corporation, its owner and the executives responsible for such shitfuckery as trying to ban unsanctioned photographers from events , the strategic exposure of surf breaks against the wishes of locals and the attempted usurpation of the entire surfing culture .

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 4:16am

Yes. Yes to all of this. E-Lo still gotta go.

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:51am

Not virtual signalling mate. Just a message from someone who genuinely gives a fuck unlike the bulk of the 'pro surfing' machine.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:51am

Tearjerker, but no cheese. Well done, guys.

Oh, and ELo's knees cracked me up.

macman's picture
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macman commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 12:04pm

I agree with your ideas and think your video tribute is brilliant because it is simple, honest and not pushing any agenda other than community welfare. Something like that has been sadly missing. I'm sure it will resonate with more people than you will ever know. Sometimes it's our satirists who really show us all the way on a very wide range of issues. Your writing is a tangy bruschetta!

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 12:53pm

Nice write up again Ding Alley.

The quote "Poor bastards seriously can’t take a trick." I can't take seriously and have very little sympathy for the organisation as a whole. It is proving time and again that it really is just amateur hour, set up with egos flailing around like lost little children at the zoo.

The whole "everything is rosy in pro surfing" corporate BS is getting very tiresome and as you have pointed out, there are missed opportunities, they choose to just ignore or sweep it under the carpet.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 12:57pm

Bravo fellas, just goes to show the importance of having grass-roots input.

To paraphrase other posters here, the level of saccharine-coated platitudes, the wall of positive noise coming from the Woz shows a tone deaf and inauthentic degree of American corporate-style engagement.

lucky-al's picture
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lucky-al commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 1:00pm

great work, ding alley!

Baron von Spatula's picture
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Baron von Spatula commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 1:21pm

... methinks 'bong should donate a (hefty) percentage of the profit from flogging Rising Sun boardies (and AI's image) to Mental Health advocacy / community awareness initiatives ... ?

Anyhoo's - stellar work Gra.

Gra Murdoch's picture
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Gra Murdoch commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 1:47pm

The 'Bong do donate an undisclosed percentage of AI merch profits to the AI foundation, which conducts some good work around the islands, (most recently a load of C-19 masks to Kauai)... Another storyline in the narrative, just waiting to be put together coherently.

Alex Workman's picture
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Alex Workman commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 1:41pm

That was absolutely brilliant. Thank you, Ding Alley!

scott.laurenson's picture
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scott.laurenson commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 1:45pm

it was good

Bob Sacamano's picture
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Bob Sacamano commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 1:51pm

Bravo Ding Alley. A much more rational sentiment than us blood thirsty punters. But in effect showing how far off the mark the corporate wozzle are from their fanbase. We all wanted to see pumping pipe and were reminded of that. Still no sympathy for Elo, and now the silence is deafening. That video was spot on.

JM's picture
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JM commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 2:13pm

Someone (WSL/Bong) needs to produce and get that vid out there. Good one DA.

crg's picture
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crg commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 2:24pm

Thanks Gra.
As someone who has experienced the roller coaster, there is nothing more detrimental than silence. When there is no compassionate dialogue, truth and honesty, there appears no hope. If one person sees that message, they just might think there's a chance and reach out.
Thank you.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

Mishad's picture
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Mishad commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 3:48pm

I wanted to post on your first article regarding AI's bipolar struggle but missed the opportunity. Great little vid mate. Some members of my family have struggled with severe mental health issues and are now shadows of their former selves living out their days subdued on medication. I truly believe I didn't face the same fate of mental hospitals, pyschs and heavy meds is because I've dedicated my life to understanding the psyche, how it works, how we can dissolve our shit, working on my shit continuously for over a decade and still going, and now work with others to dissolve their traumas and issues holding them back from fulfilling their potential. Between surfing and that, my life is complete. Otherwise I'd also be a statistic.

