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Beach Grit

Accused: “Clickbait and online bullying!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Oh the tyranny of Facebook!

Yesterday afternoon I was poking around and thinking about some stuff. Like why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near? And why do stars fall down from the sky every time you walk by? And who is the ugliest man to ever be crowned surf champ?

I posted my musings and was undecided. John John ain’t the handsomest man ever, and especially not when stacked up against Kelly Slater (dreams-ville), Shaun Tomson (hubba hubba) or Andy Irons (mmmmmmm) but probably not the ugliest if he grabs the crown this December.

Maybe Barton Lynch?

Or Mark Richards?

Oh how our Facebook followers revolted! Leaving our little community in droves but not before screaming various insults over proud, and straight, shoulders:

Rickey Lopez: Some parts of Surfing is getting way out of control . When you have to even think about stupid shit like this you might as well get a little pilot on TV and joind the rest of the bafoons.Shame on you for even bring this kind crap into sufring. You can bet your ass that any 30 40 50 yrs surfers. Look at your post Im sorry I did. Punk reporting …..

Matthew Muñoz: What kind of man writes an article critiquing the looks of another man

Jules Revelle: A cunt (and later) Are u fucking serious [email protected] bunch of cunts

Milton Brown: Clickbait and online bullying in one – no class – just insults. MR is a legend.

When I read their postings I, initially, placed a limp wristed hand over my heart, cocked my head just so with mouth agape and breathed, “Moi? A cyberbully?” Shocked at the slings and arrows.

But then became very defiant. Head raised high! An banner of inclusivity fluttering overhead!

Facebook has become a land filled with hypocritical, self-congratulatory back patting. This is not news nor interesting. But it made me think of all the ugly people in the world and the small little boxes they get put into.

Oh not by BeachGrit. We are an open door! Everyone is invited! The fluttering banner of inclusivity!

The ugly people get put into small little boxes by the smug crusaders who want to force them underground, neither seen nor spoken of.

But they are amongst us, you smug crusaders, you priggish zealots, and they are toiling under the heavy burdens that you place upon them. Moreover, very many are succeeding wildly.

Ugly and surf champion, you see, are not mutually exclusive categories. A man can be both. And concurrently in the same way that a man can be ugly and President of United States of America. The great Abe Lincoln spoke often of his homeliness, admitting to being “…the ugliest man in Illinois.”

Or ugly and a wildly successful comedian. The great Rodney Dangerfield said, “My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I told him I wanted a second opinion so he said, ‘Ok. You’re ugly too.'”

Or ugly and a fabulous musician. The great Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols fame proclaimed, “You’re made to feel ugly, and I made ugly beautiful. Just by sheer persistence.”

Yes, a man can be ugly and a surf champion! And this gives me great hope. This is the world where I am proud to live.