Kelly Slater and Tulsi G. | Photo: @tulsigabbard

World’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater invokes Tom Cruise as he joins presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard in pushing hot new study that reveals “big pharma falsely claimed depression was caused by a chemical imbalance – so they got people hooked on anti-depressants!”

“Shameful and criminal.”

A couple of days back a new study delivered an apparent coup de grâce to big pharma, revealing all those anti-depressants people are gobbling to stop ‘em from killing ‘emselves don’t do a thing. 

Media went wild, as y’might imagine, the findings feeding the suspicion, which has been driven to fever pitch by big pharma pushing COVID vaccines with debatable effectiveness, that it ain’t about health with these immoral sons of bitches, only cash.

The review, published in Molecular Psychiatry argued that there is “no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations” and that, “the serotonin theory of depression is not empirically substantiated.”

And, therefore, “Depression is probably not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain” and “antidepressants appear to have a generalized emotion-numbing effect…(and) it is not clear they do more good than harm.”  

The former Congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, noted for her no-nonsense style of biz, neither swinging left nor right, went at pharmaceutical co’s, tweeting, 

“Once again, Big Pharma rakes in billions of dollars based on lies. New study finds big pharma falsely claimed depression was caused by a chemical imbalance – so they got people hooked on  antidepressants that did nothing but increase the risk of suicide. Shameless & criminal.”

It’s since turned out the study might’ve overreached a little in its conclusions, and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that pills keep some of us from swinging from the rafters, but it does shine a light on our habit of trying to find easy-fix solutions, hacks, to problems.

Of course, no debate can be considered closed without the greatest surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, delivering his own riposte. 

Slater, who was a favourite to win next week’s Outernknown Tahiti Pro until the arrival of wildcard and former event runner-up Nathan Hedge, was typically pithy in response.

“Tom Cruise was right after all,” he tweeted, drawing almost two-thousand likes.

Cruise blew up the pre-internet (papers, magazines etc) in 2005 when he went on the Matt Lauer Show and said exercise, vitamins were a better solution than drugging and electro-shocking children.

Machado (pictured) outside curtain'd van.
Machado (pictured) outside curtain'd van.

Controversy explodes as surfers trade blows over whether vans with curtains covering windows belong exclusively to perverts or are an acceptable post-session setup!

Hot topic.

Unexpected controversy exploded over the surf landscape, hours ago, as surfers fell into opposing camps around one hot topic and began trading vicious barbs. At issue, do vans with curtains covering windows belong exclusively to perverts and sex menaces or are they an appropriate set-up for post-session changings etc?

David Lee Scales brought the scenario up on our weekly chat, recently, and I imagined the truth was obvious. For debauchees. I did not know, though, that many in our community appreciate the aesthetic. My phone blew right up with surfers accusing me of deviant-ism, of profiling, of painting with too broad a moustache.

Included, one Rob Machado who coldly declared, “My van has curtains and they fucking rule.”

So where do you stand?

#TeamMasturbatorium or #TeamAllowedWithin100ftOfSchools?

David Lee and I also discussed skimboarding. All in all a very fine program.

Kelly Slater as imagined by @sensitiveseashellcollector vociferously pro-plant.
Kelly Slater as imagined by @sensitiveseashellcollector vociferously pro-plant.

World’s most important surfer Kelly Slater weighs in on detained basketball star Brittney Griner’s nine-year marijuana smuggling sentence, international drug laws: “Imagine plants being illegal.”

Controversy follows.

Yesterday it was announced that Brittney Griner, one of the WNBA’s premier stars, had received a nine-year sentence over the charge that she smuggled drugs into Russia. Griner, who was detained upon entering Sheremetyevo airport outside of Moscow on February 7th of this year when vape cartridges containing hash oil was discovered in her luggage. Mere weeks later, Russia invaded Ukraine throwing the whole business into much disarray, Griner becoming pawn in new cold-ish war etc.

Well, days ago the Phoenix Mercury center received her official sentence. Nine years in a penal colony for drug smuggling. Reaction, from celebrities and notable personalities from across the political spectrum was swift and universally damning of the severe punishment.

United States President Joe Biden declared, “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.”

US Basketball released a statement reading, “We continue to support BG however we can and remain engaged with the U.S. State Department as it works diligently to being her home. The bravery Brittney is demonstrating in the face of these unimaginable circumstances speaks to the person she is and the strength she possesses. We will not be satisfied until BG is back in the U.S. and reunited with her loved ones, teammates and fans.”

Popular podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan added, “This is some really horrible shit. I hope some sort of a deal can be made to get her out, and I hope this makes us look at our own policies here in America where thousands of people are in jail for cannabis right now.”