And it certainly puts my run in with Andy Irons 20 years ago on the islands into perspective. I was hitching from Hanalei Bay to Haena beach park with my board and bag of groceries, when a large pick up swerved across the road and came within inches of taking me out. I stood in the middle of the road and stuck my finger at the offender as they drove off hoping they'd see me and face me, by then I was almost in rage and would fight Mike Tyson if he stepped out of the vehicle. So the pick up stops and starts reversing...I start looking for a rock or stick to defend myself with, then the pickup stops about 30m away and who's head sticks out of the pick up and yells "you think you're someone special sticking your thumb out on the road!"? Andy Irons. I yelled something to the effect of 'fuck off dickhead!' then he drove off. Glad it didn't escalate. Totally irrational behaviour but it's obvious he wasn't in a stable state at the time.

Anyway wasn't til years later it came out he suffered from bipolar disorder, and although it's no excuse for bad behaviour, it does put it into context and what used to be resentment has been replaced by compassion and appreciation for him. We are all susceptible to various degrees of mental issues depending on the stresses involved and how/if we are able to resolve them. I'm thankful Ding your're efforts to bring more awareness to this and it's obvious your life is also touched by this issue in some way. Cheers.

lucky-al's picture
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lucky-al commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 4:55pm

Nice story, Mishad! Can totally imagine Andy doing something like that, and the scowl when he stuck his head out the window. And maybe the next morning he would have picked you up with a friendly smile, aloha mate! Ding Alley should include a recreation of the incident in his vid!

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 5:09pm

Ahhh this is brilliant. And what a way to honour this legend. Thanks Ding Alley. That's one of the best things i've seen this year.

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offshoreozzie commented Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 at 11:32pm

Brilliant. I have felt this tragedy always needed addressing and for the wsl/someone to reframe it with honesty, openness and a message that others can draw hope and inspiration from.

Something always seemed off with Andy. I wasn't a fan. I was younger and a little more virtuous, but without knowing the details he just seemed to be an asshole and throw it all away while not appreciating what he had. Now older and more mature, with my own struggles, I see that not addressing his mental health issues (or being able to overcome/manage it) actually tore it all away. Very sad.

Remember the famous song line - "...the drugs don't work, they only make it worse..." for me personally running from it and trying to ignore/numb it was the worst approach.

It's a bullshit world we live in now so I can only see things getting worse, but it is great to see the stigma of mental health is decreasing. ✌️

scroty's picture
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scroty commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 10:29am

Nicely done.
Was bringing up his opioid addiction a step too far, or a topic for a separate video?

Gra Murdoch's picture
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Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 5:49pm

Hey scroty. You're absolutely right to bring up the drugs. I found it hard to work it into the clip without turning it into something even longer, and wanted to focus on a simple message of help rather than go down the rabbit hole. I'm no expert but I would say that drug abuse and mental health issues are overwhelmingly connected and profoundly intertwined, and the cause and effect definitely runs both ways. I don't really get behind the judgemental zero-sum, either/or way of looking at it, as has been suggested elsewhere in the comments here, and would encourage those crew to remember that others life circumstances might not be quite the same, and have a bit of compassion. That said, I reckon (and this is pretty fucken judgemental) that most of us suffering Mental Health issues just kinda HAVE to give recreational drugs, including piss, a big swerve, to have the best chance at freedom. I suspect a fair few crew are unwilling for whatever reason to go down that super disciplined route. I dunno, I'm way out of my depth with this stuff hey.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 7:08pm

Really well said Gra. Had similar questions re. the drugs and kinda came to a similar conclusion. Good question to Scroty.

soggydog's picture
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soggydog commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 9:50am

Yeah, I’ve called bullshit on the bi-polar before.
It would seem that he was just a highly talented narcissistic arshole with a drug problem. The bi-polar sob story was roled out post mortem to protect his legacy, so the machine could keep flogging his corpse until his bones turn to dust.
Be really refreshing if somebody told the truth. And I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

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scroty commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 10:33am

I wasn't suggesting he didn't have bi-polar. I don't have any evidence to dispute that, so am willing to believe the reports from those close to him.
The drug use may have been self-medicating, but friends can also provide a lot of support for that problem as well as mental health.
Having the industry willfully ignore the drug problem is a different matter though.

soggydog's picture
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soggydog commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 9:52am

A.I.(making us money)Forever. Oh the good feels!

