Hacked: The Inertia gets compromised!

An act of evil or a blessing to all?

There was much big news yesterday including Prince getting his own Pantone shade (officially called Love Symbol #2), reports that the Iranian government increased military spending and neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer’s claim that it was hacked by Anonymous before being pulled down by GoDaddy and then Google.

Anonymous denied that it had been involved and released a Twitter statement suggesting it was a publicity stunt, engineered by The Daily Stormer’s founder, since no web service would agree to host his site anymore.

Also, Venice-adjacent SUP yoga blog The Inertia’s comment section became absent.

I was made aware of the issue around 2:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. A concerned BeachGrit reader emailed:

Just an FYI, but The Inertia’s comments section is down. It’s a never ending scroll through ads and old articles. Kinda odd, but they seem very sensitive.

Immediately putting a stop to my birthday celebration, I raced over to The Inertia and saw that it was, indeed, a never ending scroll through ads (mostly how men can get rid of the bags under their eyes) and old articles (mostly about doctors discovering how to make foot calluses “vanish.”)

No comment section at all.

Then I spent the next four hours pondering the various possible reason for its disappearance. Was it:

a) Hacked by Anonymous in order to stop “The khakification of everything in the entire world.”

b) Pulled down by founder Zach Weisberg as a protest against a surge in local Bikram yoga pricing.

c) Disappeared by concerned The Inertia readers who felt the safe space wasn’t safe enough.

d) Accidentally turned off during The Inertia staff’s mandatory Monday colon hydrotherapy n dance party.

e) Taken by scientists examining what happens to human beings who have had their senses of humor completely removed.

f) Other.

What do you think?

The Facts: WSL vs Breitbart!

WSL pulls ads from right-wing website, not the other way around…

Mea culpa etc. Yesterday, it was revealed, here, that the WSL had banned Breitbart ads from appearing on the site during the broadcast of the Billabong Pro Tahiti final.

A victory for echo chambers, safety spaces and so forth.

Breitbart, as we might as well explain again, is a right-leaning website created by two Jews in response to what they saw as the relentless leftism of popular media and its demonisation of Israel.

It ain’t my bowl of hummus, if I’m to be honest, but neither are the flabby opinions on Salon, Mother Jones or the Huff Post. But  I do like to read both sides and find a position somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, thanks to sharp-eyed reader and podcaster David Scales, we got it the wrong way around. It wasn’t Breitbart ads appearing on the WSL broadcast and subsequently getting removed by the WSL (at the behest of noted San Diego surfer Richard Kenvin) but the other way around.

The WSL was shovelling paid ads onto Breitbart! 

Kenvin had sent a screenshot of the Breitbart home page to the WSL who, in an understandable panic they’d be labelled as an offshoot of the KKK only a day after race riots in Virginia, quickly pulled the ads.

The WSL has since assured BeachGrit the “appropriate filters are in place” so this sorta thing “doesn’t happen in the future.”

Oh, and here’s my little exchange with Kenvin.

DR: I just saw that you’d singlehandedly managed to get the Breitbart ads off the WSL site. 

RK: Little old me? Oh, I’m such a homebody! I like cats and serious non-fiction books.

DR: At least, I think so, I missed the previous post.

RK: Yeah, I deleted it.

DR: I want to run a story on BeachGrit. So I ask…

RK: BeachGrit? Whats that? Oh I get it. BeachBart. BreitBeach.

"Let it go, let it go Turn away and slam the door I don't care what they're going to say Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway!"
"Let it go, let it go Turn away and slam the door I don't care what they're going to say Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway!"

Gabriel Medina: A Trail of Tears!

No one lets it go like surfing's naughty boy!

It is my birthday today and I am choosing to spend it with Gabriel Medina. Professional surfing’s favorite bad boy. Professional surfing’s naughtiest minx. I’m choosing to swim in a fountain of his wonderful tears.

And how do you want your first runner up to act on the podium? Do you wish for him to be genteel? Congratulatory to the winner? Full of praise for the event, fans, staff, God?

Or do you wish for him to be so bothered that liquid frustration pours from his very eyes?

I pray for the latter! Look at the above screen grab from the Tahiti Pro ceremony where Julian Wilson was given the 1st place trophy and Gabriel Medina was given the 2nd place platter. Study the glistening eyes. Survey the tightness of the downturned mouth. It is a study in anguish and it is what I want to see from the first loser.

And now let’s continue our tour as we examine some other classic moments when professional surfing’s smoothest criminal let it go.

Happy birthday to me indeed.

And while we’re speaking of my birthday… what do you think happens to Rip Curl sales when Gabriel Medina cries? Do you think surfers are heartened by his passion and run to the outlet mall for rash guard and walk short purchases or do you think surfers prefer the #fakenews of typical back-patting “the better man won today” sportsmanship nonsense?

