Let's shake the world!
A handful of days ago Facebook’s founder-ish and CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered a much anticipated free speech (I assume he took no fee seeing that he owns many billions of dollars) on free speech to a group of Georgetown University students. There he stood, black dry-fit shirt wicking moisture from his peach-like bosom, behind an earnest mahogany lectern, brave and glowing, the thrill of a Kai Lenny tow-foil session certainly still warming his cockles and/or the rouge applied to his cheeks.
He was ready to defend his platform, including our participation on it, and I couldn’t wait to listen.
Oh his free free speech had absolutely everything, a revisionist origin story, righteous indignation, chest pounding, moisture wicking, a patented Kai Lenny glow but best of all the complete repudiation of censorship. There Mark Zuckerberg stood tall-ish, saying, “People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world. It is a Fifth Estate alongside the other power structures of society.”
“We are at a crossroads. We can either stand for free expression or we can decide the cost is simply too great. We must continue to stand for free expression.”
My own heart melted at this last statement, though I had no moisture wicking dry-fit to clean it up, and I felt we had broken through a major wall. Maybe even the World Surf League’s Wall of Positive Noise™. As you certainly remember Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and our World Surf League entered into a 30 million dollar partnership a few years ago. The consummation of that union, as you must recall, was the deletion of my “edgy” but popular Instagram (owned by Facebook) account ReportsFromHell which specialized in surf memes and penis ping-pong videos.
And I raged inside.
Surfing is but penis ping pong on the water and the fact that Santa Monica’s High Tower couldn’t recognize that, couldn’t withstand very dull barbs, criticisms, honest hot takes, made me crazy inside.
How dare they.
How dare they cancel a very poetic expression. A true-to-life rendering of what we all love more than.,. anything.
Well, I celebrated Mark Zuckerberg’s rebel yell by posting a very poetic image of a brave young man choosing freedom of expression over the stilted norms of his family. An image that has come to mean so much to me over the years. My own Joan of Arc. My north star.
The post was flagged and removed within seconds and I know exactly by whom.
The same entity that asked for the deletion of ReportsFromHell.
That cursed World Surf League.
And it is so far beyond bad enough that the “democratic” powers-that-be capitulate to China’s version of authoritarian control. Mark Zuckerberg has been proven a liar, Facebook but a lowly and crude hitman for Santa Monica’s totalitarian whims.
Vanishing iconic content. Content as iconic as the brave young man who stood in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square.
Stab and The Inertia are just as bad, vanishing comments, restricting speech, dancing to the guzheng strum of tyranny all while positioning, I imagine, to be State Television for Professional Surfing and it’s Olympic Successes. Millions of people falling in love with the Pastime of Kings. Billions even, with China happily involved.
The censorship… it’s wild and drives me crazier.
We surfers, we used to know better. We used to be raw, legendary surf journalist Drew Kampion raw, willing to to shoulder the terror of Richard Milhous Nixon in order to be free. To be us.
To be surfers.
Well fuck Facebook. Fuck the WSL. Fuck collaborationist surf media including, but not limited to, Stab and The Inertia and of course the propagandist mouthpiece Surflie.
I’d conclude with “Delete your Menlo Park owned/Santa Monica directed social medias!” but that reads ineffective and impotent.
But just imagined if we did. If all surfers deleted Facebook and Instagram on principle we’d shake the world.
Should we shake the world?