Film: Let’s hold hands in Morocco!

A gorgeous short film that comes to us from a very happy place!

One of the things that makes this BeachGrit most magnificent is its yin-yang nature. Derek Rielly is brunette. I am blonde. Derek Rielly speaks with a full Western Australian accent. Mine is flat American west coast ugly. Derek Rielly looks best with a sweater tied loosely around his neck. Me in a wifebeater sans accoutrement. Derek Rielly loves the Jew and I love the Arab (except Arabs that hail from Saud/Kuwait/UAE).

We are like a pre-breakup version of SurfStitch‘s Lex Pedersen and Justin Cameron. A living, breathing example of peace on earth. The new!

The bizarro Derek Rielly and Chas Smith (rich, grude-holding and filled with rage!)
The bizarro Derek Rielly and Chas Smith (rich, grude-holding and filled with rage!)

And look at this gorgeous small film brought to us by a wonderful Moroccan. Sure we can quibble on Moroccans being “Arab” but let’s not. Let’s just watch the golden light filter down to earth, bathing everyone and everything in warmth.

Don’t you want to be right here?

I have been and it was dreamy, though slightly colder. I surfed with wonderful friends and we laughed and made fun of some sort of German surfer. Or maybe he was Dutch. I can’t remember. The surf was very fun and the scene was very fun too.

This film, anyhow, featuring a spot as opposed to a person, makes me very happy. Watching the Moroccans dance upon the waves makes me very happy. Arabs (except the ones that hail from Saud/Kuwait/UAE) make me happy. And its maker, Khalil Bougaizi, shows real talent.


P.S. The song title is “I am the Antichrist to you” and written/performed by a Japanese artist named Kishi Bashi who scored the music to new Travis Rice film The Fourth Phase and played live at the premier. He was wonderfully sincere, a pleasure to speak with and he makes me very happy too.

Long live the anti-depressive!

Salt-N-Pepa: “Let’s talk about sex, baby!”

Let's also talk about drugs and big game hunting and death!

Let’s talk about Bunker Spreckels and me (and you). Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let’s talk about sex (Bunker Spreckels). Are you in love or do you not give two shits? Do you think his style was too too chic or do you think very very try hard? Fascinating or overblown? Hoooooooo or hmmmmmmm? Yippee ki ye or motherfucker?

When I first rolled across his story some decade ago I thought it was the best in surfing. I couldn’t even believe that such a character existed. Now? Maybe I have Bunker fatigue. Maybe I’ve lost my mojo. Maybe I’ve done too much heroin and my world…






Oh just kidding! I’ve never done heroin! But really. What do you think about Bunker Spreckels and are you going to see this doco?


Celebrate: Let’s have a fancy feast!

Famed Inertia anti-drug czar is also a Hollywood star! Such glory! Such happy smiles!

Oh we’ve taken an accidental depressing left turn here lately haven’t we? I, personally and in the last two days, have called the World Surf League mentally retarded, slandered the dear Hayden Cox and entreated older surfers to commit seppuku. Derek and Rory have each asked, “Like, why surf?”

The esteemed surf journalist longtom (Steve Shearer) just commented:

I need an oxy and a longneck on hand before I open the Grit these days. So much depression!

And he’s right! Our anti-depressive mandate has become clouded with very dark skies. Ugly and unnecessary!

Well thank God for your third favorite health recipe website, Venice-adjacent’s own The Inertia!

You know (and love) them for their racist overtones and their strident anti-drug propaganda. Who could ever forget the piece titled: Why I Deeply Respect the Surf Industry for Glorifying Drugs and Alcohol?

You might think its author was just another hard-working yet underpaid crusader. A man who placed truth above his own well-being who was guaranteed to snuff out.


And you’d be right.

But he is also an up and coming Hollywood star! A man on the move! The next Brad Pitt! George Clooney! Ed Norton!

Should we watch his work? Of course we should!

Now, if you don’t feel a warmness in your heart, if there is not a tear in your eye, then shame on you.

Steve (longtom) Shearer? Do you still need your oxy and longneck?

Oh, you have stopped reading because you are weeping overflowing emotion into the crook of your arm?

BeachGrit! It’s anti-depressive!

white man with afro

Parker: “I Love Being a Minority!”

Being a racial minority is the tits. Everything is different!

Orange County, California, is a nightmarish honky hell-hole. McMansions, Republicans, luxury vehicles, surf industry stooges and spoiled narcissist c-level wannabe pros. I’d rather eat a bullet than spend a minute there.

The surf generally sucks. Decent swell floods the lineups with home school halfwits who’ve put more thought into sticker placement than general social decency.

It’s a racist place. I know that. Have written about it many times. No in-your-face, “go home nigger,” blatancy. Just social constructs built upon economic inequality that effectively function as a means to keep certain areas properly white.

Surfing and racism go hand in hand. Because it’s a generally white sport and generally white things tend to be generally racist. And boring. White people are so boring. Give me cultural exchange. Fuck this Borg-esque assimilate or die bullshit.

I wrote about the subject about a year ago. The impetus an article on The Inertia by a lovely woman named Julia Olsen. It made the internet very upset. Ugly people with ugly thoughts don’t like having a mirror held before them. Makes it harder to maintain the nonsense rhetoric they use to perpetuate their self image as open minded progressives who prefer to eschew political correctness.

Our piece got eaten during a server change, so I’ll just grab a quick excerpt of Ms Olsen’s words, rather than link to the entire thing.

One thing that does surprise me a little bit is how many pejorative comments I get about being a liberal. Until writing these articles I had always envisioned surfers as being a fairly liberal community but the comments I received showed me that a lot of the surf crowd is on the more conservative side. The cries of “race baiter” just reinforce aims to be “colorblind” which in theory would mean that race is no longer a distinguishing factor in society, but in reality is really just code for “I don’t want to talk about race.” 

