Miki “Da Cat” Dora, a.k.a. Mickey Dora, a.k.a. “The Black Knight,” (b. Miklos Sandor Dora 11 August 1934, Budapest, Hungary – d. 3 January 2002, Montecito, California, ) was an iconic Malibu surfer of the 1950s and 1960s. He had a unique style, in and out of the water, and was generally considered rather iconoclastic.
“To what avail the plough or sail, or love, or life — if freedom fail? Freedom. Freedom to what? Escape, run, wonder turning your back on a cowed society that stutters, staggers, and satnates every man for himself and fuck you Jack I’ve got mine? To be truly challenging, a voyage, like life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea –”cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to the sea men, and to the wonderers of the world who cannot or will not fit in.Little has been said or written about the ways a man may blast himself free. Why? I don’t know, unless the answer lies in our diseased values….Men are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security”, and in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine–and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man really need — really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in —and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all — in the material sense. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they like caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.Dedication to the sea is the symbol of migration and movement and wondering. It is the barbaric place and it stands opposed to society and it is a constant symbol in all of literature, too.As Thomas Wolfe said, “It is the state of barbaric disorder out of which civilization has emerged and into which it is liable to return.”
“My whole life is this escape; my whole life is this wave I drop into, set the whole thing up, pull off a bottom turn, pull up into it, and shoot for my life, going for broke man. And behind me all this shit goes over my back: the screaming parents, teachers, the police [laughs], priests, politicians, kneeboarders, windsurfers —they’re all going over the falls into the reef; headfirst into the motherfucking reef, and BWAH! And I’m shooting for my life. And when it starts to close out I pull out and go down the back, and catch another wave, and do the same goddamned thing again.” — Miki Dora