Here is one I wrote in a half hour. It's great training for speaking gigs and the occasional call from MSNBC saying they want your ass on the show.
California surfing has always had some soul from the great American protest movement. In the sixties, it specifically went against conformity, war, dullardness—and did it well with a big middle finger to all who refused to loosen their neckties.
Surfing the Middle East is about trying to reinvent how we learn about the world through something as thrill-seeking and irrelevant as surfing. It filters reality through a gonzo lens of perception that’s as wild as it is informative. And with semi-reckless abandon, it dives into places that the doomed American media will never understand: the Middle East.
With war as heavily in the American zeitgeist as ever, Surfing the Middle East acknowledges defeat in a world of endless conflict. Aizenstat quotes Bob Dylan, “Democracy don’t rule the world you better get that in your head. This world is run by violence, but I guess that’s better left unsaid.”
So Surfing the Middle East is about experience. And believing in yourself to find it.
Without doubt, today’s news cycle is no longer based on the traditional liberal/conservative paradigm of the sixties. As the late Steve Jobs put it to Rupert Murdoch, “it’s now constructive & destructive.” And with major news networks making matters worse, half of what American see is about disregarding facts, and working as pawns in the game of political bias and heavy make up entertainment.
Surfing the Middle East is the antithesis to the emergence of destructive news. It reaches out through a fun, lighthearted, and accessible way to make people feel like they are going along for the ride. It’s downright revolutionary—it seeks to entertain, then educate . . . And treat people like grown ups by engaging them through what Aizenstat calls “deviant journalism.”
It just might be the first humanizing and constructive thing you’ve ever read about the Middle East.