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jacksprat commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 3:14pm

Ah yes. Drugs and the surf industry. Midget Farrelly vs Nat and Co. Michael Peterson et al. Michael Tomson. Santa Cruz guys (Peter Mel etc). Tom Carroll. Martin Potter. Tom Curren. Occy (both Billabong endorsees). And that's just off the top of my head. Not much clarity from the bosses huh? Please don't mistake mental illness for drug induced psychosis. My wife is a doctor and has seen plenty of 'phet heads' with fried brains trying the Bipolar Disorder route to avoid arrest and responsibility for their actions. How would we view Irons if he didn't have the surfing skill? Was Picasso just another short ugly woman abuser? Was Miles Davis just a nasty piece of work who could play trumpet? So many questions...

onetimeonly

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 4:30pm

Not just. Picasso was a genius, an ace womaniser, and an abuser. And fuck, was Miles Davis good. I can forget about his sins when I listen to him play.

bellavista's picture
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bellavista commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 4:21pm

Good work DA . An opportunity missed , for several years now during pipe , to build a decent narrative around bipolar / mental health and addiction , not one or the other.
But expecting WOZ to step thru that door , I doubt it. They are the archetypical
Shallow showboat that likes calm clear water , Even if its a mirage .

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules commented Friday, 18 Dec 2020 at 11:10pm

on yah DA - All Journey No Destination. You've started something that the WSL and Billabong have never had the guts to do..I hope the Tsunami builds..for all of us..because perfection is an illusion..the sooner we get off reconciling to that program the better off we will all be.

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Spuddups commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2020 at 10:30am

This is a topic worthy of discussion. Good call.

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san Guine commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2020 at 11:02am

Thank you Dingers,
Really nicely framed article. It's that old argument which came first the drug abuse or the mental illness, or did the drug abuse precipitate a pre-existing condition. I guess we'll never know.
What I find disturbing are the enablers, so called "buddies", sponsors and assorted toadies who saw AI's trajectory and basically did sweet FA.
I'm glad we now live in a society that is gradually opening up and destigmatising mental illness but we still have a long way to go.

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Michael Bourne commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2020 at 2:37pm

Mental 'Disability' was the official term when I worked in the field. 'Disabled' included the elderly too then. I worked in organisations that dealt exclusively with Indigenous Australians, and also in organisations that dealt with the general population. At many levels, admin through to carer. And at the highest level of 'disability', to the mildest.

Anyone involved in the 'disabled' field knows how swept under the carpet, how hidden from sight it all is. People get a shock when starting out in that area, when they see the actual number of people, the network involved, mainly, 'sweetly' perhaps, hidden from view.

Glenside Hospital is in Adelaide. If AI lived in Adelaide, people trying to help him would be trying to get him there, for his own... and their good. But they would be met with, 'sorry, no funding, no beds, no resources... we are very sorry, but we are overwhelmed'. And the cycle would go on.

Manic depression generally first shows in teenage years. So, often it goes undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed, because 'normal', striving to fit in youth are 'initiated' into being 'adults', in the wild west, and begin doing culturally enshrined, 'adult' activities. Like getting pissed and stoned, or having a durrie. 'Goin' ta schoolies ta get blind...' Imagine how scared and confused they get, if they have their first, genuine episode, at a high level of 'disability'. Who would even admit to it? In our ever 'lurving' culture. 'Fucking chimp!!!' Like racism, homophobia, mysogynism, the kids have grown up on the culcha diet of... 'farkin'.... and 'farkin' weird cunt don't even drink'... The bottle shops will save us from lockdown even.

