“A new day has dawned. Another opportunity to better myself as a person. And as a consumer.”
(Editor’s note: Following a proud history of surf anthropology as pioneered by Jen See in her Surfline Man series, here, here, here, here, here and here, today BeachGrit introduces Hurley Person.)
Hurley Person stirs from a dreamless sleep as the first wisps of light meander in through his bedroom window, dancing across the sheer white walls of his tastefully austere studio apartment.
The velvety beats of Moby begin to play through an unseen pair of Sonos speakers as Hurley Person blinks once, twice.
“A new day has dawned,” he thinks to himself as he wakes. “Another opportunity to better myself as a person. And as a consumer.”
Hurley Person cracks his neck as he sits up in bed, his hazel green eyes and coffee brown skin contrasting perfectly against the muted alabaster of his expensive linen sheets. The sheets, like every other product he owns, are of the highest quality, and made to last.
The only thing disposable in this household is Hurley Person’s income.
He runs his fingers through his fine brown beard.
“Siri,” he says as he stifles a yawn, “find me some engaging, inspiring and inclusive content to view this morning before I prepare for my busy day of work at the tech entrepreneur hub I recently founded that provides venture capital and mentoring to small and medium-sized enterprises dedicated to upskilling their corporate social integrity.”
“Yes, Hurley Person,” comes a smooth feminine voice as the last strains of Moby melt seamlessly away.
Hurley Person rises from bed and begins his morning stretches.
A $9,000 BenQu laser projector whirs from a hidden recess in the roof, and a series of blurred images play across the far white wall as Siri finetunes her algorithm.
“Siri, I’m feeling a little lonely today,” says Hurley Person. “Make it content related to a sport or pastime that could offer me a sense of belonging to a culture that aligns with my personal values of fitness, environmental awareness and social inclusiveness while also filling the existential void that sits at the base of my soul. Something that will remedy my pedestrian, sterile sheltered existence and the lack of any real personality or sense of human connection that has been a hallmark of my life.”
“Yes, Hurley Person.”
“Oh, and Siri,” …Hurley Person stops his stretching and looks off somewhere in the half distance… “Can you get a bit of T&A in there too? But don’t include that in my search history!”
He lets out an involuntarily feminine chuckle.
“Of course, Hurley Person.”
The miasma of blurred imagery being projected on his wall slows to a single, sickly frame. A beautiful, statuesque blonde woman in tight mountain biking gear stands in the middle of a back country trail.
“Matches found,” says Siri
“Mountain biking: do you want to go down, down down? “
“Hmm,” says Hurley Person. “It looks pretty cool, but I’m pretty sure Anan from marketing broke his shoulder mountain biking last year. Plus, I don’t appreciate the crass entendre. Next.”
Two women in Lycra and headgear appear, grappling each other in a loving embrace.
“MMA: you’ll never guess the strength of these two warrior princesses.”
“No thanks,” says Hurley Person. “Despite the health benefits I still find MMA… problematic. Next.”
For a moment, just before the next image displays on his wall, Hurley Person thinks he hears an almost audible sigh come from the speaker.
“Your third option.”
A beaming surfer girl appears, her athletic body hidden under the contours of her full length wetsuit as she rides over the curl of a blue wave.
“World Surf League presents Lawn Patrol with Carissa Moore: Follow world champion Carissa Moore as she takes us through her backyard and explores the heaven on earth that is the North Shore of Hawaii.”
“Surfing, huh?” says Hurley Person. “I’ve always wanted to be closer to nature, and those surfer guys I saw being arrested in South Beach that time had great muscle definition.”
A look of steeled determination creeps across Hurley Person’s face as he starts his rep of more intensive pilates stretches.
“Siri, let’s try it.”
A series of error noises bip from the speakers.
“Sorry Hurley Person, it is asking us to leave YouTube and visit an external page to view the video – www dot worldsurfleague dot com,” says Siri.
“Are these guys for real,” Hurley Person guffaws, “expecting me to leave a native video hosting platform and to view content on their own site? Have they not heard of UX?”
Hurley Person stares at the life-size image of Carissa on his bedroom wall. That beautiful smile. Those all-knowing eyes. She looks content. Happy. Like she belongs somewhere in this world.
“Whatever,” he says finally. “I’m sure it’s worth it. Take me to that place.”
For the next twenty minutes Hurley Person watches on enthralled, as Lawn Patrol melds into Sound Waves melds into Transformed melds into the latest video of Koa unboxing.
Each video speaks more and more to the sense of self constructed in his psyche by a lifetime of subconscious corporate conditioning.
“Wow, this WSL really feels like an organisation I align with,” Hurley Person says as the shows finally finish.
“Siri, please follow them on across all of their social media platforms and sign me up for any newsletters, competitions, or databases they have available. Be sure to include as much of my personal information as possible so that they can best tailor their marketing and communications to me.”
“Yes, Hurley Person.”
“Also,” Hurley Person says, “I want to make sure they can bundle up my personal data and demographic information to use as alongside all of the other WSL followers, my new friends, my new tribe, so that they can attract the investment of other big corporates that might like to advertise their products to us.
“Of course, Hurley Person.”
Hurley Person drops to the ground and begins doing push ups while Siri gets to work. He’s barely raised a sweat before she comes back online.
“You are now a certified member of the World Surf League,” Siri dutifully reports. “You should now receive notifications of their updated content via their social media platforms and a bespoke RSS feed I have specially created for you. I have also signed you up for an air BnB experience at their next major competition, likely run date June 2023.”
“Neat-o,” says Hurley Person.
Would you now like to buy some associated products?”
“Well of course I fucking do Siri. What sort of a stupid fucking question is that?”
A catalogue of items project against the wall.
Hurley man swipes through the album with the wave of a finger, the biosensors implanted in his fingertips tracking his excited heart rate as he considers each new product. Each new opportunity to belong.
“What’s this?” he asks as he pauses on one strange looking item.
“A Wavestorm Softboard. Perfect for learners and new starters looking to become waterpeople overnight.”
Hurley Person nods his head.
“But can I also suggest a *Siri’s voice immediately alters into a coarse, mechanical delivery, that sounds strangely Australian * J-S Monsta-Box? There are seven salespoints located within a ten-mile radius of your home.”
“Hmm, no thanks,” says Hurley Person. “I’ll go the softy”
“You will also need a rash vest,” says Siri in her more calming, feminine voice.
“Can I suggest the Carissa Moore x WSL signature series? Blue, with white arms.”
“You will also need a GoPro to capture all of your surfing adventures, as well as to record any collisions you may have in the water for future legal use. Can I suggest the GoPro 10 Hero?”
“Yep, says Hurley Person. “In fact, better get me two.”
“Finally, says Siri., you will need a…” Siri’s voice stops, as if she is taking a second herself to compute the next item. “A… beard softener.”
“Oh, word?” Hurley Person fingers his fine brown beard again.
“Siri, give me the best fucking beard softener there is.”
“Purchasing Hurley brand beard softener.”
A blue ‘verified’ tick appears on Hurley Person’s bedroom wall, just as the full light of the morning sun fills the room.
“Congratulations,” says Siri as the apartment explodes into a thousand brilliant shades of white.
“You are now a surfer. Next item for the day: What would you like me to order you for breakfast?”
“Hmmm,” says Hurley Person. “Now that’s a tough one.”