John John
November 6, 2017 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes the gods see a little boy with a single mother and no money and decide to sprinkle stardust on him. Friends come easy and stay true. He is given effortless grace and talent, and the respect of his peers. When the time comes to ask for the blessing of the great departed elder (previously), he glides down the face of a monstrous wave and through its roaring foam to victory. He is given normal human fears, but none of the demons that the gods use to drive and torment the great. He sails from island to island with his friends, immersed in beauty, making movies. The gods never ask him to grow up. Like everything else with John John, the tableau is weirdly innocent—Edenic, even.
posted by clawsoon (11 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
(I am kind of surprised not to see any comments here: it's a very interesting story. I think the guy is kind of....a lightweight, I guess? But you do you, and all that.)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:29 AM on November 6


Seems like pretty good work if you can get it.
posted by Sokka shot first at 7:39 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


This is all weird for me to read because I knew his dad very well in college, we were even roommates for a year. He was a total surfer dude stereotype in clothes and lingo back then except for the fact that he was from land-locked suburban Philly. His son looks so much like him that it's a little disconcerting. John senior hasn't had such a great life and from what I gather didn't make life too great for those around him either so I hope that John John does a little better in life.
posted by octothorpe at 7:53 AM on November 6 [8 favorites]


I skimmed the description and thought we were talking about John F. Kennedy, Jr., affectionately known as John-John. The first three sentences, and even some of the last four, could all just as easily apply.

(Ok, maybe taking three shots to pass the NY State Bar is not "effortless grace and talent".)
posted by aureliobuendia at 9:10 AM on November 6 [7 favorites]


Well I love water, and images of water, better than 'most anything. So this is a morning delight. I was interested in their sailing meditation, and the attitude of enjoying the natural beauty of the world, and then sharing it. This Florence person is the second kid of a mother who indulged and encouraged the potentials of an amazing child, on Metafilter over the last 2-3 days. I love seeing people who are embedded in nature by their very nature. His carefree, creative appearance was won by adhering to his basic nature. Great job if you find find what your job is. Whoa he is a kinesthetic wonder! I have known a few people who had an amazing physical connection to the planet and the physics that govern movement, they are awesome to observe.
posted by Oyéah at 9:25 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]




"... thought we were talking about John F. Kennedy, Jr., affectionately known as John-John."

Me, too.
posted by bz at 11:00 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]


wenestvedt: I think the guy is kind of....a lightweight, I guess?

Everything about him seems light. He seems like the sort of guy you'd take on a butterfly collecting expedition, not the guy you'd bring to a bar fight. (Unless you wanted everybody at the bar to end up friends and then head out on a butterfly collecting expedition.) A lot of great surfers agree that he's the best of them, but he didn't get there via the killer competitive instinct that drove Slater and Irons to be the best. Lightness does seem to be a defining feature. His best memory of the day he won the Eddie (the Eddie! on his first try!) was catching a wave early that morning with his brother before the contest started. That's not somebody driving to the top. That's somebody who floats to the top.

From the GQ article:
The best version of surfing is not competing, I think. It's just…it's perfect. You're perfectly present. You're perfectly in the moment. You're perfectly not thinking about anything else in the world. You're just surfing. You're surfing away with your friends or your family, and that's it. You're just there.”

And how often is it perfect?

“Depends, I guess, on the person.”

We're talking about you!

“For me…for me it's perfect a lot, actually.”
Maybe part of that comes from his way of dealing with whatever happened with his father; studiously ignore the ugly, only see the beautiful?
posted by clawsoon at 4:57 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


> I am kind of surprised not to see any comments here: it's a very interesting story.

Too many links, maybe? I almost ignored the post for that reason, but clicked on the final link (which I presume is the main one, and would have been the only one if I'd been posting it) and was enchanted.

> Everything about him seems light. He seems like the sort of guy you'd take on a butterfly collecting expedition, not the guy you'd bring to a bar fight.

Why the fuck would you want to bring him (or anybody, as far as I'm concerned) to a bar fight? I'll never understand the attraction of the bar-fight mentality. He's a great surfer; why does he have to be competitive, or heavy, or good at a bar fight? I don't get it.
posted by languagehat at 9:23 AM on November 7


languagehat: Why the fuck would you want to bring him (or anybody, as far as I'm concerned) to a bar fight?

From what I hear, it's one of those things that it's less pleasant to go to by yourself.
posted by clawsoon at 11:44 AM on November 7


This is a great post, I really enjoyed it despite not knowing much about surfing.
posted by pseudonymph at 2:43 AM on November 8


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