Shock: Shark Week’s experts almost entirely “white or white-passing” and show uses mostly heteronormative pronouns in online biographies and during episodes, “There’s more guys named Mike than there are women!”

Representation matters!

Who don’t love a little Shark Week, Caged in Fear, Science of Shark Sex (“It’s violent!”), Island of the Mega Shark and so on?

Tits and ass for lovers of nature’s freaks, essentially.

Every episode is dressed up in environmental bona fides while winking at its audience, we know you came for the splatterfest… now watch this bloodthirsty leviathan launch itself thirty feet in the air with a seal in its jaws! Oowee!

“At its best, Shark Week educates people about the most misunderstood animals on our planet while inspiring them to protect the ocean. At its worst, it perpetuates fear and misunderstanding,” huffs Wired’s David Shiffman.

Now, a new shot across the bow of the much-loved show with the revelation that “93.7 percent of experts were perceived by coders as white or white-passing”,

And,

“79 percent of hosts/experts use he/him/his pronouns in online biographies or during the show.”

Can you believe?

The matter was brought into relief recently by research scientist Dr David Shiffman (@WhySharksMatter) and Dr Linda Whitenack, a biology and geology professor.

Neither dig Shark Week.

In a harrowing long-form piece for Scientific American, Catherine Macdonald writes,

Women of color in shark science must deal with the intersecting effects of sexism and racism. Amani Webber-Schultz, a co-founder of MISS, shared that she chooses whom to work with carefully because, in the face of potentially violent racist threats, “I need to feel that whoever I am working for or with will have my back and stand up for me in situations where it is not safe for me to stand up for myself.” Alongside physical dangers exacerbated by race, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age and level of power, overwhelmingly white and male scientific spaces send unwelcoming signals to students about who “belongs” and who is likely to be given the chance to succeed in shark science.

All shocking and important, are you an ally or are you complicit etc.


Listen: World Surf League officially announces new format change on Instagram; breaks records, convention, by receiving exactly 0% support!

Historical first.

Human beings are strange creatures, each with a mind of her own, decision-making facilities untethered from self-preservation, common sense, the greater good. The heart wants what the heart wants even if what the heart wants is absolute nonsense etc.

Thus, it is completely understandable to find a small cadre of human beings supporting the most utterly bizarre platforms. Cannibalism, for example, is supported by .9% of the population. Kelly Slater’s new cryptocurrency by .9%.

The World Surf League’s new one day champion crowning contest at Lower Trestles?

An unheard of 0% support.

Cannibals and Kelly Kryptos in agreement with you and me.

The WSL, misguidedly, posted the official format to Instagram, days ago, and the comments flowed.

100% against.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CRmFs5KNDs8/

It’s worth a scroll through the comments and very funny but, my goodness, I have never witnessed anything like this, though I imagine this is exactly for what the Wall of Positive Noise™ was built. I’d imagine WSL CEO Erik Logan, in his high Santa Monica Tower, thinks that the unwashed surf masses have no idea what they want and when Filipe Toledo beats Gabriel Medina for the title that the unwashed surf masses will cheer like yokels because they will have forgotten Medina’s year-long dominance and embrace Toledo’s air reverse over the cobbled stone.

Will we?

I don’t know but I’m definitely watching The Ultimate Surfer also starring Kelly Krypto.

David Lee and I, anyhow, discuss the World Shame League, Battle of the Personal Brands, hawks killing pigeons and county fairs.

Enjoyable?

Who even knows anymore.


Dark horse Carissa Moore leapfrogs Kanoa Igarashi, Kolohe Andino in wild battle of personal brands by charming Japanese town with husband’s homemade banana nut butter!

Hammer thrown.

Two days. Surfing’s grand Olympic debut is merely two days away and the world press is practically stumbling over itself in trying to cover, essentially falling in love with our brave water sliders. Oh, it was inevitable as the narrative is just too delicious. The great Duke Kahanamoku advocating for surfing’s inclusion over 100 years ago, young and tan and fit youth radiating vitality to a pandemic stricken public, the vestiges of an enviable lifestyle doggedly holding firm.

Yes, falling in love and as I boldly predicted at the beginning of the month, one surfer will emerge as a superstar, known and adored by the general public a la snowboarding’s Shaun White.

The early frontrunner was, of course, Kanoa Igarashi who is Japanese-by-way-of-Huntington-Beach, speaks-ish the language and is exceedingly handsome. His stock was recently improved by an almost humanizing profile in Outside magazine.

