A Manifesto

“We quit. Now were poor. Indie? Poor. Inspired though, and we’re off. We’ll need to make it sing and it’s time to go. Come if you’re coming and leave the nametag.

We need to drive all night and swerve to miss a deer. We need natural light and consequences. We need to break appointments and fight friends, change tickets, finally forget someone, make the room spin, bleed into the sand and sleep there too. We need to publish. We need not to straighten out.

We need to play our anthems and really try but be sad when they just don’t bring that feeling anymore, then find new anthems with new feelings. We need to choose between wine and dinner and make it work without a corkscrew. We need to have trouble with the law. We need to run out of gas, kick addictions, eat steak alone, negotiate, put ink in our arms and remember what the words mean, skate poorly but go fast. We need to frame our hate mail.

We need to lose a fin and stay out longer. We need to get pickpocketed. We need to sleep naked under a ceiling fan, clothed on a bus. We need to be scared but not pull back, and swallow water, and tip generously. We need to need booties, roof racks, aspirin, and a wire transfer. We need to show up alone, accept apologies and invitations, not respond mad, listen to old men, drink fine burning scotch and the cheapest red and never lie to seem friendly. We need to change our wax. We need any and all crippling sadness to have a distinct source, a female source, and not let it just be the descending fog of life-size regret. We need today to finish abruptly. We need to take notes.

We need discomfort because it slows things down when things are speeding, which they are. We need to be seasick. We need to be wrong. We need to get stitches and sore legs. We need to read about war, take photographs that won’t be seen, stop hoarding and speak less. We need to surf.

We quit, we’re poor. We need to do this now. We need to do what youth does.”

What Youth, Issue One
What Youth, Issue One

Two and some years ago I was working in this retail store and a sample copy of this surf mag, What Youth, came in the mail for us. At the time I think I was the only one who gave it any attention. It was maybe a half inch thick, well designed, and full of beautiful copy and images. I eventually wound up taking it home with me. It was one of the few books that wasn’t donated when I started traveling and it’s part of the small collection of cherished things I keep at my Mum’s house.

The magazine itself is sick, they just released issue 7 and I want to find a way to track down a copy of it. This Manifesto sits on the 7th page of the first book. It was the first page with text in the mag and it resonated with me. I hand transcribed it so I could take it with me, I’ve written it in out in cursive, and I’ve overlaid it on graphics (personal use stuff) at least a dozen times. It’s a part of what has inspired the way I live now and it’s something special I want to share with my readers.


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