I hope tears = Rip Curl rash guards + walk shorts.

But do you want more crying surfers?

Happy birthday to you too!

Smooth: Gabriel Medina’s “big heart!”

The best bad guy in World Surf League history!

Yesterday’s Tahiti final, wherein Australia’s Julian Wilson extricated himself from needing a combination of scores by picking two waves, one under priority, and surfed them near perfectly thus vanquishing Gabriel Medina and the dreams of a proud South American nation, was so wonderfully dramatic.

And it was grand to see Julian Wilson so happy on the boat afterward reveling in the praise and the surreality but the star of the entire Teahupo’o’o show was none other than Gabriel Medina.

For Medina’s semifinal heat against Kolohe Andino and then his finals run against Wilson were cinema. Pure Hollywood.

Mr. Steve Sheare’r described the action better than I ever could but what thrilled me the most was that for the first time maybe ever surfing actually has a villain. A proper bad guy. An evildoer who possesses enough skill, talent, knowledge and drive to win many more events and possibly many more titles.

Most professional surf fans look back so fondly on the Andy Irons vs. Kelly Slater years and they were very fun with Andy occupying the bad boy role and Kelly playing the good boy. Both were near equally loved and cheered which was entertaining but…

…the visceral hatred pouring out against Medina is art.

The way he got under both Kolohe and Julian’s skin through tactical annoyance. The way they both fell directly into his trap. The way that most professional surf fans took to comment boards and social media to decry the “poor sportsmanship.” Julian Wilson (after getting very lucky, let’s just be honest) could only muster, “Gabriel Medina has a big heart. Let’s leave that one in the water.”

It could not have been better. I swore, near the end of the semifinal, that I saw Kolohe kick his board toward Gabriel. I have watched the highlights replay now twice and can’t find it so it must not have happened but in my mind it did and that is the performance Gabriel Medina is delivering. So full-throated, so all in, that I imagine egregious acts.

Gabriel Medina is a method actor. He is Billy Zane in Titanic. He is Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He is Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest.

He is bad and it’s so good!

Richard Kenvin, super mensch! From today, all thought, all opinion, must conform to guidelines dictated by the excellent San Diego shaper. | Photo: Fisher Viking

Iron fist: WSL Bans Jewish website!

Breitbart ads banned from Teahupoo broadcast at the behest of San Diego shaper Rich Kenvin.

Earlier today, as the Billabong Tahiti Pro skidded to a surprisingly exciting end in smallish grey Teahupoo, the WSL website was festooned in ads for the right-wing website Breitbart.com.

Breitbart, in case you didn’t know, is a news website that really sticks in the craw of Castro-hat-wearing leftists for its pro-Trump, anti-open borders, pro-Israel positions. Its founder, Andrew Breitbart, switched the site from news aggregator to news network a decade ago after a trip to Israel with his co-founder Larry Solov.

Breitbart, Solov? Yeah, both Jews.

“One night in Jerusalem, when we were getting ready for dinner,” says Solov, “Andrew turned to me and asked if I would de-partner from the 800-person law firm where I was practicing and become business partners with him. He said he needed my help to create a media company. He needed my help to “change the world”… We were blown away by the spirit, tenacity, and resourcefulness of the Israeli people on that trip. Andrew could be quite convincing, not to mention inspiring, and I decided right there and then to ‘throw away’ (my Mom’s phrase) a perfectly good, successful and safe career in order to start a ‘new media’ company with Andrew Breitbart.”

Anyway, for a lot of people Breitbart represents the devil, for others its a voice that ain’t often heard.

Richard Kenvin, who enjoys Castro hats and is characterised by Coke bottle spectacles and who once won a pro event at Blacks, is of the former. And when the Breitbart ads started lighting up the WSL site he became terribly upset and loosed his fury on Instagram.

The WSL quickly responded.

Props to WSL. I have yanked my previous post regarding this matter.

A post shared by @hydrodynamica on

Obviously, in that little echo-chamber the response was uniform.

milesjackler Yay! Glad something could be done. Cheers for making the effort
aaronpores Nice job, Richard. A little gumption and a few well-placed words go a long way.
meyerhoffer Yep.
mystic_looch ✌️
jallenz Post of the day.
will.batman Great job!! @hydrodynamica
adamsurfs Thanks for speaking up!
sli_boogie Well done @hydrodynamica @wsl

Are you as thrilled as the Rich Kenvin fans?

Or do you think, oowee, can’t a brother have an opinion anymore unless it conforms to strict guidelines as laid down by San Diego surfboard designers?

The WSL, Breitbart, and Kenvin have all been approached for comment.

More soon, maybe.