In a savvy move, however, Kolohe Andino hired the very firm that made Shaun White Shaun White and has been delivering folksy metaphors to The New York Times.

A wild battle of personal brands but wait, Hawaii’s Carissa Moore has entered the ring and just thrown an absolute hammer.

Reuters is reporting that the 4x World Champion delivered a message in Japanese to the small town that hosted them before moving to the official venue saying, “We love Makinohara, the waves were a little small, but the beach was beautiful and we had a lot of fun. The hotel, food, beach, and waves were all wonderful, and the people of Makinohara have kindly shown us hospitality. We are truly thankful.”

She then gifted the town’s mayor, Kikuo Sugimoto, with a jar of banana nut butter made by her husband’s business.

I’ll be frank, the smart money should have been on Moore from the very beginning. Nobody doesn’t love ‘Rissa, as the saying goes and with this cunning move, I’d have to say she noses ahead of both Kolohe and Kanoa, who is currently running a surprising third.

Two days.

Will the situation change in those two days?

A Brazilian or Italian or French surfer entering the wild battle of personal brands?

Moore as the story develops.


A film depiction of "cocaine taking."

Australian Olympic surf team “The Irukandjis” make gargantuan blunder, cede mantle of rebelliousness to 36-year-old cocaine-snorting equestrian showjumper!

Big blow.

In a stunning blow to surfing’s reputation as “rebellious” and “cool style,” Australia’s Olympic surf team The Irukandjis,” whose motto is “Deadly in the water™”, has allowed a 36-year-old equestrian showjumper to get kicked out of the Tokyo Games after testing positive for cocaine.

Victoria’s Jamie Kermond said the result was likely due a “single recreational use of the drug” at a social event that had no connection with showjumping and added, “I am extremely upset and remorseful as to what has happened and I accept full responsibility. I am truly sorry as I have let a lot of people down including my family and team mates. Hopefully one day I can be forgiven for my mistake (and make) amends through better actions and continued contribution to the sport I know and love.”

Kermond, pictured, throwing shakas and grabbing surfing's cool. (Courtesy Facebook)
Kermond, pictured, throwing shakas and grabbing surfing’s cool. (Courtesy Facebook)

Cocaine’s relationship with surfing is well-established (buy here), and ceding the mantle of “punk” and “rock ‘n’ roller” to the horse world has been described as a “gargantuan blunder.”

Kermond was a three-time Australian showjumping champion, though his selection was scrutinized as he was 1013th on the rankings but had connections to one of the two men picking the team and was sponsored by his horse nutrition company.

Very cool, but back to the “single recreational use of the drug.” Is that common at a party feat. cocaine?

More as the story develops.


Olympian Kolohe Andino delivers winning metaphor in describing surfing to generally confused public; pulls ahead of Kanoa Igarashi in wild battle of personal brands!

The Olympics, mere days away, has officially begun to suck the general public’s attention like a big black hole. Headlines from Tokyo now dominate news from around the world. The latest on athlete village behavior, profiles of exciting potential future stars and, of course, surfing.

Our grand Olympic debut has storylines then storylines then storylines. One of the more thrilling is who will emerge as next Shaun White.

As you know, the relatively unknown snowboarder became a household name after winning Olympic gold in 2006 and went on to much fame, fortune. Dating rock n’ rollers, creating a line of boys’ clothing for Target, later getting slammed with sexual harassment allegations etc.

Which surfer, though, has the potential to be regular famous, not just surf famous? Early frontrunners, Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and the U.S.’s Kolohe Andino, have been trading heavy media blows. Yesterday, Igarashi delivered a humanizing interview to Outside magazine.

Today, Andino delivered a winning metaphor in describing surfing to a generally confused public telling The New York Times, “It’s so weird, competitive surfing. You could be the best surfer, the most talked-about surfer, whatever, and you go out there and you just need a score and you cannot find a wave. It’s like Tom Brady needs to go down the field for the winning score and he can’t find the ball.”

I laughed when I read it, laughed again when I just typed it and have to believe Andino has pulled ahead. Wheaties box soon etc.

The Times piece highlights how Andino has a clear advantage over Florence et. al. since he grew up surfing relatively poor surf in San Clemente. Not noted was how the World Surf League has decided to declare its champion in a one-day surf-off at San Clemente’s Lower Trestles and how Andino described the the move as “ludicrous” and “corny.”

But back to Tom Brady not finding the ball… truly funny.

Winning, even.