I just find it very interesting that it makes people so viscerally angry. I see a lot of posts on the Inertia that I think are stupid or that I don’t agree with and I usually just scroll past them, but something about racial discussions makes people feel personally offended.

It’s interesting also when people say “I have a Black friend so I can’t be racist” or “I saw a Black guy surfing once so surfing isn’t an exclusive sport.” like the existence of one exception overrules the overwhelming trends and practices that say otherwise.

It’s one of the many thing that I love about living in Hawaii. Being a racial minority is the tits. Everything is different. Viewpoints, culture, norms and mores. I’ve had to adapt my approach to others. A very positive experience, all told.

My only real problem is that people raised in Hawaii don’t typically possess a finely honed sense of sarcasm. Which I occasionally forget, and which often causes awkwardness. But that’s on me.

Last week The Guardian chimed in on the subject of Orange County racism. Very relevant to surf, bit of a wave slide industry ghetto within that county’s borders.

I missed it, but a reader was kind enough to send me a link this morning.

It’s begins beautifully.

It was another sun-kissed afternoon in Huntington Beach this week, the seafront a playground. Surfers skimmed the waves. Volleyballers leaped and shrieked. Sunbathers splayed on the sand. Families paraded the boardwalk.

Almost everyone had brown skin, though really they were white, just with tans. Those with permanent brown skin, Latinos, were mostly miles inland, on the other side of the 405 freeway.

Picks up steam further down the page.

Orange County, a cluster of cities and freeways tucked between Los Angeles and San Diego, is known for being white and politically conservative. California’s Republican bastion, it helped launch Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who called it the place “where all the good Republicans go to die”.

It led the state’s crackdown on illegal immigration in the 1990s. A sub-group of neo-Nazi surfers acquired notoriety for daubing swastikas on boards. The Real Housewives of Orange County, a reality TV show, has bolstered the impression of a white enclave.

Then delivers a delicious coup de grâce.

Many residents, Lacayo found, have split the county between the relatively diverse north and the whiter south, with freeways “functioning as a Mason-Dixon line”. People made intentional decisions to keep it so, she wrote. “Most respondents admit that they made a conscious choice to live in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods, and far away specifically from Latinos.” 

Examples included a 42-year-old repo company owner named Mark. “Hispanics, they just don’t fit in,” he told the researchers. “The Mexicans go to the beach, and I don’t know why they always swim in their clothes … They have a wet dirty blanket and they’ll drag it, and they’ll stop on the boardwalk. They’ll just stop there. And it’s like: ‘Get out of the way. How stupid are you?’” 

In an interview this week, Lacayo said whites used parking fees, homeowner association rules and gated communities to deter unwanted visitors and settlers, even middle-class Latinos. They resisted the transport of Latino children to white-majority schools and expressed willingness to withdraw their children from integrated schools. 

Those interviewed by the Guardian on the boardwalk – a very unscientific sample of teenagers, fortysomethings and pensioners – bristled at any suggestion of prejudice. “It’s not segregation. We all get on. It’s just that people are more comfortable with their own culture,” said one 15-year-old girl. 

It’s a gorgeous article. Worth your time. Most especially if you’re a surfer. Even moreso if you live in the area.

Because you can swear up and down you’re not racist, but if you’re white and you surf you most likely are. Maybe just a little bit. Maybe a lot. Maybe you’re posting Trump stuff on Facebook while claiming, “I just hate their culture. I have no problem with their skin tone.”

As Ms Olsen put it last year, during our email exchange:

It’s interesting also when people say “I have a Black friend so I can’t be racist” or “I saw a Black guy surfing once so surfing isn’t an exclusive sport.” like the existence of one exception overrules the overwhelming trends and practices that say otherwise.

Matt Warshaw: “I count steps on Fitbit!”

Or when is the precise moment we should commit surfing seppuku?

Since today is officially Matt Warshaw Day (he is the New Yorker Talk of the Town!) let us continue to discuss him in all of his glory!

Tucked into the New Yorker profile it says this about Matt’s surfing:

Warshaw is fifty-six. Moving to Seattle from San Francisco, several years ago (his wife works for Amazon), forced him to give up his habit of surfing more or less every day. Also, he’d grown weary of witnessing his own physical decline in the water. “After forty years, I let it go,” he said. “It’s embarrassing. Now I’m a walker. I count steps on my Fitbit.”

And we’ve spoken about this together on a few occasions. In reality, he hasn’t actually “let it go” or at least I don’t think, but has reorganized priorities and only surfs on specific surf vacations instead of trying to grind out little nuggets in the unforgiving Pacific Northwest.

He has, in any case, committed surfing seppuku.

Of course you are aware of this Japanese samurai act but let me refresh your memory. The samurais lived by a severe code of honor, so much like surfers, and if their honor was compromised in some way, say losing in battle or embarrassing themselves, they would commit seppuku. My favorite new source Wikipedia describes as such:

The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tantō, into the abdomen and drawing the blade from left to right, slicing the abdomen open.

Matt Warshaw has done well and right by our code in admitting, publicly in the most esteemed source, that he is embarrassing and now counts his steps for exercise. Surfing seppuku.

My question is, what is the exact moment of physical decline that a surfer should no longer enter the water on a surfboard? When he regularly drags his knee on the pop? When she gets a stiff back while waiting for sets? When he can’t catch a wave on anything other than a 8’6? When she can only glide in a straight line?

Is there an exact age or is it more a state of mind?

And should friends encourage surfing seppuku from their aging friends?