And so, the hardest thing, well, its just like the enshrined, famous even on here, wink wink, nudge, nudge, ''ow much coffee, milk' and so on, racist chant. Are they, the so called 'disabled', just 'drug fuckers'? Or, a 'mix' of 'drug fuckers' with a touch of 'full blood'... or are they genuine, (are ya sure but) 'full bloods'? Or 'full bloods' with a touch of 'drug fucker'... Imagine being 16, 17, and you are suddenly having your first taste of a 'manic' episode. At 'full blood' level, well any level. Except, maybe, well, that is, if you aren't a weirdo anyway, or worse even, you don't mind some 'buds', with 'buds', and dad and mum even. Or a beer, scotch, red, white, or twenty with... To celebrate even. Or maybe mum and dad's packet a day goes missing... along with their variety of powders... (nnnnaaaarrr... naaaarrr... just farkin' 'recreational', 'social' aaayyyeee... mmaaayy...). If they were born with one arm, no arms, no feet, blind, deaf, they would be better off. Because at least then they would be allowed to be 'legally' 'disabled'. Maybe. Ok, sure, even that has ramifications in the wild west, and likewise, no money, no resources, and is mostly well and truly hidden under the carpet. But at least they can be safely, innocently, properly 'disabled'.

So AI? Just keep imagining that he was born blind. Innocently blind. So he 's innocent. Except that he wasn't. And except that what he was born with is still largely a mystery. Still a field of trial and error, of 'medicating'. The horrific, real side effects. Just a confused kid. Trying to deal with what the 'experts' struggle with. In the wild west, trying to become initiated into 'manhood'. One common theme that I heard is, 'it can be the best high you could ever, ever dream of, better than anything you can dream of or get your hands on.'. So, unless they are exceptional on levels incomprehensible to .non 'disabled' people, good luck dealing with, 'coming down' from that. Ignoring that.

So, to expect those around AI, and to expect the professional surfing mob to solve what the 'experts' and 'culture' can't, is just passing the buck. Shifting blame to the other parts of the rug.

And, to set the record straight, (this is the swillnut club after all)... I'm not 'disabled', I just worked extensively in the area. In three states, and for numerous organisations, and 'cultures', all who had different ideas. I consider myself blessed, that I wasn't born with what AI innocently was. Oh, oh, did I just see...

mattlock's picture
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mattlock commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2020 at 5:56pm

Good post MB. Thanks.

san Guine's picture
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san Guine commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2020 at 9:22pm

Hi MB
Thanks for your insightful and considered post.
I will try to contextualise my 'opinion':
My sis has BPAD (actually a variant thereof), and late last year following an episode of mania which nearly cost her life, culminated in my wife and I taking her into our care (we are both medical professionals- my partner being a Mental Health clinician).
As you rightfully point out the highs are unbelievable "high", the lows unbearably low with BP, but...
Someone has to be accountable for the people in this truly terrible netherworld, as you state, they are not 'disabled' but debilitated by their illness, and if culture and experts can't find the solution, then who?????
I am not prepared to kick the can down the road, nor do I suggest that I have a solution, but if we sit by as individuals when friends and family are in a cycle of self abuse and destructive behaviours then where is our compassion, where is our empathy, where is our humanity?
This may sound a very idealistic view of a hugely complex, 'hydra-like' beast - cut off one head and...some people no matter how hard you try will not accept our out-stretched hand. But I will not stop trying.

Again thank you for your thoughts, I hope you can appreciate my opinion.

And yes, my sis is now reasonably well, back at work (as a nurse), but always her mental illness stalks her, and my family and I remain vigilant.

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Michael Bourne commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2020 at 11:01pm

Yes san Guine, I totally agree, and I too have been in a really similar situation as you describe. As have many others, some who have zero preparation or expertise in that area. Your sister is lucky to have you. Not everyone has the same ability to cope, no matter how much they want to help, and their loss of well being is all too real too. Some people with that style of illness, which is hugely variable in its degrees, and individual expression, not only refuse the often many outstretched hands, but due to their particular, individual condition despise them, and see them as a threat. That fact, that they are genuinely ill, and not of their own choice, in ways that even the experts can't solve or fully fathom, can get too hard to remember for many.

One thing that strikes those who really want to help, is the reality of the lack of funding, resources, and the scale of issues overwhelming the 'system', by the 'system'. The 'system', the 'culture', keeps it all nicely out of mind, out of sight. Road blocks. Even a cycle of documented, ever worsening, self harming situations, arising one after another, isn't enough to gain any meaningful, 'official' support, especially if alcohol and other substances are involved. Its a cultural right of passage to 'rage', and get 'blotto'. And in that state, its, 'sorry, hands tied'. Because that's acceptable behaviour, a 'right', its not a sign of being 'disabled'.

