It's a cruel world.
The calendar has flipped to a new month and I’d imagine various chiefs inside the World Surf League Santa Monica headquarters are momentarily relieved. Things cannot possibly go worse in June than they did in May. Steam is still rising from Lemoore, California in the wake of the Surf Ranch Pro wherein Gabriel Medina, Felipe Toledo and Italo Ferreira, each former champions, all from Brazil, raised their voices as one and demanded account for questionable judging in Kelly Slater’s tub.
The furor from fans, from surfers, from industry stalwarts across the ideological spectrum was unlike anything seen in professional surfing since… well, maybe since ever.
Such was the brouhaha that WSL CEO Erik Logan was forced into writing a completely misguided open letter filled with paternalistic condescension and victim shaming making matters very much worse. Hoots of derision from the cheap seats. Calls for public termination.
But imagine being Dirk Ziff. Imagine being the benevolent billionaire who purchased professional surfing for free some eight years ago in order to make it bigger than the National Football League only to have CEO after CEO after CEO brought low by those dwelling in a “trash palace.” Imagine knowing all the good being done, a bush being planted to save the environment, Joe Turpel being gainfully employed, equality everywhere.
“No good deed goes unpunished,” he very likely moans to himself while wiggling his sad little toesies in equally sad little bunny slippers.
Well, he can at least take solace in knowing that old chestnut was, once and for all, proven true for, yesterday, a waterman from Hawaii plead guilty to saving a cute little bison baby from drowning and was slapped with a heavy fine.
According to reports, Clifford Walters was vacationing in Yellowstone National Park on May 20th when he saw a newborn calf struggling in the water after being separated from its mother. Waterman gonna waterman, of course, so Walters jumped into action, wading into the river and pushing the dear little thing to safety.
Park rangers later found the sweetie and tried to reunite it with the herd but it was rejected so they killed it dead.
Walters was charged a $500 fine, a $500 community service payment, a $30 special assessment and a $10 processing fee.
And you’d think there would be Good Samaritan laws for this sort of thing but, then again, I’d think Dirk Ziff would like to see Good Samaritan laws for rescuing professional surfing too.
It’s a cruel world.