Wednesday 17 June 2015

This is just a conspiracy now

For all my female readers, here's Patrick Swayze's abs. 
I was watching the State of Origin rugby league last night, when to my considerable surprise a promo for the movie Point Break
came up.
I stared at the screen for a moment thinking 'why are they advertising that, it's been out for years'.
However then the realisation quickly came that this must be a remake.
So I quickly checked and learned that 'yes' they are remaking Point Break.
Now at this point the 'conspiracy' bit comes in, for as I stared at the screen I remember thinking, 'aw this is just out to make me feel old'.
For you see, Point Break, the original came out in 1991, thus for me, and I suspect those of you reading this of a similar vintage, that was just last year. (If you know what I mean.)
Thus to do the disturbing maths and discover that Point Break has been out for 25 years was indeed a bit of a shock.
So just to background that a bit, I am reminded of a friend I went to uni with, Magdi, an Australian of Egyptian background. Magdi studied maths, then left uni and got job at a school on Sydney's north shore.
He was telling me that at the start of the year, one of the first jobs for teachers was to make up the class rolls.
Like Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke) I was making for the sea.
This he would do by asking all the students names, then entering that along with their address, parents' phone numbers, and date of birth in the register.
However, he was saying that he was perennially brought up short each year when the new intake would arrive and he would ask their date of birth, and the student would reply '1986' for instance.
Magdi was telling me, when the first student would say that, his immediate unspoken thought was, 'you're a liar, 1986 was just last year'.
But then he would do the maths, and sure enough a student born in 1986 would now be twelve years old, and due to enter high school.
And likewise I had a similar experience when doing a sports column recently. The column was about the slew of young female Asian golfers now playing on the professional circuit in the US.
The modern style of journalism is if you mention a name, you put a link on their name to their wikipedia page, or some other data source about that person.
So I wrote up the article and then went to link it, I found the wikipedia page of the golfer in question, Lydie Ko, then had the unholy consternation of seeing her date of birth was 1997.
"That can't be right," I sqwarked internally, "1997!!"
However sure enough, it was no misprint, indeed that's why I was writing about her, as she was playing in the US Open aged 17.
So rest assured, I felt old.
So returning to Point Break.
It is a great movie, and it particularly resonated with me, as I was just learning to surf at the time.
I grew up in the country and never really felt settled there. My childhood was very turbulent, with angry parents raging around the house destroying my childlike wonder at the life, so that's the main reason I was unhappy.
Gary Busey (l) in Big Wednesday.
But also, as I look back on that time, I realise that there was an undercurrent of feeling that I was simply in the wrong place.
Nothing you could put your finer on, just a barely discernible nibbling at the edges of consciousness that there was another place for me in this world.
I have no conscious recollection of having these overt thoughts of course, but from here I look back and can see that this was driving my life.
Funny how some things so overarchingly powerful in our lives can be so indiscernible.
Anyway, clearly I was, like Motorcycle Boy in Rumble Fish, making it to the ocean.
This I eventually did, and when studying my teaching diploma in 1991, I went on a holiday with my girlfriend at the time, Shivaun, and a good friend from college, Morsch, to Byron Bay, which would eventually become my home..
We had a great trip, and while there I went to surf school and had my first surf lessons.
I was lucky in that the conditions were perfect for learners, small, clean and crisp, and I had a just a great day.
I did several lessons that week, and came back to Sydney mad for surfing.
Thus when Point Break came out just a few weeks later, Shivaun and I went and saw it at the cinemas in George St Sydney.
A five foot wave, energy intensive all right.
The plot centres on Keanu Reeves and FBI agent, who is placed with the Los Angeles office, Bank Robbery section, and joins up with Gary Busey, an older agent, to try to finally nail a slickly perfect group of bank robbers, the Ex-Presidents, led by Patrick Swayze.
Keanu then has to learn to surf, as Busey suspects that the Ex-Presidents are surfers.
And boy did I understand what he went through, trying to learn surfing in and amongst a lot of aggressive experienced surfers.
However, Shivaun and I very much enjoyed it at the time, and it was only later that some of the subtler points were borne in upon me.
One was that I missed an oblique reference to the antecedents of surf movies, and indeed, once again I realised iIwas in the grandfather generation as far as this goes.
So just to explain that a bit.
Last year I did a blog on a similar theme, but regarding covers of songs.
A German guy, DJ Sammy, had come out with a cover of Boys of Summer. The problem with that was that, DJ Sammy had covered a version of the song by The Ataris, the Ataris in their turn, had covered the original version by Don Henley, of The Eagles.
So as far as that song went I was in the grandfather level of knowledge of the song's background.
Likewise, in Pont Break, Gary Busey is talking with Keanu, and they realise that one of them has to go and learn to surf.
Busey being older says, "Look hotshot, it's either you or me out there on the board, so I know who it's gonna be".
This was a reference to Busey's acting past, where he played an out of control madman on a seventies surf movie Big Wednesday.
The other part was it wasn't till later that I began to see the disconnect with reality of the surf scenes.
The main one being where Keanu and female lead, Lori Petty, are kissing on the ocean.
I can't find a picture of that actual scene (sorry), however the point I wish to make is this,the gang all go for a night surf, they all have a great time surfing five foot swell in the moonlight. eventually Swayze and his bank robbing mates get out and go for something to eat, while Petty and Reeves stay out there and talk, the kiss while on the sea.
Very romantic, however I can assure you of this.
Five foot of swell does not sound much, but it is an enormous amount of thundering water energy clattering you in every direction.
I can assure you that the few times I have been out there in a five foot swell, you do not have time, not that the opportunity ever arose for me, to stop and kiss lingeringly with a partner of your choice.
However, they had to put the movie plot together somehow, so I can be forgiving on that.
Anyway, the new movie is coming out and in the remake the bank robbers are extreme sportspeople.
I'm not sure if surfing is part of it, but probably so, as really surfing is the most mainstream of extreme sports.
Not sure if I'll go and see  the new Point Break as rarely can sequels match the original, but you never know.
So there you go, as Peter from Gardening Australia would say, that's your ration for the week.
I'm off now to take my new wetsuit for a spin on the, thankfully, much less than five foot swell here in the Bay today.

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