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Blowin commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2020 at 11:28pm

.

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Michael Bourne commented Sunday, 20 Dec 2020 at 12:40am

As a further to the AI thing, here's another, similar situation, involving 'celebrity'.

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/entertainment/2018/05/15/bipolar-actress-...

https://fherehab.com/learning/lessons-from-margot-kidder/

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/05/14/margot-kidder-rebounded-in-surpri...

Margo Kidder chose to advocate. Her personal choice. What do we personally, deeply know about AI? In that area. What if Margo Kidder chose to want the opposite? What if AI wasn't the makeup to want to be the front man, the voice for mental illness. What if he wanted the opposite? I don't know. What if the professional surfing org, and others thought that they were doing the best thing by AI?

But, I'm sure, based on my working experience, that many surfers and officials tried their guts out for AI. And some wouldn't have, and some would have used him. Like they did for Margo Kidder, in her life, living with her illness, in her chosen way. Which culminated in her death, in that way.

What if the lady in this video below had a daughter with a similar condition?

Who's coughing up the 'help', it costs, in a myriad of ways. Who's paying? A wink and a nudge?

Arguments rage professionally too. Institutions, hospitals, medications, rock bottom, no rock bottom, hard line, soft line, on and on. And the laws. The 'healthy' mind itself is largely a mystery, let alone some of the illnesses of the mind.

I was always in awe of two particuar ladies in WA that dealt full time, including live in rosters, day after day, year after year, with worse case mental illness. In 'home', semi 'institutionalised' settings. A hugely dividing issue in the 'disabled' field. Fuck all pay, fuck all real support, constantly fighting for, advocating for scraps. Acting as counsellors and go betweens for patients families. Trying to juggle their own families. Caring their guts out for, and loving people for whom the stark reality is that 'culture' doesn't want to know about them. Relentlessly copping abuse from a portion of no idea family members and the public, who felt they should be doing more. Much more. Fuck knows how they did it. I was supposedly good at it, but fucked if I could do anything like that. Especially when the 'government honchos' called in, to 'make improvements', to 'increase efficiency', to 'cut waste'. To cut their budget and throats... again. But thanks! And, WA's spending and attitude made SA and NSW look like the scrooge on roids.

We vote, we empower. We get the 'culture' we want. Thank God for bottle shops. Or don't. Its true, so much below the surface.

san Guine's picture
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san Guine commented Sunday, 20 Dec 2020 at 9:32am

100% MB,
The MH 'system' itself totally sucks, underfunded, revolving door policy and bandaid solutions.
If I had not been an assertive advocate for my sister then I doubt she would be alive.

The real heroes are those people/carers looking after their loved ones in the community unseen, unrecognised and often ignored.

This is such an important issue but society seems to be only interested in franking credits, tax breaks and house prices.

Sorry for the rant but this really upsets me

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Sunday, 20 Dec 2020 at 10:47am

Not a rant San guine but a very interesting and important conversation.

Good posts gents.

1173

Chocalatte's picture
Chocalatte's picture
Chocalatte commented Sunday, 20 Dec 2020 at 12:34pm

Great stuff, especially your AI vid, Ding Alley. I was blessed to see a lot of the best & some of the worst of AI up close over more than a decade. As a bipolar, I always suspected but never found the right quiet opportunity to talk with him about it. As a lifetime communications pro in various guises, it's so obvious to me that Wozzle just don't seem to understand or have a grasp of the very real power of speaking any kind of truth - it's either silence or horrible froth & bubble, neither of which do any justice to pro surfing & its many colourful exponents.

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne commented Sunday, 20 Dec 2020 at 4:06pm

Yeh san Guine, your point is very valid.

'The MH 'system' itself totally sucks, underfunded, revolving door policy and bandaid solutions.
If I had not been an assertive advocate for my sister then I doubt she would be alive.'

That summary is very common. The bottom line is that the government is looking at mental health from an appeasement, from a what is the bare minimum that will scrape us through angle. Profit v cost. But, its the public that put the government in power.

