The culture wars come to surf.
Justin Timberlake sure has been copping one, these days. The once-universally adored singer has been marched into the public square and torn limb from limb. It started with Britney Spears releasing her new memoir The Woman in Me. It was an instant best-seller and led to much discussion on Timberlake then much piling on.
The two former Mouseketeers famously began dating when she was seventeen, he eighteen and both on the ascent. She singing instant classics like Hit Me Baby, One More Time. He as one fifth of boy band sensation NSYNC.
It was a fairytale romance, on the surface, adorned in denim though in hindsight apparently not perfect.
Cheating on both sides plus a pregnancy terminated early.
Timberlake eventually ending it all via text.
The big un-chill.
Though nobody seemed to care at the time.
Now, though, knives are out for the SexyBack singer and mostly for his adoption of a “blaccent” or “black accent” sometime in the aughts. He was hammered hard for it, though the tide may be turning back in his favor. Songwriter/Bravolebrity Kandi Burruss recently swung to his defense, telling Page Six, “I just feel like that was young Justin. Leave him alone, y’all. He was a really, really good guy.”
For surfers, the whole imbroglio has ripped the scab off the long-festering “Spicolocution” debate.
Justin Timberlake and the Surf Vernacular
But you are certainly aware of the decades-long depiction of surfers speaking a certain Southern California patois. Keanu Reeves, Sean Penn, Erik Logan bro brah broing to camera. While inoffensive in the Golden State, surfers from New Jersey, Australia’s Gold Coast, Brazil’s Saquarema always recoiled at the depiction.
And reasonable though Hollywood is a machine but also a machine that doesn’t have rearview mirrors.
How then do “surfers” speak?
For my money, like Filipe Toledo.
But, while you are here, did I ever tell you about the time I had brunch with Justin Timberlake in New York? It was lovely and he seemed very kind. We drank coffee, if I recall, though someone might have ordered a mimosa.
No blaccent detected.