To which the world’s most important surfer Kelly Slater responded, “Imagine plants being illegal. Horrible situation for her and also plenty of Americans. Hopefully her situation will effect change everywhere.”

Slater’s boldly pro-plant stance was applauded by many but lightly questioned by a surprising number.

@rena_lapres informed the 11x professional surfing champion “coke comes from a plant and is illegal.

@henerlyhendo added, “same with opium.”

@Ohkaygomez stretched with, “beer comes from a flower and wheat but it’s illegal to drive drunk.”

Slater, at time of writing, is yet to respond to his critics though where do you fall, here?

Should all plants be legal?

Food for thought.

Teenage girl stuns world by making final of prestigious pro surfing event, beating cavalcade of top-rated men, “You could hear the cheering all the way up into the judge’s stand on top of the 200-foot limestone cliff!”

"A young lady, facing men on equal ground in perfect, gnarly conditions, reaching the finals of a legacy surf tournament. And doing it convincingly."

Man tears are still flowing into their beers here in Bali as eleven male invitees had to watch fifteen-year-old little girl named Erin Brooks rip her way past them into the finals of the 2022 Rip Curl Cup at Padang Padang.

(She also soared past the female competitors while winning the inaugural women’s division as well.)

After charging through the early men’s heats, in the last light of day, the men’s final was a scorcher as little Erin held the led for the first 12 minutes on two double-hand dragging screamers. Fellow finalists Clay Marzo, Mega Semadhi and Mega Artana were left to re-think their strategy, realizing that this little girl was a real threat.

Spectators were holding their breath with the unimaginable thought that a little blonde girl from Hawaii was going to win the prestigious Men’s Rip Curl Cup in pumping conditions at this famed and fearsome left hand reef barrel.

From dawn to dusk, showing fearless and total commitment on every wave, Erin pulled into spinning barrels that Ian Crane described as “like being inside a jet engine”.

The only controversy came in on one of the early rounds when Mason Ho did one of those cool switcheroo rail grabs inside a giant tube and only scored a low six. Apparently the drone wasn’t able to give the judges a replay so they never saw Mason’s creative moves behind the lip.

Erin advanced into the next round and the usually irrepressible Mason was rumored to leave the beach in a huff. Understandably, since Mason was dropping bombs all day and looked sure to be in the final if not on top of the winners dias.

Regardless, throughout the day, Erin kept pulling into and blasting out of barrel after barrel. It was quite a sight to see this young lady dropping in late, stomping a tail stall and then squaring off and hitting the gas to go flying out into the channel as the media boats and caddy ski’s in the channel went wild. You could hear the cheering all the way up into the judge’s stand on top of the 200-foot limestone cliff.

Having earned their respect, the boys in the final rallied, albeit with full sportmanship respect to Erin’s savvy priority tactics. But in the end, Clay Marzo styled his way to a comfortable win with Mega Semadhi and Mega Artana barreling their way to second and third. Erin crossed the line in fourth after surfing four high powered heats all day long against the best tuberiding invitees not on the WSL tour.

Despite Marzo’s win, the scuttlebutt from the spectators was that the real winner of the Rip Curl Cup, the real story of the day, was a little 15 year old girl who achieved something that has never been done before in surfing’s history. A young lady, facing men on equal ground in perfect, gnarly conditions, reaching the finals of a legacy surf tournament. And doing it convincingly.

(A word concerning Benji Brand. The South African terror and Pipeline A-Lister, the 2019 Rip Curl Cup Champion, has never lost a heat at Padang Padang. Considered a shoe-in for the win this year, again, he won every heat he paddled out into. Unfortunately, he had to surrender to a devastating case of Bali Belly which left him bedridden. He was forced to yield his spot in the competition at the last second to Clay Marzo, the surfer next in line on heat points. ).

But whether or not Benji would have been able to achieve a repeat championship, the real lesson here is that Erin Brooks proved that the future of female surfing is going to strike fear into the hearts of our misogynist surfing culture. And that is the straight up truth.

As proof of this fact, here is a list of Erin Brooks victims on her great day on the way to the final:

Shane Dorian
Luke Swanson
Mason Ho
Nic Von Rupp
Ian Crane
Taina Angel Izqueirdo
Ziggy Aloha Mackenzie
Kailani Johnson
Raditya Rondi
Agus Sumertayasa
Mustofa Jeksen
Tommy Sobry
Garut Widarta ( Rip Curl Cup Champion 2014)
Made “Bol”Winada Adi Putra ( Rip Curl Cup Champion 2004, 2005)

Think about that list. Could you do it?

Open Thread: Comment Live on day seven of the US Open of Surfing where the women are crazy and the men are stupid!

And the women are crazy because the men are stupid!