When you work in the field, you see this whole, largely behind the scenes, hidden from view, different world. A world of patients, clients, organisations, staff, volunteers. Many, who like you, fight tooth and nail for every millimetre of ground. And who often lose miles. Totally unrecognised, hidden from view. Usually just seen as being in the way. I raised it in other threads, but our culture is based on individualism, separatism, and capitalism. Consumerism, profit at any cost. So where and how can Mental Health Care fit that bill?

https://7news.com.au/news/sa/sa-carer-sacked-after-disabled-woman-dies-i...

Privatization! Mano e mano! Heil Hitler! Born again in the USA! Brothers in arms! Survival of the fittest dog!

“German privatization of the 1930s was intended to benefit the wealthiest sectors and enhance the economic position and political support of the elite.”'

https://daily.jstor.org/the-roots-of-privatization/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CPri....

Who could forget this below!

https://www.tetongravity.com/story/surf/andy-irons-kissed-by-god-streami...

Indigenous Australians really understood why their Cultures, Cultures based on equality and reciprocity, Oneness with all (family), the exact opposite of 'modern' Australia, are in the same boat with, and have much in common with Mental Health issues. Put simply, they are 'just in the way'. 'Inferior'. If we are to really address Mental health issues, we need to incorporate and have different cultural values. 'Norms and values', and all that stuff.

Yeh but what's the cost? Profit margin? Will it pay the bills... plus the yacht needs upgrading, Gulfstream has a new model... the arms race...

Chocolatte raises communication, and openess.

There was this too.

https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2020/11/10/swellnet-life...

Where's all the... I mean... where's... all the... the... the...

There's heaps to consider too. Laws, legality. What a minefield for mental health workers, families and carers. I'll raise this, because I wonder about the wozl thing. I looked after this guy who was severely mentally ill, and housed with a similar group, in that they all had a wide range of the most severe mental health issues. Issues that even make bipolar seem relatively tame. So, we, the carers did shifts, caring for six people at once. It was our choice, this was WA, where at least there was a semblance of caring, and an allotted budget to do so, and we were given the choice of taking the people on 'suitable' outings, activites, excursions. This particular guy had head butted and knocked the last female carer out, before demolishing the mini bus. I wanted them to have outings, they loved it, so. This person was like a two year old in a brick shithouse, twenty year old body, but with ever changing, unpredictable mental health issues that no one really understood. Mainly extremely gentle, a gentle, baby like giant. Sometimes things would happen, despite the best laid plans of mice and men, and I would have no choice but to wrestle him to the ground, for his safety, and the safety of all around him, because out of no where he would suddenly decide on doing something, it could be anything, and God help anyone in his way. That could at times be harmless though, so, just let him do it, but even that was questioned. Maybe he could, or should learn that he couldn't do whatever he liked? So that he could be assimilated into the community? Which was the buzz word at the time. But sometimes his choice would be not on, and there was no other way than restraining him till it passed. So, at times the none the wiser members of the public would abuse the shit out of me, and report me. As the other 'disabled' people... It would always eventually work out fine. His parents were so stoked that I was prepared to try and give the guy life outside of walls. They got divorced in the end, the husband just couldn't take it anymore and wanted the guy locked away forever. That was not unusual, or uncommon, the real, relentless pressure and effects on families of the 'disabled'. So, I wonder about the wozl thing. What, how much do we really know.

Which brings us back to this open communication thing. Considering the legal minefield also. Laws, privacy, rights, the whole show. Has anyone raised all this with them, wozl or whatever you call them. Plus, there's Bruce Irons, AI's wife. Billabong. Wouldn't those be the starting point of 'open' communication, on a 'journalists' check list? Maybe there's more than meets the eye. Maybe there isn't.

I like that you raised this san Guine.

'where is our compassion, where is our empathy, where is our humanity'

Exactly. That should be numero uno, in any truly successful human, humane culture. You can't put a price on that. And it comes before all else, the foundation of all else.

I would like to see sympathy added to that list. I don't see it as a crime.

Choose and vote wisely.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Monday, 21 Dec 2020 at 1:32pm

Excellent clip, DA. Very well said. An important message to get across.