Venice-adjacent sometime surf website gets mad!
If you have ever visited li’l old BeachGrit on consecutive days then you’ll know how much I love to kick against The Inertia’s goads! I feel the crew operating out of a second story Venice-adjacent office mostly deserves. The Huffington-esque brand of socially aware identitarianism they peddled is worthy of ridicule.
But this morning writer J.P. Currie stepped up to the tofu-scented mic and got very angry whilst calling out Dane Reynolds!
Shall we read an abridged version? Well it wouldn’t be BeachGrit if we refused!
Firstly, and screamingly obviously, is that everything Dane says in Chapter Eleven – especially with regard to his disillusionment with tying capitalism to surfing and benefiting immensely from that arrangement – is totally undermined by advertising his new brand “Former” at the end of the piece. Did nobody really realize that Chapter 11 is actually just a commercial? Ironic, huh. It’s akin to having an AA meeting then all going out afterward to smash some shots in celebration of the meeting. It’s short-sighted at best and hypocritical as fuck at worst.
I also take issue with his little dismissive diatribe about who to thank. As he says: “I feel like I should thank Quiksilver…but who is Quiksilver? Who do I thank? Everyone I knew that worked there is gone.”
Well, Dane, unless you mean “gone” as in dead, then presumably there are human beings who helped you that you could still namecheck, whether they work for Quik or not anymore. And failing that, how about you just give a nod to the fans? An acknowledgement to the surf fans of the world who gobble up every meager scrap of surf meal that you deign to throw them like desperate, pathetic little chickens. These people have made you a millionaire because they like watching you ride a surfboard. They deserve a little credit.
Surely the noble thing to do (if Dane truly has a deep personal conflict with the idea of attaching surfing and his likeness to a commercial enterprise) would be to disappear altogether. To walk away. Get rid of that corporate monster called Vans and the other patrons who supply that sweet surfin’ cash. Ditch it all, look after your family, surf. Be grateful that you made millions of dollars from surfing when you felt like it. Be grateful that you are a rich, white man living in an affluent coastal suburb. Be grateful that you traveled the world to surf and have had incredible experiences. But most of all, stop pimping yourself out in order to try to sell us stuff. If it’s truly so conflicting, then it’s disingenuous. Better yet, why not do your part to fundamentally change the tie between your profession and your artistic integrity and hold your head high?
But refreshing? And I must tip my pretend fedora Venice-adjacent’s way! Oh it’s not that I agree with Mr. J.P. Currie. The issue of “selling out” in the arts has been debated for so many ages. I harken back to Nirvana, who I loved so dearly as a weird Oregon youth. The band’s juice came from being weird, from being outcasts, but then fame and fortune and the outcasts who felt kindred all of a sudden felt burned. And Nirvana wrote Rape Me.
I think Dane is also a particular sort of outcast artist and his seemingly genuine struggle with how to marry beauty and commerce is real. He is part of a noble history stretching from Leonardo Da Vinci to Bobby Dylan to
Zach Weisberg to Basquiat to Albert Camus. He was lucky enough to make money and unlucky enough to not really want it so crazy bad.
So no, I don’t think Dane is any more hypocritical than you or me. But The Inertia throwing a grenade up toward Ventura for no real reason is almost fun.
Throw one down to Cardiff-by-the-Sea next!